Lara's Reviews > The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
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's review
Jul 23, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: parenting
Read from May 26 to July 22, 2010

I only gave this 3 stars for now, with the understanding that I may change my mind after I actually HAVE this baby and attempt to apply the concepts discussed in the book. I have friends who swear by either the book or the DVD version of it, so I have a feeling I'll change my tune on it eventually.

The reasons I gave it 3 stars instead of 4 or 5 are:
(1) I feel like this guy is trying to sell me something. Seriously. I know he's not, because dude, I've already bought his book, but there's something very salesy about his tone that annoyed me throughout the book.
(2) I get that he's a doctor, and I get that he has tried and tested these theories out the wazoo, but he makes these sweeping statements of fact (e.g., and I'm paraphrasing here because my copy of the book is upstairs and I am down and I am lazy, "Human babies are missing a fourth trimester! They would be in the womb 3 months longer if they wouldn't get so darn big in there! And they have these things called Moro reflexes!") without telling us where he came upon this information, and the lawyer in me just can't accept that without a bit of cynicism. I mean, sure - I get the point: compared to, say, puppies, human babies come out of the womb a bit underdeveloped, since we don't exactly see them walking around and frolicking immediately - but somehow I doubt you can truly, accurately say that they are missing a trimester or whatever. Besides, wouldn't it be called a quadrimester? Now I'm just nitpicking, but do you see what I mean?
(3) Karp's suggestions for soothing babies make sense, but I don't feel confident in my ability to execute these steps after just reading the book. I either need to watch the DVD (which my sister very kindly sent to me) or take the class that they offer at my local hospital. Karp is big on saying things like, "Do these things, but if they aren't done JUST RIGHT, they won't work." Ummm...okay, well, something tells me you can't show me how to perfectly execute these moves in a book.

Despite these complaints, I really did enjoy the book and I do think his methods probably work. I just wish the book had a less sales-y tone and that I felt more confident in my ability to pull these things off after reading it. The good news is that I at least have one step, swaddling, down pat since I bought the cheater version of swaddles, including one that just zips right up like a little coccoon. Woot!

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