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The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer (Anglais) Relié – 28 mai 2002

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Chapter 1

At Last There's Hope:

An Easy Way to Calm Crying Babies

Main Points:

All babies cry, but most new parents have little experience soothing them

The Basic Problem: In many ways, babies are born three months too soon

The Calming Reflex: Nature's Off switch for a baby's crying

The 5 "S's": How to turn on your baby's calming reflex

The Cuddle Cure: Combining the 5 "S's" to help any fussy baby

Suzanne was worried and exhausted. Her two-month-old baby, Sean, was a nonstop screamer. He could cry for hours. One afternoon her sister came to watch the baby, and Suzanne bolted to the bathroom for a hot shower and a quick "escape." Forty-five minutes later she awoke, curled up in a ball on the blue tile floor, being sprayed with ice-cold water!

Meanwhile, half a world away in the rugged Kalahari plains of northern Botswana, Nisa gave birth to a tiny girl named Chuko. Chuko was thin and delicate but despite her dainty size, she, too, was a challenging baby who cried frequently.

Nisa carried Chuko in a leather sling everywhere she went. Unlike Suzanne, she never worried when Chuko cried, because like all mothers of the !Kung San tribe, she knew exactly how to calm her baby's crying-in seconds.

Why did Suzanne have such trouble soothing Sean's screams?

What ancient secrets did Nisa know that helped her calm her baby so easily?

As you are about to learn, the answers to these two questions will change the way you think about babies forever! They will show you the world through your baby's eyes and, most important, they will teach you how to calm your baby's cries in minutes and help prolong her sleep.

Your Baby Is Born

When perfectly dry, his flesh sweet and pure, he is the most kissable object in nature.

Marion Harland, Common Sense in the Nursery, 1886

Congratulations! You've done a great job already! You've nurtured your baby from the moment of conception to your baby's "birth"-day. Having a baby is a wonderful-and wonder-full-experience that makes you laugh, cry, and stare in amazement . . . all at the same time.

Your top job as a new parent is to love your baby like crazy. After showering her with affection, your next two important jobs are to feed her and to calm her when she cries.

I can tell you from my twenty-five years as a pediatrician, parents who succeed at these two tasks feel proud, confident, on top of the world! They have the happiest babies and they feel like the best parents on the block. However, mothers and fathers who struggle with these tasks often end up feeling distraught.

Fortunately, feeding a baby is usually pretty straightforward. Most newborns take to sucking like they have a Ph.D. in chowing-down! Soothing a crying baby, on the other hand, can be unexpectedly challenging.

No couple expects their sweet newborn to be "difficult." Who really listens to horror stories friends and family share? We assume our child will be an "easy" baby. That's why so many new parents are shocked to discover how tough calming their baby's cries can be.

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying crying is bad. In fact, it's brilliant! Leave it to nature to find such an effective way for helpless babies to get our attention. And once your baby has your attention, you probably zip down a checklist of questions and solutions:

Is she hungry? Feed her.

Is she wet? Change her diaper.

Is she lonely? Pick her up.

Is she gassy? Burp her.

Is she cold? Bundle her up.

The trouble comes when nothing works.

Estimates are that one out of every five babies has repeated bouts of terrible fussiness-for no apparent reason. That adds up to almost one million sweet new babies born in the U.S. each year who suffer from hours of red-faced, eyes-clenched screaming.

This is why parents of unhappy babies are such heroes! A baby's scream is an incredibly heart-wrenching sound. Bone-tired and bewildered moms and dads lovingly cuddle their frantic babies for hours, trying to calm them, yet the continued crying can corrode their confidence: "Is my baby in pain?" "Am I spoiling him?" "Does she feel abandoned?" "Am I a terrible mother?"

Confronted by this barrage, sometimes the most loving parent may find herself pushed into frustration and depression. A baby's unrelenting shrieks can even drive desperate caregivers over the edge-into the tragedy of child abuse.

Exhausted parents are often told they must wait for their babies to "grow out of it." Yet most of us feel that can't be right. There must be some way to help our babies.

I'm going to show you how.

Help Wanted: Who Do New Parents Turn to When Their Baby Cries a Lot?

Although a network of clinics and specialists exists to help mothers solve their infant's feeding problems, there is little support for the parents of screaming babies. That's unfortunate because while the urge to quiet a baby is instinctual, the ability to do it is a skill that must be learned.

Today's parents have less experience caring for babies than any previous generation. (Amazingly, our culture requires more training to get a driver's license than to have a baby.)

