PASS: The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD

The Happiest Baby on the Block – The New Way to Help Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer is another one of those powerhouses in the newborn book and DVD category. If you’ve had a child in the past five years, you probably own it, have seen it or heard about it (or all of the above). If you’re in the process of having a child, read on.
Developed by Dr Harvey Karp (he has his own website, of course), the DVD highlights five techniques that actually work in calming your newborn and helping him or her go to sleep. The main premise of the story is that the first three months of a baby’s life are actually the “fourth trimester” and thus recreating the environment of womb brings the baby comfort and calm.
These are the Five S’s that are the basis of the method:
  1. Swaddling
  2. Side hold
  3. Shushing
  4. Swing/shake/jiggle
  5. Sucking
Listing them above is no spoiler because seeing the method in action is the important part, not naming it. During the DVD you see Dr Karp interacting with a group of mothers and their babies. As each mother hands over their fussy baby he demonstrates each technique with an effectiveness the Dog Whisperer would be proud of. Its actually quite amusing (and amazing) to watch as these squirming babies become putty in his hands.  In this particular case, a DVD is actually the perfect medium to communicate the message as seeing the advice in action is the easiest way to understand the tips given… as “Shake your baby” could just get interpreted in waaaay too many wrong ways.

The product description on Amazon is a little over the top, using words sentences like “most parents can soothe even colicky babies in minutes…or less…AND boost sleep 1-3 hours/night”, but I found the tips to work quite well with our newborn.

Swaddling kept the baby nice and cozy and kept her from smacking herself awake with an errant arm swing. The Side Hold was good when trying to put her to sleep when in my arms (we never put her to sleep in the bed like that however – always on the back). Shushing worked wonders to quickly quiet a crying baby. It is indeed an “off-switch” (you may have also heard the use of a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer as having a similar effect). Jiggling was good in combination with the side hold and the baby swing was great for naps. Pacifiers (sucking) however, didn’t do much for us as she never took to one.

We borrowed this DVD from a friend, and I recommend you do the same or buy used copy on ebay. You will watch the DVD no more than once, so just keep that in mind.
As always, much of this seems like common sense and some will say that all this is pretty obvious, as is often the case with simple ideas that work, but then again you didn’t think of Facebook either, did you?

Grade: Pass

Cost: Low / Medium

Value: Over valued

Lifespan: 1 viewing

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