After 10 years, 4 kids and a life as a stay-at-home mom, I felt that “The Happiest Baby Guide To Great Sleep” called my name, when I first heard of this book by Harvey Karp, M.D. My 10-year-old son has always been a great sleeper, which turned out perfectly as I had him while in college. My 7-year-old son had severe night terrors for a few years, which basically meant that he would be asleep while screaming out loud. He kept me up for many hours, and I am thankful that he eventually grew out of it. My three-year-old son is good about going to bed, when he needs to, but he is strongly attached to his parents’ bed, and this is a habit I have been trying to break for about a year…unsuccessfully.
So with a newborn in the house,Karp’s “The Happiest Baby Guide To Great Sleep”, surely seemed like a handbook for me, because I am hoping to make my last baby as good a sleeper as my oldest baby.
Karp, a nationally reknowned pediatrician, child development specialist, and children’s environmental health advocate starts out by promising that with by the use of a few simple ideas that weaves together ancient wisdom and new breakthrough science, there is a solution to most children’s sleep problems. He strongly suggests that preventing the sleep problems before they actually happen is the best way to start out, and this is why I have decided to read what he had to say.
The Happiest Baby Guide To Great Sleep Highlights:
- Being sleep deprived can leave you with the same concentration level as someone, who is legally drunk.
- There is a big difference between adult and child sleep patterns
- Good sleep does not require tough love, or the infamous “let the child cry it out” method.
- White noise is helpful in getting your baby to sleep better
- Differentiating between good/bad sleep cues
- Understanding your child’s temperament is the first step in figuring out why the child acts the way he or she does.
- Good or poor “state control” affects the way that babies sleep
- The calming reflex
- The 5 S’s: Swaddle, side/stomach position, shush, swing, suck
- The benefits of swaddling as well as how to avoid any risks
- SIDS risk factors and how to protect your little one as much as possible
I will admit that once Karp captured my attention the minute he declared that good sleep does not mean leave the child crying. As a mom of four, I have often been told that I am spoiling my babies, but at the same time everyone seems to be amazed at how calm all of my “babies” have been. Even my husband has a tendency of telling me that I am spoiling the baby and declaring that we have such easy babies in one sentence, yet he does not see the correlation. So the fact that Dr. Karp’s “sleep method” does not require me to “unspoil” my baby certainly makes ready to learn more.
After a night with a few hours of baby holding, because my baby woke up with hiccups after a feeding, I am certainly even more ready to embrace Dr. Karp’s advice. Another reason, why I kept on reading is Karp’s statement that “young infants only cry for one reason: they need help!” This is something I have repeated many times, since we brought our daughter home from the hospital almost seven weeks ago, and the fact that Karp acknowledges this makes me a little more curious about what he has to say. Of course the fact that he completely debunks the myth that letting your baby cry improves the lungs just added to my reasons, why I should go on reading.
Harvey Karp, M.D. has some great ideas for how to make babies and children sleep better in “The Happiest Baby Guide To Great Sleep”, and as I go along on this journey as a mom of 4, I will definitely keep his advice and techniques in mind. It turns out that I actually did most of what Karp suggests in the first place, and I was especially surprised to discover that I have been a big fan of the 5 S’s even without ever having read any of Dr. Karp’s other work. For us his methods works, and I will continue to do what I have been doing, as well as being more adamant about some of Dr. Karp’s suggestions as well.
You can read more about Harvey Karp, M.D. and his other Happiest Baby work at the Happiest Baby website.
You can buy The Happiest Baby Guide To Great Sleep by Harvey Karp, M.D. at the Harper Collins website.
THE HAPPIEST BABY GUIDE TO GREAT SLEEP:
Simple Solutions for Kids from Birth to 5 Years (William Morrow
Paperback; On-Sale: March 19, 2013; $15.99; ISBN: 9780062113320).
Disclaimer: The Frugality Is Free family received a complimentary copy of The Happiest Baby Guide To Great Sleep” by Harvey Karp, M.D. for our participation in the book review campaign with One2One Network. This book was received from Harper Collins Network, and while we have been entered into a gift card drawing, no other compensation has been made. Any opinions expressed above are based solely on our family’s experience with the book, and all opinions stated above are entirely our own.