That's not to say that inexperienced moms and dads are abandoned. On the contrary, they're bombarded with suggestions. In my experience, America's favorite pastime is not baseball but giving unasked-for advice to new parents. "It's boredom." "It's the heat." "Put a hat on him." Or "It's gas."

It can be so confusing! Who should you believe?

In frustration and concern, parents often turn to their doctor for help. Studies show that one in six couples visit a doctor because of their baby's persistent crying. When these babies are examined and found to be healthy, most doctors have little to offer but sympathy. "I know it's hard, but be patient; it won't last forever." Advice like this often sends worried parents to look for help in baby books.

Parents of colicky babies spend hours scanning books for "the answer" to their infant's distress. Yet, often the advice can be equally confusing: "Hold your baby-but be careful not to spoil him." "Love your baby-but let her cry herself to sleep."

Even these experts confess that for really fussy babies, they have nothing to offer:

Very often, you may not even be able to quiet the screaming.

What to Expect the First Year, Eisenberg, Murkoff, and Hathaway

The whole episode goes on at least an hour and perhaps for three or four hours.

Your Baby and Child, Penelope Leach

It's completely all right to set the baby in the bassinet while trying to drown out the noise with the running water of a hot shower.

The Girlfriend's Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood, Vicki Iovine

But a hot shower is cold comfort for the parents of a screaming baby.

Many exhausted parents I meet have been persuaded, against their better judgment, that they can only stand by and endure their baby's screaming. But I tell them otherwise. Unhappy babies can be calmed-in minutes!

The Four Principles of Soothing Babies

In many ways, the peoples living in primitive cultures are backward compared to Western societies. However, in some areas their wisdom is great . . . and we are the "primitive" ones. This is particularly true when it comes to soothing crying newborns.

I teased out shreds of information from the past and wove them with cutting-edge modern research and some unique observations made during my years of caring for more than five thousand infants. From this, I distilled four principles that are crucial for anyone who wants to understand babies better and be skillful at comforting them and improving their sleep:

The Missing Fourth Trimester

The Calming Reflex

The 5 "S's"

The Cuddle Cure

The Missing Fourth Trimester-Many Babies Cry Because They're Born Three Months Too Soon!

Did you ever see a baby horse or a baby cow? These newborn animals can walk, even run, on their very first day of life. In fact, they must be able to run-their survival depends upon it.

By comparison, our newborns are quite immature. They can't run, walk, or even roll over. One British mum told me her new daughter seemed so unready for the world she and her husband affectionately nicknamed her "The Little Creature." They're not alone in seeing babies that way; the Spanish use the word criatura, meaning creature, to describe babies.

In many ways your new baby is more a fetus than an infant, spending most of her time sleeping and being fed. Had you delayed your delivery just three more months, your baby would have been born with the ability to smile, coo, and flirt. (Who wouldn't want that on their baby's first day of life!) However, I've never been able to talk a woman into keeping her infant inside for a fourth trimester . . . and for good reason. It's already a tight squeeze getting a baby's head out after nine months of pregnancy; by twelve months it would be impossible.

Why are our babies so immature at birth? The reason is simple. Unlike baby horses whose survival depends on their big strong bodies, a human baby's survival depends on big smart brains. In fact, our babies' brains are so huge we have to "evict" fetuses from the womb well before they're fully ready for the world to keep their heads from getting stuck in the birth canal.

Newborns have some abilities that demonstrate their readiness to be in the world, but these notwithstanding, for the first three months, our babies are so immature they would really benefit if they could hop back inside whenever they get overwhelmed. However, since we're not kangaroos, the least we can d...

Revue de presse


“A must read! Dr. Karp offers insights into parenting by combining ancient and modern wisdom. Our baby boy responded to the 5 S’s immediately!”
--Keely and Pierce Brosnan, TV journalist/environmentalist and actor

“Harvey writes about areas that most parenting books don’t address. What every mother needs are simple tools that really work . . . and Harvey’s do.”
—Michelle Pfeiffer, actress/producer

“A witty and masterful book bursting with wisdom from start to finish. It contains some of the best, most original ideas about new babies I have ever seen. Dr. Karp entertains as he teaches, providing wonderful and innovative suggestions in a family-friendly way.”
—James McKenna, Ph.D., chairman, Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, and director, Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory

“What a marvelous book! Parents for years to come will be grateful to Dr. Karp for this lucid and entertaining explanation of why babies cry and how to help them.”
—Martin Stein, M.D., Professor of pediatrics, University of California, San Diego Medical School, author of Encounters with Children: Pediatric Behavior and Development

