Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book Review: The Happiest Baby on the Block

I just finished reading "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp. I heard of it when I had Lance but never picked it up but boy do I wish I had! He might have had happier days in the beginning. The basic concept of this book is that babies are kicked out of the womb... a warm, tight, loud, comforting place to the world that is so very different. Some babies need a forth "trimester". So as we try to comfort our babies, why not use techniques that duplicate the womb? I had heard about swaddling before but Dr.Karp suggests doing the 5 S's to comfort a crying baby. Swadding, Side/stomach position, Saying Ssssshhh, Swinging and Sucking. The book goes into detail of what each means, why they work and how to do them properly.

A lot of parents (including myself) are afraid of spoiling their babies by holding them and comforting them in these ways. We want them to cry it out... but here is an except from the book that I just love!!!

"From your baby's point of view, being in your arms for twelve hours a day is a disappointment, if not a rip-off. If he could talk, your infant would probably state with pouty disdain, "Hey, what's the big deal? You used to hold me twenty-four hours a day and feed me every single second!"
Unfortunately, many parents in our culture have been convinced that it's wrong to cuddle their babies so much. They have been misled into believing that their main job is to teach and educate their newborn. They treat their young child more like a brain to train than a spirit they are privileged to nurture." (p.68)

Neato perspective huh? I thought it was clever. And I never understood why babies mixed up days and nights. Dr.Karp explains it that the nighttime is just so quiet and different from the womb. So putting a newborn in a very still quiet dark room is rather shocking to them so they cry and need some extra comfort during those times. He says: "the stillness of the room envelops him like a closet, devoid of the rhythms that were his constant comfort and companion for the past nine months."

The book was eye opening to me and helped me better understand my role as NURTURER. I look forward to meeting my baby boy soon and IF I get another fussy baby, I have some new info to help me! WOOT WOOT!


In Light of the Truth... said...

when I was a nanny, the parents had me watch the video for that book. And Kevin and I still joke about the 5 S's (shaking is not one of them!) It is a neat perspective!

Anonymous said...

Penelope Leach (it might be Leech) an author/child expert from England has just come out and said, not to let babies cry and not let them cry themselves to sleep. Makes sense to me, wish that advice had been around whn mine were babies. Pointless letting them get all worked up crying and I was a wreck too.
Blessings to you and your soon to arrive babe.