The Happiest Baby reveals a stunning new discovery - the "calming reflex." An answer to all parent's prayers, this reflex is almost an off switch for crying and on switch for sleep that all babies are born with.
Prepare to be surprised: Your fetus experienced a symphony of sensations (like, jiggly motion and a rumbly sound...louder than a vacuum cleaner).
Prepare to be informed: Babies are happiest when their parents give them a virtual "4th trimester" of loving...filled with lots of holding, rocking and specially engineered, low-pitched white noise.
Prepare to be empowered: You'll quickly master Dr. Karp's amazing "5 S's" and be able to soothe your little one's crying - even most colicky cries - in minutes. And, boost your baby's sleep 1-3 hours every night!
No wonder millions of parents, from working moms to superstars like Madonna have turned to him for help...and made him America's #1 pediatrician!
Bonus features: Dr. Karp answers 25 common parenting questions.
Let's be honest, many moms are ready to have the baby after 7 months of pregnancy! But, from the baby's POV being born at 9 months is still 3-4 months too soon! In many way's our babies are a lot like fetuses during the early months. In fact, the womb is a symphony of sensations...with jiggly motion and sound that's louder than a vacuum...24/7! In a breakthrough understanding, we now know that imitating 5 key aspects of your baby's womb experience (with lots of carrying, rocking and shushing...or playing our white noise CD) you can usually turn on your baby's natural calming reflex to soothe crying and boost sleep.
Swaddling: Snug as a bug!
Safe swaddling reduces crying and increases sleep! It's the cornerstone of calming...for at least the first 4 months. In many families, dads are the kings of swaddling!
Some babies resist wrapping at first, but once you add in some of the other 5 S's the swaddling keeps them calmer longer and sleep better. Swaddling works best when it's done snugly, with the arms down for all sleep (naps and nights) as well as fussy periods. During calm periods, let your baby's arms be free...and don't forget to practice tummy time with your baby, every day. When you swaddle your baby, make sure s/he is: Not too hot: not on the stomach; the hips can bend and move easily; not too hungry (during the early weeks, wake her every 2-3 of hours during the day to eat...to help get the nursing and bottle feedings on track).
Side or Stomach Position: For calming fussies...never for sleep!
The back is the only safe position for sleeping babies, but it's the worst position for calming a fussy baby. Some babies calm as soon as they are rolled to the stomach, but others need you to layer on some of the other S's at the same time. Learn some great techniques - like the football hold - to help your baby stay mellow.
Shushing: Rumbly sound works miracles!
Shushing is used around the world for calming crying and inducing sleep.
Strong white noise (like a CD of hair drier sounds) works wonders for calming crying...it even calms the fussies in your car! And rumbly, low pitched white noise is great for boosting your baby's sleep...and yours! (Most white noise is too high pitched, so try to find rumbly sounds like the ones on the specially engineered Happiest Baby sleep sounds CD.) I recommend using white noise for all babies, all sleep, all year! The right sound helps babies sleep through teething, growth spurts and helps you help your babies sleep without ever having to let him/her cry it out .
Note: Keep the sound off for most of the hours your baby is calm and awake.(Want more info about sleep? Check out The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep.)
Swinging: Rocking your baby into calm
All babies like to be rocked (imagine how jiggly it was for your baby inside your belly when you were walking quickly...or going up and down stairs). Of course you must always support your baby's head and neck and never shake your baby!!! But about 10% of all babies need the jiggly motion...or they simply cannot calm down. You will learn exactly how to do the Jell-O head jiggle and milkshake to safely soothe your baby's fussies. (If you have a baby who really needs motion to be happy, ask your doctor about using a fully reclined swing - on the fast speed - to help keep your baby calmer.)
Sucking: The icing on the cake
Sucking on your breast, pacifier or clean finger will help your baby get deeply calm. If you're breastfeeding, it's best to avoid pacifiers until your baby is latching on and sucking well (usually after 2-4 weeks).
In this lecture you'll also learn the "reverse psychology" trick to teach a reluctant baby how to take a pacifier and you'll receive the list of pacifier dos & don'ts.
Putting it all together: The cuddle cure
Your baby is unique! Over the first few weeks you will learn the perfect mix and intensity of the5 S's to calm her crying fast. Dads who master the 5 S's often become the best baby calmers in the family.
If your baby does not calm down with the 5 S's, make sure you are doing each step correctly (re-watch these lessons or seek out your local Happiest Baby instructor). If your baby still does not calm easily, then it's time call your baby's doctor and get a checkup.
During the first 4 months (the 4th trimester) it's highly recommended to keep your baby snugly swaddled and to use the rumbly, rough white noise CD for all naps and nights. (Remember, the sound in the womb was louder than a vacuum - 24/7. So, being in a quiet room is actually very odd for your baby.) Swaddling will help your baby stay safer by reducing his/her ability to roll onto the stomach. If your baby can roll over swaddled, make sure you are swaddling correctly and using a good, strong white noise CD all night. If the rolling continues, you should either stop the swaddling or speak to your doctor about letting your baby sleep buckled into a fully reclinedswing or infant seat. (Car seats sit babies up too much and the head can double over and interfere with breathing. So, try to not let your child sleep in a car seat.)
After 4-5 months, your baby will probably be ready to be weaned from swaddling, but s/he will continue to sleep much better (though teething, TV sounds, mild colds, etc.) when you continue using the white noise CD. Don't worry about your baby getting "addicted" to the sound. It is super easy to wean. After the 1st birthday, gradually reduce the sound (little by little over 1-2 weeks)...or continue using it for as long as you find it helpful.
Want to learn how to insure perfect sleep during the first 5 years of your child's life? Check out The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep.
Hear how real parents used the 5 S's to boost their confidence and keep their babies happy and sleeping well.
Does hours of holding spoil a baby? What is colic? When can babies self calm? Do babies cry from gas? Is music helpful? Listen as Dr. Karp answers these and 20 more common parent questions about babies, crying and sleep.
Dr. Harvey Karp is a pediatrician and child developmentalist and assistant professor at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
He received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed residency at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. He then performed a dual fellowship in Ambulatory Pediatrics and Child Development at UCLA. Following his training, he practiced general pediatrics for 25 years in Santa Monica, California.
His critically acclaimed parenting DVDs/books, The Happiest Baby on the Block, The Happiest Toddler on the Block and The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep are translated into over 20 languages and their popularity has made him America's most read pediatrician. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is also an authority on breastfeeding and children's environmental health, serving on the board of directors of the Environmental Working Group.
Thousands of Happiest Baby educators teach his baby calming/sleep techniques in hospitals, postpartum depression treatment clinics, child abuse prevention programs, military bases, etc. across the country and in over a dozen other nations. More than 1000 instructors work for departments of health of CO, CT, MA. MN, OK, PA, WY.
Dr. Karp serves on several advisory boards and has received numerous honors for his work. Scholastic Magazine listed among the “Top 10 Influencers on the American Family” and Sharecare named him one of the top Internet pediatric influencers. Lauding his work, the New York Times proclaimed, "Roll over Dr. Spock!"
Dr. Karp lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Nina. Their adult daughter lives in New York City.