“Harvey Karp is the type of pediatrician that every parent would want. His experience is beyond compare and his ability to relate to parents is impressive. The Happiest Baby on the Block has the perfect solutions for helping parents grow and thrive . . . along with their babies.”
—Sandra Apgar Steffes, R.N., M.S., member, Board of Directors, Lamaze International

“There is nothing quite like watching Dr. Harvey work wonders on a screaming baby. He’s not a pediatrician, he’s a magician. Every time I bring my kids in to see him, I walk out wishing he was their father.”
—Larry David, star of Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm and co-creator of Seinfeld

"The Happiest Baby on the Block is fun, fascinating and convincing. I highly recommend it to all new parents to help them accomplish one of their most important jobs…soothing their crying baby.”
-Elisabeth Bing, author and co-founder of Lamaze International

"Simply put, this is the best book I've ever read about keeping babies calm and happy. It is a must for everyone who cares about infants."
-William Lord Coleman, MD, Center for Development and Learning, University
of North Carolina, author of Family-Focused Behavioral Pediatrics

"Dr. Karp’s practical approach is a superb way to help babies when they are crying or upset. All who care for children will gain greatly from this new addition to our parenting library.”
-- Steven P. Shelov, M.D., Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Infants and Children’s Hospital of Brooklyn, Maimonides, editor-in-chief, American Academy of Pediatrics Caring for Your New Baby and Young Child: Birth to Five

"This beautifully written volume meets a tremendous need for a scientifically sound and effective parent guide to the care of persistently crying babies. Dr. Karp has written the best book that I've read on this challenging topic."
-Morris Green, M.D., Perry W. Lesh Professor of Pediatrics, Indiana
University School of Medicine

"Dr. Karp's 'Cuddle Cure' is quite simply the best way I know to calm crying
-Stanley Inkelis, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA School of Medicine
Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Hospital

"Dr. Karp's book is extraordinary. The advice contained in this book, will make any parent, or grandparent, feel like a baby expert."
—Neal Kaufman, M.D., M.P.H., Professor Of Pediatrics, UCLA School Of
Medicine, Director Primary Care Pediatrics, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

“The ‘Karp Wrap’ can stop a baby’s cries instantly!“
—Lynn Sullivan, RN, Director, Newborn Nursing Services, SM-UCLA Hospital

“Dr. Karp was exactly the doctor to see us through parenthood. He has the magic touch – not just with babies, but with new parents too.”
—Robin Swicord and Nicholas Kazan, screenwriters of Matilda, Reversal of Fortune and Practical Magic

“I wish I had known Dr. Karp for my first two children. With the soothing, loving tips in this book, caring for my two most recent babies has been a dream.”
—Hunter Tylo, actress/founder of Hunter’s Chosen Child

"Dr. Karp is simply the best. Any time a problem pops up in our children, he guides us with warmth, wisdom and humor. And that helps us sleep better at night."
—Jerry Zucker, director of Airplane, Ghost, and Rat Race

“Harvey Karp’s enlightened and creative approach has been a benefit not only to our children, but to my wife and me as parents.”
—Kristen and Lindsey Buckingham, photographer and singer-songwriter,
Fleetwood Mac

“Harvey Karp would make my Big Mama proud! He is leading us back to ages old basics, back to motherwit.”
—Alfre Woodard, actress

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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Beaucoup d'informations intéréssantes et utiles pour calmer votre bébé. Mon nourrisson de 7 semaines nous a fait un premier mois difficile avec beaucoup de crises de "coliques" ou "pleurs du soir". Nous avons trouvé beaucoup de "trucs et astuces" dans ce livre. Les points clés sont résumés en début de chapitre, donc faciles à lire pour les jeunes parents fatigués. Par contre du coup certains passages font un peu "remplissage" même si ils restent agréables à lire. Les premiers chapitres qui expliquent pourquoi ces coliques ne sont en fait pas des "coliques" (mais justement des pleurs du soir), sont un peu longs et surperflus. Mais j'aime beaucoup la théorie de l'auteur selon laquelle les bébés sont nés 3 mois trop tôt et donc pendant 3 mois il faut recréer l'environnement qu'ils connaissaient dans l'utérus.
Ses conseils peuvent se résumer en gros en : Emaillotage, Position sur le côté ou sur le ventre (mais surtout pas pour dormir! juste pour les calmer), Bruits blanc, Sucette, Bercer (il explique comment il faut les bercer, car il y a bercement et bercement!). J'ai tout essayé et ça fonctionne très bien!
Une lecture à recommander aux parents de nourrissons nerveux donc.
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Je l'ai acheté quand mon bébé avait 2.5-3 mois, et j'ai bien regreté de ne pas l'avoir plutôt. Je n'étais pas prête au pleurs de bébé dés que on le pose, voir même sur mes bras..L'auteur partage mon idée de ne pas laisser le bébé plaurer et apport les vrais conseils EFFICASES!! qui est très rare pour ce type de livres..
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The concepts were very interesting, but the book is very repetitive. The book could have been about 1/3 as long as it is.
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Good book, very interesting. I regret there arent more illustrations to refer to however. Good to start getting informed on the subject.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.4 étoiles sur 5 2.307 commentaires
58 internautes sur 63 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must buy for anyone that wants the best for the baby and becoming a great parent. 19 septembre 2016
Par Tyson W - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I feel that this review by Carrie on another website is by far the best review and insite to what this book has to offer. Please read as you will have the best understanding of what will get out of this book. We highly recommend it as this book was indeed a game changer with out little ones and being happy in our family. Happy wife happy life… Happy baby happy mother happy wife happy life!!!

