Ask any new parent what they need and the answer will probably be “more sleep!” When I was a new mother I was so tired that I once tried to nurse a stuffed animal. No one was more surprised than me that I couldn’t get a good latch, except maybe Elmo.
I read “The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep” by Harvey Karp, M.D. and wish I’d had this book for my babies. Not that my babies could read. That would have been cool, though.
Though I have older kids now, I ripped through this book. It explained so much of what I did right with my kids sleep habits and where I went wrong. Now I know why my oldest liked long car rides and why my youngest preferred being rocked by my husband.
Doctor Karp’s five S’s for calming a newborn are genius. I did some of them instinctively, and some because my mother told me to. Who knew how smart she was? And totally correct about swaddling.
I hated wrapping up my babies into the shape I called the “Baby Burrito”, mostly because I don’t like to be constricted. Also, because I could never get a wrap to stay snug like my mom showed me. When that woman wraps a baby, he stays wrapped! My son in college is lucky to not still be encased in a receiving blanket.
Here are some of the things I learned from Dr. Karp’s book:
- Newborns are really in the Fourth Trimester.
- The Five S’s for getting a newborn to sleep are swaddling, side/stomach position to get to sleep, shushing, swinging, sucking.
- Though you might get a baby to sleep on her side or stomach, NEVER let her stay asleep in that position due to increased risk of SIDS.
- Sometimes it’s better to wake a sleeping baby.
I loved the opening section on the science of sleep. I knew my own sleep cycle was about ninety minutes, but I had no idea a baby’s is about sixty minutes. It explained so much to me about the clash of sleep cycles and why I’d have to rouse from my deepest sleep when my baby woke up alert after less time.
I intend to make this book one of my standard baby gifts for new moms and dads. I think my early years of parenting would have been so much better with this advice. It definitely would have saved me and Elmo from embarrassment.
I am participating in a book review campaign with One2One Network. I received this book from Harper Collins for the purposes of reviewing it. I have not received compensation. My participation in the campaign enters me into a drawing for a gift card. All opinions stated are my own.