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 and ideas are my own.
I remember those days when my daughter was a baby and I was a single mom, working full time to make us a living and trying hard to be the best parent I could be. Sleep was certainly, as it is for all parents, a big issue. My daughter, unlike most, slept through the night from the day she was born. I know, I know, that sounds amazing but there was a downside. Because she slept right through from about 8 pm to 6 am, she didn’t want to nap during the day. All of that advice from other mothers of taking a nap whenever my baby napped was moot. And she was colicky (turns out she was allergic to cow’s milk and not getting enough from breastfeeding alone) so the hours of about 3 to 6 pm were spent with her screaming at the top of her lungs and me walking the floor in an attempt to soothe her. As she got a bit older, she was in day care while I worked and she napped every day there. That meant that it was really difficult then to get her to go to sleep at night at a reasonable hour. Then as she got even a little bit older, she started with night terrors and waking up during the night several times. What i would have given back then for a book like The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Harvey Karp, M.D.!
Harvey Karp, M.D., is a nationally celebrated pediatrician, child development specialist, and children’s environmental health advocate. He is on the faculty of the USC School of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Karp’s books and DVDs, The Happiest Baby on the Block, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, and The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep, teach parents breakthrough techniques to reduce infant crying, boost sleep, build toddler patience, and stop tantrums. Millions of parents have benefited from his advice, including celebrities such as Madonna, Michelle Pfeiffer, Larry David, Jewel, and Pierce Brosnan. Translated into more than twenty languages and taught across America by thousands of Happiest Baby educators, the enormous popularity of Dr. Karp’s work has made him one of the most read—and most trusted—pediatricians in history.
Now that my niece is pregnant with twin boys and my nephew’s wife is pregnant with a girl, all due this summer, when given the chance to read and review this book, I jumped at it. First off, I really appreciated the way this book is set up. Chapter One begins with some background information on the science of sleep. Hang on – you may think that sounds boring but Dr. Karp makes it very interesting. He debunks common sleep myths and shares information on the similarities and differences between sleep needs for children and adults. My daughter’s sleep issues were fairly minor and normal when she was little, but once she hit the teen years, she developed a full blown sleep disorder. The information in this first chapter could prove very valuable even now!
From there, the book is broken up into sections based on the child’s age. Dr, Karp has set the book up purposely to allow for you to jump around from section to section as it pertains to you and your child at their particular age and stage of development as needed. He even repeats some of the basic information in several different sections: this is to allow the reader to skip right to the part they need and not miss out on anything pertinent. Genius! I certainly know that when I was a young mother, missing out on my own sleep because of my baby daughter’s sleep patterns, there’s no way I would have had the time or the energy to read the book from cover to cover in order to find the hints and tips I needed. The book contains a final section on naps as well as suggestions and resources for special circumstances (such as children with ADHD) and sample sleep schedules.
One of Dr. Karp’s key points in the book is that children’s sleep problems are a problem for them AND their parents. It is not just one of the frustrations of being a parent of young children. Sleep deprivation can lead to depression, illness, and a host of other health issues. What I really loved about this book was that it is geared towards giving parents practical solutions for sleep problems – ones that can be put into place quickly and easily and that can see fast results too! Through such devices as the use of the proper type of white noise , use of sleep cues, teaching babies to self-soothe, and swaddling, Dr. Karp shows how to teach babies to sleep at least one extra hour a day from the first weeks of life and to continue getting a good sleep even through such difficult times as teething and toddler power struggles! They say that kids don’t come with instruction manuals, but this sure comes close.
This book is bound to become a staple in the homes of every new parent and I’ll certainly be passing my copy along to my niece. With twins on the way, I know that she and her husband would benefit from it. I’ll also definitely be adding this to my mental list of great baby shower gifts for in the future. On my scale of 1-5, it scores an enthusiastic 5.