A TikTok mom with more than 100,000 followers is facing criticism for saying that baby cribs are “baby jail cells” and equating their use to “abuse.” Commenters clapped back, with one calling the video a “big yikes.”
Alice Bender, whose TikTok username is @comingupfern, makes videos about raising her baby vegan and why she is against vaccinating children. In a video posted Wednesday, she says that typical American nurseries are set up for the “parents’ benefit, not the child’s.”
“We literally buy these little baby jail cells so we can leave our baby in there and walk away,” Bender says. “I don’t have a crib because I will never enforce a bedtime for my child.”
Bender adds that “babies are people, too, and forcing anyone to sleep when they’re not tired is inhumane.
“Imagine if your partner locked you in a container you couldn’t get out of and forced you to sleep when you’re not tired,” she says. “That would be abuse and you would probably leave them.”
Bender, who did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment, ends the video by showing her baby’s nursery, including her baby’s bed on the floor. She says the floor bed “allows the baby to sleep when the baby is tired and get up and move around when the baby isn’t.”
The video, which accumulated over 7.6 million views and 790,000 likes, prompted much criticism and many memes.
One commenter pointed out that babies do not have “regulatory mechanisms developed yet to determine ‘i feel tired’ = ‘i should close my eyes and go to sleep.'” Another wrote, “call child protective services someone.”
One person commented, “Babies deserve the right to bodily autonomy just like we do. If they wanna go play on the highway…I’m just saying.”
The internet is a web of conflicting information about how and where infants should sleep, but the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that babies are put to sleep flat on their backs on a firm surface like a crib in the parents’ bedroom. These conditions are best for preventing sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
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