Attention Parents: Choose Your Parenting Information Wisely!

By: Dr. Meg Meeker

I’ve been a pediatrician for more than 25 years, and I’ve worked with parents from a variety of different age groups. When I first started my practice, the Internet wasn’t nearly as as it is today; moms and dads did their parenting homework using books and magazine articles, in addition to materials I gave them. Of course, today’s parents have access to more resources than ever when they want information about raising their kids.  Some of this parenting information is great and medically sound, but unfortunately, a lot is very inaccurate.

Often tech savvy parents come in to my office armed with information about their kids’ conditions that they read from the Internet and then ask me advice related to it.  This has changed the way I interact with my patients in both positive and negative ways. I applaud these parents for taking the initiative to be as informed as possible but often I spend time clarifying what is true and not true regarding what they read.

It is important to help moms and dads think critically about what constitutes a trustworthy parenting resource, and this includes gathering reliable parenting information on infant nutrition. The best resources are solidly based on medically or scientifically proven fact. I’d recommend avoiding resources that seem to have an agenda, such as pushing parents into one infant feeding option over another, or even shaming them for the parenting decisions they make.

Ultimately I recommend just using common sense; if a website, book, magazine article, or any other parenting resource doesn’t seem right to you, disregard it. And always ask your doctor for recommendations. That’s what we’re here for!