The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Dr. Harvey Karp

It’s not often that I come across a book that changes my life.  I’ve read my share of self-help books, but none of them really spoke to me. I think part of the reason is that they did not give me small, concrete steps to take to improve my life.  The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep is extremely helpful because it does just that.

Shortly after my son was born I started reading The Happiest Baby on the Block, but it did not seem to apply to us.  He did not show signs of the inconsolable crying that signals colic.  But next to that book in the library was The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep.  We didn’t have issues with colic, but we had every new parent’s issues with a baby that wakes up frequently, and we were exhausted.  He slept for almost twenty hours a day, but only in two to three-hour increments.

That all changed once I started applying what I learned in The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep.  Dr. Karp reviews his 5 S’s from his first book: swaddling, sucking, shushing, swinging, and side/stomach position.  He is very clear about how to do each of these things in order to encourage your child to sleep better and longer.  Once we started swaddling, my son started sleeping at least six hours straight each night.  We had always used white noise, and he always nurses to sleep.  Recently he has been super fussy, so I’ve also been using the side/stomach position and swinging (or hopping and dancing around the house while holding).

I’ll admit I have not read the entire book yet.  The book covers sleep issues from birth to five years.  I’ve read from birth through twelve months.  As Tyler approaches the twelve month mark, I’ll read the rest of the book.  I love how this book is not a sleep system, it is more like a book of suggestions.  I can take what I want, and leave the rest, and it is just as effective.  He covers things like cry it out, which he does not agree with, and presents gentler alternatives that work just as well.  I recommend The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep to all new parents.

Take It.

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