Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Don't tell me bed sharing isn't safe

I am fed up. I'm fed up with all the people out there who say that if you sleep with your baby, your baby will die. I'm tired of the doctors and the nurses who are uneducated and lazy. I want to punch the city of Milwaukee in their heads. I'm just sick of it. Sometimes I get so freaking tired of arguing with people who are SO sure that they're right I could just cry. It's like they won't even STOP and consider for ONE MINUTE that perhaps we might be onto something. I had a debate with a nurse today (on another FB group I run) about bed sharing and if it was safe. She requested that I give her proof that bedsharing was I did. And what does she say to me? "The AAP recommends you don't do it." I gave her scientific, researched, reputable sources...multiple sources...and she didn't even read them. She was so stuck in her own head and so convinced that she was right that she didn't even bother. Seriously? People like that just make my brain explode. I am not saying that ALL parents everywhere should bed share. I am FULLY aware that bed sharing is not the safest thing for everyone. HOWEVER. When bed sharing is done CORRECTLY and is, without a doubt, the safest, healthiest and best way for a baby to sleep. Can we consider the place with the LOWEST SIDS rates? Japan. Do you know how they sleep? On futon mattresses on the floor...WITH their babies. Hmmm...what does that tell us? 

What else points to bed sharing being safe? The fact that almost *all* SIDS deaths occur IN cribs. Yes, almost all of them. 

Oh, and don't forget the fact that virtually all studies that have been done regarding the supposed "dangers" of bed sharing, the parents were not bed sharing safely and correctly. Anything is dangerous if you don't do it safely. Can we talk about being in the car? Yes, let's. 

So, how many babies die a year in car accidents? Google to the rescue.Well. Would you LOOK AT THAT. According to Sutter Health, it is the LEADING cause of death and brain injuries in babies. 


Hmmm...was that extreme? Perhaps. Let's take a closer look at these deaths. Safe Mororists says that *at least* half of carseats are installed INCORRECTLY. Hmmmm...that might have something to do with deaths, do you think? I live in a cold climate. Brr...seriously it's like 20 degrees right now. If I went somewhere, I'd need a coat. So would my kids. SO, should I bundle them up in nice big, warm, down coats and toss them in their carseats like I see so many other people do? That might be another reason for these deaths. How many deaths by car accident could be prevented if every. single. carseat were installed correctly? If every single carseat was used properly?! Not all of them, for sure. I'm not sitting here saying that all car accident deaths are preventable. There are those deaths that occur when baby is installed completely correctly, so please understand that's not what I'm saying here. (And PS. regardless of the reason, every death is heart breaking and my heart aches for anyone seriously affected by a car accident.) 

Saying that bed sharing is unsafe is the exact same thing as saying that carseats and being in cars is unsafe for infants. If you do things correctly and safely, it's safe and healthy. If you don't, it's not. It's not like it's this HUGE amount of effort to put your mattress against the wall and on the floor. Nor is it a huge amount of effort to keep the comforter away from your baby. It's absolutely ridiculous to say that bed sharing isn't safe because you shouldn't have to go through all these extra efforts. Parenting is all about doing things differently for the sake of our baby's. Bed sharing, when done safely, is the best, safest and healthiest thing for a baby and study after study supports that. The ONLY times that babies have been harmed while bed sharing is, again, when it's done incorrectly.

So, there's my rant. It's a massive pet peeve of mine.

PS. Please go let the city of Milwaukee know what you think about these DISGUSTING ads:

1. Babies Sleep Better
2. Mamas sleep better
3. Breastfeeding is easier
4. It's contemporary parenting
5. Babies thrive better
6. Parents and infants become more connected
7. Reduces the risk of SIDS

Christa's reason why bed sharing is beneficial: 
It's how we're programmed. 
It feels right and normal. 
There is nothing sweeter and more lovely when snuggling your sweet baby. 
Getting up to go to the nursery sucks. 
We're aware of our babies.

...and on and on and on

PPSS (I don't even know what it is at this point):
An esteemed peer and friend from BabyLove MN also pointed this out:

In high income classes, most co sleeping deaths happened on a couch or in that fancy glider rocker...after they are told "no bed sharing".


  1. Did you see phd in parentings response to this? Hillarious. And I too have been quite disgusted by this. How about we get to the bottom of why the sids rate is so high in milwaukee instead of villifying a scapegoat.

  2. I wanted to comment and say I am a Nurse, and I was taught in nursing school that co-seeping is horrible for the baby and could kill them....Then I became a mom...I co-sleep with my baby! I love being connected with her! For the first 2 weeks, she slept on my chest, because it was the only way we both could get sleep! And now it's just easier to night nurse that way. Plus I love waking up to that precious little face smiling at me. So if that nurse you were talking to is not a mom, she would not understand at all! Maybe one day she will become a mom and understand...

  3. I co sleep with my daughter almost ever night and she will be 19 months on the 21st yes it CAN be dangerous BUT if done properly its fine like you said. My body is so use to co sleeping that when i put my daughter into her bed then she wakes up and climbs into bed with me with out waking me up she will cuddle up next to me and if i want to turn over my body WONT MOVE so i wake up and see her cuddling me. Then i smile and go back to sleep holding her we can even co sleep on a couch thats how use to it and its also so easy to nurse her when she wants it at night. Yes it CAN be dangerous if not done right. Now my daughter likes to climb next to me and grab the blankets and cover both of us give me a kiss and say nigh nigh and goes to sleep or nurses then goes to sleep.

  4. Sarah, I hear this more and more!! Nurses giving misinformation, until they live it, and suddenly changing thier attitudes! I took my daughter in one time for a fever (We have no pedi because she is not vaxed), I took her to the hospital. She was 8-9 mos old and running a consistant fever for over 24 hours. Then the nurse at check in started asking the usual questions, and told me if she wasn't vaxed and was bf, then she definately didn't have an ear infection. I was blown away. Some nurses are really smart, and some are only as good as their education!

    BTW, I co-sleep with a 2.5 year old, and a 11 mo old! They both still bf, so I sleep with one on each side, sometimes both on the same side, and my husband, and we manage to do just fine on a queen size bed!!! The kids are safe and healthy, and love sleeping with us! Matter of fact, my 6 year old still sleeps in our room in a toddler bed on my husbands side! Its great!!

  5. I am proud to say we are a cosleeping family. We coslept with my daughter until she decided she was ready for a big girl bed, and yes she decided on her own. Now, at 6yrs she still calls for me once in awhile if she is having a rough night or a bad dream. And now we are cosleeping with our almost 6month old. I couldn't breastfeed and sleep with him in another bed or another room. And personally I think it's cruel to put a baby in a room by themselves. We carry them around for 9 months in our bodies and then we're expected to get them as far away from us as possible. No way! I don't get outraged or guilty with these ads though because I understand they are not directed at me. They are directed at irresponisble people who will drink or smoke or take sleep meds or pile up the blankets and then go to sleep with their babies.

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  7. very well written. my daughter slept completely fine in her bassinet for the first 3 months of her life, then i CHOSE to bring her into my bed after that and coslept with her until 1 year. then, even after switching to her crib, she'd cosleep naps and sleep in my bed half the night after she woke up to breastfeed and i just brought her with me until i woke up again. its not for everyone, but it definitely was right for us. and of course, she was nowhere near the pillow, the comforter was not on her or my top half either, and she was between the wall and i. and now we enjoy a "sleepover" in my bed at least weekly and i enjoy the cuddle time. and even my new husband (and the only daddy she's ever known) is happy to share our bed with her and has no problem cosleeping when a baby #2 eventually comes along.