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Shame on Milwaukee Co-Sleeping Ads

By Danielle |

Biased? I think so!

A newborn sleeping on their stomach, in a heavily blanketed bed, next to a butcher knife.  Sounds like a pretty accurate depiction of co-sleeping right?  Wrong! And anyone who has ever co-slept with their child can attest to that!

Heck, as a co-sleeper myself who co-slept with all three of my children, safely at that… These new ads that the department of health in Milwaukee have come out with have my blood absolutely boiling.

The ads compare letting your infant sleep with a knife to an act which has been linked to lowering the risk of SIDS in babies.  Gasp! Shock! The horror!

In fact the world renowned Dr. Sears even has a page on his website dedicated to co-sleeping benefits, all backed up by research!  Citing the benefits when co-sleeping is done safely!

Some of the benefits cited on his website include more peaceful sleep, stable physiology, decreased risk of SIDS, and even says it is safer than sleeping in a crib!   But the problem is too many parents do not know how to safely co-sleep with their children, which seems to be the biggest problem Milwaukee is seeing apparently.

But in my personal opinion (which I know most couldn’t care less about of course) I think these ads are in complete bad taste. They are uninformed, biased, and of course simply for the shock value in it all. Instead of helping to educate parents they are trying to guilt them out of certain options for co-sleeping, and sleeping in general, when they can be extremely safe!

I wish Milwaukee would have spent the money better with education instead of propaganda of course!

What do you think about these ads?

 

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Shame on Milwaukee Co-Sleeping Ads

Sleeping with a Butcher Knife

From the Milwaukee Department of Public Health

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About Danielle

danielle

Danielle

Danielle Elwood is a straight-shooting Florida based mom of three and emerging indie author. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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162 thoughts on “Shame on Milwaukee Co-Sleeping Ads

  1. Amanda S says:

    My name is Amanda and I co-sleep and I’m proud of it ;) . It is so common in other cultures, but yet frowned upon in ours :( doesn’t make since to me.

  2. Crystal says:

    Our baby does not sleep in the bed, but she does sleep in a co-sleeper right beside the bed. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I haven’t looked up the statistics, but I’m pretty sure that more babies have died from SIDS than from co-sleeping. The ads seem a bit outrageous, in my humble opinion.

  3. Melinda T says:

    I find this interesting. I’m a first time mother. My daughter is going on 3 months. And I’m always open to any good ideas to helping her get a restful sleep. I always have her taking naps with me in my bed. But she’s usually on her back. I have always been told never lay her on her tummy. And just yesterday I heard about this co sleeping. And actually read Dr Sears article. And as we speak my daughter is sound asleep ON HER TUMMY next to me. No fussing no crying. So I think this ad is totally bogus.

  4. Kira R. says:

    I’ve co-slept with all three of my babies, the oldest of which is 5 years old. You do it safely, the risk is minimal. I loved that quiet time I got to spend with them. And you’re right, Amanda, it’s SO common in other cultures, but here, where we have access so SO much research, people look down their noses at the practice.

  5. Megan says:

    as a milwaukee resident and cosleeper, I am hardly phased by these ads. Milwaukee has an extremely high infant mortality rate and an alarming African American infant mortality rate. unsafe sleeping conditions has been cited as a contributing factor to that rate. the reasons for these shocking ads are complex and unfortunate, however their aim is to stress safe sleeping. cosleeping can be unsafe and that is a fact. going to bed intoxicated while cosleeping can be lethal. not keeping extra pillows and blankets
    free from your baby’s body is dangerous. just like almost anything dealing with infant care, informed decisions must be made. the choice to cosleep should not be a haphazard decision or an afterthought. but the condition Milwaukee is in is depressing and these ads are no exception.

  6. Katie says:

    I think the ads are too much – over the top for sure. I do agree to an extent with what they’re saying, I just think they’ve gone about it in the wrong way. (My first did sleep with us for several months, so I’m not against co-sleeping.) But I think many parents think there’s no danger in it. I think educating parents about the risks of co-sleeping and how to safely do it is one thing. These ads don’t accomplish that though.

  7. Meagan says:

    I have nothing against co-sleeping, but the world renowned Dr Sears is an ass. After seeing some of his collections of “research” on other topics, I’d suggest finding a different advocate.

    As for the ads, as Megan points out, they are probably not aimed at people who’ve looked into how to safely co-sleep. Are they alarmist? Obviously, but most public health campaigns are intentionally shocking to get attention.

  8. Eileen says:

    I’m sorry to disagree with the author of this post, but for once I’d like to see someone post a reference to a published, peer-reviewed source that isn’t some website funded by the author. Having an infant sleep in bed with the parents is more dangerous than having the baby sleep on their backs in a (bumper/blanket-free) crib or bassinet.

  9. chelsey says:

    this makes me sick.

  10. Morgan says:

    There is a very serious problem with co-sleeping in certain communities in Milwaukee. You know what is bad taste though? You bashing the advertisement because you think it in some way offends you. If these adds save even one baby’s life, then frankly why should anybody care that you co-sleep successfully with your child? Some people can’t get over themselves for one minute to see the bigger picture.

  11. Linda Tantawi says:

    I am not sure I like the Milwaukee ads, but bedsharing is a risk factor for SIDS and a suffocation risk. Certainly many moms bed share with no harm to their baby, but that does not mitigate the risk.

    According to the CDC, infant suffocation is now the leading cause of accidental death in infants with the rate quadrupling between 1994 and 2004. Many deaths that were once called SIDS, because of better investigations, are now being labeled as suffocation. Based on CDC data, there are 4,600 Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) in the U.S. every year. About half are determined to be SIDS, about 600 or so are determined to be a specific, non-SIDS/non-sleep-related cause. The rest (about 1,700), are mostly sleep-related and the babies are either bed sharing or are in a crib with blankets or other soft stuff–you can find the data here:http://www.slideshare.net/InghamGreatStart/infant-suffocation-deaths-in-the-sleep-environment.

    Even in most deaths determined as SIDS, the baby was found to be bed sharing or in an unsafe sleep environment (falling asleep on a sofa with the baby is also a common risk factor). If you’re feeling up to it, read/watch these news reports from incidents in Texas and Illinois (Texas: In 2010, 177 infants died sharing a bed -http://www.click2houston.com/video/27365511/index.html?taf=hou| Illinois: Four babies died while sleeping with their parents -http://www.kfvs12.com/Global/story.asp?S=14273947). There are of course plenty of reliable studies that show bed sharing is hazardous as well–here is just one: http://www.bmj.com/content/339/bmj.b3666.abstract. For a fuller list of the research on the dangers of bed sharing, check out the footnotes in the American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on SIDS http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;116/5/1245.

    We have no way of knowing which babies at birth are vulnerable to SIDS and we can’t control any aspect of the critical development period (2-4 months of age), but parents to a great extent, can control the stressful environment factor by following safe sleep guidelines. Research suggests that all three elements (unknown vulnerability, critical development period, and stressful environment) combine to induce a SIDS death. The data from the CDC and Child Death Review Boards across the country unequivocally show that 8 out of 10 babies who die in their sleep are in unsafe sleeping environments. Moreover, babies are up to 40 times more likely to die if they sleep in an adult bed or on a sofa with an adult. There are many bed sharing accidents which result in the death of an infant where the parents thought they were “safely” (no alcohol, no drugs and neither smoked) bed sharing. Why take the chance?

  12. Eileen says:

    Well said (written), Linda.

  13. Elaine Petrowski says:

    ALL of the potentially legitimate concerns Linda raises could be eliminated with the CORRECT use of a co-sleeper. A cosleeper gives many new moms and dads the restful sleep their bodies are demanding so that they can cope with the needs of a newborn. As a postpartum doula I see many new parents who are driven to unsafe behavior by exhaustion and who are desperate for sleep.
    It would be wise to encourage expectant parents to learn the issues surrounding co-sleeping before their baby is born. And to educate them that they don’t need to buy a a big fancy crib (and bumpers???). Buy, or better yet borrow, a safe co-sleeper for those first few months.
    http://www.thefourthtrimester@wordpress.com

  14. Joe Nova says:

    I think they are warranted, and powerful enough to get the message across in an obviously much needed situation. If you want to be one of those parents who jeopardizes your own child safety and well being…so be it. But keep your yap shut when it comes to advising other people, because you are obviously not intelligent enough to offer good advice to anyone. I feel sorry for your child.

    1. Danielle625 says:

      @Joe – First off, if you are going to speak on the other side of the issue the key to getting your message across is RESPECT.
      Second, the vast majority of co-sleeping/bed sharing death and injuries come along with parents under the influence of something, whether it is prescription medication, drugs, alcohol, etc. And that is well documented. It is the ignorant assumptions that people who are disrespectful and rude, like yourself push forward that cloud the facts.
      Co-sleeping is safe, healthy, and generally the standard practice across the board in most countries.
      Next time you want to get your point across, try to be less of a jerk.

  15. Diane Dowland says:

    The ads are deplorable. The bottom line is no knows the real cause of SIDS. I lost my first son to SIDS and he slept in a bassinette. Whenever we can’t find answers to problems everything gets attacked. Like second hand smoke. It didn’t kill my son I never smoked around him and didn’t allow anyone else to. Sleeping on it’s stomach, I would have been more afraid of my son spitting up and choking in his sleep than putting him on his stomach.

    NO ONE KNOWS!

    it’s been happening since the beginning of time, it’s not new and apparently authorities are only guessing at what might be.

    Stupid ads are going to cause guilt where it’s just not needed, with new parents. They have enough to deal with. Guilt shouldn’t be one of them.

  16. darleene says:

    Shock! Horror! These ads are so TERRIBLE! Take them down!

    Who cares if babies continue to die from unsafe cosleeping?

    Kudos to you happy and content co-sleepers, but unfortunately not every set of parents is as educated and conscientious as you. Methinks its better babies not co-sleep than die.

  17. saraperson26@yahoo.com says:

    Just because you have co-slept with your children and it has worked out for you, it may not be so for other parents. If you talk to a parent who co-slept with their child that ended with the infant passing their views are going to be much different then yours. Different factors come into this, I’m a toss and turner, I would never sleep in the same bed with my infant because I know there would be a chance of me rolling over on them. Other people think that if their in bed with someone else, they wont toss and turn, not true, thats probably how some of those infants have passed. The child’s health also comes into play here, if the baby was born with poor respiratory systems then their more likely to pass in these instances. Also if your not aware that your infant or baby is in the rolling stage and they roll off the bed, it could cause them some hefty damage. Thats all this poster is trying to say. Its not saying anything insulting or offending to parents who can co-sleep with their child safely, its trying to get at those who cant.

  18. Sharon says:

    When I was a new mom, I heard so much about the benefits of co-sleeping with my baby, but truthfully, I was so tired and exhausted I didn’t trust myself to be safe sleeping with them. They slept in their bassinet next to my bed and then when they were bigger, in a crib in my room, but I never co-slept with them. I was educated and knew the risks. Education is key here… educate the people so they can make a safe choice about it.

  19. Jessica SMith says:

    So how many people are getting away with murder and saying it is an accident? Then to tell loving mothers you will kill your child if they sleep with you? How many of these so called experts are crazy or stupid? I have slept with each of my six girls, now 18 to 8 and never even came close!! Sleeping with your child lowers SIDS and increases bonding as well as allows mothers to get the sleep they are so often deprived of. I nursed all 6 and am proud to say I was and still would co-sleep with any other children God would bless me with

  20. Morgan says:

    My son died in 2009. I am from Milwaukee. It was NOT from co sleeping, I didn’t co sleep bc I know the facts and didn’t want to risk my son’s life because of something I had control over. There are some great benefits yes, is it worth the risk that your child’s life could be at stake? I am a mother of a dead 5 month old, and I am in support of this campaign. I don’t wish this pain and heart ache on anyone. If it saves one parent from having to organize a funeral for their baby, amen.

  21. Kallie says:

    It is possible that these ads will encourage people who are co-sleeping like this…sans knife, to stop. Most of us who have and do co-sleep are aware of the babys safety. It’s perfectly possible people continue to smoke around their baby, use heavy pillows and blankets, drink alcohol, then go to sleep with their baby. Yes these people should absolutely NOT co-sleep. They should pay attention to these ads. I agree with Dr. Sears, but not everyone has read or heard of him. Not everyone knows how to co-sleep safely.

