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Unfortunately, some people who go around giving parenting advice do not know as much as they think they do. Bad parenting advice can be dangerous. How does one decide what is good and what is bad advice when it comes to raising children?
Know-it-all parents (you know the kind) are just once such danger. Their advice, which can sometimes be very, very bad indeed, can cause harm to children.
One such example is parents who tell others that their infants eat too much. When my youngest daughter was about four months old (just a few months ago), she was eating five-to-six ounces every two hours. The doctor was not the least bit concerned about this, and he was quite impressed by her growth (height and weight were both healthy and normal). I went to a parenting forum online to ask for advice on increasing my milk supply (she was breastfeeding) while pumping and bottling rather than nursing. There was not a single mother who actually answered my question; instead, they all exclaimed, "OMG! She's eating too much! A baby her age should be eating half that!" Luckily for Miss Lucy, I am not the kind of woman who just assumes know-it-all parents actually know it all. Since the doctor was not concerned with her intake, and since she was gaining weight at a healthy rate, I had no concern with how much she was eating.
Sadly, some mothers are not quite so confident in their own instincts and common sense. These mothers would be at risk of doing something stupid, thanks to the mothers on that forum who think they know more than they do. Restricting a baby's food intake can be dangerous. When a baby is hungry, he or she needs to eat. Only your baby can tell you how much he or she should be eating. Lucy always makes it clear when she is done eating, and most babies are the same way. If a parent has concerns about how much his or her child is eating, the baby's pediatrician is the only person truly qualified to recommend restricting a baby's feedings. I would be willing to bet that almost no doctor would recommend doing so in an infant unless the child is morbidly obese, and how many infants have you seen who are that overweight? I have never, ever seen one.
As with all advice, one should never assume parenting advice is correct just because the person giving it thinks it is. Using common sense is the best way to counter the dangerous effects bad parenting advice can have. When in doubt, ask the doctor! Please, do not follow obnoxious advice from know-it-all parents. This could make your child become sick or even die! By restricting an infant's intake without speaking to a doctor first, a parent could cause a baby to become malnourished and possibly to starve to death.