Friday, July 08, 2011

friday forte: in defence

d25/365 him and me 
co-sleeping prep

It's not often I waste my precious 'blogging-as-therapy' time rattling on about someone else but today is an exception.


According to recent media reports, infant deaths are increased in number this year compared with last year, and the blame is being firmly placed on co-sleeping. Allegedly, over half this year's deaths involved adults sharing sleeping arrangements with the infant. A child's death is always a tragedy for all involved, but I don't think that the blanket bans on co-sleeping are warranted. Statistically more people (including babies) die in a bed but that hasn't led to beds being banned outright. So why should co-sleeping be so vilified in the media and by a large number of medical professionals?

This vilification recently extended to an extremely unbalanced report featuring my friend, Amber, which aired on CBC this week. Faced up against a medical representative, Amber's family decision to co-sleep was branded irresponsible and she was not given the chance to explain what measures were in place to ensure safety. Neither was a 'professional' supporting view included in the post, thus pitting poor 'amateur' Amber against the mighty good of a trained medical 'expert'.

For those of you who do co-sleep, you will know that there is a great deal of advice available regarding safe practices and potential hazards to avoid. Decluttering the family bed of plush bedding, squishy mattresses, and other suffocation hazards is a must, as is the reminder to never co-sleep under the influence of alcohol or hypnotic drugs/sedatives. Wise families note never to fall asleep with a child on a sofa. There are so many precautions which can be taken and simple measures available.

Wise families will also know where to turn to for advice. I chose Deborah Jackson's "Three In A Bed" as my primary source (attention: affiliate link on the left), with supplemental reading provided by both Drs. Sears and James Mackenna, both strong advocates of co-sleeping's benefits to both parents and child. Wise families will heed advice on unsafe scenarios, such as drugs, alcohol use, positioning baby in bed, and even consider whether obesity is a risk factor. Wise families are generally informed families and will not likely fall into accidental bed sharing which can be unsafe.

In summary, they will provide a safe sleeping environment for their infant.
So why can't we get balanced, informative reporting instead of the tabloid sensationalism? You know, maybe provide actual news rather than bias for a change?
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