Book Review: The Happiest Baby on the Block

Book Review: The Happiest Baby on the Block 1If you're a brand new parent, congratulations! It's likely that you're overwhelmed with wonder, awe, love, and amazement at the little miracle that has entered your life. My husband often describes those first few moments after birth as "the true 'love at first sight'."

It's also likely that you're in the middle of a sleepy fog of milky oblivion. There are probably moments where you feel at a loss about how to calm your crying baby or how to put him to sleep. Fortunately, there are techniques available to help.

Dr. Harvey Karp, author of the national bestselling book - "The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer" - outlines five S's that will calm your crying baby:

1. Swaddling
2. Side/Stomach
3. Shhh
4. Swinging
5. Sucking

I had the privilege of reading the book and watching the DVD - both of which are excellent resources. Dr. Karp does a fantastic job of "laying the foundation" about how babies view the world and then gives solid practical advice to help parents calm their crying babies. I especially appreciated Dr. Karp's insights about "crying it out" ("Letting your baby cry it out makes as little sense as closing your ears to your screeching car alarm while you wait for the battery to die. It...goes against every parental instinct.") and co-sleeping ("...if bringing your baby into bed with you feels right, trust your instincts. Sleeping with your baby is a natural continuation of the womb experience...").

THE BOOK: The illustrations throughout the book are humorous and the content is really quite good. My only criticism is that I found the constant references to evolution, our ancestors, and cavemen somewhat tiresome. I would have preferred the book to have a slightly less anthropological emphasis, but that really is a minor critique.

THE DVD: The DVD re-caps the book nicely and is ideal for parents of newborns who might find it easier to pop in a film during a nursing session than to read an entire book.

Overall, I found both resources to offer helpful information to new parents, but I especially recommend the DVD. I feel even more prepared for the "newborn stage" after watching it. I'm certain that it will give you a nice "bag of tricks" to pull from when your baby is crying or fighting sleep.

For additional tips, answers to your questions about calming your baby, and/or to find a Happiest Baby Class near you, check out The Happiest Baby website.

WIN IT! One mama will win "The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer" book AND DVD. This set is optimal for mamas who have a baby in the birth to six months age range (or who are pregnant). To enter, simply leave a comment on this post (don't forget to read the rules) prior to Thursday, Mar. 6, at midnight. The winner will be announced and contacted on Friday, Mar. 7. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.

* UPDATE * The winner is #56 patty smith. Congratulations!

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98 comments on “Book Review: The Happiest Baby on the Block”

  1. I totall agree with the sucking for helping baby to sleep. My daughter is 5 weeks old and I have had a tough time getting her to go back to sleep after the 4am feeding. She will go to sleep but not 100% and she is a noisy sleeper from 4am to 7am. She will often wake up multiple times as well. Before the 4am feeding she sleeps great. Last night I put her binky in her mouth after the 4am feeding and she slept great. I did not hear from her until 7am!

  2. Wish I'd had this book before the birth of Beth. However, It would have saved many sleepless hours. Best of luck to all who enter!!!!!

  3. I would LOVE to give this to my Sister. She had a baby with Down Syndrome and he is VERY sensitive and easily upset. I feel so bad for her, sometimes he just cries for hours for no reason. I think this would really help her sooth him. PLEASE pick me!

    [email protected]


  4. I recommend this to EVERYONE! And gave my old copies away. It really is essential to read the book AND watch the DVD.

  5. I've heard so many great things about this book! Although I already have 2 past the newborn stage, I would love to be prepared for my 3rd! I would love to win this =)


  6. This looks like a very useful book, especially for a first-time mom. (Wish I'd had it!) I'd like to win it for my cousin, expecting her first child in May.

  7. I need this book! My hubby and I took a newborn class and it only covered two of the five S's. I need to know the other three - BADLY! My daughter is a month old and I'm losing sleep by the minute!!

  8. The tips in this book really helped us with our first baby - would love to win this set to give as a gift to friends of ours who are expecting any day now!!

  9. Some friends of ours recommended this book - it worked well with their baby. We're looking forward to trying it out on our 3-week-old.

