Cosleeping Under Attack in Milwaukee. Again.


Just when I was contemplating a bit of a vacation from the blog, the City of Milwaukee draws me right back in to the debate with their new anti-cosleeping ad campaign.  Check out the new ad:

The “white baby” version of the ad (for lack of a better name) features a baby sleeping next to a butcher knife.

The City of Milwaukee has been all over cosleeping for years.  I tend to place some blame on the local newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as it is always the first to yell “cosleeping death” whenever there is a story about a parent who passes out drunk or high and crushes his child.

That’s not to say there isn’t a problem:  Milwaukee’s infant mortality rate is disturbing, at 10.4 deaths for every 1,000 live births.  That’s a figure that city officials claim rivals some underdeveloped countries.  But are ads like this, ones which demonize all cosleeping as dangerous, the most effective way to get the message across?

I’ve beaten this drum before. People will continue to sleep with their babies.  And they’ll think “oh, just this once.  Nothing will happen.”  Instead, why not give them the tools they need, the knowledge, the information, to cosleep safely?

Abstinence-only education didn’t work for sex ed, and it won’t work for cosleeping.  The City’s ads are provocative, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be effective.

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Filed under Natural Parenting

6 Responses to Cosleeping Under Attack in Milwaukee. Again.

  1. Heidi Nicole

    I'm not parent but I completely agree with you. Rather than be condescending about this the media should really work on helping people be safe about it. It is a lot like premarital sex…preaching abstinence will not stop the head strong, might as well tell them how to be safe!
    Heidi Nicole recently posted..Boarding and ICEEs…

  2. Terri

    This is so ridiculous!!! Of course a baby with that many pillows and blankets around him is in danger but I doubt any sensible co-sleeping parent would be doing this! We have co-slept with our two children aged 3 and 2 years from birth and I would not have it any other way. I hear their breathing, any little cough, I'm able to change wet diapers immediately, reassure any bad dreams or murmurs, breastfeed in an instant and we all benefit from the closeness of resting in togetherness and waking up as a family. But people will always jump on to things they don't understand and demonize it. I hope that conscious people who want to co-sleep will do their research and see it's very safe and very sweet.
    Terri recently posted..A Tribute to Homeschool Chess Club

  3. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ

    This kind of misinformation and disempowerment makes me so mad! Why do they spread these lies? It must be something personal for them to ignore the research. And why would they be so irresponsible and not teach safety instead of this? Grrrr

    • Jenn @ Monkey Butt J

      I get so infuriated over this too. There seems to be an agenda here, and I don't understand why. What's the purpose? I wish we had a vocal group of proponents here who could offer alternative views, but sadly I can't imagine any group that could take on both the biggest newspaper in the state AND the health department.

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