Brace yourselves. I am about to speak words of blasphemy to many new mothers. Ready? Do you have your fingers in the angry-comment position? Okay.
I do not like Dr. Sears.
There, I said it. Now, I have nothing against the man personally. I've never met him or interacted with him in any way, so it would be entirely unfair to dislike him on that level. What I don't like is the phenomenon that is Dr. Sears. The figurehead. The ultimate authority.
Dr. Sears is everywhere. Open up a magazine on babies and toddlers, and chances are good that you'll find an article written by him. Baby products proudly announce that they are endorsed by Dr. Sears. "But he is full of wisdom about babies," you might say. I'm sure that is true. I'm sure that his advice has helped plenty of parents.
That being said, he is not the god of pediatricians. "Because Dr. Sears said so" should not be the end of any discussion. I have encountered that attitude entirely too often. Your method of parenting is not necessarily better just because it is endorsed by Dr. Sears. There are other pediatricians and baby experts in the world, and I can even have an opinion different from all of them.
Really, I think we rely on "experts" entirely too often for things that are not serious health questions. Maybe it goes back to that need for validation that I've mentioned before. We as parents need some way to say "I'm doing a good job because..." But these experts are not in our homes with our babies. Their advice can be useful, but it shouldn't be used as an ultimate authority.
It is time to rely more on Dr. Mom and Dr. Dad.