  22. Lisa Sculley says:

    Cosleeping is a RISK FACTOR for SIDS and other sleep related deaths. While I find the ads personally hard to take, it is much more difficult to counsel with a family who has lost a baby to SIDS or other sleep related death. Having experienced this loss, and having counseled with families after a loss, it is so much simpler to follow the guidelines to safe sleep, which includes room sharing and NOT cosleeping/bedsharing. The statistics are extraordinary. And I have read on this forum that you believe (someone said anyway) that SIDS causes more deaths than cosleeping. First, even one is too many. Second, cosleeping is a risk factor in causing SIDS, AND it also is a risk factor in many other sleep related deaths, such as overlay, suffocation and entrapment. It is just not safe. Please research your facts. The AAP has recently come out with very strong recommendations. Do what is best for baby, not what makes you personally “feel good”. Bonding with baby is best done in a safe environment.

  23. Kelly says:

    I think these ads are great! I have co-slept (in the bed vs. in his co-sleeper) with my child but made darn sure that the area between our standard size pillows (we have a California king so there is a lot of space) they were in was clear of sheets, blankets, pillows and me. These pictures are not deceiving as they show a bed piled with fluffy pillows and comforters, which are extremely hazardous to baby. This ads are obviously extremely effective as we are talking about how to safely sleep with your baby right now! I would rather have shocked and offended parents who think twice about (and think through) snuggling up to little one than a dead child.

  24. Ann says:

    I agree with Crystal and Megan (I don’t know the doctor, so I don’t think I would call him out of his name), and definetly Linda. Your blog is for a “new generation of parents”, but putting your baby in the same bed with you is not safe. I don’t care if you sleep so still, you look dead. You can’t listen to every “Dr. Sears”. My daughter had her first baby in the bed with her and they had a crib. I told her to put that baby in the crib they had. I don’t think they ever used it. She paid for it when the baby got older, and she didn’t want to sleep in her own bed, she wanted to sleep with Mommy and Daddy permanently. My children are in their 30′s now. I use to put my son next to me in the bed, but I was awake, and most of the time just resting, but never sleep. I sleep aweful, and would never put my babies in the bed with me to sleep and I’m sleep too. The morst horrible thing I ever saw when my daughter was 9 months was to hear this screaming outside my apartment, and to just get out the door in time to see a fireman carrying this little precious little girl in his arms – looking like the same age as my daughter. The mother and her friend were behind them crying. I didn’t know at the time that the baby was dead until my neighbor told me. That she died from SIDS. The baby was in the bed with the mother. I will never never forget that.

    So I would stop going to these websites and listening to these new age doctor’s telling you what is okay, which wasn’t okay during my time. So just because that doctor or so-called authority said so, dosen’t mean it’s safe now. Same rule applied back then, it applies now. You better keep that old school way of putting your baby to sleep, where it sleeps. New generation? keep the same rules. Maybe the ads are out there, but it’s for a shock value. so Gasp! Shock! and The horror! of you allowing such a thing that sleeping with your baby is safe than sleeping in a crib. Now that makes my blood boil.

  25. Diana Schussler says:

    Thank you, Linda. Instead of opinions, let’s talk about evidence based practice shaping public health policy as it did in such little endeavors like…..helmets and bicycles, seat belts and cars, car seats and infants.Oh, I think you get the picture. I would rather shock a few people into common sense rather than having a forensic pathologist doing a autopsy on a dead infant. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

  26. Danielle says:

    All 3 of my kids have co-slept with me and I never once slept in a deep sleep enough to not know that they were being smothered. I have only heard of one incident of a baby being smothered by their parents when the parents were under the influence of alchol.

  27. Stacy says:

    I as well, live in the Milwaukee area. I think this ad is pointed more so at the parents who don’t understand save co-sleeping. They are the ones who lay down after drinking with their babies or cram 3 or 4 kids in a bed and think they are safe. I have read about this happening in Milwaukee more then once in the past few years. This city has such a high infant death rate, in 2009 it was 10.4 out of every 1,000 babies. That is higher then some 3rd world countries! I think at this point Milwaukee is at a loss at what else to do because try and scare these people.

  28. Leanna says:

    Having your baby sleep with you is just fine until the morning you wake up and your baby has died because you smoothered it with your armpit and didnt realize it. The ad is trying to prevent not only the loss of a beautiful life but the heart ache it will cause you. Your baby doesnt have to sleep in a crib in another room nor does it have to sleep in a crib accross the room from you. Bassinets work wonderful next to the bed. There are other alternatives out there. Why would you risk losing your child for just a few inches?

  29. Daddy Files says:

    I see nothing wrong with the ad. Milwaukee has reason to be alarmed if those infant mortality rates are accurate. And co-sleeping can be a very dangerous endeavor. The ad doesn’t say “All kids who co-sleep will die,” it says it “can be just as dangerous” as sleeping with a knife. Which—again, if the statistics are correct—is true.

    I love how you cite Dr. Sears research as valid because you agree with it, but somehow the research against co-sleeping is garbage because you disagree. Funny how that works.

  30. Becky says:

    This ad does not say “IS” as dangerous, it says “CAN BE”! I think this ad is no different than warning labels that appear on toys, food, stollers, etc. Ofcourse we all know that people of our “sue happy” society want places to tell them that the freshly brewed coffee they just ordered is hot or else they we want to sue because it burned them. I see this ad as only a way of sharing info that may be harmful to your child. The parents who have had to endure the loss of a child due to SIDS just want to make other parents aware of what CAN happen. No one wants to have to live with the thought that their child did because of something they possibly could have prevented. Let’s not be so critical & just try to understand that it is just advice! Not written in stone nor a law that you will be punished criminally for.

  31. amandaintennessee says:

    I have raised (2) children and my husband and I have been the primary care givers to our 7 year old grandson almost from birth. ALL of our children slept in their own beds. If it was a matter of needing to hold them due to illness, I sat up in a chair with their heads on my chest. I disagree with co-sleeping! Not only for reasons cited in previous posts but also for couple time.

    Infants, although they are loved and cherished, put stress on any relationship. Putting the child in the bed with you…between yourself and your spouse…adds on even more. Husbands and wives need time alone together and there are times that the marital bed is the only place to find it!

  32. lfllffl says:

    I am open to co-sleeping, but I wouldn’t go so far as to proclaim “Shame” on Milwaukee for trying all avenues to decrease their EXTREMELY HIGH infant mortality rate.

  33. Natalka says:

    I fully agree with Elaine. CORRECT co-sleeping habits are very beneficial to children if that works for baby and parents. Lack of sleep can be just as dangerous. SIDS can happen at any time, even in cribs, and doctors still do not have a full understanding of what happens. What needs to be addressed are the social and environmental issues that might be facing the Milwaukee community and its connection to SIDS. This campaign I feel is a band aide for larger issues.In these third-world countries that are cited where the rate of infant mortality is much lower, it is a very common practice to co-sleep.
    I am a mother, a co-sleeper and hold a masters in rhetoric. The Milwaukee community needs to make sure that other issues contributing to SIDS are being discussed and not just masked by shock ads.

  34. Jen says:

    Shame on this ad. Other cultures have always had a family bed, and I slept with all 3 of my children. Shocking they are alive! If you drink or take drugs, then absolutely you should not co-sleep with your babies. I breast fed and this comfort and closeness your child receives from being next to you is so important in their development.
    As I chiropractor, I can argue with the SIDS comments but will save that for another discussion.

  35. Lisa Abrams says:

    Take it from a parent who lost a child to SIDS. Any type of unsafe sleeping, whether it is from co-sleeping, sleeping on a soft surface, sleeping on the stomach, or simply a blanket or stuffed animal is not worth the risk.

    IT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK!!!!!

    My daughter died 11 years ago and I would do anything to have that night over, but that will never happen. I can never change it. This ad may be upsetting to a certain degree, but if I had known about the dangers that I know of now, my daughter might still be alive.

    An ad that gives any type of valid warning against SIDS is worth having, even if it is not to some people’s taste. I repeat.

    IT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK!!!!!

  36. Heather Cooper says:

    I think you mothers who are defending what you do while saying the ad is “bogus” or unjust in any way should be ashamed. Do whatever you want to do, it is your child, after all but do you not know what the ad is trying to do? It is trying to grab attention to those who co-sleep dangerously, as some of you put it. Why not continue doing what you are doing and support the ad? The people who created this ad are doing so out of the kindness of their hearts in hopes to save lives. You should all support that cause. Not doing so only hands excuses over to those parents who co-sleep carelessly. I am just shocked that mothers, like yourselves, would not open your hearts and be humbled by these people and their ad. Not only are they working to protect babies but they are giving away free pack-n-play cribs. What is more selfless than that? You’re right…. how evil they are…

  37. Joanne says:

    I am the mother of three children, all with whom I co-slept. They are now 26, 15, & 13 and have NEVER had any problems as a result of co-sleeping. All three were healthy babies who grew into healthy toddlers, children, and into the wonderful, intelligent, & independent adult/teenagers they are today. I think the ads are a bit overboard. I think if done correctly & safely, co-sleeping is fine. I’m sure there are probably factors not mentioned or alluded to w/in the ad which may contribute to SIDS or other dangers, thus I agree that if properly educated/enacted, co-sleeping can be a safe and wonderful way to bond w/your baby.

  38. Kevin Barbancourt says:

    If the facts back up the perils, why is this even is a discussion?

  39. Jess says:

    Well said Linda!

  40. Roberta says:

    The ads are as usual tasteless, fear induced, and propaganda. As is any news story, or report coming from Milwaukee. If you don’t live here than you have no clue of the segregation, racial, class discrimination that goes on here.

    It should always be a parents right to choose where their child sleeps. A cranky, colicky, baby can wear any parent’s patience thin. Far be it from me to scorn a parent who chooses to let a child cry it out from another room, or lay with them down next to them to get some rest. I know what I would do, and trust you want move MY child from where ever I have decided she will lay.

    Informed conscious decision is what is needed. And to think, really what parent can say each and every decision they made for their child was thought out. HAH, When I’m trying to get that extra snooze on Saturday am 6am and a 3 year old is ready to rock and roll,, you better believe those OREOS come out of the pantry. But isn’t that a lifestyle or a way of thinking. Some call it MOMfulness or Intentional parenting etc

    To demonize one of the many choices parents have is wrong. To believe that a crib is better than a co sleeper than co sleeping isjust silly. Babies have died in all of them. What they are are choices. Parents can second guess another parents choices all day, me I rather spend the time running after mine, who cares about yours….I got to get mine from attempting to launch themselves into space with the assistance of our living room ceiling fan.

    SIDS is a real. But is is also simply a category. A ruling made when there are little other implications. Cases of SIDs cases that only after the 3rd SID death in the same family it turns out to be homicide. How does the health department explain to all the mothers of children who die of SIDS but are in their own “safe” sleeping environment on their back. When an infant dies it is horrible and we want answers, something or someone to blame and sometimes we have to understand that there may not be anyone.

    Before you make a comment on Milwaukee know this over 2/3 of those infant deaths the county has categorized as co sleeping were individuals who went to sleep under the influence, alcohol, prescription pills, meth. Another child was placed on a BEAN BAG alone, that is not co sleeping that put the baby somewhere , personally I may not like that choice, but I was not their to offer an arm. (Okay when I reread this I have to say I remember I time when I place one of my kids as an infant on the floor because I had to use the bathroom realllllly bad) And one very sad story is a mom who fell asleep while in a rocking chair holding her infant to wake and the infant was dead. Who hasn’t dozed off when that precious sweet smelling baby is in your arms. I wonder if this baby did not actually die of SIDS not due to being in the safest place for her, her mother’s arms.

    Why doesn’t Milwaukee start a campaign that says parent who use drugs/alcohol kill babies. Because Milwaukee doesn’t want to solve the problem. Milwaukee enjoys getting the money to pretend to solve problem, hiring a new ad team, a new consultant, another director.

    Please don’t say that co sleeping is dangerous. Heck, driving a car is dangerous, doesn’t stop us from driving. Is a parent blamed when in a car accident and their child dies. No, not unless there are other circumstances, no car seat, no seat belt, dancing in the back seat to the music (that’s my kids, ugh). I have never seen a parent whose child has died in an accident due to no seat belts even get a ticket. But the last woman I wrote off (the baby dies in her arms) went to jail for co sleeping.

