The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

Summary

  1. The 5’s – what they are, how to do them, why they help to calm baby

Key Takeaways

  1. The 5’s – have to be done exactly right, sequentially 
    1. Swaddling – tighter than you think is comfortable 
    2. Side / Stomach – babies can feel like they’re falling if they are on their back so the side or stomach can be a much more calming way to hold them
    3. Shhhh – louder than you think is comfortable
    4. Swinging – must be done faster than you think. This will also be the first S you’ll wean at around 2-3 months of age
    5. Sucking – pacifiers should only be given when the baby is calm and when baby starts to suck, lightly tug on it. This will be the second S to be weaned
  2. Babies should really be in the womb another couple months so the baby’s first 3 months after birth can be thought of as the “4th trimester.” You want to mimic the conditions, sounds, temperature, etc. as closely as possible to make them feel comfortable and cozy.
    1. Hold them, dance, rock, wrap, white noise, car rides, walk outside, feeding, pacifiers, swings
  3. Don’t be worried about spoiling them, they need the confidence and comfort that you are there to take care of them – you’ll be able to easily wean them off
  4. A cry is not always meant to convey a message
  5. Colic simply a result of cessation of womb 3 months early
  6. Reduce SIDS
    1. Only let baby sleep on the back
    2. Breastfeed if you can
    3. Don’t smoke, drink, or use drugs
    4. Don’t overheat
    5. Use snug swaddles
    6. Offer a pacifier at bedtime
    7. Never sleep with your baby on a couch or waterbed
    8. If you choose to bed share, always use a co-sleeper attachment to keep your baby protected
    9. Remove pillows, toys, bumpers, and think or loose bedding that could cause smothering
    10. Practice tummy time to help your baby develop strong muscles to move away from choking risks
  7. 10 Red Flags
    1. Persistent moaning
    2. Supershrill cry
    3. Vomiting (green or yellow vomit and more than one ounce per episode and more than 5 per day)
    4. Change in stool (especially blood)
    5. Fussing during eating
    6. Abnormal temperature (more than 100.2 or less than 97)
    7. Irritability
    8. Lethargy
    9. Bulging soft spot on the head
    10. Poor weight gain
  8. Top 10 Survival Tips
    1. Trust yourself
    2. Lower your expectations
    3. Accept all the help you can get
    4. Get your priorities straight
    5. Be flexible – it’s much better to bend than snap
    6. Know thyself – how do your baby’s cries make you feel
    7. Don’t rock the cradle too hard
    8. Keep your sense of humor handy
    9. Take care of your spouse
    10. Don’t ignore depression

What I got out of it

  1. The 5’s haven’t worked for us too well yet but the sequence is good to know and it had some other good parenting tips