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The Happiest Baby on the Block Paperback – May 27, 2003
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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.
"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)
Top customer reviews
“I saw this doctor on Oprah YEARS ago... I remember that the audience was full of QUIET, contented babies and I wondered if they were all sedated.
The premise is that human babies are born 3 months BEFORE they are really developed because of the size of their heads. Therefore, the fist 100 days of their life is virtually a "fourth trimester" in which the baby needs constant vigilance and caring.
He offers "cuddle cure"... 5 steps done in sequence to calm a baby and simulate life in the womb: Swaddling (firmly), Side/Stomach, Ssshhhing, Swaying, Sucking. They are combined and should match the VIGOR of any crying to immediately pacify the baby.
Actually... this all made sense to me and most importantly.... IT WORKS!
Author: Harvey Karp
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Date Read- 5/21/09 to 5/26/09
The FASTEST way to succeed in stopping your baby's cycle of crying is to MEET THEIR LEVEL OF INTENSITY. Only after your screaming baby pauses for a few moments can you gradually slow your motion, soften your shushing and guide them from frenzy to soft landing.
The best colic-calmers say that soothing an infant is like dancing with them in the lead. These talented people pay close attention to the vigor of ther 5 "S's"
1st S- Swaddling
This TURNS on the calming effect by stopping the Moro reflex (hand jerking/flailing) that helps them to pay attention to the other S's.
Lay your child on their side or place them in your arms on their stomach. This prevents them from feeling that they are falling.
3rd S- Shhhh
You have to do it as LOUD AS YOUR BABIES CRY and close to their ear. It stimulates the sound of the womb. It can be replaced by white noise.
4th S- Sway
Support your babies head and neck and wiggle their HEAD with fast, tiny movements (like you are shivering). Once they are entranced, you can move to a slower swinging motion.
5th S- Sucking
This works best after the other S's have calmed. A finger or pacifier work and can be eliminated after the 3rd month.
In a 1986 study by Tiffany Field, massaged babies gained 47% more then babes who did not have the same touch. The same babies had higher IQ's a year later.
1. Prepare for pleasure. Warm the room, dim the lights, play soft music.
2. Bring Yourself to the moment. Sit comfortably, take 5 slow deep breaths and allow yourself to be present for the experience. Its an exchange of love in one fleeting, tender moment of time.
3. Speak to your baby with your hands. Always try to keep one hand in contact with the skin and talk to them about what you are doing and what your hopes are for their life, or sing a lullaby. Let your massage strokes move in synchronicity with your calm breathing.
4. Reward your babies tummy. Bicycle their legs then firmly push both knees to their belly and hld them there for 20 seconds. Massage the tummy in firm, clockwise, circular strokes - starting at their right lower belly, up and across the top of their tummy and ending at their left lower side (this traces their colon and intestines)
5. Follow you baby's signals.
Top 10 survival Tips for Parents of New Babies
1. Trust Yourself. You are the Latest in the Unbroken Chain of the World's Top Parents.
2. Lower Your Expectations.
3. Accept All the Help You Can Get
4. Get Your Priorities Straight: Should You take a break or do the dishes?
5. Be Flexible. It is better to bend than snap.
6. Know Thyself. Share how you are feeling.
7. Don't Rock the Cradle to Hard. Know when to take a break.
8. Keep Your Sense of Humor Handy
9. Take Care of Your Spouse
10. Don't Ignore Depression.”
Review by Carrie
As an expectant parent who wants to be well informed, I have a lot of books on my reading list. This took up way more time than it should have. If you're a new/expecting parent, do yourself a favor and find this info for free on the Internet. If you want to buy this as a gift, do the expectant parents a favor and get the DVD or instant video instead.
Update: Baby is currently 6 weeks old, so I *am* the hormonal wreck, now, ha! Best thing about this book is that my husband read it, too, and actually uses the 5 S's because someone "official" recommended them. ;) They keep our baby pretty dang happy and calm!
I am a new dad, just 6 days in. I ordered this book shortly before my daughter arrived on the advice of a coworker who touted it's "magic".
After coming home from the hospital and dealing with a couple nights of fussiness and fits, I picked this up during my newborns various naps and managed to get all the way through it in about a day. It's not a terribly long book but it has proven to be invaluable to my and my wife's sanity.
Yes, it's a bit long for what can be described as the basic tenants of the book (the 5 S's, swaddling, sideways, shushing, swaying and sucking) but there's actually a lot more meat in the book than just that. Dr. Karp really presents the reasoning behind why these things work for your baby and it really clicked for me, and apparently my daughter, as she has been sleeping soundly for the past 4 nights!