    No the co sleeping may not be the blame. Taking a hit off the pipe and falling into a near coma on top of said child, is dangerous. Or it could be just one of those horrible times when the baby forgets to breathe.

    The majority of the continents of Africa, Asia, most of India and the Middle East co sleep. There are no such thing as cribs, let alone another bedroom. Two generations may sleep in the same area, children sleep with grandparents, so the parents can rest before work. Blankets spread across the floor or platform, snuggled close to help generate and maintain body heat. We live in an area where this may be the norm (child sleeping elsewhere) for most. But that doesn’t mean the options are dangerous.

    I am saying something because this ads fuels hatred in Milwaukee. Look in any jsonline.com post about co sleeping or infant mortality and you will see my community espouse some of the most vial things about other people. This ad is not going to make a bit of difference as to where my babies sleep. But I won’t work in the pubic health care arena either because I will not give out any of their free cirbs. Now if what many of you are saying is the best place to sleep is , in order for a portion of society and the local government to think well of you, well than chat on.

  41. Jessica says:

    I love the ads. I slept a few nights with my kids in my bed. But never made it a habit. When it comes to children I don’t think you should sugar the facts. Show it like it is. Then maybe people will take it seriously. The ad has sparked controversy, it made you stop what you were doing and read it. Whatever it takes for people to do that. Ad companies should do more realistic ads and maybe people would wake up and realize their actions effect more then just them.

  42. John says:

    I agree that if even one child is saved by these ads or any ads similar to them, then they are well worth it. I feel that co-sleeping is more selfish than beneficial to anyone. Yes, it is a great feeling to be close to your little one, but puting them at even the slightest risk (whether stats are 100% correct or not) should not be worth it. My daughter never co-slept and still recieved the rest she needed and turned out fine. Maybe some counciling or a support group would be good for the folks that feel co-sleeping is a necessity, and I don’t mean that in any way offensive. Thanks for letting me comment.

    God Bless.

  43. Nancy says:

    I agree with Linda on this topic. My babies slept with me at times in the eary 90′s. Thank goodness it was a good experience with the exception of having a bit of difficulty getting them into their own beds later! They also slept on their tummies, as I did and as the AAP recommended until, I believe, 1994′s “Back to Sleep” campaign. Thank goodness, there too, my kids did not experience harm. Now, unaware parents find their babies developing flat areas on the craniums because their babies are on their backs almost all day, it’s called Plagiocephly. If I knew all the risks that I know now, would I have my babies sleep with me or on their tummies? NO. It’s called, statistics, awareness and not taking a chance. I have known several people who have lost their children due to disease, accidents, etc. If any harm can be prevented, it should be. Of course, this is a free country. The fact is, unfortunately, not all babies are cared for by parents seeking safe environments and who are equipped with up to date, informatiive and educational information. If the ad saves one baby, that’s good enough for me.

  44. melissssa says:

    ohhh please people!! why does everything have to be soo sugar coated!! the ad obviously served its purpose, to create awarness!! babies are dying! as a new mom i would never take a chance on my babies lives just because i want them in bed with me! SHAME on you parents who take that chance everytime!!

  45. Patti says:

    Ashley Montague’s anthropological book, Touching, provided context on the gift of touch for child development. Our culture is not the norm and there is much suffering that can be attributed to all the ways we isolate ourselves from touch (baby carriers come to mind). We had a wonderful experience having a family bed (the term commonly used at the time) when our children were very young. They are are now 30 and 32. This campaign seeks to pit informed parents and parenting choices against each other. Very sad.

  46. cosleeping mom says:

    Interesting then, in their own research on infant mortality, they show a graph displaying countries with the lowest infant mortality such an Hong Kong and Japan where co-sleeping is very common. However, I couldn’t find specific data on co-sleeping and infant mortality,along with the adult risk factors. I mean its dangerous to have an infant in a car if its not in a safe carseat which has been correctly installed, but we wouldn’t say not to take babies in a car. I think this ad is ridiculous and the the data they give co-sleeping and infant mortality is vague. The data on their own study showed the majority of their infant deaths were related to prematurity and stillbirth.

  47. erin bernstein says:

    i do see thing wrong with this u should not co sleep with ur baby you could sufficate them either by blankets pillows or yourself and dont say oh well i would feel it nooo you wouldnt when you go into REM sleep you r not aware of everything going on around you and yes you might wake for a cry but if they r underneath you they are muffeled and cant cry out loudly same goes for pillows and blankets they get muffeled they cant cry loud its safer in a crib or rocker bed or by themself and dont think that a smaller bed in your bed to keep them elavated is safe either you could push it off and hurt the child even if its braced they can come loose while your sleep and turning and moveing also wat if the baby gets knocked in there heads or chest or stomach with a foot or elbow or knee or anything hard or body part wise you keep in your bed or is attached to u they could become brain dead because of brusing cause their heads are soft as well as other bones which is why getting hit in the chest or stomach can cause unstoppable (by the time you wake up) internal bleeding or you hit them and you could possible break their necks and if they are paralized from they neck down a majority of the time they stop breathing after a certin point cause the lungs are paralized and once again dont say that i would feel cause one more time i will say this REM sleep these are terrible things that could happen and it would worry me if somthing like that will happen i could stand being the cause of my childs death and no one would i mean really thing arent always the same twice or a little more i dont have kids yet and am not planning til i get older stonger and wiser meaning i graduate collage and persue my career i would fear for any infant who goes though this if you want to do that there should be and age limit when not so fragile my mom waited til i was 14 months plz wait til then or a little longer i dont want any child to die so yes i strongly agree with this add with all the possiblities its true and i am not saying that they will die just saying it is extremely dangerous someone i know co slept with their child they accidently broke the babies back with a kick while sleeping she is parlyzed from the waste down she goes with me to school she will never have a normal life now because of it you can bond with ur babies in other healther ways my mom taught me sign language cause my sister didnt speak for a while but because we went to those classes we r a stonger happier family and have a better reletionship i dont remeber anything now cause i was bout 18 months old but there are oither ways to bond plz heed this u dont want this to happen to anyone thank u for listening

  48. Kitsune says:

    The reason co-sleeping is so dangerous in the US is parents are obese and often on medications or drugs. They roll over on the baby and smother them. There are higher rates of obesity in the AA community. People co-sleep in other countries because they are poor and cannot afford another bed. When given the funds they always say they want to add a private bedroom for the adults. Co-sleeping is dangerous and not needed to raise a healthy child. Children all over the world are sleeping in their own beds, safe and happy, knowing the parents are right there if they need them. I had no problem getting out of the bed and going down the hall when my babies needed me. I think co-sleepers by choice are over protective and putting their kids at risk or too lazy to get up and tend to the baby.

  49. Melissa says:

    Shame on Milwaukee for taking a stand in what is a HUGE killer for babies in this city? I think not. Obviously, all these babies that are dying are co-sleeping with adults….NOT safely, of course. There are numerous reports of adults co-sleeping with their babies on COUCHES. Can you please show me, or expain to me the safe way to do that? Hmm…And since you didn’t know, MINUTES before these ads were unveiled in Milwaukee, another INFANT death was reported to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner….from….(drumroll, please)…UNSAFE CO-SLEEPING.

  50. Nancy says:

    Okay, maybe they should have put some pills, a whiskey bottle and a syringe in the bed for this campaign photo- to get the NO DRUGS while sleeping with your baby part of the message clearly across. Obviously, no parent should even be taking these substances if they are caring for an infant but the fact is, they are. Whatever it takes to educate people who have babies!

  51. Rhonda D says:

    Oh please really from the beginning of time babies have sleep next to there parents! and still do. SIDS can also be caused by the way the baby is positioned when put to bed along with the combination of how that baby was pulled on at the neck are at birth! Just another way to have American children be even more seperated by touch from a loving parent. GREAT! NOT.

  52. Regina McGlashen says:

    Co-sleeping CAN be dangerous! We should all agree with that. The “if your careful” remarks expressing no harm will be done if you use precaution and common sense indicates that there is a potential danger. Is it really necessary to sleep with an infant child? Dont you have a crib or bassinet? Do you think some special bonding will be formed with the closeness? What happens when the kid is 3 or 4, maybe 8 and still wants to cuddle up at night? Do you also sleep with a partner when your child is in bed with you? Do you have sex while the child is in your bed, or do you toss them out to fool around?
    Other cultures do sleep with children, quite naturally, but everyone does it so it is not viewed as different or “abnormal” and your children live in this society, not one where all children were raised in mom and dads bed. Children here do also not go dig taro, or slaughter hogs, or build homes from forest growth or run naked in the community. It matters not if you agree with the research one way or another, use some common sense and have some damn priorities as to what is most important to the welfare of your child. If there is the slightest chance that your baby can become injured or killed sleeping with you, why poo poo it like it is not important because you have been doing it and nothing has happened? Goody for you! What benefits are you getting from it? Does it outweigh the possible dangers involved? Are you that short on sleeping space? I can tell you that if I heard one innocent baby died while sleeping with mom when she rolled over on him or accidentally tossed him from the bed, I would know she would not do it again if she had the choice. You do have the choice.

  53. Melissa says:

    Wow, I “Co-Slept” with my baby to keep him safe. I knew and felt nearly every breath he took. (Didn’t get much sleep myself, but I knew he was OK.) Being an active sleeper, as he grew, this was our only way to prevent him from squirming his way out of bed in his sleep.

    Then, as a responsible mother, I don’t even have to mention the ease from worry, from tragedy like house fire, cause if I make it out, he will be there with me. It would be much more difficult for all the crazies you see on tv to sneak in and take a child that is sleeping with the parent.

    Other countries and cultures have done this for years, why is it all of a sudden so harmful and bad.

  54. David says:

    I dont have children but it seems to me that this campaign isn’t about the benefits but rather the risks of co-sleeping. Think of it this way, would you balk if you saw an advertisement to deter drinking and driving? probably not. With drinking and driving you may get away with it once, twice, or maybe even all your life. But, it doesn’t mean its safe.

  55. Amanda @ The Eco-Friendly Family says:

    I understand what they are trying to do with these ads, but I too think that they are just too much. They could do so much more by providing full information. There are very amazing physiological benefits to co-sleeping, it’s scientific fact. I hate to think that a fear provoking ad such as this would scare parents away from doing it the right way, thus robbing children of the benefits of safe co-sleeping.

    I don’t believe that co-sleeping is for everyone, nor do I think that everyone can do it safely. I would just like to see more teaching and less scare tactics.

  56. Christy says:

    Roberta couldn’t have said it any better! In my eyes, the ad should have been a trash strewn bed, couch, or pack-n-play. It should have had empty alcoholic cans/bottles. It should have had drug paraphernalia surrounding the baby. BUT, what ads are actually truthful these days?

  57. cosleeping mom says:

    @john – just because you didn’t choose to co-sleep doesn’t mean its selfish. You certainly have a right to your opinion but unless you know co-sleeping parents and why the do it(the benefits to the child- do your research first) then you shouldn’t be judging others. The fact is that other countries where co-sleeping is the norm have lower infant mortality rates, not higher. I don’t need a support group, I co-slept because I did the research and as an educated mom I made the decision about what is best for my son. Actually, sleep training, crying it out, and trying to get small infants to sleep through the night so that parents can sleep all night is far more dangerous and selfish.

  58. Amber Withrow says:

    What I find really interesting is Milwaukee’s lack of education on the subject. One of the reasons that other countries have better infant death rates that Milwaukee is that THEY CO-SLEEP. The US is in the minority when it comes to co-sleeping.

    This quote taken from the article run by ABC news: “Is it shocking? Is it provocative?” asked Bevan Baker, the city’s commissioner of health, according to the Journal Sentinel. ”Yes. But what is even more shocking and provocative is that 30 developed and underdeveloped countries have better [infant death] rates than Milwaukee.”

  59. HShannon says:

    Working in the Medical Examiners office, over the last decade I have seen literally dozens of baby fatalities that were eminently preventable. There is simply no excuse for these co-sleep deaths. Just because individuals happened to be fortunate to have done so and not smothered their child does not mean it is a safe practice. There is no such thing as safe co-sleeping.

