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The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer Hardcover – May 28, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (May 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553802550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553802559
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,525 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Review

"Dr. Karp's book is fascinating. It will guide new parents for many years to come." -- Julius Richmond, MD, Harvard Medical School, former Surgeon General of the United States

PRAISE FOR DR. HARVEY KARP

“A must read! Dr. Karp offers insights into parenting by combining ancient and modern wisdom. Our baby boy responded to the 5 S’s immediately!”
--Keely and Pierce Brosnan, TV journalist/environmentalist and actor

“Harvey writes about areas that most parenting books don’t address. What every mother needs are simple tools that really work . . . and Harvey’s do.”
—Michelle Pfeiffer, actress/producer

“A witty and masterful book bursting with wisdom from start to finish. It contains some of the best, most original ideas about new babies I have ever seen. Dr. Karp entertains as he teaches, providing wonderful and innovative suggestions in a family-friendly way.”
—James McKenna, Ph.D., chairman, Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, and director, Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory

“What a marvelous book! Parents for years to come will be grateful to Dr. Karp for this lucid and entertaining explanation of why babies cry and how to help them.”
—Martin Stein, M.D., Professor of pediatrics, University of California, San Diego Medical School, author of Encounters with Children: Pediatric Behavior and Development

“Harvey Karp is the type of pediatrician that every parent would want. His experience is beyond compare and his ability to relate to parents is impressive. The Happiest Baby on the Block has the perfect solutions for helping parents grow and thrive . . . along with their babies.”
—Sandra Apgar Steffes, R.N., M.S., member, Board of Directors, Lamaze International

“There is nothing quite like watching Dr. Harvey work wonders on a screaming baby. He’s not a pediatrician, he’s a magician. Every time I bring my kids in to see him, I walk out wishing he was their father.”
—Larry David, star of Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm and co-creator of Seinfeld


"The Happiest Baby on the Block is fun, fascinating and convincing. I highly recommend it to all new parents to help them accomplish one of their most important jobs…soothing their crying baby.”
-Elisabeth Bing, author and co-founder of Lamaze International

"Simply put, this is the best book I've ever read about keeping babies calm and happy. It is a must for everyone who cares about infants."
-William Lord Coleman, MD, Center for Development and Learning, University
of North Carolina, author of Family-Focused Behavioral Pediatrics

"Dr. Karp’s practical approach is a superb way to help babies when they are crying or upset. All who care for children will gain greatly from this new addition to our parenting library.”
-- Steven P. Shelov, M.D., Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Infants and Children’s Hospital of Brooklyn, Maimonides, editor-in-chief, American Academy of Pediatrics Caring for Your New Baby and Young Child: Birth to Five

"This beautifully written volume meets a tremendous need for a scientifically sound and effective parent guide to the care of persistently crying babies. Dr. Karp has written the best book that I've read on this challenging topic."
-Morris Green, M.D., Perry W. Lesh Professor of Pediatrics, Indiana
University School of Medicine

"Dr. Karp's 'Cuddle Cure' is quite simply the best way I know to calm crying
babies."
-Stanley Inkelis, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA School of Medicine
Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Hospital

"Dr. Karp's book is extraordinary. The advice contained in this book, will make any parent, or grandparent, feel like a baby expert."
—Neal Kaufman, M.D., M.P.H., Professor Of Pediatrics, UCLA School Of
Medicine, Director Primary Care Pediatrics, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

“The ‘Karp Wrap’ can stop a baby’s cries instantly!“
—Lynn Sullivan, RN, Director, Newborn Nursing Services, SM-UCLA Hospital

“Dr. Karp was exactly the doctor to see us through parenthood. He has the magic touch – not just with babies, but with new parents too.”
—Robin Swicord and Nicholas Kazan, screenwriters of Matilda, Reversal of Fortune and Practical Magic

“I wish I had known Dr. Karp for my first two children. With the soothing, loving tips in this book, caring for my two most recent babies has been a dream.”
—Hunter Tylo, actress/founder of Hunter’s Chosen Child


"Dr. Karp is simply the best. Any time a problem pops up in our children, he guides us with warmth, wisdom and humor. And that helps us sleep better at night."
—Jerry Zucker, director of Airplane, Ghost, and Rat Race

“Harvey Karp’s enlightened and creative approach has been a benefit not only to our children, but to my wife and me as parents.”
—Kristen and Lindsey Buckingham, photographer and singer-songwriter,
Fleetwood Mac

“Harvey Karp would make my Big Mama proud! He is leading us back to ages old basics, back to motherwit.”
—Alfre Woodard, actress

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

It Helped us calm our crying baby.
Jessica s
I recommend any new parent read this book before your baby is born.
Danielle Hernandez
The book is easy to read and informative.
A. Amaya

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

567 of 582 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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314 of 348 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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302 of 368 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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248 of 308 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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94 of 119 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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