Monday, June 4

my very first letter to the editor

The Article:

Unsafe sleeping arrangements cause rise in infant deaths: report

My Response:

Dear CBC,

As the mother of a happy co-sleeping toddler, I resent being lumped together with people ignorant or uninformed enough to fill their baby's crib with suffocation hazards.

I am educated and intelligent and did a lot of research before deciding to co-sleep with my infant. Co-sleeping is a safe arrangement, when done properly, that works wonderfully for many families. As the LLL points out, co-sleeping helps breastfeeding mothers establish and maintain that relationship and through my own conversations with parents I have found that, among my friends, the majority sleep at least part of the night with their babies. Co-sleeping allows parents (mainly mothers) to get more sleep, ensuring better functioning during awake times, co-sleeping creates a bond between babies and parents and helps establish a feeling of trust and safety because the babies needs are being met.

As responsible journalists, I would urge you to seek out more information - your expert is only viewing one factor of many in the cause of infant sleeping deaths. I would like to point out an excellent article for parents by Dr. Alan Greene: SIDS, The Family Bed, and The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission: http://www.drgreene.org/body.cfm?id=21&action=detail&ref=953

The family bed is a safe and wonderful place for many families, for the first years, we followed the same safety rules we would in a crib, mainly we always made certain there were no suffocation hazards and would never sleep together if either one of us were intoxicated.

The parents who would sleep with their babies while drunk or otherwise intoxicated are just as irresponsible as those who would fill their child's crib with adult pillows - don't paint us all with the same brush, it is incredibly offensive.

Sincerely,

Kate Harris

Mother of Sebastian - 26 months.


*** now I appreciate that the CBC was simply reporting on this coroner's report - but could they not have looked further than LLL? There is more to co-sleeping than breastfeeding, and no fucking way can you lump most co-sleepers in with someone who would place adult pillows in a crib.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

Awesome letter - thanks for writing it! Kristi