Friday, February 6, 2009

Book Recommendation - The Happiest Baby on the Block

Every first-time new mom has been there. Up with a screaming baby at 3:00am for the ump-teenth night in a row. All you can think is "why won't this kid stop crying so I can sleep??!"

I was thinking about this experience today, and thinking about why this baby seems so much easier. I think it's because I know how to help her calm down. With my first baby, I didn't. He was about 6 weeks old when a friend recommended a book to me that was literally life changing. (When you haven't slept for 6 weeks, getting just 1 night of sleep can definitely change your life!)

The book is The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D. Now, I'm not saying that I agree with everything in the book. In fact, most of his theories about WHY his method works are a little out there, in my opinion. (He talks about evolution, how babies used to be in the womb for 12 months before our brains got too big...yeah...) But, that aside, the method WORKS!

Like I said, I read it for the first time when Zander was about 6 weeks old. It took a little bit of practice to get it right, but then, WOW! When I had Ady, I didn't want to forget how to do it, so I borrowed the book from the library. There is one page in the book that is the most important - the one where the method is summed up and demonstrated with cute little cartoons. I made a photocopy of that page and returned the book to the library (shhh). I wish I'd kept that page, but I didn't.

Now with my third baby, the method is pretty much ingrained in my brain, so I have been doing it without really thinking about it. This baby seems to be by far my easiest.

So, what is this method you ask?
It is the 5 S's
  1. Swaddling - wrap the baby as tight as possible in a blanket.
  2. Side - Hold the baby on his/her side or stomach.
  3. Swing - Vigorously swing the baby from side to side.
  4. Shh - Loudly "Shhh" in the baby's ear.
  5. Suck - Give the baby a pacifier (or something else) to suck on.

You'll have to read the book to understand why/how this works. But trust me, it does! Ainzlee started crying this afternoon, and I did all these things, and she was out almost instantly. Like magic!
(And no, I don't work for the book company. If you can get it from your library - do it!)


Caranna said...

Also one of my favorites Layney! I have it in my library and lend it out to as many new Mommies as will take it!
My first baby, Tate, was such a good baby - and I already knew the swaddling trick - so I never had problems with him crying incessantly!
But, as you know, my second child was much more difficult. Canton was always crying - I didn't know how to help him and was on the brink of my sanity when a friend lent me this book - and it made things SO much better!
The methods in it are now second nature to me too - and worked wonders on my third from the start.
So although the author has some wacky theories, his methods are tried and true ;)

The White House said...

I read the book before AJ and thought I would try it but AJ being different never liked being swaddled, ever! Noble on the other hand loved the 5 S's and it saved us most the time.
Funny how AJ decided he didn't want to be like everyone else, I guess things haven't changed much.

Krystal said...

i usually keep a baby swing next to my bed... hahahah im a cheater! i will have to use those methods on my baby :D

Steph said...

Hey Alayna, I was just thinking about you the other day, so I popped onto your blog to see about your baby. Congrats, she's darling!
My little guy is almost 3 months now, and I can't believe it (and I love this book too, and he hasn't even been a crier :)
Here you can see a picture of him: and

Hope all is good with you!