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79 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2012
Having read both of Dr. Karp's other offerings and found them useful, I bought this book when my son was 22 months and being a complete P in the A about going to bed. I wish I could say that this book covered new ground, but if you have read the other two Happiest books, there is not much new here. A good portion of the book is dedicated to helping babies settle down and sleep using the 5S method, which is already extensively covered in "Happiest Baby." Don't get me wrong, the 5S method works, but if you're looking for something else, you won't find it. The same with the toddler portion - if you read "Happiest Toddler," you are already familiar with the techniques. This book would be a great gift for a parent who isn't already familiar with Dr. Karp's books, but it is a retread of old ground.
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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
We had a fussy newborn who SCREAMED when sleeping alone...so, we let her sleep in our bed and nurse on demand (i.e., whenever she woke up) throughout the night. The problem was that we never got her out of our bed and she STILL, at 17 months, woke up 6-10 times per night to nurse herself back to sleep (which means so did I!). We are expecting another baby in January, so we needed her to sleep in her own bed, and most importantly, to sleep through the night.

Because she had learned such bad habits, I was convinced we would have to do cry it out all night long. I was against this idea, especially because she is so old and remembers so much from her day. The Happiest Baby provided an alternative option, even for an older child with TERRIBLE sleep habits. After reading this book, we made the following helpful changes:

1: White noise: amazing! my daughter is a light sleeper so this really helps drown out the noise. I can even do the dishes when she sleeps without waking her (I was never able to before)

2. Lovey and a nightlight: we didn't use either before, so we bought Twilight Turtle based on a friend's recommendation. LOVE IT and recommend it. We put it in her crib so that she can turn it on whenever she needs it.

3: Later bedtime: moved from 7:30 to 8:00; made a huge difference!

4: Longer and longer: Using this approach, my daughter still cried a little but it's not as cruel as cry it out

5: Suggestions from Happiest Toddler on the Block

My daughter had NEVER slept in her crib and hadn't learned to put herself back to sleep, so I thought the transition to the crib was going to be HORRIBLE But...it wasn't. The first night, she woke up only 3 times and fell asleep after 5, 10, and 5 minutes. It only got better from there. She was sleeping in her own crib through the night in only 5 days. So for the first time in 17 months, my daughter and I both got a full night of sleep. WOW! Looking forward to using this book to avoid bad sleep habits with baby number 2.

Additionally, I recommend Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. His methods to get baby to sleep are cry it out and not very helpful, but he outlines sleep schedules for birth through school aged children that I found very helpful.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2014
I was very resistant to considering sleep training. I believe in attachment parenting although I am certainly not an extremist. My son was 10 mo old when I purchased this book and I did so b/c he was waking 6-8 times a night and I was concerned about his quality/quantity of sleep for his health/development. So I read this book and my on was sleeping through the night in 2-3 weeks. Harvey Karp gives you many gentle tips to promote sleep in your little person that were not sleep training. There are so many tips that I cannot remember them all so you will have to read the book. But I did the white noise, dark room, adjusting bed time, coming up with a consistent bed time routine, "dream feeding," "wake and sleep," identifying sleep cues, attachment to a "lovey," ... I did all of these things plus more that I know I am forgetting for 2-2.5weeks and I still wasn't getting anywhere with my son. So I started the plan for sleep training. Harvey laid out many different ways to do this and his approach was gentle. But I can tell you if I didn't try those 2-2.5 weeks, the thought of sleep training would still have had a negative connotation in my mind. So knowing that I tried everything that I could made the idea of sleep training soooooo much easier and actual made sleep training way more bearable. Sleep training was cake actually. It took my son 3 nights and he slept through the night. The first night was the hardest. He cried 3 times and they lasted 15-50 min each. The second night it was 3 times as well but lasted 2-45 min and the third night he didnt wake up at all. He just cried for 2-3 min at the start. Then for the next few days he did the same. Then after that I could put him in his crib awake but tired and no crying. And when I say crying, it was mostly "fussing." Hope this helps a lot of people. I read this book a year ago but I felt compelled to spread the word.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2014
Great advice. Does repeat 5 S's from Happiest Baby book, but review is always great and easy to skim over. I like that he doesn't just go over "Ferberizing." Has own methods that are working for us and our child. If you want a slightly different approach to a full nights sleep (rather than just letting them cry it out), this book is worth a try!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2015
Ok. This book made me cry. Not sad tears, but tears of relief and appreciation.