  60. Julie says:

    These ads are unfortunate. Co-sleeping is a natural, time tested way of child rearing. Many third world countries have a far better SIDS rate than the US. Why is that? Because co-sleeping, bed sharing, room sharing is a common practice. Infants exposed to constant noise (or heartbeat of the mother) are less disposed to SIDS. Often mother and child will be perfectly in tune to one another in heartbeat and breath. In the US we push for infant independence (weather sleeping on their own or own room separate from household noise) and that is why across the board we fail in infant mortality. As parents we need to trust our ancestral instincts: nursing, co-sleeping, baby carrying (example: using a Moby vs. a stroller) are all basic things we can do to ensure our children have a happy/healthy environment to live and thrive in.
    And yes I have 3 children ages 12-8 months and I have co-slept and nursed them all (currently as well). My doctor’s wife co-sleeps as well as my children’s pediatrician.

  61. Melissa says:

    These ads aren’t aimed at the safe co-sleeping parents, so why are you all so defensive? A mother (in Milwaukee) can esentially get away with murder…just by saying it was a co-sleeping death. You are all ok with that?

  62. Lona says:

    I am a family support provider in the city of Milwaukee and have an up close and personal view of the many challenges facing families today. I work very hard to bring greater awareness and problem-solving strategies about issues that effect the lives of our most vulnerable population, the children. Danielle, I am glad that you have found co-sleeping to be beneficial for your family, however irrelevent it may be the larger problem at hand. Danielle please take the time to read the information in the links provided by Linda Tantawi who is very knowledgeable about the prevailing concerns of bed sharing. As far as the ad is concerned, it certainly grabbed my attention and will likely do the same for those who the message is intended for and possibly save some lives.

  63. Peet says:

    Sure I co-sleep too, but THIS ISN’T ABOUT CO-SLEEP really.. it is about NEGLIGENT PARENTS! It is even okay to give a knife to a baby, if you are in control… sure it is a shocking idea… so are scissors..but how do you cut their nails? Goahead and co-sleep, but use the right materials that they can get air through, and put barriers between you and the kid, and also make sure they won’t fall off! Are you an adult, or are you not?

  64. Mariel says:

    My mom is a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit nurse. I cannot tell you how many babies she has seen who were smothered in a co- sleeping situation. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!

  65. Sarah Ropein says:

    First of all.. live in Milwaukee. I do. If you could see the story we had last week, you would understand why this ad has to be ran. We had a 7 week old baby die from co sleeping with her mom and she passed away. It was really sad.
    Co sleeping is something we never did with our 3 children. I wouldnt do it ever, even if I was just starting to have a baby. My bed is my bed.. she has her own bed, one door over. I have a monitor, I can hear her. Why should I keep her in my bed? She will grow up healthy and happy even sleeping alone.

    Im not bad mouthing anyone on here for sleeping with their children. If you do it.. fine, but do not bad mouth our city when you dont know why the ads were ran. We have had alot of babies die from co sleeping and the only way to get the message out is to run ads to show that yes, this is something that shouldnt be done.

    My husband and I support the ads as does many of our friends. Not one disagrees with it.

  66. Pedro Arellano says:

    My wife and I have slept with all of ours kids and still sleep with the youngest one that is 3 now, the others are 5 and 7. It was only about 2 yrs ago that they slept in adjacent room. Never had a problem except for bed wetting LOL. Parents are from Ecuador I have asked both sides all there sibling have co-slept and or slept on same bed my father side 13 brothers and sisters. Mothers side 7, rest of the family the same, no infant deaths neither side for decades and they where a poor, underdeveloped country. What up with Milwaukee something does not add up.

  67. cosleeping mom says:

    melissa, I think you’re missing the point. I think the ads are just uneducated and spreading the wrong type of message. We advertise car seat safety, we don’t put ads saying not to drive because “it can be dangerous”. I just think it is sending the wrong message and not educating the right things.. Maybe instead they could show pictures of what say sleeping and co-sleeping looks like. How is a picture of the wrong them what to do correctly.

  68. cosleeping mom says:

    **maybe instead they could show pictures of what safe sleeping and co-sleeping looks like. How is a picture of the wrong thing teaching them what to do correctly?

  69. Colorado Mom says:

    I agree with this add, education will save life’s. My personal experience happened 11 years ago, I have three wonderful children whom all co-slept with me and didnt have a problem, no one told me the dangers, my fourth child died at 6 weeks on my birthday from me putting him in bed with his father who was awake at the time before I went to work. My husband rolled over on him and when I came home at 4 am my child was dead. no drugs, no alcohol, no obesity. If some one had told me it was dangerous I would never had co-slept with my children and today I would have four beautiful children.

  70. monique soroka says:

    ‘Is it shocking? Is it provocative?” asked Bevan Baker, the city’s commissioner of health, according to the Journal Sentinel. ”Yes. But what is even more shocking and provocative is that 30 developed and underdeveloped countries have better [infant death] rates than Milwaukee’

    What is even MORE shocking is that apparently these so-called experts have made the wrong deductions from these statistics. WHERE do you think the babies of these 30 developed and underdeveloped countries sleep ? More often- than- not with their parents and/or siblings. VERY few countries have the luxury of large houses or nurseries exclusivley for babies. In most other countries people live within much closer proximity to each other. Co-sleeping is common throughout most of Asia. Throughout the world mothers keep their infants MUCH CLOSER to themselves and usually breast-feeding is an uncontested norm.

  71. Brittany S. says:

    Wow… It all comes down to personal choice, doesn’t it? It’s silly that mothers have all these little debates, this topic being one of them… Shouldn’t it come down to what a parent feels is right for them? I would hope no one would go to bed with their child under any influence..but I gather it does.
    The ad is a bit much, I can see the author of this article’s view. They could have said the same thing, without a knife involved.
    I have one son. He’s 22 months old, nearly, and i’ve slept with him next to me since night one, literally, in the hospital. Did I sleep like crap? Yes, but I love it. I slept with a pillow on his other side, with my arm up above him going down his side. gave him a TON of room, while i had verrrry little room. If I wasn’t confident in his neck abilities, or if i was a heavy sleeper, I most likely would not have slept with him in my bed. To this day he usually still ends up with me. I also know that may cause issues when he sleeps in a toddler bed, but I still won’t care if he ends up with me, and I will not complain about it, since I know it would be my doing.
    Does that mean every baby should sleep with their parents? Nah.. it all depends on the baby and parent. (It does boggle my mind that people would get in bed with their child, or even be around their child drunk/whatever) Who am I to tell another if something is right or wrong though? I just do what I do, others should do what they feel is right. In my silly little opinion.

  72. kimberly says:

    as a resident of dane county, WI, where the infant mortality rate has vastly improved i’m thinking that these ads exist more as a distraction from the actual if not immediate causes of infant mortality … racism, poverty, lack of healthcare and education.
    children cosleep all over the world with less sids issues. all four of my children coslept with their father and i… but we fortunately had a decent home, healthy diet and no substance abuse issues. these ads are simply a shocking way to seem like problems are being addressed. once again marketing rather than analysis and problem solving becomes the method applied. is sids sadder or is the fact that many other babies grow up without security and opportunity in this wealthy nation?

  73. Brittany S. says:

    I should say… he usually ends up with us(his dad and I)* haha.. It is a bit cramped now that he’s bigger and likes to sleep sideways, but that’s still alright with me. :)

  74. Alicia says:

    The fact is, it’s easy to sit there and complain about these ads when you’re an informed, cautious parent who knows the rules about safe co-sleeping, and works hard to do so. But not everyone is as informed or even as intelligent as you, so saying that what the city is trying to do is in poor taste is a rather elitist way to look at it. Not every new parent has access to the information you do, or have any clue that there’s the information out there. Yes, SAFE co-sleeping has a lot of benefits, but the fact is there are an unusually high number of babies dying in Milwaukee due to UNSAFE co-sleeping that the easiest way to bring the numbers down is to do the simplest thing, and that’s to get the message out that co-sleeping can be dangerous. If you had bothered to fairly report on this whole campaign, you would’ve mentioned that there is a number that will be available for parents to call where they can even get a *free* Pack N’ Play for their babies. Of course parents who do know how to safely co-sleep should feel fine doing it despite these ads; they’re obviously not the ones the ads are intended for. But the message that unsafe co-sleeping kills needs to be put out, and the simplest way is typically the most effective way. Why don’t we all worry about saving some babies from dying first before we get up in arms about a campaign like this.

  75. rachel says:

    The people that carelessly co-sleep with their infant(s) could care less about these adds, I remember reading an article a few months back where a couple move to Milwaukee from Illinois (probably because Milwaukee provides better handouts) & from the shelter they stayed at in Milwaukee until they found a place to rent they received a FREE twin mattress for the 2 children and a pack n play crib for the infant. The parents were sleeping on the matress while the children slept on the floor & the pack & play was used as a “toybox”. The infant slept on a comforter either near the parents or in the same bed as the parents & died from sufficating from the blanket. None of these adds or no amount of education will teach these lack of common sense having people a DAMN thing. I am sure there are much better things to use money.

    I co slept with both my children when they would wake during the night I would get them from the crib & bring to bed with me. Of course I was not under the influence of anything because that is just asking for something fatal to happen.

  76. Alicia says:

    And to everyone comparing co-sleeping in other countries with co-sleeping in the US: That is comparing apples to oranges, period. In many third world countries, people either sleep on floors or on very simple beds with simple blankets. In the US, huge, soft mattresses are the norm along with big fluffy pillows and big fluffy blankets. APPLES AND ORANGES. That’s a big factor when it comes to how many babies die in the US while co-sleeping versus in third world countries. Plus, in third world countries there are probably a lot less drunk or drugged out moms co-sleeping than there is in the US.

  77. cosleeping mom says:

    Amber- you are very correct. In fact, they compare their infant mortality rates to other countries on a bar graph. Ironically,in the very countries on the lower end of that graph like Hong Kong and Japan , it is very common to co-sleep. Again their data on co-sleeping is very lacking or not published completely. I think what is irresponsible, is not co-sleeping, but putting up ads that don’t address the real issues.

  78. Jennifer says:

    The problem is we’ve been too nice about it, through brochures in doctor’s offices, media, ad campaigns, and doctors telling new moms NOT to co-sleep, especially overweight moms, who in half these cases, rolled over their baby in the middle of the night and didn’t know it and gave their child a cruel and untimely death. The other half were drunk or drugged. These people weren’t cosleeping to be good parents, they were cosleeping because they were too stupid to not get drunk or too lazy or too cheap to buy a crib.
    What’s wrong with showing the ignorant people of this city something that might actually catch their attention in their pathetic lives, when they more than likely shouldn’t have had kids to begin with.
    Everyone always walks on eggshells for fear of “hurting someone’s feelings” or whatever reason that they’re afraid of getting sued. It’s time for something to change. Would you rather see a dead baby, YOUR baby, carried out on a stretcher, buried in a coffin that’s so small you could fit a baby doll in it, or see a billboard showing you to get your shit straight and lay the baby in the crib. How many times does this have to happen before people get the hint. Don’t say it’s too harsh of a billboard until YOUR baby dies from cosleeping and then we’ll see how you think.

  79. cosleeping mom says:

    Alicia- you are correct in that the actual issues are mainly drug and alcohol abuse , but also correct co-sleeping. Seems to me based on their own data that pre-natal care is also a biggie since they themselves show in their data that highest cause of infant mortality in Wisconsin is prematurity and stillbirth. That is what the ads should be addressing is all I’m saying. Co-sleeping is definitely a choice and not a choice for all. But the ads are misrepresentative and don’t address the real issues causing infant mortality.

  80. Eddie says:

    Some of you that are saying that sleeping with your baby is fine, you’ve done it, and everything was fine, are lucky. We rented out an apartment to a young married couple in their early twenties and they killed their newborn sharing their bed. Was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen/experienced and hope to never see again, absolutely the worst! …please be very careful, you don’t ever want to have this happen to anyone.

  81. Jack Closson says:

    I guess my first question to all those who are shocked by the ad is “do you live in Milwaukee”? If not, then I suggest you keep your comments related to your area and not the city that has found a problem and is doing what they can to try to save a child’s life. I would hope you are equally disgusted by Planned Parenthood and their campaign to encourage abortion.

  82. Heidi says:

    It is so unfortunate for those out there who think and truly believe that it’s ok to co-sleep with your baby! A lot of people hold this opinion who themselves co-sleep with their babies and nothing tragic has happened. But… that is to say that they have been very fortunate. However, what if you continue on co-sleeping with your baby and it ends up in tragedy, in death???!!! What if you accidently roll over and smother your baby to death while you are sleeping?? It seems inocent to want to be able to cuddle with your baby and have that closeness, but not while the both of you are sleeping at the same time!

