Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Umm wow...

Read this first. http://news.yahoo.com/milwaukee-runs-provocative-ads-wake-parents-dangers-co-213117311.html

I'm sorry but I think this is a little over the top. There is absolutely no proof that co-sleeping is a cause of SIDS. As most of you know, I have two children and with one we went the co-sleeping route and one we didn't. It seems to me that this ad isn't taking many of the important steps in educating people.

***I'm not a professional, this is only MY OWN OPINION, and you can take it or leave it but please make your own choice.***

1. it's been found that the infant mortality rate goes soaring up if someone is a smoker and sleeps beside their baby.
2. if someone has been heavily drinking or is under the influence of drugs this is another reason to put your baby in their own crib. (although if you are doing either of those things and you have a newborn, you have much bigger issues).
3. Don't let your baby sleep in your bed if you have a waterbed or if you are planning on sleeping with your blankets up around your neck... not safe.
4. your baby should not sleep in the middle of you and your partner, or on the edge of the bed so they can fall off.
5. Use your common sense.

Now; let's consider this. In many many countries around the world ( North America excluded), women sleep with their children. They believe it is important in mother-child bonding, and for the infant to feel love and closeness so early in life. I once heard of someone who went to Africa and an African woman said to her "is it true that in America you keep your babies in a jail?" referring to a crib. Now, I'm not saying we do, cause clearly we all know that's a bit severe and not the case. But it is a bit strange that so early in life we put our infants in another room, far from the mother, after spending so long attached in the womb. A gradual transition would be ideal.

Another interesting fact I've read over the past few years is that SIDS rates are higher in New Zealand, Ireland, England and America than anywhere else. Why do we think that is?

Some theories are that a chemical used in fire-retardants cause toxic gases to leak from mattresses and result in SIDS. These chemicals don't show up in autopsies and also are less likely to be deadly when a baby is sleeping on their back, with their nose and mouth breathing in more fresh air. This also could explain why the Back-to-Sleep campaign has cut SIDS more than 50%.

How about the fact that babies are maybe just as at risk if they are sleeping alone and their parents can't hear them if they are distressed? Do we know it's better to have our infant down the hallway, alone at maybe several weeks old? We have double the infant death rate than many countries who do co-sleep with their infants.

Overheating is another theory that has been related to SIDS.

Who really knows. There are dozens of theories out there and we don't really know that cause of this terrifying and tragic syndrome that every new parent fears. My point is; this ad seemed to be very vague and fear-instilling. It may be discouraging something that has been proven to be completely healthy and fine in millions of homes. Or maybe there is a slight increase but do we know it's not due to poor choices on these parent's parts? Smoking and cuddling a baby, sleeping with blankets up high or under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

Either way and whatever the case is, I just found it to be a startling advertisement, and I know that was the point but was it right to make such a claim on something that is so inconclusive?

There's my latest... be safe out there and most of all be smart :)


Sarah-Jane said...

THANK YOU CHELSEA! First off, I didn't know you were a mom CONGRATS! Secondly, being a mother of 2 myself this just makes me irate! The link wouldn't work for me but, when living in N.C., I've seen stupid things like the ad you seem to describe.

I can HONESTLY tell you that I wouldn't be able to live without my young child at least sleeping in my room until 6 months. It helps that my husband is deployed right now so the baby gets half the bed, but even if he were still home the baby would be in the pack-n-play next to the bed. This is ridiculous and people are just blowing smoke at this point!

Thank you for being so straight-forward about your opinion :)

Katy said...

I completely agree with what you said about the advertisement. I think it is a little much.

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Yes, I completely agree with you! I have four kids, 11, 10, 5, and 3. We co-slept with all of them. For that matter, my parents had 3 kids and also co-slept with all of us. I couldn't help but notice the statement in the article: "Some ZIP codes in Milwaukee have infant mortality rates higher than Third World countries." Seems to me they have a MUCH bigger issue than just co-sleeping (and I wonder how many of those kids were actually co-sleeping when they died).

Unknown said...

I am really glad you blogged about this..we agonized over this same point with our two babes...in the end I think sheer exhaustion prevailed and as a mother who breastfed both babies I would just simply pass out beside them , comforting myself having heard that a mothers instinct will always kick in and I definitely found that to be true...I have friends who have purchased or even hand-crafted attachments to their bed , sort of extensions with sides to keep their babies from falling out of bed...as i write this at 2 am(insomnia strikes again) I am wedged between my 5 year old and3 year old with my husband at the other side of the bed and if anyone is going to get smothered at this point i don't think it will be the kids..even as they are so tiny they manage to take up soooo much space...