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588 of 603 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic
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...
Published on December 1, 2004 by A reader

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330 of 365 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good info...but not worth a whole book
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...
Published on June 28, 2010 by Alex Atterbury


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588 of 603 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, December 1, 2004
By 
A reader "moneysavers" (wilmington, DE United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Happiest Baby on the Block (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? A clingly baby who is addicted to jiggling and swaddling (as many people predicted when I followed the author's advice - "she'll be addicted and you'll have to swaddle her FOREVER!"). No! I have a happy baby who goes to sleep on her own and sleeps through the night. By the way, she's 4 months old. She Never needs to be jiggled anymore, or swaddled. I still put white noise on in the background for her though. But I hear many adults sleep that way too.

This book is also very sensitve and kind to the needs of our precious little babies. He says that the first three months are the fourth trimester. That the baby was in you for nine whole months and got used to there being sound and movement and confinement. And when they're born it's unnatural (and, in my opinion, cruel) to leave them to their own devices and figure out how to be a human being in the world right away. They need our help while they get their bearings. They're so tiny and the world is so big.

As a matter of fact, many book I read suggest not swaddling past the second month, or even past the first month. But the author recommends doing it for as long as the baby needs it. All babies are different and need to take their own time! And not only for as long as the baby needs it, but also as much as the baby needs it. That's right, swaddle the baby as often as the baby wants it. Some books say this hinders development but the author points out that if the baby needs it, it calms the baby down enough for the baby to be a ble to pay attention to the world and learn. My baby wanted to be swaddled for many hours out of every day. I felt guilty becuase so many other resources say not to do that. But this book helped me see that it was only natural. The author asked - doesn't your baby seem happier this way? YES!! She was So much happier when she was swaddled. And this did not make her addicted to it, as I said before - she went from being swaddled most of the day to not being swaddled Ever quickly and effortlessly.

I know this is a long review. I just have to strongly recommend this book. It's usefuleness and help go so much beyond sleeping issues. I love this book. It is the single most useful book I have ever read.
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330 of 365 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good info...but not worth a whole book, June 28, 2010
This review is from: The Happiest Baby on the Block (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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313 of 381 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good - but only for the first three months., September 6, 2002
By 
Judith E. Golden (Burlington, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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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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252 of 317 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Happiest Baby on the Block, May 30, 2002
By 
dhari thein (Altadena, ca United States) - See all my reviews
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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109 of 137 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for newborns, August 22, 2002
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. This movement imitates the constant movement he felt while in-utero.
5. Suck - sucking on a pacifier, nipple, your finger, etc...
These 5 S's will initiate the calming reflex when done in that order and in the correct way. We've all used those methods to try to calm baby, but we've likely used them as separate entities. Much like the knee-jerk reflex works only when your doctor hits your knee at the exact location, the calming reflex works only when the S's are done in an exact manner. He describes in detail how to do this.
So far it's worked for my daughter. My huge concern is, what happens after she passes her three month mark? Dr. Karp states that after three months, baby will start self-calming and will rely on the 5 S's less and less. Judging by all the "How to Get Your Baby to Calm and to Sleep" books out there, I have my doubts. He does well in calming a newborn, but beyond the newborn stage, he offers very little. He really needs to consider changing the title to "The Happiest Newborn on the Block" to better reflect the content of the book. So if your baby is less than three months, this may work for you, if your baby is older, look elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute must buy for new parents., March 23, 2007
By 
M. Koch "clickitgood" (Orange County, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Happiest Baby on the Block (Paperback)
We were in the hospital after delivering our baby boy when I started reading this book and have not regretted it since. It was an invaluable tool for my fussy boy during the first 4-5 months. We kept him rapped up for naps and long sleeps for the first 5 and 1/2 months and he would sleep longer stretches than his 1 year old cousin. The advice kept me calm during those long late afternoon crying sessions my son would do. Would also recommend the video, it is easier to figure out the calming techniques through a visual example than reading the instructions in the book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Miracle - Updated, September 8, 2004
By 
Just a Guy (Tacoma, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Happiest Baby on the Block (Paperback)
When my wife and I had our first child this year, the nurse suggested we watch the VHS version of "Happiest Baby" while still in the hospital. Unfortunately, the VCR in our room didn't work, so we missed what turned out to be our golden opportunity. We didn't get the book until our son was about two months old. We had tried all the classics up to that point to get him to sleep for even a couple hours at a time: singing, rocking, late night car rides, but we couldn't bear the thought of just letting him "cry it out". We were exhausted and at our wit's end when we received this book as a gift. After reading it and putting the suggestions into practice our boy began sleeping through the night (eight hours a night). Even now that he's teething he'll give us four hours at a stretch and sleep eight to nine hours during the night. And putting him to sleep is a snap. All my friends who also have infants comment regularly about how "lucky" I am to have a child who's easy to put to sleep for the night or for his naps. Dr. Karp's methods DO work, and they work FAST (ever seen a screaming infant fall asleep in two minutes flat?). For tired moms and dads, this book could be what turns your "colicky" baby into the joy of your homes and lives, even at night.

