One dad’s Facebook post has sparked a co-sleeping debate that he never would have imagined.

When David Brinkley, of Oklahoma City in the U.S., posted a pic of his wife Alora sleeping with their baby and toddler, he didn’t expect that it would go viral. The dad thought he was just posting a sweet picture of his loving family.

In the post Brinkley wrote of his wife, “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’.” He went on to add, “This blew my mind and has bothered me for days.”


Brinkley admits that he sometimes does have to squeeze into a small corner of the bed. But, he also praises his wife for being the mother that she is and says he would never disregard or degrade anything she would do for their children.

As the post grew in popularity, plenty of people began to second-guess (or just plain ol’ troll) the couple’s view on co-sleeping. Aside from the random comments about the dad not getting to sleep in his bed with his wife, some commenters went farther and judged the mum and dad’s boundaries and even questioned their children’s safety.

Okay, in all fairness, there were plenty of positive comments. Other parents praised the couple and talked about how amazing co-sleeping has been for them. Obviously, Brinkley is a loving partner who has a deep respect for his wife.

Then there were the safe sleeping comments. Even though there were comments that focused on the beauty and love that co-sleeping breeds, some people also brought up the safety issue. This sparked a debate about co-sleeping. Yes, there are parents who have seen the benefits of co-sleeping first hand. The feel closer to their kiddos, have an easier time nursing and feel like this is a completely natural way to sleep. But, some medical pros don’t agree that co-sleeping is beneficial.

It’s not necessarily that the pros think co-sleeping won’t benefit babies. It’s more that they see the potential harm in it. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) revised safe sleeping guidelines infants should sleep in the same room as their parents. But, not on the same surface. At least, not for the first six months. The AAP notes that sharing a room with baby can cut the risk of SIDS by as much as half. Even so, they also recommend that baby sleeps in the room, but not in the parents’ bed – preferably for the first year.

The mum pictured peacefully co-sleeping with her kids answered back to the safety advocates on Facebook by posting, “This picture was taken when I was having one of the hardest days as a mom. I was tired, I was unshowered, I had a million things still to do and all I wanted to do was sit and cry and I was so emotional. This was a special nap time experience- 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 added, “We would never put our children in a dangerous situation and our night time sleeping looks completely different than this. As far as co sleeping goes that was not the point of my husband’s post.”

With the co-sleeping controversy brewing, the mum also wrote, “Again Co sleeping was NOT the point of the post. Just my husband noticing and feeling sad that there are some women out there that feel like they can’t be the moms and women they want to be because they don’t have the encouragement they should have. It was simply a gesture to encourage others to support what’s important.”

Whether you’re a fan of co-sleeping or not, this dad’s point is entirely awesome. If only every dad was that rad!

Author

Erica Loop is a mum, parenting writer and educator with an MS in child development. Along with writing for websites such as PBS Parents, care.com, Scary Mommy, mom.me, Modern Mom, education.com and others, she also is the creator of a kids' activities and art blog.

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