26 June 2008

What works for our family

Hubby says I'm a lot more 'crunchy' since I've had the baby. It actually started when I first started reading a lot of information online when I was pregnant. And how I thought things would be when I imagined having a baby before? Totally not how I ended up wanting them. Thankfully hubby was also willing to read up and do his own research, and we're on the same page with our choices for baby Maggie.

Co-sleeping is our choice for our family. Maggie sleeps on our queen-sized bed between my husband and I. When she was tinier, she had an actual foam incline-sleeper that went between our pillows. Now she usually sleeps in the crook of my arm, where she can easily access my breast if she wakes up hungry, or otherwise wants to be comforted. This arrangement works for our family. We know of families that it didn't work for, and that's fine.

What's been on my mind lately is the public service announcements that are going around about co-sleeping. On our way home the other day, we passed a billboard that read, "My crib. Not your bed." I think it was WIC that had sponsored it. My first reaction was to be pissed off. I've done my research. We follow the commonly given suggestions for co-sleeping safely.

As I thought about it for just another minute, I realized that the billboard was directed at the lowest-common denominator. Is their billboard going to help a baby that is taken to its parents' bed for convenience by a drunk or drugged parent? Is the billboard going to make someone who is not educated about co-sleeping think twice before putting a baby in the middle of a mess of blankets and pillows? I hope so.

What I still don't like about the billboard? It leaves no credit to those who are making an informed decision to co-sleep. When my husband and I take Maggie to bed, she is not smothered in blankets, or smooshing her little face against a pillow or the wall. Unfortunately, when some people hear that we co-sleep, all they may know is that WIC says it's bad.

It's too bad that WIC has to try and take a stance on what works for our family. I sincerely hope that their campaign can save babies who are being thoughtlessly taken to bed (or couch, or chair) with their parents. But the people they are trying to reach probably aren't families who have made an informed decision about co-sleeping.

My baby sleeps in my bed. That's where we all feel the safest.


Carolyn said...

I know they talk about how it is supposed to reduce the risk of SIDs. I understand the campaign. It's not targeted at people like you that have made informed decisions. Heck, just last night hubby and I had a huge argument about covering Brandon with a blanket on his bottom half. The cradle is in our bedroom which is in the basement and as such is cold. Mom had only sent a light sleeper. We did put a blanket on his lower half. I know you aren't "supposed" to. But all of our kids had blankets. Jim was even surprised that you were supposed to lay him on his back. 3 of the 4 of our kids were tummy sleepers. I may be "crunchy" or "behind the times" but we co-slept for years. And all 4 of my kids turned out just fine.

Anonymous said...

Actually, one of the main reasons my kids have slept with me is because co-sleeping can LOWER the risk of SIDS. (Because they sense, hear and feel you breathe beside them.)

Ugh- I am glad I haven't seen that sign. I have faced so much opposition about the simple fact that my kids co-sleep. It's what works for us.

gail said...

I have my opinions on this but well, let's just say I co-sleep, all of them sometimes.

Those billboards piss me off too.

Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

Well said.

We just stopped co-sleeping this week because both me and Mr. Kickypants actually sleep better this way. I miss him and wish it weren't so, but it is. He sleeps better in his crib.

Tiffany said...

This is a great post. We co-slept until Prayse was about 7 moths-ish old. Honestly? I miss it. Hubby was against it from the start, but he respected my decision and now I respect his.

Not every issue is black and white, I wish people would recognize. You are informed, educated, and keeping things safe. Keep on keepin on! :)

Tammy said...

It's a shame that they have to spend money with billboards like that. I don't think the people they need to help read them. They need to be informed from the birthing center or hospital. You are doing a great job and Maggie sure is a happy little girl.

siteseer said...

you're doing a great job.