  83. Elizabeth says:

    I find it sad that some people are quick to attack the methods of a community that is in turmoil. The facts remain in Milwaukee: we have worse infant mortatility rates than MANY 3rd world countries. If you live/work or support this community you would know all the other efforts Milwuakee has done in the past 10 years to decrease the rate, education, free pack-n-plays, etc. etc, etc. The ads are addressed to those who have little education and little support in raising a baby. Kudos to those who have successfully co-bedded with your child in an informed manner. Please don’t back hand the efforts of those who truely care for these babies and their families. This is where a sense of community comes together in effort for the greater good. Keep your narrow minded comments silent and let the ads talk in bigger volumes. If even one mother makes a better choice because of it and a life it saved, I’d say mission accomplished.

  84. Beth Stowers says:

    Wow! These Milwaukee ads are crazy! SIDS isn’t caused by co-sleeping. There has been no definite conclusion made about what causes SIDS. There have been some suffocation deaths due to co-sleeping, but if it’s one correctly, co-sleeping is very, very beneficial.

    The countries that Milwaukee is concerned about doing better than them in infant mortality statistics practice co-sleeping at a much, much higher rate than we do in the United States. (It’s actually kind of funny that they compared themselves with 3rd world countries WITHOUT doing the research first). People in 3rd world countries don’t own cribs AND the mothers generally breastfeed more. Where do you think the babies are sleeping in other countries? With the mother.

  85. Heather says:

    I have read all the Doctors facts and peoples opinions and I must say I am floored and I of course did and still co sleep with my children I have a two and three year old 1 boy and 1 girl,they both got more use out of my bed than their own bassinet/crib,they both went from my bed to their big kid beds and now when they are sick they still come to sleep with mommy and daddy,they are healthy independent of course my bed is huge and if they sleep in my bed I of course make it as safe as possible and theit doctor has never told me do stop or said I was going to murder them or make my bed their last resting place I had a person along time ago she was an old neighabor who was sooo against co sleeping and her child had to sllep in a crib alone no pillow all the wanna be proper was to have your infant sleep and wow what do you know that poor baby all alone died in its sleep because of SIDS so either way even when done properly that is always a risk,and I love my kids running to my bed its their little safe place where booboos and illnesses magically dissapear even if you educate everyone their are still going to be cases of SIDS and if these people are just being careless or using substances to fall asleep or are just drug addicts or acholics thats only going to make the chances much greater,I do believe the ads are too much and I would not approve of youger children seeing or reading it there is a better way to go about it what about the teen mothers who dont know any better my friend had a 15 or 16 year old girl who live a couple of doors down who laid her infant do to sleep in a pack n play and that baby never awoke again,my coisin gave birth to a lifeless baby and still to this very day know one can tell her why that baby never even got to sleep in a bed or crib,there just needs to be some proper education and maybe parents who are on drugs and what not should be more closely watched.Co sleeping never killed my babies because it was done right and safely and to my comfort.

  86. cris says:

    How can theses ads be so terrible? They’re not. Most people just have a very hard time handling the hard truth. When people are busy everyday pointing their fingers and shaming others they just cannot accept hearing that they are in the wrong. As for the parents who co sleep, their argument is the same as the drunks who continue to drive drunk and think nothing will ever happen. But when they finally end up killing someone they are of course remorseful, especially when they are put behind bars. Also let me inform you as a resident of the Milwaukee area, if your baby does die as a result of co-sleeping with you will go to jail.
    A parents first obligation above all is to protect your child. Why even put your baby at risk at all?

  87. S Baird says:

    My son died from SIDS when he was 4 months and 4 days old. Out of this 4 months he slept in his crib maybe 4 days. The morning of his death, he actually slept in his crib. Death from co-sleeping and SIDS are not related, actually SIDS network has done studies that babies will mimic our breathing patterns in their sleep. The campaingn should do more research before posting something so offensive and have such a negative effect on SIDS.

  88. Father of 2 says:

    Let’s face it, there are so many people out there that don’t have the education and common sense that we do. That being said, these ads may be a wake up call or motivation for those to learn more. Remember folks if one family learns it’s worth the effort. Let’s just look at the facts and acknowledge some people don’t have the resources we do (like this). Let’s stop being offended by media that we as people create and embrace education. Just because you know it as common sense doesn’t mean your neighbor does. The people they are trying to reach may only get the message by this means.

  89. Heather says:

    melissa you are wrong about a mother in Milwaukee getting away with murder if you had read roberta’s comment you would have known that. I think more poeple should look in to the statistics on SIDS before you make any chooses. I really do not believe these adds are going to do much as mentioned in some of the other comments safe co-sleeping is not the problem. The big problem is other things like going to sleep under the influince or having other children in the bed. people have mentioned drugs and alcohole but even cold meds raze the risk to an infant.The big problem is that people that are not practicing safe co-sleeping habits are not really going to thing much about these adds. More to the point if Milwaukee has that high of an infant morality rate I do not think they need adds I think they need to be doing some serious investagations.

  90. Dagmar ~ Dagmar's momsense says:

    I blog about attachment parenting and co-sleeping a lot, and here is my response to these misleading, tasteless ads:

    http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2011/11/co-sleeping-is-safe-when-practiced-responsibly/

    You know why so many parents are co-sleeping? Because it seems the natural choice, most moms want their babies next to them, it’s the logical choice when breastfeeding, and because everybody is getting more sleep :) Baby is happy; parents are happy.

    I have co-slept with my son from the first day on – putting him in a crib just didn’t feel right when he needed me so often and was nursing around the clock. I learned how to co-sleep safely and we both got wonderful sleep from the beginning because I never had to get up to make a bottle or get him from a nursery. This worked best for my family. He slept next to me/us for 3 years and then transitioned to his own twin bed without a problem, which I then ended up falling asleep in with him many times :) .

    I love co-sleeping and there are many advantages to it. Our kids are only this small for such a short time – I would have missed out on all that closeness and cuddling if we hadn’t co-slept. It’s a terrible tragedy that so many deaths are blamed on co-sleeping – they are results of parents being under the influence of drugs and being irresponsible, or tragic accidents.

  91. Austin says:

    Seriously, you all are complaining about this ad? Do you even remember the old ads? http://www.rense.com/general89/badads.htm, check out this website. This ad will just blow over and end up in this website. The only justice this ad did was open people’s eyes to other views that were being ignored. When has anybody ever discussed co-sleeping as an issue that may or may not be causing a problem? So before people jump on the “no way, not me” band wagon, it did make you think twice and maybe change some of the ways that you were previously doing things. It may be an overly dramatic ad but kudos to the people who thought this up because it made you think about it. But, calm down, all, it will end up blown over soon enough.

  92. bjaac says:

    I have four children and have co- slept with all of them, but they were also all breastfed. I think that people that are so against co-sleeping have never exclusively breastfed a newborn, because there is just no way you can get up every hour or two and nurse a baby for sometimes an hour and never fall asleep while doing so! If I hadn’t co-slept with my children, I don’t know how I would have cared for them. My one daughter had terrible reflux and was extremely colic, she never slept for more than 20 minutes at a time unless she was nursing. The only thing adds like this accomplish is to cause people to feel ashamed of co-sleeping and they then have no one to ask how to do it safely! I hate all these safe sleep adds because i didn’t have any other option than to keep my baby in bed with me and these adds always make me feel bad about myself….I mean why can’t I function on two hours of sleep for three days while caring for four children all by myself while my husband is at work?! I think information on the do’s and dont’s of co-sleeping would be much more helpful.

  93. Lydia says:

    Co-sleeping is a beautiful thing. However, as a person very involved in the pregnancy and infant loss community, I am well aware of the statistics surrounding co-sleeping. Believe me when I tell you that accidents happen no matter what the intent of the parent is. Accidents happen sober and intoxicated. Of course the risk of an accident happening when one is intoxicated increase. Common sense should tell one not to sleep with an infant if you have had too much to drink. Ever read an article on sleep deprivation? When deprived enough (and goodness knows how many new parents are), it is dangerous to co-sleep, as your senses are not as reliable. If you don’t know anyone that has lost a baby from co-sleeping then consider yourself lucky. So do I agree with the ad? I guess I would just say that I am just glad that it brought to the surface a subject that is not spoken about as much as it should be. Did I co-sleep with my children? Sometimes, not always. Should you co-sleep with yours? The choice is up to you…

  94. Milwaukee says:

    Do you even live in Milwaukee? Are you completely clueless? The parents who are the demographic for this ad do not care to take the time to learn how to properly co-sleep, how to feed their children organic foods or what immunizations to avoid or any other mumblejumble mother’s these days seem to think is the ONLY way- they care about giving these babies a safe home, making sure they have enough food for the week. SHAME ON YOU! For discrediting a PSA that actually is trying to make a difference when infants are dying! What are you doing? Sitting on your butt and shunning attempts others are actually trying to help? Why don’t you spend your time VOLUNTEERING trying to teach classes in a poverty stricken neighborhood and maybe you’ll get a good eye-opener when no one shows up. You have no idea.

  95. Milwaukee says:

    Also you keep mentioned this doctor and the website- do you think these parents have computers? Internet? Right….

  96. Lizs says:

    I agree completely even though i only sleep with my baby from time to time, I am also wondering if all those babies in Milwaukee really die of SIDS? I have the feeling politicians often lump together incidents that have nothing to do with each other, as far as i know SIDS means that a baby stops breathing without any cause, cosleeping if at all only bares the risk of suffocating or overheating your baby which doesn’t fall under the term SIDS

  97. Patty says:

    In my opinion, the Department of Health’s aim is not to look down on parents who co-sleep with their infants but to educate them (especially new parents) that the risk of SIDS increases in this practice, along with cribs with too soft mattress/ excess bedding and pillows that crowed babies, and babies sleeping on their bellies. And all these have a medical basis and statistics to back up, and I emphasize on *new* medical studies because like all fields of science, medical knowledge also evolves; what was okay back then may not be acceptable now. So, instead of posting distaste in the ads, why not share the “proper” ways/ techniques of co-sleeping?

  98. Arla Carver says:

    Please listen before it happens to your infant. Co sleeping does not seem dangerous until it is your baby that suffocates in the blankets or against their parent. Please learn from others and don’t be a statistic Please.

  99. Priscilla says:

    These ads are educational. However, this ad campaign can benefit people who do not know how to co-sleep safely. I co-slept with my baby and never once rolled on her. I made sure that she was next to me rather than next to her father. We practiced safe co-sleeping. And we still co-sleep with our daughter, as part of our practice of Attachment Parenting. She has grown up healthy and happy because of this practice. She has never had any separation issues, and is a happy, outgoing toddler. If practiced safely, co-sleeping has many benefits.

  100. Beth & Anna says:

    Thank you for responding to this ad. We have also written up our thoughts in our blog www. wisemommies.com and have also supported your feedback on our blog. Many thanks, wisemommies.com….Anna & Beth

  101. Sane parent says:

    Completely true and ridiculous for you people to endanger your infants/children. This doesnt make them safer – thats what monitors are for or if you place a crib next to the bed. Ever think other cultures dont track accuratley their infant deaths? No one has proven its accepted in other cultures – stoning is done in other countries too but that doesnt mean its right! We have neighbors who are sleeping with their 8 year old, thats outrageous and makes no sense but to create an environment where inevitably a kid in their teens is still sleeping with mommy/daddy and dependant rather then independant. You will see!

  102. Mama23bs says:

    First of all I think it is great that we are all having this conversation. This ad may be a little crazy but it got our attention! The point is that we love our children and hopefully would never want to hurt them. I have three children 2,4, and 6 and thinking about the days when they were infants and were so sweet and little and all you wanted to do was snuggle with them. I’m not going to say that I never feel asleep nursing them because as a new mom you are very tired, but if you new something is proven to be better for your child why not try and do it as much as possible! I love that the ads offer parents who cannot afford a crib or a pack-n-play to get one for FREE. All 3 of my children slept in a pack-n-play in our room right next to the bed for the first 2-3 months then we would move them to their cribs. I always remember how great they slept once we moved them. Maybe it was because they didn’t hear my husband snore anymore lol!! In all seriousness you have to go with your instincts as a mother, but please really think about the situtaion and consequences. Sometimes it is hard because I have my mom in the back of my head telling me stories of how she used to put us to sleep on our stomacks and we turned out fine. Then she talks about how she never had fancy car seats for us and half the time my sister was rolling around in the back of her van, but like I tell her all the time there are so many wonderful doctors and scientist who spend their lives studying statistic and following families to help us better our lives and keep us safe. Why on earth would I not use new and safer technology/advice than what my parents generation had? Just because technicly you could put your baby in the back seat of your car and drive around a couple places safley, your probably not going to do it because (WHY WOULD YOU TAKE THAT CHANCE) in my opinion it is NOT WORTH IT!! Babies are so wonderful and a precious gift from above! I may not be a perfect mom but I will do anything to give my children the safest, happiest life!! Many blessings!!!

