The Happiest Baby on the Block looks at the best way to calm a baby, particularly those newborn to 3 months. Dr. Harvey Karp discusses a reflex he has discovered over the years, which he calls the ‘calming reflex’. In the program he shows, in detail, how to use the ‘calming reflex’ with infants, using the ‘Five S’s': swaddling, side or stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking. A combination of these can help calm a baby quickly and allow them to sleep longer.
The Happiest Baby on the Block‘s discussion of the ‘calming reflex’ is something all new parents should watch. Most new parents can become overwhelmed when they do not know why their child is crying, I was there just a few months ago. I wish I would have had this DVD then. Although instinctively I was doing some of the things that Dr. Karp talks about, slight modifications would have helped me to be more successful. I discovered these methods still worked on my six month old, particularly when he was sick and the usual methods were not working.
One of the most convincing aspects, apart from watching Dr. Karp calm babies almost instantly, is the medical science that he uses to back up his findings. Human infants are immature at birth. Unlike most other mammals, whose infants survival depends on their ability to move around and function rather quickly, human survival is based on our brains. Because of this, our infants are born immature due to the large brain size. These simple facts affect the way in which we relate to our infants at this young age. Thus, following Dr. Karp’s teachings can help to build a solid relationship based on trust between parents and infants during this crucial time.
The Happiest Toddler on the Block is a companion DVD that discusses how to deal with tantrums in young children. The focus is on children ranging from eight months to five years. Dr. Karp discusses various strategies in order to help your child get through and even prevent tantrums.
Dr. Karp’s teachings in, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, are little harder for me to swallow. Although I could see how his methods work, his reasoning behind the methods may not sit well with everyone. Having worked as a professional with toddlers for a few years now, I have developed my own philosophy on what the children are able to do. This does not line up with everything Dr. Karp is teaching in the program. That is not to say that his teaching would not work for many people. This program should be watched with an open mind and then create what will work for both you and your child. Remember, your child is an individual and so there is not a perfect cookie cutter approach to fighting tantrums. Dr. Karp gives a good place to start with his various techniques.
One of the most important aspects that he discusses, one in which I fully agree with, is to make sure that you are acknowledging the toddlers feelings. No matter what you decide to use from this program, this should be the most important thing to remember. Just because the little ones do not know how to express their feelings doesn’t mean they don’t have them. In the program, Dr. Karp talks about how this acknowledgment can lead to shorter tantrums and possibly preventing tantrums more often than not.
Both The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block also contain hot topic questions posed by real parents. These questions are ones in which you may have asked at one time, or will be asking soon. These questions can be just as helpful as the information in the main program.