Parenting book "The Happiest Baby on the Block"

What is colic?  Colic is a term used to described babies who cry loud and for long periods of time with no explanation.  Often their faces are twisted as if they are in pain.  Parents think they may have gas and a trip to the doctor reveals everything is normal, yet baby continues to spend a large portion of daily awake time crying at the top of her lungs.  Parents often feel at a loss as to what to do for these babies.  Dr. Harvey Karp, a respected pediatrician, researched this dilemna and began working with parents of babies with colic.  The result is his book The Happiest Baby On The Block.  

The Happiest Baby On The Block addresses the question “How Can I Calm My Baby?” by looking at the top five actions parents have taken across cultures over thousands of years.   Now a national bestseller, Dr. Karp’s book presents “the 5 S’s”:  Swaddling, Side Position, Shhh Sound, Swinging, and Sucking.”  Dr. Karp’s theory is that babies respond to the 5 S’s when used in combination because they provide an experience for baby that closely resembles the experience of the womb.  Soon, with these techniques, even the fussiest baby learns to be calm.  Dr. Karp  presents the “5 S’s” in a simple manner so parents can try them at home and quiet baby’s cries.

The Happiest Baby On The Block:  by Harvey Karp, M.D.  (New York:  Bantam Books, 2002).


  1. Dr. Karp’s methods of finding the calming “switch” are amazing. It’s one thing to read his book, look at the images (try to figure out how to get that blankie tucked just right), or to view the DVD, but to teach these techniques to parents, or to be a parent witnessing this for the first time in action, is indescribable. I’ve been a HBB parent educator for some years, and love giving this gift to new parents as a personal baby shower present.

    A young couple allowed me to offer this gift to them and their—I believe 4 week old—baby girl. Mommy had been losing sleep, losing patience, and was beginning to lose all manner of reasoning for letting her handsome young husband partner with her in this whole parenting thing. I viewed with them parts of the DVD, then modeled the swaddling. Baby Paige wasn’t extremely fussy, just having difficulty self-regulating to let herself fall asleep. I demonstrated how to perfect the swaddle, then the side-stomach laying, and right there little Paige CLICKED on that calming switch almost loudly enough to hear. I will never forget the look on mommy’s & daddy’s faces. Their jaws were literally dropped. Of course, mom was so tired out, that hers only dropped a little, but the witnessing of this miracle was indeed an eye- and jaw-opening experience for them.

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