Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Milwaukee, Get Your Facts Straight

I read this article today while nursing M on my break. I have to say it got me a little heated. The ad is from the city of Milwaukee featuring a baby in bed with a knife. "Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous." Ok Milwaukee, then how about instead of scare tactics you get the message out on how to safely bedshare. Maybe you can also get the message out that safe bedsharing actually REDUCES the risk of SIDS.

The article goes on to say that Milwaukee is concerned that they have a higher rate of infant deaths than 30 developed and undeveloped countries. Let me just say this. How the hell do you think those families sleep in those undeveloped countries? They bed share.

I honestly feel that we as a society in this country have a much worse outlook on how to raise babies than those third world countries. Which is probably why I parent like them instead of what would be considered the 'norm' here.

So a few words on bedsharing. It is an amazing bonding experience. To have your breath sync with your baby. To feel them so near even in your sleep. To know that if they wake they see you and feel that comfort. It saddens me when people try to scare others away from that experience or try to guilt them out of doing so.

There are unsafe ways to bedshare just like there are unsafe ways for your baby to sleep in a crib. SIDS happens. It's scary and horrible and should not happen to anyone. I have known babies who were asleep on their backs in their cribs without bumpers, blankets, or toys. It happens. Do not confuse SIDS with suffocation. Doctors can't 100% say whether or not a baby has died of SIDS or suffocated. So often they tell you ways to prevent suffocation, because really they just don't know. So since you often hear of ways to safely sleep in a crib here are the ways to safely share a bed.

  • Leave blankets at your waist or go without.
  • Don't use pillows while in bed.
  • Have your baby sleep on the mother's side of the bed (not in between or on dad's side)
  • Never bedshare under the influence of drugs or alcohol (includes some prescriptions)
  • It is not safe to bedshare if you are very large breasted or extremely overweight.
  • Put your mattress on the floor if your baby starts to roll out.
  • Try to sidecar your crib (below is a video on how to sidecar your crib)
  • Add a mesh bed rail if you are afraid of rolling off the bed.
  • Never push your bed against a wall to avoid baby rolling off.

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