  103. Michael says:

    I think the ads help get people to see that there is an issue with high infant deaths. I dont think its in bad taste at all, even if it does outrage some people thats kind of the ponit. Also I think people shouldnt take such risks with there babies anyway! It is like saying you drive around with your baby in your lap, but its ok cause you do it safely. I mean how sad would you be if your baby died while co-sleeping with you even if your doing it safely! I think these ads get people talking about the issue and ways to fix it, cause it is an issue!

  104. Kristin says:

    I think these ads are well-intended but misleading. I have read some of the studies on SIDS and co-sleeping, and they state that most of the risk of SIDS occurs from parents sleeping with babies on couches, from parents who smoke, from parents who co-sleep while drunk, from babies who have health problems and from babies swaddled or sleeping with pillows, sheepskins and comforters.
    Co-sleeping is as old as time and is the most natural method of sleeping with a nursing infant. It is also the best way for both mom and baby to get a good night’s sleep. If the mother is nursing, careful and not intoxicated, the risk of SIDS is low.
    I nursed and slept with all my kids when they were infants. One of my three babies liked to sleep in his own bed, so I put him in his crib after he fell asleep. However, the other two slept better with me and were fine that way. We had a king bed, and I always slept with my arm around my baby so it would be protected. I was always aware of the baby even while sleeping. However, I think fathers don’t have the instincts/abilities that moms have, and I would not recommend having a baby sleep next to its dad. I always kept my baby right beside me and not near my husband.

  105. Emily says:

    This is from a PUBLIC health initiative? All I can say is WTF- I would be furious as if I were a resident of Milwaukee!! This is a real threat to people who are think are probably already at risk of affecting their babies health by using formula instead of the breast- the reason so many minority babies are at risk is because the women who care for them are still modern day slaves! Thanks, Milwaukee Health Dept- frigg’n morons- you ought to be educating your at risk population on educating themselves, preparing themselves for parenthood and having relationships where two people take care of the children- and NO I’m not just endorsing safe sex, monogamy or marriage between man and wife, I’m saying two guys or two gals may do as well! NOR am I mocking or belittling people who have to parent on their own- which is surely tragedy in our society- and by alone I don’t mean “Single” either- families form the basis for close bonding connections with babies and children!! Does this mean a crib is the lifesaver for babies – not the bed of their parent who must wake to feed an infant at 3-4 hour intervals nightly anyway? EVERY department store a person enters has a recall section where a CRIB is recalled because it killed an infant! So instead of taking preventative measures for the health of babies and toddlers we should take them out of our beds and resign them to the “safety” of a frigg’n piece of furniture? I am so pissed that this comes out of deaths of infants most likely accidentally killed by stupid parents who were drinking or doing drugs- not people who co-sleep with their children for the sake of feel close, LOVING, and safe!! Babies die- and it’s a proven fact- without LOVE- it’s as important as food or fresh air! All I can say again is:WTF!!!

  106. Kathy says:

    I live in WI. I have slept with all six of my babies. These ads are not over-the-top for the Milwaukee community. Many Milwaukee citizens need a wake-up call! They are not practicing safe co-sleeping, therefore, the ads are right on! I hope the ads make a difference.

  107. Karen Rae Noble says:

    I am a mother of 2 n 1 on the way…… since I became a mother my children slept w/ me until I FELT comfortable 2 where I knew they were safe in their crib…. I was 16 when I was pregnant when I heard a baby died of Sudden Infant Death and I was scared 2 death 2 put my baby in a crib. I am now 36 n I will always do the same as I did back then. Here is link 2 Scientist name DR.SEARS n this person agrees w/ mothers n fathers who have their babies sleep in the bed w/ them….. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/scientific-benefits-co-sleeping …… N I will also tell u my mother had us ( me n my 2 sisters ) in the bed let alone in a dresser dresser drawer n OMG we r still living……

  108. Chet G. says:

    All my kids have slept with us from the time they were born. my eldest is now 15, the second is 12 and the third is now 8…they are perfectly healthy, they’re all emotionally secure, highly intelligent and are independent. having them sleep with us i guess provided them the security they needed while growing up. It especially comforting to be beside them especially when they are not feeling particularly well. SIDS should not be attributed with co-sleeping with your children per se. Maybe there are other things that should be considered other than plainly “co-sleeping” like if a person is a heavy sleeper, has had to much alcohol, do drugs or into medication — then it’s not advisable to have your children sleep with you >> heck it’s not even advisable for you to have kids. But other wise…if you’re a normal caring parent>>i think it’s perfectly ok. Besides isn’t it more dangerous if your babies fall off the crib and you can’t even hear them because you’re either in the other room or at the other side of the room sleeping soundly. Moreover, are we really thinking of the baby’s safety or are we just thinking of our own comfort… Maybe we can checkout what the lifestyles are of these people you are talking about in Milwaukee…maybe there are other things that should be considered for SIDS in their area other than co-sleeping with your baby…This comment does not come from a narrow mind…maybe it’s the ones who issued this ad who have narrow minds since they have singled out co-sleeping as the only factor for SIDS…c’mon!!!

  109. Regina says:

    If the adds save the life of even one child, isn’t it worth it?

  110. Kristina says:

    Kudos to you Milwaukee officials for bringing this to the table for discussion and making all more aware! Shock value can be a wonderful thing! Thumbs down to you Milwaukee-ans for thinking you are above the life of even one child simply because it “worked for me”. To those of you, please stay in Milwaukee and live happily ever after.

  111. ann says:

    Why is it so necessary to sleep with babies in the bed who cant say
    “move over, get off of me!” Theres other ways to bond with a baby, for pet sake. All you crackpots will fell pretty smart and brave until you roll over one night and kill one of your kids. My grandmother lost two that way, not to mention others Ive known it happen to. They all felt pretty confident in their
    sleeping arrangements until they woke up to a dead baby. The add was brilliant!

  112. Beth says:

    For those of you citing that it is common in other cultures – has it not occurred to you that a high infant mortality rate is also common in other cultures? Do we just take the facts we choose to acknowledge and leave the rest?

    Of course there are many factors owing to the high death rate in these other cultures but SIDS might just as likely be one of them – and they don’t have the research and technology or resources as you do in the west to do anything about it. Just a thought.

    The second point that many have stated is they co sleep SAFELY. Well good. If you know how to do this then good, but others may not know and this ad campaign will highlight options to those that don’t know.

  113. Sharyn says:

    Perhaps the SIDs is high due to the baby formulas which contain a lot of what should not be in a baby. That would be why other countries, who are much stricter on baby formulas and baby food’ don’t have high rates. Check the stats on how many die from SIDs that were on formulas? Then list the type of formulas used. Check how many were breastfed. Food is everything to a human at any age. We are not meant to be sugared up at any age. Bet there is a correlation…..just a thought.
    I co-slept with my child without issues and I did breast feed. Common sense is always needed when co-sleeping but there are many ways of being safe. To display the safety, there are better ways to advertise. These ads give ideas to demented people. Have you politicians not figured this out yet???? Pay attention!

  114. karl says:

    When an adult is in a deep sleep state, the actions of that individual in regards to being aware of their surroundings is much reduced. All it takes is the adult to roll over towards and against the baby, accidentally kick a blanket over the face of the baby or nudge the baby off the bed. This is like playing roulette or driving drunk, most the time you are lucky, but sometimes you are not. Is it really worth it? From a medic who knows better.

  115. James says:

    As a nurse who has had to deal with the results of co-sleeping I totally support the ads.
    Are they shocking? Yes, they need to be.
    Does Dr. Sears think co-sleeping is OK-? Yes he does, but literally thousands of other doctors disagree? In fact, it is the AHA and AAP that co-sleeping is unsafe.
    What about the studies Dr. Sears talks about? As they say, the devil is in the details. You need to look at large, well run studies done here in the US. Are you saying that your prefer Dr. Sears over the American Academy of Pediatrics AND the American Heart Association?
    Just tell me this, what do you lose if instead of having you baby in bed with you, you put your baby in a bassinet next to the bed? The baby is 18 inches away. You can still reach out and touch them at any time. You can hear them just as well and you eliminate all the concerns of sleeping with your baby!
    So why not be safe-just in case.
    Finally, how are you going to feel if you stand here and say I am wrong and someone your know, maybe even a family member, dies from SIDs, How will you live with yourself?

  116. BrewerFan03 says:

    Danielle, do you see the irony of your post on a parenting site, telling others to do something because when you did it, things turned out just fine? I think many of us are familiar with the logic our parents shared with us growing up whenever we lobbied to do something because someone else/a friend did/was doing it. As we tried to convince mom and dad that it was a good idea or everything would be ok asserting “because Johnny did it and turned out fine.” Our parents responded with “if Johnny walked off a cliff would you do that too?”

    When doctors and scientists find the cause of SIDS and develop a screening for it, the test will likely be a part of the infant screening before discharge. For now reducing risks and creating awareness are the tools available in medicine.

    I am sure the city of Milwaukee would not mind if Danielle625 volunteered to start a program to educate parents. Complaining and saying it should have been done differently achieves NOTHING. If you are going to offer a critique, offer a solution as well, a feasible one, as I did for you Danielle.

  117. Cecilia says:

    This ad is horrible and more needs to be looked at in the factors on WHY there are so many SIDS dealths for African American babies in Milwakee. I STILL co-sleep with my two children, and thank God I do, as I have been right there for nights of croup, throwing up (scary for children!), fever and the like, and of course the ease of nursing. You have to take co-sleeping seriously and responsibly, though, and certainly not go to bed drunk or on drugs, or medications that would impair your ability to perform as a mother. Even at my tiredest, I have never even been close to rolling on them.

  118. Lori says:

    I agree – these are scare tactics that are misleading. As someone in the public health field with a background in maternal and child health, I find it reprehensible for a Department of Health in any city to warn about or admonish parents for co-sleeping. NYC’s DOHMH (where I live and work) ran similar anti-co-sleeping campaigns on the subway.

    Co-sleeping is a safe and ancestral practice for humans. In public health school, we were taught that it was the best, most natural way to sleep with your child. I agree and enforce the idea that one should never co-sleep if on sleep-inducing drugs or if drunk. However, the average person should be safe.

    I think the response by Milwaukee points to something else. They note the difference in mortality rates between whites and blacks. Well, there’s another rate that differs between whites and black – obesity. I posit that there may be a suffocation factor inherent to obese parents co-sleeping. I’d take it one step further to also look at poverty rates and mattress quality.

    Personally, I’ve co-slept with both of my children. My husband happens to be a large (dare I say obese) man who was fearful with our first son. I bought a co-sleeper and my husband trained himself to stay away from the baby in the bed. With our second child, I don’t need to use the co-sleeper although I do put a protective arm between myself and my husband. We are also fortunate enough to be able to afford an extremely high quality mattress and to give in to my preference for the firmest mattress we could find. So I have no fears of my baby slipping into a mattress indentation.

    Deaths from co-sleeping cannot be due to the co-sleeping, I think it is multi-factorial. After all – they cite lower infant mortality rates in [unnamed] “underdeveloped” countries, yet mothers co-sleep in many underdeveloped countries!

  119. Kaleena Mae says:

    I don’t think co-sleeping is the problem here. I think it is the way parents sleep with their child that might cause harm to the baby. Putting your child to sleep on his belly or with a heavy comforter and pillows is not the right way for him to sleep. I sleep with my 3 month old baby every night since he was born. It’s not something I thought I would do when I was pregnant, but once he came it was just something that was comforting for both of us. Not to mention very convenient to feed him at night, as I breastfeed.

