A few weeks ago, I was selected to a read and review “The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep” by Harvey Karp, M.D. via the One2One Network. While my youngest began sleeping eight hour nights at two months, I signed up for the opportunity because we’re in the process of transitioning her into the crib so I thought it would be good to read up on some sleep training techniques from the beginning of the process. I was pretty excited to receive my copy from Harper Collins. And for the legalese – I didn’t received compensation for this. But I just realized I will be entered into a drawing for a free gift card. And, of course, like all my review this one is based on my own opinions from reading the book.
If you don’t know who Dr. Karp is, he’s a pediatrician who also wrote The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block.
Like his previous two books, “The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep” provides great tips to parents – especially new parents. I found his writing style easy to read. Often times I dislike reading non-fiction, scientific or “help” books because they don’t read well.
Dr. Karp’s writing flows well and is easy to follow. It’s written in every day people “talk” not science jargon making it easy to understand, which is important in order for parents to implement his suggestions.
What I liked most about the book is he offers Why, What and how. Meaning, the why behind sleep patterns, what we can do to help our babies sleep better and how to do it. There’s no theory here, just practical science and implementation.
More importantly, he’s able to share his thoughts about the cry-it-out method, why he doesn’t believe in it and how we can avoid it. Because let’s face it. As a parent who’s tried it, I know how difficult it is to just let your baby cry and think that’s the only option.
Dr. Karp offers many different options on encouraging better sleep for your children. After all, not all babies are alike and what works for one baby might not for another.
One of the things I found interesting is that a good night sleep begins with what we do during the day not just what we do right before bedtime.
While Dr. Karp offers many suggestions for sleep training without CIO, I think all sleep training books interate one similar thought – consistency is the key to helping your baby form new habits.
One of the things Dr. Karp suggests is swaddling your baby for at least four months and says some will need more. When I read this statement, I immediately had to remind myself that not all babies are alike because we didn’t do this with our children. My eldest was houdini and consistently freed himself from his swaddle after two weeks. In addition, we found it safer not to swaddle him because he was also flipping over by then. For those parents who find it different to get their children to sleep without swaddling, Dr. Karp offers suggestions on how to wean swaddling.
I found the section about sleeping training for parents and babies who share a bedroom helpful since my daughter’s crib is currently in our bedroom for the time being. I think we’ll need to reuse the book when we move her crib into her brother’s room. We’re hoping the transition will be smooth, but one never knows.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the book. Although there might have been a couple things I didn’t follow, I feel the book makes for an easy read for any parent who’s struggling with sleep training especially because it’s broken down into two parts one for three to twelve months and another for one to five years. If you’re able to follow his suggestions, I think you’ll find a few more nights are well-rest sleep and minimize your sleep deprivation as a new parent. Plus, at $15.99 USD, it’s a fairly inexpensive book to add to your baby reference library.
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