Well, I'm sure you've all seen the news story about the new Milwaukee ad campaign against co-sleeping. If not, you can check it out here. As such, I've decided to forgo the next post about breastfeeding and instead focus on this hot topic.
My husband and I bed-share with our 7 month old. We've done it since day 1. Well, to be totally fair, that's not entirely accurate. When I say "we," I mean "I." When we first brought our little one home, we tried the new king bed we had. Unfortunately, the mattress was a little too soft. Alexander (little one) kept rolling over because of the indentation caused by my weight. We put a very firm twin mattress on the floor for Alexander and I. We slept there for the first 6 weeks or so. During those first 6 weeks, my husband and I slowly grew more and more agitated with each other. We felt like we rarely got to see each other or talk to each other due to the pressures of a new baby and his job. Then, on top of that, we were sleeping in separate beds--not exactly an ideal situation. After Alexander was able to control his head, he and I moved up to the big bed. We took the comforter off the bed and limited the number of pillows. We rotated the mattress so that the foot of the bed was at the head and the head was at the foot thereby giving us more support. It has been like that for the past 6 or so months now, and we've never had a problem.
Mommies are made to sleep with their babies. We have these amazing instincts that awaken us when our baby slows/stops breathing, gets covered by a blanket, or is in danger of being rolled on. Don't believe me? Or don't think that my experience is enough proof? Look up Dr. Bill Sears.
From one of his websites,
"[W]e've made healthy children our life's mission. After raising eight children and practicing pediatric medicine for more than 30 years, we have answered questions from thousands of parents. Millions more have sought our advice through our 40+ pediatric books, articles in parenting magazines, and our appearances on more than 100 television programs such as 20/20, Donahue, Good Morning America, Oprah, CBS This Morning, CNN, NBC's Today Show and Dateline."
Drs. Bill and Martha Sears are widely respected physicians who are well-known proponents of the attachment parenting method, which is the method to which I generally subscribe. I tell you this so that there is no question as to the credibility of the next page to which I am sending you. Dr. Sears' other website contains a rebuttal of the Milwaukee ad campaign against co-sleeping. That can be found here. Then, you can explore this. I implore you to read everything on those two pages. That's all it is--two itty, bitty pages of text. If you're interested in even more evidence that co-sleeping is a good idea, check out La Leche League International's Answer Page on the topic.
I appreciate that Milwaukee has a serious problem with children sleeping in unsafe environments and therefore perishing. The important thing to note is that the vast majority of those children were killed due to improper execution of co-sleeping and/or bed-sharing. If you drink alcohol, you MUST NOT sleep in the bed with your child until at least 2 hours have elapsed PER DRINK. If you smoke, you should NOT co-sleep or bed-share. If you ingest any other "extracurricular substances," you should NOT co-sleep or bed-share.
Long story short, Milwaukee's ad council should know better and should not be discouraging a perfectly safe and valuable practice. Instead, they should educate parents on how to bed-share and/or co-sleep. As far as I'm concerned, they deserve every bit of criticism that they get.
Have a wonderful week!