    I used to be the soundest sleeper ever. Nothing used to wake me up. I would sleep through anything. But, once I knew I had that precious baby in my arms something changed. I still sleep deeply, but something inside me just knew he was always there and I was always aware of that. Even in my deepest sleep. Also, I was never a roller type of person. I would stay in one position for hours.

    But, why is it that since the beginning of time women would sleep with their children and it was ok and safe, but now it’s like a taboo? It’s almost frowned upon to sleep with your child in America. I tell people that I sleep with my son and they give me this look like “are you crazy?”. No, I’m not. It is perfectly safe when you do it right. Today, 90% of mothers co-sleep safely with their babies. that’s mostly in other countries, of course. In some places that’s the only place for a baby to be. They don’t have cribs or play yards. It’s customary to do that because it has been done for so long. But, in the U.S. it’s unsafe. Unbelievable.

    If you want to sleep with your child, I think that should be fine. Snuggling your little one is the best feeling a mother or a baby can have. They feel safe and secure and warm. And, you can make it safe for them as well. Always have him on his back. Especially, if he can’t roll over. If he happens to have his face into the bed he can’t help himself by rolling over. Also, keep thick sheets and pillows away. When babies kick their feet the blanket tends to go over their head and cover their face. And, of course, they can’t move it themselves. Make sure he’s not near the edge or crammed between you and your partner. Mainly, be aware that he is there. Obviously, it is not a good idea to sleep with them if you are under the influence of something (alcohol, drugs, medication).

    But, once you understand how to, I believe it is so joyful and rewarding to have your baby in your arms at night. Second best to breastfeeding. So have a good night and don’t you fright.

    Proud mother of co-sleeping

  120. Les Godbold says:

    I am the father of two kids, 9 and 5. Concerned about SIDS, I followed the most common guidelines in the dozen or so ‘baby books’ I looked at. Have the baby sleep in a ‘safe’ crib, on a firm mattress, with one blankie tucked in tight under the mattress=ubersafe. I slept with the crib next to our bed with one arm resting inside touching the baby. Safe co-sleeping is like raising a nice pit-bull. I’d rather just buy a golden retreiver.

  121. Lori says:

    I co-slept with my daughter, she is now 23 years old. I also co-slept with my grandson he is 15 months old. I see nothing wrong with it. It’s parents who don’t have a clue that have the problem. I have not heard of a case of SIDS when a child was co-sleeping with a parent. You usually hear about SIDS cases with babies in their cribs. As a mother you are trained for every nuance in your babies life from the beginning. That’s why I feel the bonding stage is so important. Back in time mothers slept with their babies, mostly because they couldn’t afford cribs. They need to “knife” this ad. It’s in bad taste.

  122. K says:

    co-sleeping when done safely is acceptable. (in a co-sleeper) As a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in a major Boston hospital I have seen many babies die from SIDS, mostly when co-sleeping. Those of you who did not experience this are lucky. I had all three of my children co-sleep safely in a safe bed beside me. This is the only safe option. Please consider this as you can never change what happens when you wake up next to a blue limp baby who has been smothered.

  123. luann morse says:

    years back in the 70s there was a high risk no one understood it i had my first child it was a girl, my first went to the same doctor that i had first time around for my second he sat me down he knew that i was scared he gave me something to sleep over and think about so i of course used his suggestion for the 9 months having the baby in the same room is good but how many sids babies have we seen happened from not lifting the head of the crib raised a bit parents have for a very long time babies get feed and let sleep in the car set and never that i have heard about anyway have been found dead from sids so i used it and all rest children . am happy to say my other four has done good all are grown and have their own lives the only reason they stared to look into it was Kenneds one of theirs died from it.. hard let go of things like that it infects every one.

  124. SARAH says:

    I think that if this keeps mor babies alive that it is great. I am a grandparent that lost a grand daughter to co sleeping and I have talked to everyone that I know that is having a baby to not sleep with the infant. This sids death has changed my life for ever it has been three years but seems like yesterday. As I read this it makes me hurt so much as to see how people do not see the big picture. A baby on there back can be turned over by a parnets weight and smothered to death. If the parent is asleep they might not here this happening to their child and wake up to their worst nightmare like we did. I can not stand to think about my grand daughter grasping for air while her parents slept and all becasue they wanted that closeness with her. I understand that God has his reasons but if this happened to you it never goes away. Just advise from this happening to our family. Hope it helps I now have another Grandchild and she is great never slept in the bed with her parents. I dont think any of my children will ever sleep with their infants after what our family has gone through.

  125. lolita contreras says:

    My husband and I have had our baby in our bed with us for almost 2 years now! For the first 1 1/2yr or so, we used a side wall for the bed so she wouldn’t roll off and mom could breast feed and sleep w/out issues. now we have her in the middle and we are all one, huggable, laughable, loveable, fun family at wake up time! Family Bed rules!!!!!!

    Screw Milwalkee .

  126. Meagan Lawson says:

    I would like to know if the ones creating such ads, are even parents? I would like to see a responce to this ad showing the proper ways to co-sleep. Let’s educate parents instead of scaring them. It’s scary enough being a parent. Patenting doesn’t come with a handbook! We do our best and just makes me mad to see scare tactics like this!

  127. Grammar Police says:

    If you are commenting on this post, it would be in your best interest to use proper English, grammar, and punctuation. The lack of capital letters, misspelled words and incomplete sentences make you look uneducated; therefore, making your comment seem unintelligent.

  128. Colleen says:

    I’m a mom from Milwaukee who’s seen so many stories in the local news about baby deaths that I’m all for any ad that will catch people’s attention, and obviously they have! What you’re missing is the stories are weekly — and often include parents (or grandparents or other family members) co-sleeping with the baby while drunk or high. Rarely have they simply been cases of horrible accidents involving parents who planned to co-sleep with their babies for the benefits the author mentions here. Most often they’re low-income families who either didn’t have a separate bed for the baby or for one reason or another didn’t use it. If the ads get the attention of just a *few* parents who can then call the number listed and get a free pack n play, then that’s a few babies who will have been saved.

  129. Duane says:

    As someone with a friend who lost twin babies to suffocation from co-sleeping, I find it pretty irresponsible for you to declare co-sleeping to be “extremely safe.”
    It’s not safe. Declaring it to be safe because you want to sleep your baby in your bed with you is wrong.

  130. cosleeping mom says:

    While I understand some of the opinions, I still think some of the commenters are missing the point in our comments about our dislike of these ads. We dislike them because they are missing the true issues. Those of you commenters from Milwaukee or those saying people from Milwaukee shouldn’t comment because they don’t know- have you read the data yourself? I did. I read all the data straight from Milwaukee’s websites and studies. They clearly show that only 18% is from SIDs, overlay or accidental suffocation- they don’t clearly indicate what percentage is from co-sleeping and I wouldn’t consider sleeping on a couch with baby as co-sleeping, that is unsafe sleeping period. they also don’t indicate what percentage is a result of drugs and alcohol. What is very clear is that a whopping 53.7% of infant death is a result of complications of prematurity and another 19% congenital abnormalities. Seems to me they should be addressing the issue that is causing a higher death. Also it seems the they should be addressing the issue of drugs and alcohol abuse with parents.

    One commenter said that Danielle and other critics did not offer a solution, but I beg to differ, she clearly said that money would be better spent on education.

    Another commenter( I believe Beth) said that we said that we compared co-sleeping with other countries where the infant mortality may be higher . However, if you actually read the article, the health officials comments an their own fetal mortality review, they themselves compare themselves to other countries and illustrate ( with a graph) showing these other countries have lower mortality rates.

    Again, based on THE DATA they themselves presented co-sleeping is clearly not the biggest factor, it is prenatal care, drug and alcohol abuse. I am not outraged by these ads, I am sad that they are using this propoganda to hide their real issues. And until they deal with those, I don’t think its going to produce any long term positive consequence.

    I took the time to review Milwaukee’s statements, health website and data before commenting. Its disheartening to me that people will make such accusations without proper data to back it up, much like these misleading ads.

  131. Addie Turner says:

    I’ve been reading the comments and agree with many, on both sides of the debate. The problem as I see it is that the ads won’t make an impact on those it is intended to target. Those the ads intend to target are not open to new information or advice. As for co-sleeping, I also did it. I loved it! Slept so much better when my babies were next to me. However, that was a personal choice. I would not tell someone they should or shouldn’t do it. As far as other countries are concerned, yes they also co-sleep. The major difference is that when a baby dies in those countries, the families grieve and move on. In the United States someone or something is to blame. No longer is anything just and accident or poor judgement. As a society, we are moving away from every action has a consequense to a “it’s not my fault” mentality. Unfortunately we are seeing this in all aspects of life in all generations. I could give examples; however, the point is that sometimes things happen beyond our control and nobody is to blame. Accidents do happen!

  132. http://shouldbethebeginning.com says:

    i am SHOCKED and HORRIFIED that these ads are real. shame, shame, shame on that health department for such a blatantly misinformed smear campaign. what, was going after real threats like the failure of public education, the lack of basic healthcare, or the rise of childhood obesity too challenging, so they decided to terrify parents instead? UNBELIEVABLE.

    http://shouldbethebeginning.com/2011/10/20/499/

  133. CO-Sleeping Mom of 3 says:

    The ads are distasteful and are just a scare tactic. I have cosleep with all 3 of my children (9, 5 & 1) with great sucess. As a matter of fact it was recommended by a DOCTOR for my first child who was a preemie, only 2lbs at birth. Saying the closeness would be benificial to his recovery. Also when he got alittle older he would pull his oxygen tubes off his nose, so had he not coslept with me I might not have caught him doing this and put them back on. My son might be dead now if I didnt make a well imformed & educated decision to cosleep as it was the safest and best thing I ever did for my children. I completely support cosleeping when done with sober and well educated parents. Cosleeping has been around for as long as humans have existed, cribs are a new technology, now thats something I wouldnt gamle with.

  134. Mary says:

    To the one that wrote the article:

    Wow! I guest not everyone is as smart as you and can co-sleep in a safe way!

    It is obvious that they are not; is so why is the mortality rate higher than any other state or even third world countries. Learning have never hurt any one, but ignorance does. We have a saying in spanish “el que se pica es porque aji come” Maybe this applies to you.

  135. Mary says:

    Opps Missed spell.. I guess….

  136. cosleeping mom says:

    I have known babies who died from SIDS and none of them were co-sleeping. They were mostly in cribs, except that one who died in an infant seat. Because parents were careless and slept with babies on couches or under the influence of alcohol we shouldn’t blame co-sleeping. This is taking away from the issue, its like blaming a drunk driving accident on the driving, we don’t say “don’t drive” we say “don’t drink then drive” . Infants die when not properly restrained, again we don’t instruct people “don’t drive with infants it may kill them” we educate people of car seat safety and have checkpoints set up so that parents can get their carseats checked. I think people who are attacking the commenters who are pro co-sleeping are missing the issue that we are debating. We aren’t telling people that they should co-sleep and even defending co-sleeping is not the issue its that the ads are NOT, I repeat NOT backed up by complete facts and misleading people away from the real issue ( as I read in their own data from the Milwaukee Website).

  137. MCantu says:

    For all of you saying “if it saves one child, it’s worth it”, where are your impassioned calls for similar ads about cribs and formula feeding, both of which result in far more infant deaths than co-sleeping? Why not use the same scare tactics and fear-mongering on parents who formula feed, or who put their baby in a crib in a separate room? Do your research. http://thebabybond.com/Cosleeping&SIDSFactSheet.html

  138. D.Ramsey says:

    Below is a fact that should sum the whole thing up. Parents have choices to make everyday pertaining to their children. To one may serve well, while the other, it may not work. The ads are harsh, but I think their intentions were to get everybody’s attention and really try to make a difference… as like one poster said “if it only saves one life” Obviously there are many other factors involved with this high rate of infant death in this area. I truly blame infant death not to any one factor but more the broad spectrum of neglectfulness. Whether intentional or not! Taking careful wisdom in all that we do to raise our children will result in healthy lives. Cosleeping or not… all the factors in putting a baby to sleep safely should be taken into consideration. Sometimes… in life…. babies…. just die! Sad and true! That is why we have a God that is ready to take them under his wing! Be safe Milwaukee parents. Mayor- give LOTS of parenting advice, ie smoking around babies, breastfeeding…etc… and don’t just be a downpour to one type of parenting that singles out a major part of the world!

