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The Happiest Baby on the Block Paperback – May 27, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Karp, a pediatrician in Santa Monica, Calif., and assistant professor at the School of Medicine, UCLA, offers a new method to calm and soothe crying infants. While nursing or being held satisfies some babies, others seemingly cry for hours for no reason. These babies suffer from what Karp calls the Fourth Trimester. When you bring your soft, dimpled newborn home from the hospital, you may think your nursery is a peaceful sanctuary.... To him, it's a disorienting world part Las Vegas casino, part dark closet! Karp recommends a series of five steps designed to imitate the uterus. These steps include swaddling, side/stomach position, shhh sounds, swinging and sucking. The book includes detailed advice on the proper way to swaddle a child, the difference between a gentle rocking versus shaking and more. According to the author, virtually all babies will respond to these strategies although some trial and error may be needed to find the most effective calming method. A number of the steps letting kids nurse more frequently or encouraging babies to use pacifiers, for instance contradict other childcare experts. However, parents who are at their wits' ends because of a baby's incessant crying will find this book invaluable. In fact, expectant parents may want to read it before they bring their newborns home from the hospital.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Karp offers a unique approach to the tantrums, melt-downs and overriding challenges that often accompany the demanding years from one to four.... Soothing and offers new hope and strategies to those who may have given up on making sense of the toddler years."—Publishers Weekly

“You want help? This is r-e-a-l help! The Happiest Toddler on the Block is one of the smartest parenting books of the past decade.  Over and over, parents will find themselves proclaiming, "Thanks, Dr. Karp…Now I get it! “—Kyle Pruett, MD, Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine and author of Fatherneed: Why Fathercare is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child

"Dr. Karp's approach is terrific...and fun! His book will help parents, grandparents and everyone who cares for toddlers be more effective."—Martin Stein, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, Children's Hospital San Diego

"Dr. Karp helps parents turn the "terrible" twos into "terrific" twos. His work will revolutionize the way our culture understands toddlers!"—Roni Cohen Leiderman, PhD, Associate Dean, Mailman Segal Institute for Early Childhood Studies, Nova Southeastern University

“Dr. Karp has done it again! Parents will find reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block a joyous adventure…with pearls of wisdom waiting for them on every page.”—Morris Green, MD, Director, Behavioral Pediatrics, Indiana University, Riley Hospital for Children, editor, Pediatric Diagnosis

“Dr. Karp's excellent approach gives parents the tools they need. His simple methods make raising rambunctious toddlers a whole lot easier.”—Steven Shelov, MD, Editor in chief of American Academy of Pediatrics’ Caring for Your Baby and Young Child

“Dr. Karp’s new book is an innovative, unique and thoroughly enjoyable guide to toddler behavior!” —Donald Middleton, MD, Professor of Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

"Parents will be delighted by this clever approach to communicating with toddlers. It allows us to see the world from our children's unique point of view."—Janet Serwint, Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Harriet Lane Children’s Clinic, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

"It really works! With great humor and a gentle touch, Dr. Karp shows how to raise happy, well-behaved toddlers. His book is invaluable.—Gabrielle Redford, Senior Editor, AARP The Magazine (and mother of 17-month-old twins)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 267 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (May 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553381466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553381467
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,581 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harvey Karp, MD., is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine, with a private practice in Santa Monica. Author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, Dr. Karp is a nationally renowned expert in child development, children's health and the environment, and breast-feeding. He lives with his wife and daughter in California.

For further information and for information about the award-winning The Happiest Baby DVD/video and The Happiest Toddler DVD/video, please visit www.thehappiestbaby.com

Customer Reviews

I didn't find this book until my baby was over a month old; I wish I'd read it while pregnant!
Linzita512
Dr. Karp did his best to make the book a very easy, fun read, chock-full of interesting and very useful information!
Iryne Berezovski
I feel like this book will help us know how to better comfort our baby and prevent some crying.
Indiana

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

583 of 598 people found the following review helpful By A reader on December 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
The advice in this book is pure magic. Our baby wasn't colicky but she was Very fussy. Everytime I did what this book suggested - swaddle, jiggle, hold sideways, and shush - she would stop crying instantly. Yes, Instantly. It was like pure magic. Nothing worked before this book. I encourage everyone to buy it, it is a life-saver.

I agree with a previous review, in that it is most helpful the first three months. That's what it's geared towards. The author calls it the fourth trimester and focuses on that. After I started swaddling her (as the author clearly isslustrates how to do) my daughter started sleeping through the night. I no longer need this book because I was able to be so responsive to her needs in the first three months, that she is now secure enough to sleep on her own without being swaddled.

