Parenting: Trust your gut over the gurus

PARENTING experts seem to be becoming just about as common as health and wellness experts - and about as reliable as well.

This week, "baby expert" Tizzy Hall, author of the controversial Save Our Sleep series, has come under fire after allegedly promoting unsafe car safety practices.

In her online shop she had a wrap for sale, with a picture of a baby swaddled in a car seat. The baby had another strap added to the five-point harness to keep the two overarm straps together.

Her post explained that it wasn't safe to have a swaddled baby in a car seat with a five-point harness unless there was another strap added.

The problem was Kidsafe Queensland advised the extra strap was not recommended and was designed to break apart in a crash, therefore your baby could be ejected from the child car restraint or could jackknife out.

It really got me thinking about two things. First, how did these "experts" develop such a reputation that their advice isn't even questioned.

And secondly, how have we become so lacking in confidence that we can't make decisions for ourselves without following what someone else is suggesting to us so blindly.

I can honestly say, I never read a self-help/advice book before I had children. I was quite confident to go about my life without the need for an "expert" to guide me.

Then I had my first child - and a stack of parenting books as long as your arm.

And I read them all. Out of desperation, doubt, uncertainty, recommendations and a lack of confidence.

But I was also pretty quick to realise that while a lot of different people make good points only I knew what was best for my family.

I tend to get most of my advice from friends and family and even then it is more for suggestions, not rules.

I feel like people are giving all their personal responsibility away and letting other people make decisions that are far too risky to mess with.

You only have to look at health and wellness "expert" Belle Gibson as an example of how wrong it can go.

Why are we suddenly letting "experts" make all our personal decisions for us without questioning them?

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