Monday, November 21, 2011

My Take on Milwaukee's Controversial Co-sleeping PSA

My sweet little co-sleeper
I'm sure that by now you've all seen Milwaukee's attention-grabbing new PSA.  You know, the one that compares co-sleeping to putting your baby in bed with a carving knife?

As a co-sleeping mama, I was pretty outraged when I first saw the ad.  After all, responsible bed sharing is perfectly safe (some would even argue that it's safer than crib sleeping). 

However, after a few hours of seething, I realized something: I'm not the target audience for this PSA, and neither are the countless other parents who follow safe co-sleeping guidelines.  Milwaukee's leaders aren't worried about us.  They're not trying to get our attention at all.

They're out to reach those people who haven't spent hours researching sleep safety online.  The ones whose bed-sharing decision was made by the simple default of cribs being too expensive.  The ones who put their babies to sleep in beds full of blankets.  Or on their stomachs.  Or on the couch.  The ones who let their babies share a bed with a drunken adult.  Or a three-year old sibling.  The ones whose babies die, not of SIDS, but of avoidable, accidental causes.  In short, the co-sleepers who are negligent.

And if Milwaukee's leaders are targeting parents who never bothered to learn about sleep safety, then they obviously need to grab people's attention.  To be just a little bit outrageous.  To create a PSA no one can ignore.  I think they've done that, and done it well.  I think they're going to save lives.

And who could be outraged by that?


  1. Last night, Char and I finally slept in the bed instead of on the chaise longue, and I was up every hour checking on her, and Nick woke up every time he heard a noise, thinking she fell out of bed. I know we have nothing to worry about, but I kept dreaming of knives and suffocation. :(

    Stupid Milwaukee.

  2. I think I disagree! :-) These types of ads hurt the entire co-sleeping community - even those of us who research and practice safe co-sleeping. I am most concerned about health care professionals who look at these ads and buy into their claims 100%.

    Where are the statistics that show how many babies die while perfectly "safe" in their cribs? This ad really irritated me.

  3. Jackie, don't worry, you'll get used to having Charlotte in bed with you - and it will be awesome, because you'll all sleep better!

    Michelle, I totally see where you're coming from, and I agree with you to an extent. The ad really raised my hackles at first. But I still think there are some people who probably need a wake up call that their sleeping choices aren't safe.


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