When David Brinkley, from Oklahoma, posted a picture on Facebook of his wife, young son and new baby all sleeping together, he got more reactions than he thought he would. David had thought that the picture was just the most beautiful thing and in this spirit, he posted it.
“My wife is a best friend kind of woman. She has hours upon hours of long conversations with her friends ALL the time and occasionally I get to hear little pieces. Recently she was talking to a friend and they were talking about this thing called “co-sleeping” and I heard the other person ask ‘doesn’t your husband hate that? My husband would never let me do that.’ This blew my mind and has bothered me for days. So I just decided to come out as a man and set a few things straight.
I do NOT hate any part of what makes my wife the mother that she is. I would NEVER degrade or disregard anything that she feels like doing for my children. Do I have to squeeze into a small corner of the bed sometimes? Yeah? But my God how beautiful does she look holding my children? Making them feel loved and safe?
The thing is that our wives only experience these little seasons in motherhood for a short time. They carry our babies, they birth them, they nurture them and maybe while they are little they let them crawl into our beds and snuggle. But eventually our babies get bigger they grow up they get “too cool” for snuggles so why would we as men want to steal a single second of this time from them?
Being mothers is part of their identity and what’s a year or 3 out of decades of life spent together? I just want to say that I am proud of the decisions my wife makes as a mom and I support every single one of them. I would never want to rob her of this time she has or these seasons that are in reality too short to not enjoy. Please respect your wives as mothers.”
After being shared by over 500,000 people, the reactions started to appear. There was a definite group of people who were absolutely against co-sleeping. Most of the people who disagreed with co-sleeping brought up very valid points such as the safety of the baby, and the possibility of the infant being suffocated while asleep.
One reply told Davis and his wife that they should remember the ‘A,B,C of safe sleep’. Another mentioned that she felt it was not safe as children got rolled on all the time. Added to that she thought it created behavioural problems with children learning not to sleep on their own.
On the converse, it seemed that there were many more parents who agreed with the co-sleeping issue, even producing their own pictures. Opinions were that before we became a civilised society, the whole family slept together. Many parents had placed the first baby in their own room, but had gone on to let the second and third babies sleep in the same bed as mom and dad, and they thought that the babies bonded better with the parents.
Susan Castellano, health director at Minnesota department of health suggests against sleeping with a baby as you may accidentally suffocate them. It is also possible to increase the risk of Sudden Infant death Syndrome (SIDS). A staggering 3,500 babies die each year from SIDS. Castellano suggests having the baby sleep in the same room, but not in the same bed as the parents. Is it really worth the risk to have a baby sleeping in the same bed, when you may possibly suffocate them? She feels that there are better ways to bond with a newborn, such as breastfeeding, or cuddling when you are awake. This way there are not dangers of injury.
“First of all, you can’t argue with [Brinkley’s] sentiment and his support of his wife. That was so sweet,” Susan said. “But I think the danger is that we do know co-sleeping can end in infant death. It does. It happens all the time.”
Dr James McKenna from the Mother-Baby Behavioural Sleep Laboratory thinks that it is wrong to try and scare new parents with statistics about baby deaths. He thinks that in fact it is very hard to make co-sleeping dangerous. His viewpoint is that babies always have done, and always will go on sleeping next to their mothers.
“It’s biology. When [a baby’s] touching, hearing and smelling the mother that’s making an enormous difference in body temperature, heart rate, hormonal levels… they’re all being regulated by that direct contact,” he explained. “Human infants are contact seekers on which their survival depends being as close to that mother as they possibly can.”
David’s wife posted that in her opinion her children were never in any danger of coming to any harm because they were in bed with her.
“I laid down to nurse my daughter- my 2 year old son came in to snuggle with his baby sister. My husband supervised this entire experience and made it possible for me to comfortably lay with them both like this as he very lovingly and carefully watched over us,” she said.
“We would never put our children in a dangerous situation and our night time sleeping looks completely different than this.”
“It’s impossible not to offend someone with a difference of life or opinion and that’s so sad to me.To say hurtful things just because you don’t like a picture or don’t like a post that you didn’t have to read in the first place is just an unnecessary waste of time. It’s ok to just be ourselves.”
After all the response to a simple picture, which was indeed one of the sweetest momentoes of the young family, David and his wife removed the posts from Facebook.
Source: CBS News