“I saw this doctor on Oprah YEARS ago... I remember that the audience was full of QUIET, contented babies and I wondered if they were all sedated.

The premise is that human babies are born 3 months BEFORE they are really developed because of the size of their heads. Therefore, the fist 100 days of their life is virtually a "fourth trimester" in which the baby needs constant vigilance and caring.

He offers "cuddle cure"... 5 steps done in sequence to calm a baby and simulate life in the womb: Swaddling (firmly), Side/Stomach, Ssshhhing, Swaying, Sucking. They are combined and should match the VIGOR of any crying to immediately pacify the baby.

Actually... this all made sense to me and most importantly.... IT WORKS!

Author: Harvey Karp
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Copyright: 2002
Genre: Parenting/Childcare
Pages: 260
Date Read- 5/21/09 to 5/26/09

The FASTEST way to succeed in stopping your baby's cycle of crying is to MEET THEIR LEVEL OF INTENSITY. Only after your screaming baby pauses for a few moments can you gradually slow your motion, soften your shushing and guide them from frenzy to soft landing.
The best colic-calmers say that soothing an infant is like dancing with them in the lead. These talented people pay close attention to the vigor of ther 5 "S's"

1st S- Swaddling
This TURNS on the calming effect by stopping the Moro reflex (hand jerking/flailing) that helps them to pay attention to the other S's.

2nd S-Side/Stomach
Lay your child on their side or place them in your arms on their stomach. This prevents them from feeling that they are falling.

3rd S- Shhhh
You have to do it as LOUD AS YOUR BABIES CRY and close to their ear. It stimulates the sound of the womb. It can be replaced by white noise.

4th S- Sway
Support your babies head and neck and wiggle their HEAD with fast, tiny movements (like you are shivering). Once they are entranced, you can move to a slower swinging motion.

5th S- Sucking
This works best after the other S's have calmed. A finger or pacifier work and can be eliminated after the 3rd month.

Baby Massage.
In a 1986 study by Tiffany Field, massaged babies gained 47% more then babes who did not have the same touch. The same babies had higher IQ's a year later.

1. Prepare for pleasure. Warm the room, dim the lights, play soft music.

2. Bring Yourself to the moment. Sit comfortably, take 5 slow deep breaths and allow yourself to be present for the experience. Its an exchange of love in one fleeting, tender moment of time.

3. Speak to your baby with your hands. Always try to keep one hand in contact with the skin and talk to them about what you are doing and what your hopes are for their life, or sing a lullaby. Let your massage strokes move in synchronicity with your calm breathing.

4. Reward your babies tummy. Bicycle their legs then firmly push both knees to their belly and hld them there for 20 seconds. Massage the tummy in firm, clockwise, circular strokes - starting at their right lower belly, up and across the top of their tummy and ending at their left lower side (this traces their colon and intestines)

5. Follow you baby's signals.

Top 10 survival Tips for Parents of New Babies
1. Trust Yourself. You are the Latest in the Unbroken Chain of the World's Top Parents.
2. Lower Your Expectations.
3. Accept All the Help You Can Get
4. Get Your Priorities Straight: Should You take a break or do the dishes?
5. Be Flexible. It is better to bend than snap.
6. Know Thyself. Share how you are feeling.
7. Don't Rock the Cradle to Hard. Know when to take a break.
8. Keep Your Sense of Humor Handy
9. Take Care of Your Spouse
10. Don't Ignore Depression.”

