Monday, November 16, 2009

Review: The Happiest Baby on the Block

The Happiest Baby on the Block The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

In perhaps the most important parenting book of the decade, Dr. Harvey Karp reveals an extraordinary treasure sought by parents for centuries --an automatic “off-switch” for their baby’s crying.

No wonder pediatricians across the country are praising him and thousands of Los Angeles parents, from working moms to superstars like Madonna and Pierce Brosnan, have turned to him to learn the secrets for making babies happy.

Never again will parents have to stand by helpless and frazzled while their poor baby cries and cries. Dr. Karp has found there IS a remedy for colic. “I share with parents techniques known only to the most gifted baby soothers throughout history …and I explain exactly how they work.”

In a innovative and thought-provoking reevaluation of early infancy, Dr. Karp blends modern science and ancient wisdom to prove that newborns are not fully ready for the world when they are born. Through his research and experience, he has developed four basic principles that are crucial for understanding babies as well as improving their sleep and soothing their senses:

·The Missing Fourth Trimester: as odd as it may sound, one of the main reasons babies cry is because they are born three months too soon.

·The Calming Reflex: the automatic reset switch to stop crying of any baby in the first few months of life.

·The 5 “S’s”: the simple steps (swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking) that trigger the calming reflex. For centuries, parents have tried these methods only to fail because, as with a knee reflex, the calming reflex only works when it is triggered in precisely the right way. Unlike other books that merely list these techniques Dr. Karp teaches parents exactly how to do them, to guide cranky infants to calm and easy babies to serenity in minutes…and help them sleep longer too.

·The Cuddle Cure: the perfect mix the 5 “S’s” that can soothe even the most colicky of infants.

In the book, Dr. Karp also explains:

What is colic?

Why do most babies get much more upset in the evening?

How can a parent calm a baby--in mere minutes?

Can babies be spoiled?

When should a parent of a crying baby call the doctor?

How can a parent get their baby to sleep a few hours longer?

Even the most loving moms and dads sometimes feel pushed to the breaking point by their infant’s persistent cries. Coming to the rescue, however, Dr. Karp places in the hands of parents, grandparents, and all childcare givers the tools they need to be able to calm their babies almost as easily as…turning off a light.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
*Checked out through the Arlington Public Library*

Another book that I found while looking around the Arlington Public Library was drom Dr. Harvey Karp, the Happiest Toddler on the Block. This reminded me of a suggestion when AppleBlossom was born to read, "The Happiest Baby on the Block", so through inter-library loan I requested it. It came in two days later and I was able to jump right in. Well, honestly I was disappointed. I felt like the things mentioned were basically common sense and nothing I was not already doing. The other downer, which I guess is my own fault is that this book is really for the first three months of baby's postpartum life (or the fourth trimester) of which we are two weeks from being over. So, had I read this prior to AppleBlossom's birth, or immediately after it would have been interesting and probably helpful. I'm sure most of these things I found by trial and error and it could have saved me time. So, in this case, it may be a great book for someone to read, if they get it at the right time.

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2 comments and creative thoughts:

TeamOSM said...

I enjoyed this book, and found most of it to be helpful, but I read it while still pregnant. =)

Amy K said...

I've actually never read the book, but I've seen the movie twice. I work as and L&D nurse and ALWAYS recommend the video to my families, even if this is not their first child. It has so many great tips to help with crying babies. I use these tips all the time in the nursery and they WORK!!!

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