    Worldwide research shows that the SIDS rate is lowest (and even unheard of) in countries where co-sleeping is the norm, rather than the exception 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Babies who sleep either in or next to their parents’ bed have a fourfold decrease in the chance of SIDS 10. Co-sleeping babies actually spend more time sleeping on their back or side 1 which decreases the risk of SIDS. Further research shows that the carbon dioxide exhaled by a parent actually works to stimulate baby’s breathing 11.

  139. Mary Mason says:

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of!!! The biggest cause of SIDS that I have heard is sticking a baby in a crib to fend for themselves all night. I co-sleep with my nine-month-old and am so proud of it! These people need to really find out what the problem is and take care of it- not blame it on parents that want the best for their babies and to keep them safe through the night.

  140. bob says:

    The problem of suggesting people “cosleep” with their babies, is that first you need to assume that the people you are speaking to are idiots. Because most likely they are. You must speak to the lowest common denominator first, then make suggestions based on intelligence/skills. To do otherwise hurts mroe than it helps, hence the ads in Milwaukee.

  141. cosleeping mom says:

    FYI – After reviewing numerous studies, Sears states that “infants who sleep in a crib are twice as likely to suffer a sleep-related fatality (including SIDS) as infants who sleep in bed with their parents.” According to Sears, “The answer is not to tell parents they shouldn’t sleep with their baby, but rather to educate them on how to sleep with their infants safely.”

  142. bjaac says:

    co-sleeping does not cause SIDS! When babies die from SIDS there is NO explanation why they died. Rolling over on a baby and suffocating it isn’t SIDS, its suffocation. If a mother is breastfeeding while co-sleeping then she is holding her baby in her arm and can’t roll over on the baby while sleeping because it would break her arm! There’s many reasons women should breastfeed this should be one of them. Little babies were not meant to be left alone to sleep… they are defenseless. What is the mother of a colic baby supposed to do? If every single time i try to put my baby down to sleep in a crib, bassinet, swing, ANYTHING she immediately wakes up screaming, If she cries for hours when i try to let her cry it out at the pediatricians advice, but she sleeps for hours while being held? What is a mother suppose to do? Should i just quit sleeping for the next six months because my baby can’t and won’t sleep away from me? These adds are stupid and don’t give any other information then to put the baby in a crib? What are you to do when your baby won’t sleep all alone? I guess the message is if i neglect my dependent infant in a crib by itself and never sleep it will be ok when i fall asleep sitting in a chair and drop my baby because i haven’t slept in days and weeks. Or it will be ok when my older toddler gets injured during the day because i fell asleep because i spent all night trying to get my baby to sleep alone. Not everyone can easily put their baby in a crib or basinet… it’s unnatural for some babies. This add is useless.

  143. Dee Ann says:

    I co-slept with my two sons and I believe I mentally knew they were there whether I was awake or asleep. I absolutely know that I would never have harmed them while I was asleep. Many times I awoke in the exact same position I was in when I brought my baby to bed.

  144. Jennifer says:

    For those who have co-slept with your child, congrats that nothing bad has ever happened but from someone who has seen the result of co sleeping you can not say anything. As it may be beneficial, it is not always safe. I’m in Law Enforcement and have seen too many co-sleep deaths. Parents have even taken precautions but you can’t always control how you sleep (ie. tossing and turning or how heavy). I will say this of the deaths I have investigated, the mothers are usually young and were not informed of the potential risks. If this ad is a way reduce the risks then it is a way to educate.

  145. Elizabeth says:

    You’re statement of ‘done safely’ is correct…safe is…not under the influence of drugs and or alcohol. Which has been the leading cause to the HIGH rate of infant deaths in Milwaukee. And NONE of these care takers have been held responsible for negligence, child abuse, or the like. This is a crime and should be treated as such, and it is an epidemic in Milwaukee.

  146. courtney says:

    It’s great that many of you co-sleep with your babies and no harm is done. But the fact is, many babies do die as a result of co-sleeping, and that’s why these ads exist. I am also the mother of a baby (16 months), and I don’t care who has done what with their baby who turned out just fine (and I sure do get sick of hearing it). If there’s even a small chance that I could kill my baby by letting him sleep in our bed, then guess what? He’s not going to sleep in our bed.

    Think of it this way: not everyone gets in a car accident and dies on their way to work. Most people drive to work and home and everywhere else every day and never get in an accident their entire lives. But you still wear your seat belt, don’t you? That’s the same outlook you should have on the safety of your children.

    (If you co-sleep AND don’t wear a seat belt, well I’m afraid there’s just no hope for you or your poor baby.)

  147. geron says:

    5 out of 6 people who play Russian roulette also have no ill effects.

  148. Patty says:

    Co-slept on and off with mine, safely. I think the problem with this ad is that it IS propaganda, and it’s aimed at well-meaning new parents. Baby should be on a nice flat hard mattress, next to it’s mama, snuggled up. Or in a crib. Just please don’t let your babies sleep with KNIVES!!!!!!

  149. Tanky says:

    I am in full support of these ads. My wife has been co-sleeping with my kids for years and I am sick as hell sleeping on the couch. Any way to add blood our something to these pics so I can show my wife?

  150. Yarnia says:

    I believe that co-sleeping is safe when done by a breastfeeding mother in a safe bed – ie not full of fluffy pillows and tangly covers. Nursing mothers have a unique bond with their babies and are aware of their movement, breathing, etc..also the mother should remain on the same sleep schedule as the baby – very important! So do not nurse the baby to sleep – go do a couple of hours of housework or whatever then expect to be attuned to your baby’s needs.

    There is evidence that cosleeping actually helps regulate baby’s breathing.

    obviously drinking and alcohol are definite no-nos.

  151. JacksMom says:

    This ad provides no education, just fear and shame. I have safely co-slept since I went back to work when my baby was 4 months old, and used education to know the pros and cons. I have worked in 2 city hospitals, and it is a fact that many families co-sleep because they are poor- they often feel that they have no other choice.So please, give the parents education and support- not threats.

  152. JK says:

    My wife and I have 4 kids and all slept with us while babies and were all breastfed! If parents would use common sense to protect you baby at all times these horrible deaths would not happen! Take care of your kids and be aware of there surroundings.

  153. Jen says:

    My son was never a great sleeper. He spent his first 3 months sleeping swaddled in his car seat and swing in our bedroom next to our bed. Once he could roll over, we stopped swaddling and his sleep patterns became worse. Co-sleeping was the only thing that gave us sleep. I was able to nurse and get sleep. Breastfeeding mothers should co-sleep in order to nurse baby on demand at night. I never once worried that I would roll over on him. He slept at my breast…far from my pillow and away from heavy bedding. I think this issue is different for mothers that nurse. I think mothers that nurse understand the necessity of it. I didn’t start out thinking I would co-sleep but I’m glad we did. These ads are scare tactics for the uneducated. As an example, I wear my son. I was out shopping with him in our carrier and a woman told me that my baby was going to get whooping cough from me holding him all the time. WHAT?? Oh the tv commercial for whooping cough. Perfect example of seeing an ad and misunderstanding it! These ads don’t bother me because they are so ridiculous!!!

  154. MJ says:

    Co-sleeping is not some “new-age” idea that a few modern parents are doing. What do you think mothers and infants did for all of human history before the relatively modern invention of the crib? Co-sleeping, when done safely, scientifically helps infants regulate their heartbeat and breathing, thereby reducing the risk of SIDS. Because of the head to pelvis ratio, human infants are the most underdeveloped and dependent mammal at the time of birth, so the statement that the safest option is for them to “sleep alone” almost seems ironic.

    Check out some of the research here: http://cosleeping.nd.edu/

    There is a mother-baby sleep lab in Indiana that extensively researches co-sleeping, and the website has interesting results, articles, and a video. Several of you have asked for “research to backup the claims that co-sleeping is beneficial.” If you’re truly interested, you can study the site and form your own opinions.

  155. Leslie Marie says:

    Probably the stupidest Ad ever created in history!!!! 1. A HUGE amount of the world population only has 1 bed for the whole family to sleep in (if even that) Amazingly their babies are not dying from it. 2. Many cultures believe in keeping their young children close to them for safety and comfort reasons.
    3. Some parents MUST keep their young children close to them for warmth in winter because there is no type of heating system. Their children could die from cold otherwise! That doctor is a QUACK! Extremely obese people or people who drink too much/smoke would be at risk to harm a young baby or child in bed. These types of warnings make sense. But to ADVISE a general public not to sleep with your own baby – Absolute Nonsense!! My 15 year old daughter still comes and sleeps with me when she doesn’t feel well or has a bad day! The parents bed is a very special comfort zone for kids and it gives a strong sense of security. Kids who are secure do better in school and stay off drugs and smoking. None of my 3 kids smoke and all were A students in school. All were breastfed, though for different lengths of time. All were allowed in bed with me although I had the luxury of having a bassinette right beside the bed, so I used that mostly until they grew out of it. SNUGGLE YOUR KIDS EVERY CHANCE YOU GET!!
    Leslie – Mother of 3

  156. jes says:

    I could only agree with these ads. First of all I am white. I am a working mom and a very hard working one. I actually work way to much which is why I found myself in the situation to begin with. In this economy I have been working a 100 times harder trying to keep my business going. I have a new daughter and like any new baby she wakes in the middle of the night. I would co sleep with my child all the time in the beginning. It is great bonding, and she slept so well if next to us. Now that she is 8 months old she sleeps mainly in her crib. Just recently she woke in the middle of the night. I with what little energy I had brought her into the bed to nurse. In my head I always know where she is when she is sleeping right. I don’t think people realize how easy it is to hit that point where they are so exhausted and in a much need of sleep that they don’t and will not feel their child next to them. I woke up not even 1 hour later not remembering she was in the bed. Thankfully by the grace of god she for the first time ever crawled herself up to the pillow. I will never in my life allow my daughter to be in my bed with me AGAIN!!! Because the feeling of forgetting they are in the bed with you I can only imagine is nothing compared to losing a child because they were in the bed with you. So to all the parents that Co-Sleep I pray nothing happens to your child, and I understand why you do it. To all those parents who have lost a child due to Co-Sleeping my heart goes out to you because I could never imagine losing a child to something that could so easily be avoided. Parents please just imagine how you would feel if you woke up to losing your child from something so easily avoidable. Think of the guilt you would have to live with.

  157. Carolyn Kieswetter says:

    I’m wa-ay past the age to have more children. Never co-slept. However, I can’t help but wonder…. just what IS safe co-sleeping? This has been bandied about throughout these comments, but is there a set of safety precautions for those who decide to co-sleep? Someone will say that if we do that, it can be construed to be approval….. However, our government doesn’t mind insisting that children get vaccinations against HPV, JUST IN CASE they’re exposed to the human papilloma virus. I can extrapolate some of those guidelines from the comments but it’s not easy. I know.. some of you will say there is no such thing as safe co-sleeping, but let’s provide guidelines to “safe” co-sleeping to those who choose it.

  158. MJ says:

    http://cosleeping.nd.edu/
    The link above is a very thorough resource for anyone who would like to learn more about co-sleeping, particularly what is considered safe and what is considered dangerous. The information is based on very in-depth studies that have been conducted in mother-baby sleep laboratories. I think that the main issue at hand here is education; everyone should be educated about this practice before jumping to conclusions in either direction. The ads in Milwaukee are simply alarmist and jump to conclusions about co-sleeping that aren’t necessarily true. One could argue that certain cities with high rates of childhood obesity should start running ads with machine guns next to chocolate bars.

  159. Kelley Ferguson says:

    I am very happy to see the ad for the campaign against co-sleeping. My sisters 2 month old baby died last year as a result of co-sleeping. Her life will never be the same again, so I think more people need to know about the dangers of co-sleeping. She had to wake up to her lifeless baby next to her, and I hope no one else has to ever live her nightmare.

  160. Bone says:

    http://www.jsonline.com/newswatch/134122838.html

    10th Baby reported dead this year…Milwaukee has one of the highest co-sleeping death rates in the nation people!!

    clearly this is a problem in Milwaukee…shame on you…many of these deaths are attributed to the lack of resources and the social economical issues that exist in Milwaukee. These ads are no worse than the no smoking advertisements. They are meant to create “shock appeal” and sometimes this works better for families that don’t have the resources or lack the educational tools to properly co-sleep with their children.

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