I recently borrowed The Happiest Baby On The Block by Dr. Harvey Karp from my local La Leche League, and I believe the information it contains is quite useful to all mothers, not only the nursing and pumping ones. Dr. Karp’s “Cuddle Cure” is very helpful to calm a fussy baby, and even a high need baby. Although I did not read the book before my son was beyond the age recommended, I find that in my own life I have used an adaptation of the “Cuddle Cure”, even before I read the book. For me, my version came from stress, frustration, lack of sleep and anxiety in regard to our sleep situation. Combined with some attachment parenting tricks, it has been my miracle to calm my fussy baby.
Dr. Karp’s 5 S’s (if I can remember them all now, it’ll be a 6th S – Surprise!) are incredibly efficient and helpful to calm a crying baby. I’m sure we have all seen those children – the ones who are screaming their lungs out in a local supermarket or grocery store, while the haggard mother is frantically trying to buy supplies for yet another week of screaming at home. We’ve also seen car commercials where new fathers try to avoid stopping in the hopes that the newborn in the back seat will remain sleeping and not start screaming again. I’m sure most of us have been there too – it’s a difficult road and has led to child abuse in some parents. However, a combination of Dr. Karp’s “Cuddle Cure” and my own version of Dr. Sears’ attachment parenting has given me truly the “Happiest Baby On The Block”.
Although our son is the youngest baby on the block, and probably the only who can still be called an infant, many people – from our parents to complete strangers – have commented on how calm and happy our son is both in public and in private. At home, I often use my variation of the 5 S’s to help my baby prepare for sleep and calm down enough for nursing when I have arrived home from work and he is truly frantic. My son loves to fight sleep, and this is the best method that I have found to help him find his way into sleep. All parents, new and experienced alike, can surely tell the parent of a child who will sleep from the parent of a child who will not sleep.
I highly recommend this book – it would be especially helpful as a baby shower or holiday present before the birth of a child. It is one of those rare jewels in the baby industry that can truly save a household, although most new mothers will not be able to find much time to read it after the birth of their little darling. There are occasional parents who are not entirely open to parenting advice before the birth of their child, and in that case I would recommend it as “Fatherly Reading” – it never hurts for a father to be able to calm a screaming baby, especially after his or her mother has tried for a very long time and is ready for a nap or a shower.
Disclosure: I borrowed this book from a local La Leche League lending library. I received no compensation for writing this review, nor was I influenced in any way to write a positive review. I wrote my own opinions regarding what I had read.
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