  10. This book would be wonderful for me and my 3 girlfriends to pass around our reading group. I'm expecting later this year, but the other 3 are all due this month! :)
    md-sweeps (at) hotmail (d0t) com

  11. I just know that my daughter, expecting baby #1 will need and use this...

    smithpatty at comcast dot net

  12. I'm glad you mentioned his comments on crying it out and co-sleeping because now it sounds like a good book/DVD.

    My youngest has out grown this stage, but I have two friends who have just had babies! plus, I could borrow it if baby number 7 comes along. :)


  13. I have heard great things about this book. My little one arrives in June, so I would love to get a headstart on it!

    lucycontest at

  14. Hi Stephanie! Don't enter me in the drawing as I don't need a copy, but I wanted to say this is by far THE MOST HELPFUL baby book I have read. GREAT book, didn't know there is a DVD now, too. Awesome!

  15. I borrowed this book from the library when I was pregnant with #3. It was extremely helpful, except for all the evolution references, as you mentioned. =) I haven't seen the DVD and would love to have them. Thanks!


  16. Please DON'T enter me as I already have this...just wanted to say this is a FABULOUS book!! I don't have the DVD, but I can only imagine it's just as great as the book! :)


  17. I have heard great things about this book. Would love to view the DVD because lately I'm not so good at making it through books...



  18. I would love to win theses prizes. My (first) baby boy has been fussy lately and they would help greatly. Thanks!

  19. We borrowed this video from our midwife when my son was born- it's great! I'd love to win it as a gift for a pregnant friend.

  20. The review sounded so good. I have a friend who would really love this book and needs it. Would really love to win this book. Enter me please. thanks.

  21. I have needed a book like this many times! I work in the nursery at church and with 7 kids of my own! please enter me, thanks!

  22. we took this book out of thel ibrary for #1 4 years ago. We;d love to own our own copy for #2 - I think we forgot it all!!!


  23. What I should have read the first time around but would like to read before the second wee one arrives!
    wakeyes AT yahoo DOT com

  24. This would be wonderful to win. I'm still having trouble with my little one.

  25. dr.karp is the reason that my first two babies were swaddled for at least 6 months. :D i got the info second hand from another fan of his, so having the actual book would be great. (and my 4 month old is swaddled and sleeping in my lap as we speak. heheheh)

  26. As my eyes are drooping from last night's all nighter..I am thinking I would love this book and even more so the DVD. That's a very smart person that included the DVD. I thought I would spend my 12 weeks off reading but I quickly learned it's hard to read with only one hand. My child is only 8 weeks so we can still learn a lot!

  27. I've heard great things about this book and dvd. With a baby boy on the way in June, I hope I win!

    disarray at onebox dot com

  28. I have heard nothing but rave reviews for this book/technique. I would love to read this to prepare for when my second comes along. We really lucked out with our first, since she was so good at sleeping and wasn't too fussy...but come to think of it, the first 3 months are a blur. Maybe she wasn't so great then... :) katebeth45 at gmail dot com

  29. Dr. Karp's techniques worked wonders for us. I wish we had found out about "Happiest Baby..." a lot sooner. I have several friends and one sister who either are pregnant or who have recently had babies. This would make a great gift. I have bought Happiest Toddler on the Block. I hope it is helpful too. I just need a Happiest 6-12 month on the block!

  30. I'm preggers with my first (due May 25th) so this would be a great resource for me and my hubby. (especially as so many of the comments are raving about it, too!)

    nifferjeno at gmail dot com

  31. This book ROCKS! I can't wait to see the DVD...and my copy is lent out right now and isn't a great printing as several of the pages are too light to read--thank you thrift store-ha! :)

  32. I have heard about this book however never read it. After six short people in my life, I can use all the help I can get :)


    I'd probably give it to my best friend who is having her first! She can use it a bit more than I can!

    Great Giveaway!

  33. I am just finishing this book & love it. I hope I can remember it all when my baby comes in a month! Haven't seen the DVD but maybe I need to!

  34. Thanks for another awesome giveaway Steph! Hope I win for my friend who's due any day now...

    hellomary018 AT yahoo DOT com

  35. I'm so excited that you're giving this wonderful book+DVD out! I'm 30 weeks pregnant now and this is my first baby. My hospital used to offer a class using the info from this book, but they don't do that anymore (ahh..) Hopefully I'll be the lucky one to win this set!

    [email protected]

  36. I am expecting #3 and will need all the extra help I can get! I have heard wonderful things about this and "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" and I am so curious to see what the secrets are!

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