See I am a Buddhist when it comes to child rearing. Or Goldilocks. I think there are interesting ideas and points in the extremes, but from a totally practical place extreme ideas never get implemented in my life. I am not an all or nothing kind of girl. I cannot be touching my baby 24/7 cause Mama's got to pee--and let's face it: the times I try to pee and hold a 7 week old squirming to be fed were never the smartest moments of my young mama life! I also HATE hearing her cry. I know she wants me to understand something. Just WTF it is can blow my mind sometimes. (That's where the "this is what this grimace means" charts in the Baby Whisperer books came in totally handy!)

Dr. Karp's book is a book of the middle way. There is no extreme here. There is gentle child-centered/parent respecting counsel. There are a lot of ideas for you to work with. You find your own path for your own child. Sure, he can be repetitive, but the book was not made to read cover to cover in one sitting (even if Type A Mama Me did). Who cares! I am too tired to remember everything as it is. And talking about why we go crazy when we are sleep deprived from our kiddos really helped me offer myself some more grace.

But ultimately what made me cry was the respect he shows children. His toddler ideas--which are over a year away for us to implement--were right at the level of a toddler's mind and understanding, while still empowering parents to gently guide their kiddos towards healthy sleep habits that help the whole family.

A quick note for any parents with highly spirited little ones: We found that his companion CD worked well the first 6 weeks of our girl's life, but then it was a bust. We started one night chanting with her "OM" and it really helped. I downloaded some low register chanting of "OM" off of iTunes (sorry Amazon, but I bet you could get some here too), and that has WORKED. We have a very spritely daughter who is so nosy she does not want to sleep. Add to that the pain of reflux and we were having sleeping issues. This book really helped us, but we also benefited from the chanting, good reflux management, and realizing that respecting our daughter's learning curve gave breath and hope to all of us.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2014
I think there is a lot of great information about sleep in general in this book. And I definitely give it credit for helping us improve our bedtime routine. But after reading further into it, I became increasingly frustrated. Like a lot of sleep training materials, it claims to have all the answers to getting your infant to sleep. Eventually you read that if these methods don't work for you, just go ahead and cry-it-out. After finally finding a more realistic resource, I stopped worrying about why my baby wouldn't sleep more and just accepted that she will when she is ready. Parents should know that night wakings are normal and don't go on forever so they don't have the expectation of hours of uninterrupted sleep.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
Wish I had read this BEFORE baby was born. hard to go backward. Some people feel this is a review of his original book but I do think it has some extras. Actually I would buy this one instead of the other one.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2014
I haven't read Dr Karp's other books (I had gone through "Happiest Baby..." sample but it only went as far as the endless list of Dr Karp's credentials and didn't give me an insight of the content, so).
This one covers all the basics you will find in any good sleep book - watch for signs of overtiredness, importance of routine, etc. So,nothing new there, but a good summary.
The 5 S technique seems great to calm newborns; maybe reading it before my son's birth would have helped; they're just not as helpful with a 4-month-old. I did not read the toddler section.
The pointing of possible problems is fairly basic : too hot, too cold, too tired, too early to go to bed... and the repetition of "use white noise!" is too much - we get it. To be fair, Dr Karp warns about the repetition in the intro; I still didn't expect a specific paragraph to be quoted twice, word for word, in the book.
Overall, I may not be that objective, because the over-cheerful, upbeat tone was über-annoying to me, as was calling your baby "your little friend"; I realise this is pure personal taste though!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2014
My baby was extremely fussy for the first 6 months or so and remains a high needs baby and a terrible sleeper. So I'm pretty much the target audience for Dr. Karp. I thought the first happiest baby book was ok. Great information (and strategies that really work!) but most of the book could have been summed up in a couple of pages. Also, there's very little credible use of "research." However, I'm not going to knock it because IT WORKS. So, probably worth the money.

HOWEVER, this book is not worth it if you read the first one. There's very little new information. Take the principles from the first book, apply them to bedtime, and BAM, you've got this book. Don't waste your money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2015
Granted there were a few good tips in here.... But truly the information in this book could have been printed on a pamphlet. It just repeats the 5 S's over and over. Then over again. The book has lots of filler of testimonials. I guess I was hoping it would implement other sleep suggestions beside just swaddle em and throw on the white noise. There were some sample schedules to try for a baby in the back of the book. I guess I was hoping this book would go into that aspect more.
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