One of the most important things I’ve learned in my life is to never accept information as truth without double checking it. People have developed so much respect for certain professions, e.g. doctors, priests, etc. that they have decided to trust them blindly. In my opinion, that is a huge mistake.
Especially when it comes to parenting, don’t just take people’s advice. Do your own research. As my LLL leader always says, gather information from a variety of sources. Don’t just do what everybody else does- society’s norms aren’t always the best way to go. Actually, in our current society, I would say that most norms are not the best choice...
You owe it to yourself and your family to scrutinize everything. I talked to so many parents who either take advice from other parents or from doctors and just follow it without thinking twice. For me, one source is never enough. Read books, articles, studies, blogs, etc. about the subject in question and make a truly informed decision.
If I had listened to my doctors years ago when I had terrible health problems and they told me it was all in my head, who knows where I would be today. Instead, I listened to my gut feeling and knew in my heart that my problems were not psychosomatic. I went from doctor to doctor until I found one who would listen and was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I am so glad I didn’t accept the wrong opinions, but searched for the right ones.
Parents, I beg you to ask questions and get informed! Before you consent to procedures that are to be done on you, your baby or your older child, find out all you can about it. Before you use a method of discipline or sleep 'training' that has been recommended to you, research it thoroughly. Just because something has been common practice for decades doesn’t mean that it is the best thing for you or your child. Look at the history, the origins, the studied effects, etc.
Most importantly, trust your instincts. If something seems wrong to you, if it leaves a nasty feeling in the pit of your stomach, don’t do it. Find an alternative that feels right to you. Don’t just conform. Question everything!