Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book review: The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Harvey Karp, M.D

This time I am reviewing a different kind of book than the ones I usually cover. The book "The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep" by Dr. Harvey Karp was of interest to me since one of the downsides of doing babysitting was to get several children assigned to the group who were less than one year old and could not participate in the playtime with the older kids. So one thing I always asked the moms to do was feed the kids before dropping them off at daycare and made sure that the diaper had been changed. Some moms looked at me funny because other babysitters did not request that, but I told them that at the young age, being hungry was one of the main reasons that the kids would wake and start crying. 

When I came across this opportunity to review a book about how getting babies and toddlers to sleep more and regularly, I was interested. I had based my babysitting advice on what I had picked up from my parents and how they managed to get me to fall asleep and sleep through the night. So I was glad to see that several of the hints in the book involve proper feeding and setting some kind of routine that involves getting the babies to be more and more independent during the night, such as a practice of waking the babies just as they are falling asleep to get the little ones used to falling asleep on their own (self-soothe), without demanding that mom or dad show up in the middle of the night and rock them to sleep again.

On other tip I found interesting involved the use of specific white noise (low pitched and rumbling) that is particular good at encouraging sleep for the little ones. Dr. Karp also lists the types of white noise that can actually hurt your attempt at getting the little one to fall asleep. Once asleep, teething is a lot easier to bear for the parents and without the sleep deprivation often encountered, the parents can be productive.

What really scared me was the mentioning of parents driving kids around town in the middle of the night to get them to sleep.I can only imagine what it means to be woken up in the middle of the night and resorting to driving around town with a baby in the back of the car. If for no other reason that to avoid that road hazard, people with little ones who have problems sleeping through the night should get this book.

With the book "The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep", parents will minimize sleep deprivation or resort to let babies cry themselves to sleep. Backed by advice from a nationally celebrated pediatrician, child development specialist and children environmental health advocate, parents can follow the surprisingly simply tips in the book to get their kids to fall asleep and sleep through the night. Even in the first weeks of life, infants can be taught to sleep at least one extra hour and with the easy guide instructions from Dr. Karp, the sleep of babies can be boosted in just days. 

So if you seek help in getting your little one to sleep better or know of someone that is suffering from sleep deprivation due to their little family addition, consider buying the book THE HAPPIEST BABY GUIDE TO GREAT SLEEP: Simple Solutions for Kids from Birth to 5 Years (William Morrow Paperback; On-Sale: March 19, 2013; $15.99; ISBN: 9780062113320). 

One tip that I found helpful, even for adults who often suffer from problems falling asleep as well due to stress at work, power down before bedtime. Do not state at bright screens at night, such as TVs, computers etc., but try reading a book or just sit and talk. This applies to kids and parents!

Dr. Karp certainly has the expertise and experience to be writing such a book. His biography, available here, indicates that many celebrities have sought his advice regarding child rearing and now everyone can enjoy his advice through the book that is written in simple, easy to follow steps that makes it appear as if children now 
come with instructions. I really like the breakdown of the book, with chapter summaries being included for quick reference and tricks highlighted throughout the chapter, including the use of massage to calm the little one down before bedtime.

image of the author, pediatrician Harvey Karp, M.D

If you want to find out more information on the topic and seek input from others and the author on how to help your little one find a good night's sleep, you can visit the website "The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep" here

Who does not want their little one to sleep through the night? This book is filled with guidance on how to do that!

Disclaimer: 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.

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