Book Review: The Happiest Baby on the Block

The Happiest Baby on the Block: A New Way to Calm Crying and Help your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer by Harvey Karp

Karp believes that babies are born one trimester too early. He states in the book that newborns could greatly benefit from an extra three months in the womb. Since babies are born 3 months too soon, often newborns are diagnosed with colic when in fact they are not colicky. Karp describes how the 5 “S’s” (swaddling, side/stomach, shhh, swinging, and sucking) can calm any crying baby. He also states that while each “S” alone can calm a newborn using mulitple “S’s” in the right order can trigger the “calming reflex” that babies have naturally or using all 5 “S’s”, which is know as the “cuddle cure.”

The last few chapters of the book her talks about other ways to calm a baby down, including massaging with warm oil or giving a warm bath and he shares other reasons why baby maybe crying. He touches on a few problems that a baby may have and how you can fix the problems, for example, a baby may have reflux, due to eating too fast. He explains that a mother who is breast feeding may have a fast let down and suggests to pump a few minutes before feeding your baby. For bottle fed babies he suggests to go down a nipple size for a slower flow of milk.

This book is very helpful for the first time parent. It explains how the 5 “S’s” work, how to creat the 5 “S’s”, and why the 5 “S’s” work to trigger the “calming reflex” in a baby. Before I read this book I was already doing 4 out of the 5 “S’s”, so it was nice to know why it worked. It was also good for me to read about some things that I was afraid of doing. I thought that if I run to my son everytime he crys, he would learn that all he needs to do is cry and I am right there to comfort him. I learned that this is not true! He will only understand that I will always be there to comfort him. Overall, I would recommend this book to first time parents who have little experience with children

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