Did My Laotian Grandmothers Use a Crib?

I have been on a mission to be as Laotian-like as possible. I know I am lagging on my Weekly Lao Food Challenge and I know I don’t speak nearly enough of the Lao language to Humnoy but I think my parents’ mothers would be proud of the other things I do for my baby. For instance, we bed-share and that practice is now being policed by the City of Milwaukee. My favorite page, peaceful parenting asked its fans to post informed comments on a news channel’s page in regards to the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s new campaign to stop the practice of co-sleeping. Here is their campaign statement:

Safe Sleep for Your Baby

The leading cause of infant mortality in the U.S. is primarily due to complications of prematurity. In Milwaukee, the second leading cause is SIDS, which is often related to unsafe sleep.  The majority of babies who died of SIDS-related causes in Milwaukee were in an unsafe sleep situation.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department strongly advises parents NOT to share a bed with their infant. This is based on an American Academy of Pediatrics 2005 Policy Statement which states that the “risk of SIDS has been shown to be reduced when the infant sleeps in the same room as the mother,” but the AAP recommends that infants not share a bed with parents or anyone else, due to proven hazards.

Co-Sleeping Defined

The term “co-sleeping” can be confusing, as it is used both to refer to sharing a bed and sharing a room. To clarify the distinction, many pediatric experts now refer to “bed-sharing” (referring to a infant who is sleeping in the same bed, couch, or other surface where parents or others are sleeping), and “room-sharing” (referring to a infant who is sleeping in the parents’ room, but in their own crib or bassinet).

City of Milwaukee Health Department’s Safe Sleep Awareness Campaign

Although the number of babies who died after sleeping in an unsafe sleep environment dropped in 2008, the overall rate of such deaths has remained high in the last decade, prompting public health officials to launch a provocative city-wide safe sleep campaign to prevent them.

Here is one of their campaign pictures:

I’m not mad at the health department for building hysterics with an extreme propagandist image. I’m not mad that they say bed-sharing is dangerous because there are preventative hazards. I’m mad that they choose not to educate the safe ways to bed-share. I’m mad that I can’t promote the benefits of bed-sharing without getting ridiculed that I’m risking my child’s life. I’m mad because a story of a baby who suffocated in a bed will mean my baby and all other co-sleeping babies around the world will too. Even my kid’s doc touted this noise at me. I’m mad that I have had to defend breastfeeding, cloth diapering, non-vaccinating, and now co-sleeping! What’s next? I have defend my kid being half-Laotian? On the Facebook comments, I put in my sarcastic two-cents when I help defend in Mommy Wars then live and let live. I realize that all parents who are unwilling to consider the opposition are a big waste of time. The same goes for me because if you’re for circumcision, you’re wasting your time trying to convince me of anything! Let’s not even go there with that formula is “just as good” either! Oh, you want to tell me about an epidural? I didn’t ask! I will share my experiences with those who are willing to fully inform themselves but I won’t waste my time and energy if you’re closing yourself off.  Ya dig?

What are your thoughts on the City of Milwaukee’s campaign?


20 thoughts on “Did My Laotian Grandmothers Use a Crib?

    • Oh, if they did, that would push the envelope beyond hippie mamas being livid! So, it’s agreeable that their advertising agenda is pretty provocative and too much. You never know, maybe they will kick it up a notch and prop in a hand grenade for their next phase of campaigning.

  1. Or a dirty syringe!! That was too much!! Personally I would never co-sleep because i’m a super heavy sleeper. Not only do I toss and turn but I have a tendency to sleep through my alarm!! But my sister has co-slept with all three of her kids and they are just fine! I don’t see the problem with it!! With the exception of parents who are heavy sleepers! Fear campaigns do nothing but hold people back!!… and ewww, is there any surface at your place that is legitimately clean?!!

  2. Ditto, ditto on your points about the upsides and safe Cosleeping which should of been shared as alternative advice! That picture is horrid!! (and of course it’s dangerous to put a baby on his tummy on a squishy bed, with fluffy things surrounding him, a paper diaper and a butcher knife!-duh!)
    I am still laughing about the reply on bmilk in your husbands oatmeal!:)

    • I still laugh about it too because he was so distraught afterward! 😀

      The fear mongering works because on that Facebook thread I commented on (still debating going on, mind you) the anti- bed sharing Moms started name-calling. It was embarrassing.

  3. I co sleep with my 18 month old and wouldnt have it any other way! Th pictures for that campaign are rather extreme I think and here in South Africa we have not had anything like that done but other mommies do judge for co-sleeping(bed sharing). Great post I enjoyed reading it

    • Thank you! That’s just my point – no matter if we co-sleep or something other than the norm, we will be judged. It’s unfortunate that this campaign is gaining more followers by instilling fear to its citizens and believers. Thank you for stopping by!

  4. We co-sleep (bed-share) too. That campaign is RIDICULOUS. Who comes up with this stuff?? As it is, I already get raised eyebrows from a lot of people when I tell them that, but if that campaign was floating around too? Geez. I have one happy healthy baby who apparently has been lucky to survive my parenting practices for 9 whole months. I guess I’ve got a hardy one.

    • That thread was so full of misinformation. The mother who said her child died “from” SIDS was very judgmental and misguided, she kept accusing informed, bed-sharing mothers that we didn’t care that her baby died because we still do it against “all” evidence.

  5. LOL! Really, Milwaukee??? Your ad is a bit extreme!!! I’m sure everyone that co-sleeps are sure to bring their meat cleaver to bed with them and oh, yeah, they make sure they have abundantly fluffy pillows and blankets too! GRRRR! So annoying that they choose to scare people instead of educate them!!! I still co-sleep with my little 18 month old, it works for my family. I make sure I have a tight fitted bed sheet, no fluffy blankets or pillows! In fact for the first 6 months I didn’t even have a pillow in the bed–my arm was my pillow! I didn’t even cover my baby up with a blanket, I just folded mine up and made sure it only covered me, to keep baby warm, I just dressed him in warm –but not too warm– pajamas! Even my night gowns were snug fitting and if there were any buttons, I cut them off so baby couldn’t choke on one if it came lose!!! —Obviously you wouldn’t put your baby to bed with a meat cleaver—“just as dangerous” Wow!!! Really, the issue here is the lack of education on benefits of co-sleeping, breastfeeding, peaceful parenting, etc, etc….. I just can’t say anymore, I’m in disbelieve with this ad!

    • HAHA @ you cutting off your buttons because I can see you doing that. You’re such a peaceful mama, that’s why!

      The problem with that campaign is that it’s so misleading and they have so much authority in the matter already. I’m frightened that the masses will give in to the hysteria! You don’t see them spending tax dollars on providing safety tips in bed sharing or that a mother’s instincts are so in-tune with her child. One day….

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    • Let me just say this: I love that my favorite parenting website stopped by my blog! You’re like the Justin Beiber to my tween obsession!

      Okay, back to task at hand: Although there are those who are strongly close-minded against the safe practices of bedsharing, I’m confident in the fact that our messages will affect the questioning parent who is in search of information. If they are following their instinct as a peaceful parent, they will realize that they would never do something deemed “unsafe” to their child(ren). It is also important for that said instinct is a big proponent for both baby and parent in safe co-sleeping! Instincts will never fail and I hope a pregnant mama, a questioning dad, or an anti- co sleeping will see that, in addition to all the negativity, there are outnumbering facts to safe practices.

  7. Pingback: Cycle of Cultural Sleep: 5 Real Reasons for Co-Sleeping | The Laotian Commotion

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