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The Happiest Baby on the Block [Paperback]

Harvey Karp M.D.
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 27 2003
Perfect for expecting parents who want to provide a soothing home for the newest member of their family, The Happiest Baby on the Block, the national bestseller by respected pediatrician and child development expert Dr. Harvey Karp, is a revolutionary method for calming a crying infant and promoting healthy sleep from day one.

In perhaps the most important parenting book of the decade, Dr. Harvey Karp reveals an extraordinary treasure sought by parents for centuries—an automatic “off-switch” for their baby’s crying.

No wonder pediatricians across the country are praising him and thousands of Los Angeles parents, from working moms to superstars like Madonna and Pierce Brosnan, have turned to him to learn the secrets for making babies happy.

Never again will parents have to stand by helpless and frazzled while their poor baby cries and cries. Dr. Karp has found there IS a remedy for colic. “I share with parents techniques known only to the most gifted baby soothers throughout history …and I explain exactly how they work.”

In a innovative and thought-provoking reevaluation of early infancy, Dr. Karp blends modern science and ancient wisdom to prove that newborns are not fully ready for the world when they are born. Through his research and experience, he has developed four basic principles that are crucial for understanding babies as well as improving their sleep and soothing their senses:

The Missing Fourth Trimester: as odd as it may sound, one of the main reasons babies cry is because they are born three months too soon.

The Calming Reflex: the automatic reset switch to stop crying of any baby in the first few months of life.

The 5 “S’s”: the simple steps (swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking) that trigger the calming reflex. For centuries, parents have tried these methods only to fail because, as with a knee reflex, the calming reflex only works when it is triggered in precisely the right way. Unlike other books that merely list these techniques Dr. Karp teaches parents exactly how to do them, to guide cranky infants to calm and easy babies to serenity in minutes…and help them sleep longer too.

The Cuddle Cure: the perfect mix the 5 “S’s” that can soothe even the most colicky of infants.

In the book, Dr. Karp also explains:

What is colic?

Why do most babies get much more upset in the evening?

How can a parent calm a baby—in mere minutes?

Can babies be spoiled?

When should a parent of a crying baby call the doctor?

How can a parent get their baby to sleep a few hours longer?

Even the most loving moms and dads sometimes feel pushed to the breaking point by their infant’s persistent cries. Coming to the rescue, however, Dr. Karp places in the hands of parents, grandparents, and all childcare givers the tools they need to be able to calm their babies almost as easily as…turning off a light.

Frequently Bought Together

The Happiest Baby on the Block + The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night + The Baby Book, Revised Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two
Price For All Three: CDN$ 43.28

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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!! June 12 2004
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DVD is better Aug. 20 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love everything this book has to offer but I'd recommend just buying the DVD for all of the information you need to implement this. Everything covered in the DVD is in here but in long winded format.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So much hype, so little help April 1 2004
I asked for this book for my shower because a lot of moms on a discussion forum I read raved about it. Just a few pages into it, I wondered if there was really any need to read the entire book. The other mommies assured me it was worth it.
I am not convinced.
There is absolutley nothing in this book that is in any way a breakthrough in the area of baby care. Swaddling, swinging, shushing, sucking, and stomach positioning to calm a baby are all as old as the hills. Some of these have fallen in and out of fashion at one point or another, but none of these tips are so unique that they can't be found as helpful suggestions in other parenting guides or by asking older parents... (I can't even begin to count the number of times my mother or father has suggested I calm my extremely fussy baby by "Try putting him on his belly" or "Why don't you give him a binky?")
This book suffers from a number of flaws.
1. I can't even begin to say how irritated I am that the author claims to have found a "new" way to calm fussy babies.
2. This book would be nice as a PAMPHLET handed out at the hospital to new parents... it should NOT be a book. My original impression that this book is extremely repetitive was correct. It's not so much that none of these methods work, it's just that all can be explained very quickly. It does not take a full length book. Luckily, I read this book before my baby got here - any parent already dealing with a fussy or colicky baby would be at their wits end trying to read this entire book. (Therein lies the irony of childcare help books... those who need them the most don't have the time or ability to read them!!!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book July 14 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book. Easy to read and lots of good information
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2.0 out of 5 stars Borrow don't buy July 13 2014
By nicole
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book had some great advice that really works. But I did not like the way it was written, almost mocking, as if everyone else is wrong and only this Doctor was smart enough to figure babies out. Nothing I read was new information, my grandmother and mother showed me these technics years ago. It was worth a read, but not a book worth paying full price, see if you can borrow from a friend or library.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Glad I purchased this book July 3 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Easy to read book that makes sense...looking forward to putting learnings into practice! Also in good condition from second hand supplier I used.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent framework for new mothers June 13 2014
By kirsten
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed the practicality & repetition of messaging in this book! Through five simple practices it is possible to effortlessly calm a fussy baby. We'll written, excellent examples and great references. A must read for all new parents!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome for a new mom! Aug. 30 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't like to over read but this book is a MUST for all new mommies. Read it before you give birth and then brush up after. It helped us a LOT!!!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Very repetitive book
Good book, very interesting information. However, book is really repetitive and they say the same thing over and over again. Read more
Published 9 months ago by t-rage
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiest Baby on the Block
This is a totally wonderful book; I often order copies of the book to give to new parents and I may order more copies in future.
Published 11 months ago by Patricia Thurston
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had read this sooner!
At exactly 6 weeks my baby fussed and cried for what felt like a straight 24 hours. It was the first time we gave her colic medication, because there seemed to be no other reason... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Katie's Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars The 5ses work
It works. Both my husband and I read the book before our son was born. In retrospect, I feel we'd be lost without it.
Published 13 months ago by Laura
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I think this book is best for people who don't have much experience with babies. Anyone who has any successful experience in taking care of children will not find much new... Read more
Published 13 months ago by PJ Porkchop
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book for new parents
As a mom of a second baby, I still found this book informative and a great reinforcer of some basic tips to calm a newborn in the first few months. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alanna Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
My daughter in law filled this book and out grand daughter was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. We are anxious to see if it works on their next child.
Published 14 months ago by Lorraine Manz
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