The Co-Sleeping Controversy and Enduring 'Bad Mom' Glares
As soon as the weather turns in Chicagoland, I know: 'Tis the season to start hearing all the dangers, illness, and strife that await my nearly 10-year-old son if he keeps refusing to wear a coat.
'Tis the season to endure the shaming glances, the "what a bad mom" nods while I shrug and offer: "He says he gets hot."
Maybe it's because I'm so fresh into the shaming season that I reacted so strongly to a new campaign from the City of Milwaukee that aims to curb the number of infants dying from unsafe sleeping conditions, particularly from co-sleeping—the practice of parents letting their baby sleep in their bed. The campaign includes radio ads, a Safe Sleep Summit, a "Safe Sleep Sabbath" song, and, most recently, two posters featuring sleeping babies cuddled up on piles of pillows and comforters, within reach of a butcher's knife. The words across the top: "Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous."
Since the campaign's goal is nothing short of noble, you would think I'd be a huge fan.
When my kids were babies, I faced no greater fear than having them die suddenly (this is still my greatest fear). I took great precaution—no tummy-sleeping, no blankets, no pillows, no stuffed animals, no loose-fitting jammies—to make sure my babies slept as safely as possible. And since I appreciate Milwaukee's vigor in trying to reduce the number of infants apparently dying from co-sleeping, you'd think I'd appreciate the punch of the campaign's posters. Especially since at least nine infants ...1