When Co-Sleeping Should Be Treated as a Crime

police lightsFor some parents, co-sleeping is something that's decided either while mama is still pregnant or right after she gives birth. For others, co-sleeping is one of those things that just happens. Whether it's because it's the only way a child will sleep or a little one winds up crawling into bed with Mom and Dad every night, some parents don't have much of a say when it comes to bed-sharing. But regardless of the reasoning behind co-sleeping, there are safety precautions that always need to be in place when this happens. Because guess what? Co-sleeping, if not done properly, might not just be dangerous, it could be illegal soon.


After the 10th co-sleeping-related death happened on Friday in Milwaukee, the County Supervisor said that the parents of infants and toddlers who die while sleeping in bed with them should be put in jail. He feels that these deaths are more than a tragedy -- they should be treated as a crime.

The announcement came last week, after a toddler died co-sleeping with his mother. The boy had crawled into her bed after she was asleep, and she didn't feel him. And, when she woke, she found her son unresponsive, wedged between her and the wall. Could this have been prevented? Yes! Because later on, it was revealed that the mother allegedly was drinking margaritas and vodka, and smoking marijuana.

If a baby tragically dies sleeping in bed with his parents -- and no foul play or unsafe circumstances are found -- no, parents shouldn't be arrested, as babies sadly die of SIDS while they're alone in their crib. But if it's a case where the death could have been prevented -- i.e., drinking is involved, or a newborn was placed in a bed with older siblings -- I think the person responsible should absolutely be put in jail. This is a child's life we're talking about here. There should be no gray area whatsoever.

Do you think unsafe co-sleeping should be treated as a crime?


Image via Scott Davidson/Flickr

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