This book is also very well organized. As a matter of fact, you don't even have to read the whole book! He has helpful summaries and bullet points along the way. Just reading one page where he clearly and succinctly summarizes everything can save your life the first three months and get your baby on the road to being a trusting, self-suffient child.

This book did more than just help me soothe my infant. It increased my self-esteem as a parent. I knew that jiggling my baby soothed her. But the horrified looks on people's faces when you start jiggling a baby! Oh my! At least after reading this book it helped me know that it was indeed ok to do what intutively worked.

Also, the author is right - there's no spoling a baby. I "spoiled" my daughter like crazy. And what do I have now?
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327 of 362 people found the following review helpful By Alex Atterbury on June 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
The thesis in the book is excellent - by understanding a baby's needs and how the first few months are really the "fourth trimester," we can learn to use his five-steps to calming a colicky infant.

The problem isn't that the advice is bad, because it's excellent and very practical. It's that he just repeats and repeats the same points, occasionally slipping in another nugget of useful info. This should be a 10-page handout, not a book. Heck, I probably could paste in enough directions for you to do this in this comment box, thus saving you from buying the whole book.

My advice - check it out from the library or borrow it, because in 20 minutes you'll have figured it out and you you can spend the money on diapers (the need of which cannot be abridged!).
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312 of 379 people found the following review helpful By Judith E. Golden on September 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent read - having a nice easy style and with some Anthropology thrown in. Be warned, this is not very good for babies over three months. I have a two month old who is fussy, and I found that I already used a lot of these techniques without knowing it! The one thing that has really been helpful so far is swaddling. It seems to help her take naps better. For 3 months and up, look at "The No-Cry Sleep Solution". It is similar to this book in that it uses a common sense approach to getting babies to calm down or sleep. Also, Healthy Sleep, Happy Child" gives a more scientific explanation of baby sleep.
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251 of 315 people found the following review helpful By dhari thein on May 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book saved our lives! Our little girl came home from the hospital wailing and it never stopped. She would cry for hours upon hours and nothing would soothe her--not cuddling, not feedings, not burping, not changings, not my mother-in-law (the baby soother extraordinaire), nothing...until this book!
The horror is finally over--the technique absolutely works every time. The book is well-written, easy to follow and the examples of other parents going through this are so reassuring. I am happy to report that now, at 7 weeks, we have lots of cooing, many smiles, bonding (nearly impossible with a screaming baby) and a lot more sleeping. You can call the author Dr. Karp, but in our house he is reverentially referred to as Saint Harvey--our patron saint of babies. If you have a fussy baby I can not recommend this book enough. It truly works miracles!
If I were the Queen of Everything I would make sure all new parents and hospital nurses learned this method. It could save so many, so much. Thank you Saint Harvey!
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107 of 134 people found the following review helpful By C. Marsteller on August 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Well, Dr. Karp's methods have worked well on my newborn, and I stress newborn. He presents some interesting facts about other cultures where crying babies are rare and colic doesn't exist. These cultures mostly have their babies at their sides in a sling, and unlimited access to suckle at mother's breast. With baby in a snug sling, constant body contact, the feeling of constant motion and breast milk access, Dr. Karp states this mimcs conditions in the womb: tight fit, constant movement, and lack of hunger from being fed via the umbilical cord while in utero. He goes on to say that months 0-3 of baby's life are the missing "fourth trimester", hence his methods of the following 5 S's work well since they imitate the womb environment.
The 5 S's are as follows:
1. Swaddle - he describes and illustrates an excellent swaddle technique, the tighter, the more womb-like
2. Side / Stomach - laying baby on side or stomach. He reiterates that when laying baby on stomach, baby should NEVER be left unattended. Positioning in this way is most comfortable for baby, when he's on his back, he has the sensation of free-falling, and thus feeling insecure.
3. Shush - baby was used to hearing your blood flow for those 9 months, so a loud shushing will calm baby down. Ever notice how he quiets when you turn on the vacuum? I've used a white noise machine, all the loud shushing got me blue in the face and most nearly passed out!
4. Swinging - rhythmic, jiggling motion. You don't necessarily have to use a swing for this one. He describes the motion as being a very nervous person holding a baby. You use very tiny shaky movements, movements must be tiny, other wise shaking baby with long, hard jerks may result in shaken baby syndrome.
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