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The Happiest Baby on the Block Paperback – May 27 2003

295 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (May 27 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553381466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553381467
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.5 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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 the Hardcover edition.


"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

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Suzanne was worried and exhausted. Her two-month-old baby, Sean, was a nonstop screamer. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P.S. on June 12 2004
Format: Paperback
I have a 6 week old baby girl who is right at the height of her colicky phase. Last night even the 5 S's (which normally work fabulously) were only working temporarily, so I decided to try something drastic. Since I really needed to vacuum, I decided to combine the two efforts and see what happened. Since Dr. Karp says that cultures who "wear" their babies rarely have problems with colic, I purchased one of those baby slings. I put her in it and got the vacuum out and proceeded to vacuum. Within about 15 seconds she was asleep and stayed asleep the entire hour it took to vacuum, complete with all the movement that comes with the task. The only precaution I had to take was to make sure I didn't hit something with her, since she was an extention of my body. If anyone needed more proof of the 4th Trimester theory, HERE IT IS!! Save yourself a lot of heartache, and buy and read this book before your baby is born!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book should be titled The Happiest NEWBORN on the block. I would have loved this book when my baby was a few weeks old since the ideas sound reasonable for the newborn stage. However, the suggestions don't work for an older baby. The 5 S's are: Swaddle (like my active 10 month old would go for this!) Put baby on his Side/Stomach (at 10 months you don't PUT him anywhere!) Shhhhh (he thinks that's funny) Swinging (I think every mother sways with a fussy baby, it's natural) Sucking (Oh, he does plenty of that, thank you!) I had to keep searching and luckily found a book for with plenty of answers, it's The No-Cry Sleep Solution, a great book for babies of any age since it also has a newborn section, maybe not as structured as this one, but lots of the same ideas. (Another thing that's rather weird, the endorsements for the Happiest Baby book come from Michelle Pfeiffer (actress) Pierce Brosnan (actor) plus lots of other actors and movie directors. I like movies, but when I want advice about baby-care I don't get why these endorsements mean anything.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21 2002
Format: Hardcover
At least it didn't work with my son. Please don't do what I did, & read the reviews & buy this book and think it will be a cure all for your baby. You'll only drive yourself insane. I read all the reviews & the People magazine article & thought this technique would calm my colicky 6 week old, who cries 12 hours a day. While this book is interesting at times, all of the steps do not work all of the times. Swaddling worked twice (yes, I did swaddle him correctly. I even went back to the hospital & had the nurses show me again to make sure I was doing it right.) "Shhhhing" has worked once or twice (I've done it so much sometimes I feel like I'm going to pass out). Swinging hardly ever works and "sucking" doesn't work either becaues my son refuses to take a pacifier. It actually aggravates him & makes him more upset if I try to give it to him.
I have done all these techniques together and also seperately time & time again, and have found that some of the things work some of the time, but it is NOT a cure all. If your baby is anything like mine, it will be hit or miss with a combination of Dr. Karps and some of your own.
As I said, some of this book is interesting, and some of it is very repetitive. For example, on about every third page or so, Dr. Karp reiterates over & over again that other countries have almost no instances of colicky babies. That's great if your a member of the !Kang tribe in Africa and can carry your baby every waking hour and breastfeed every 10 minutes.
Also, Dr. Karp states that colic babies go through their crying spells in the evening and that colic stops after the "fourth trimester" when your baby is 3 months old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jesika on Oct. 25 2003
Format: Hardcover
Although our son was not colicky, he was a loud sleeper. He thrashed and kicked and woke himself up 3 or 4 times a night. He was so loud we had to put him in his own room long before we were ready to.
I read Dr. Karp's book in one evening and started using the 5 s's that same night. What a change! The very first night, although he kicked and screamed about being swaddled, he fell asleep quickly and slept FIVE hours straight (at four weeks old)!! Since then, we have been swaddling our son every night and for his long nap in the daytime. Most of the time, only 2 or 3 of the s's are needed to put our son to sleep. We even can put him to bed mildly awake and he goes to sleep on his own.
Dr. Karp's book is easy to read, easy to use, and absolutely the truth. My North African husband had tried to convince me to use the very same techniques Dr. Karp espouses in his book from the time we came home from the hospital. I thought my husband was nutso to want to keep swaddling the baby... I eat my words!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah W on May 9 2003
Format: Hardcover
Boy do I wish I had this book with baby #1. When my second child was born I prayed for no colic but alas he had it too. at 2.5 weeks the SCREAMING started. He also has reflux and they tried to tell me his silent reflux was making him scream.. so why then does the sound of the hairdryer make him stop?
After I read this book and watched his video.. my life changed. The swaddle with the swaddle me available on Dr Karp's website ... was what saved my sanity on the road... I NEVER would have thought that this could work the way it does. Just like the kids on his video my screaming son stopped in seconds.
I now buy this for any baby shower I go to. If you never ever buy any other baby book buy this one. Once again thank you Dr Karp for helping to open the eyes of the world. We tried 3 different reflux meds on my son before I called it quits saying I really think its bad bad all day colic.. and at 4 mos.. he really is the Happiest Baby on the Block
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