There is little more painful than hearing your newborn cry endlessly, as you try desperately to get them and you a little sleep. While some parents are lucky enough to have a baby that sleeps for hours right from the start and continues to do so, most of us aren't so fortunate. Dr. Harvey Karp's best-selling DVD, the Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer is a gem not to be missed.
The first 3 months of a baby's life are what Dr. Karp calls "the fourth trimester," a time prone to lots and lots of crying due to inability to self-soothe. It is also a time when babies both desire and respond well to sensations that mimic life in the womb.
Presented in an easy to understand, how-to video, Dr. Karp teaches you a set of techniques he calls the 5 S's which trigger the "calming reflex" in young infants. These techniques provide a new parent with a tool box of to soothe a distressed baby. Brifely, they are the following:
- Swaddling - For a review of safe swaddling, see How to Practice Safe Swaddling.
- Side/Stomach position
While some of these techniques such as swaddling are well known, Dr. Karp provides a clear overview of how all five can be used most effectively, and in combination, to help you and your baby sleep longer.
Not only does Dr Karp know how to soothe infants, the video below demonstrates his magic with both infants and toddlers.
While we prefer the DVD, many parents find the Happiest Baby on the Block Book very helpful as well which covers some additional content.