Co-Sleeping = Sleeping Next to a Butcher Knife? - FamilyEducation

Co-Sleeping = Sleeping Next to a Butcher Knife?

November 16,2011
Erin Dower

There's a buzz (and not a good one) going around about the Milwaukee Health Department's ad that relates co-sleeping to putting a baby to bed with a butcher knife. "Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous," the public service ad reads.

Many moms -- whether they opt for full-on attachment parenting or not -- have taken to co-sleeping as a way to be close to their child for easier access to breastfeed during the night, help their baby fall back to sleep, and spend some cherished hours at their little one's side. But studies have shown that, as nurturing and lovely as it can be, co-sleeping can increase the risk of SIDs and presents the hazard of a parent rolling over onto a baby -- especially in cases where the parent has been drinking or using drugs.

As grizzly as Milwaukee's ad campaign is, the intentions seem pure The city has an alarmingly high infant mortality rate tied to co-sleeping; at least nine babies have died due to unsafe sleeping conditions this year, including one just moments before the provocative "butcher knife" ad campaign was unveiled.

"Minutes before city officials unveiled a new safe-sleep advertising campaign Wednesday, the medical examiner's office announced that a 7-week-old baby was found dead on Milwaukee's south side after co-sleeping with his or her mother." the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The city's mayor admits the ad campaign is "raw" but says his heart breaks every time he receives a call reporting another infant death that might have been prevented.

What's your take on co-sleeping? What do you think of this provacative ad campaign?

If Milwaukee aimed to spread the word about sleep safety, they've certainly surpassed that goal!

Learn more about co-sleeping myths and facts, and help spread the word about co-sleeping safety.