Safety always has to come before sweetness, and unfortunately singer Macklemore made a big parenting mistake in this area recently. As adorable as the picture he recently shared of him and his 4-month-old daughter napping may be, there’s one major problem with it.
In the picture he posted on Instagram over the weekend, you see him and his gorgeous baby daughter, Sloane Ava Simone Haggerty, who was born May 29, sleeping together peacefully. It’s all sorts of heartwarming at first glance, but then you see how little Sloane is swaddled, which is a big safety no-no when it comes to co-sleeping.
While wrapping or swaddling babies definitely has some benefits to calm and soothe them and help them sleep on their backs, swaddling while co-sleeping is a danger. Experts warn that to reduce the risk of SIDS and other fatal sleep accidents, babies should not be wrapped if they’re sleeping with an adult.
Also, there’s the problem of that big, fluffy comforter in the picture, when we know that one of the most important things parents can do to minimize the risk of SIDS is to provide a flat, firm surface free of soft bedding for babies. Also, bed-sharing in general is a controversial parenting move. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advise against co-sleeping. Others tout the benefits, but if you do choose to co-sleep, it’s important that you take every safety precaution, which includes not swaddling and not having any soft bedding nearby.
So as much as we want to love this picture, we can’t. There are approximately 3,500 cases of sudden unexpected infant deaths each year in the United States, and among the most common causes are SIDS and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. This picture really captures some safety issues that can cost lives and unimaginable heartbreak for families.
Hopefully it was a posed picture and the singer and his wife know the dangers of co-sleeping when a baby is swaddled like this. Still, the dangerous message it sends is one that can’t be ignored, no matter how sweet the picture looks.