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Milwaukee’s Offensive Anti-Cosleeping Campaign

20111117-110504.jpg See this poster? It’s part of Milwaukee’s new initiative to stop cosleeping to prevent infant deaths. Are infant deaths tragic? Yes. Are misinformed scare tactics a good idea? No.

I live in the Milwaukee area and am appalled by the comparison of sleeping with a butcher knife. I mean, I can be sharp, but I’m not careless with our sleeping arrangements. I meant to write about this the very night i saw the start of this campaign, but I had to cool off so I wouldn’t go off in an unprofessional manner! While I agree something needs to be done to improve the infant mortality rate in Milwaukee, I don’t think further misinformation through scare tactics is the appropriate avenue. Why are these babies dying? My guess (since their data is lacking) is they weren’t safely cosleeping to begin with which means they need EDUCATION, not to be terrified.

This ad campaign puts people like myself under unnecessary fire. People who safely cosleep are being lumped into the knife cuddling baby image. Cosleeping itself is not the problem. In a city with high alcohol consumption and drug usage, those, among other factors such as education, need to be addressed as well.

I feel sorry for the people seeing these posters, especially new mothers. They might be like I was – terrified to cosleep but baby won’t sleep any other way. I agonized over this dilemma until I educated myself on safety precautions. If I had been exposed to this campaign I would have feared social services would knock down my door and snatch my baby right out of my bed. These images send the message that cosleeping is never safe and it puts your baby in imminent danger when that simply is not true.

And what do you know? We survived the first year.

what are your thoughts?


Saturday 26th of November 2011

I don't live in Milwaukee, so I'm thankful my tax dollars aren't supporting a government that is trying to tell parents where sleep their babies. We have a six month old who has slept in our bed since we found that to be the place where everyone would get a healthier amount of sleep. The first night, I discovered it was also the most natural place for our baby to sleep as my little newborn made his way up to my face. He instinctually knew what to do.

all natural katie

Saturday 19th of November 2011

I know this is a serious issue, but I just had to laugh at the campaigns. Who in the world thought of putting a knife in the bed with a baby! Not the right way to get the message across!


Thursday 17th of November 2011

My 17 month old still cosleeps, although it might be hard to break her of it now, it was the only way any of us could sleep for many months. Nursing through the night, it was just easier on everyone. Education is key; this ad is ridiculous and in poor taste.

ashleigh walls

Thursday 17th of November 2011

Cosleeping was the only way I COULD get my son to sleep. He's 6 months now and sleeps in his crib but sometimes I still take naps with him. I never felt like there was any part of it that was unsafe, like blankets over his head or pillows. I slept at his eye level without a pillow and just held him close to me.

This is way out of line and puts a bad message at parents who do co sleep. There just needs to be more education. In my town there is just way to much child abuse with young parents being frustrated with the baby crying and NOTHING seems to be done about it. PROPER EDUCATION not flat out trying to horrify parents.


Thursday 17th of November 2011

Exactly my thoughts! So much of it just boils down to education. I had the same thing with my daughter - she refused to sleep on her own but once we started cosleeping we ALL got sleep and GOOD sleep too!

Diva Locks

Thursday 17th of November 2011

I agree the ad and image is a little extreme in my opinion. I don't have much experience with co-sleeping as a parent, only when my first born was a baby he slept with us because I was paranoid of SIDS and I made sure he was away from any pillows or blankets or anything that could pose a threat. By the time my daughter was born (2nd born) she was in the bassinet next to my side of the bed until she moved into her crib. But I think education is the key to being successful at co-sleeping. But as I child I slept with my parents until I was about 6 or 7. It was heavenly I loved it, their bed was my bed too :)