UPDATE: After the birth of my second son, I was able to use the swaddling techniques immediately and they worked like a charm. The methods actually worked great until he was over a year old, and he's always given us at least 9-10 hours of peaceful sleep every night since the day he was born (except for when he was teething, of course). I have recommended this book to all of my expectant friends. The methods themselves aren't earth-shaking, but what the book does give you is the tools, knowledge, and confidence to try.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IF YOUR BABY HAS COLIC YOU NEED THIS BOOK TO SURVIVE, February 4, 2005
This review is from: The Happiest Baby on the Block (Paperback)
I can't tell you how much you need this if your baby has colic. THERE IS NO NEED TO LET YOUR BABY CRY HIM/HERSELF TO SLEEP. Don't confuse them, comfort them... If you are pregnant, read this book and study this before you deliver! Get the techniques memorized in order. Write yourself up a poster board and post on the baby's room door for reminder of what to do (the 5 S's) in what order because you will be so deliriously tired with a new born with colic, you won't be able to think straight. Then get the DVD to be able to watch as needed (you won't have time to read the book after the baby is born!)
What is really sad is how this is not known wide enough how many day care providers don't know of this or use this method. I have been to specialists, none gave me good advise. I wish I could kiss doctor Karp and hug him! I wish I could make a new career for myself just holding classes at hospitals or YMCA's or somthing to help people practice these techniques. I think it would prevent child abuse just by being an implementer of these wonderful methods. I think all pediatricians should be offering this as a standard for new parents. It is amazing how much crappy advise and NO HELP you can get from the general pediatrican/medical world!

MY BABY WAS DIAGNOSED with "extreme nuerological colic" and the only thing that worked for him are the techniques in this book. While it is hard to accept that I don't have a baby I can just lay down for sleeping, the peace for your baby and is what counts! My baby started sleeping 10 hours at night at 10 weeks using 3 of the 5 S's.
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36 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Could be summed up in one article, July 7, 2013
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This review is from: The Happiest Baby on the Block (Paperback)
Swaddle, side, suck, sway, sssshhhhh. Thats it. Unless you want to read a million things that don't cause Collic, I just saved you $9.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a lifesaver!, July 14, 2009
This review is from: Happiest Baby on the Block DVD
My husband and I saw this video at a childbirth class and now I'm going to buy it for a couple of friends of mine who are expecting. Now that we have our newborn (who's only 2 weeks old) we've tried these techniques and all I have to say is "WOW!" It's definitely helped us with calming our son during some pretty tough times. I can't say that it works for us 100% of the time since we're still getting used to things, but it has definitely helped. My mom, who never used any of these techniques, was amazed at how easy it was to learn and how quickly you can watch a baby go from screaming to quiet and content. I highly recommend this DVD to anyone who has a newborn.
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The Happiest Baby on the Block
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp (Paperback - May 27, 2003)
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