Review by Carrie
238 internautes sur 266 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Skip the book, watch a video 18 octobre 2015
Par Jesse C. - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
First off, I completely believe that the techniques in here are going to be a lifesaver. Every nurse, pediatrician, or midwife I've talked to has recommended these techniques. However, putting them into a book is really stretching the material, and involves a LOT of repetition of the same stories and arguments over and over. This could be condensed into a pamphlet. In fact, I just finished watching Dr. Karp explain the entire book in a six-minute spot on a daytime TV show (found for free on the Internet).

As an expectant parent who wants to be well informed, I have a lot of books on my reading list. This took up way more time than it should have. If you're a new/expecting parent, do yourself a favor and find this info for free on the Internet. If you want to buy this as a gift, do the expectant parents a favor and get the DVD or instant video instead.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you don't buy this book you might regret it 6 mars 2013
Par Triple P - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A friend recommended this book to us. It is a must read for both parents. Let me stress the BOTH parents part. It doesn't help when one parent can make the child stop crying and one cannot. You both have to be on the same page. Our daughter would randomly cry a blood curdling cry for no reason in her first couple months at her bedtime, sometimes for more than an hour. We were frustrated parents and thought something was wrong with our child until we just realized that babies brains still have developing to do in the first 2-3 months. It is common that during this so-called "4th trimester" babies sometimes just cry for no reason. It doesn't matter what you do. It is for that reason that I don't believe kids are "colicky" because they are "gasy." It is just the natural immature brain of a newborn baby. People try to come up with medical excuses or things the baby is irritated with or "he's over stimulated" or "she's over-tired." Stop it! My daughter never ripped one and stopped crying. I can't believe doctors who give their infant patients antacids or other anti-gas remedies when the only symptom is crying. Crazy!

That's where this book will help. I can't say the techniques worked for me every time my daughter let out a blood curdling cry, but I will say that the majority of the time we could get her to calm down. Anything that can in a natural way get us through those initial couple of months of crying is worth it.

On a side note one of the 5 techniques involves holding a baby on their side. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a small child, even my two year old to calm down from a tantrum, just by doing this one technique. Get this book. You won't regret it.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Iryne - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I was a bit skeptical regarding this book; so many people raved about it and many people bashed it as "simplistic" Well, I agree with the former.

First, it was a very entertaining read. Dr. Karp did his best to make the book a very easy, fun read, chock-full of interesting and very useful information!

Yes, you may have heard about swaddling and making the "shhhh" noise to calm the baby, however the depth in which Dr. Karp describes each of these helpful techniques is truly astounding--and it's not boring! In fact, I wanted to read more and more! I even liked the somewhat "cheesy" cartoons and all of the testemonials, which fit with the content very well.

Speaking about the content--I am a new Mom and although I have heard about all of these techniques in passing, Dr. Karp truly put all of them in perspective. I have tried each of them on my "average temperament" baby, even during crying fits and they all work as Dr. Karp claims! Sometimes, the simplest techniques work! I know so many parents that like to give their children medication for reflux, colic, excessive crying etc. I prefer to go the natural route first, and if that doesn't work, I'll explore other options. I believe that this approach is healthier for all, especially small infants. Dr. Karp fully agrees, and encourages parents to try all of these techniques first, before going the medical route.

I have tried everthing that Dr. Karp outlined in his book, and as a result, my daughter is happier and healthier! I found the book to be fun and informative. I feel that I have learned a lot about parenting and soothing from this publication. I would love to meet Dr. Karp in order to experience this man, whom I believe to be kind and very intelligent.

True, the suggestions in the book are simplistic and there are no clear scientific data, however, any distraught parent will tell you, this works! Of course, it takes longer on the parent's part to engage in all of these techniques, which some will find discouraging; I am a very impatient person, and if I can do these, I believe most can!

When it comes to my daughter, I believe in no short-cuts and in doing everything right the first time around. Dr. Karp's book is very positive and encouraging and I feel that I am a better parent from having read it. Highly recommended.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Some good techniques, though I am skeptical of the effectiveness claims. Try watching some videos on it first. 1 mai 2017
Par Bam Bam - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The book has a very good perspective on how to approach the issue of a crying baby, and you may find that their five techniques will help soothe your baby. However, when trying to implement the methods in this book, I have found that like everything else with babies, "Your Mileage May Vary."

The general advice is great- the author's argument for simulating a "fourth trimester" is very convincing. We also found some of the 5 techniques to be helpful. If you are desperate for techniques to soothe your baby, the book is a good starting point.

So why give it 3 stars, instead of 5? In order for you to achieve these magic results, the author claims, you must find the EXACT combination of the 5 techniques to use for your baby. This is a very sly argument to make, because it puts the blame squarely on the reader if the techniques don't work. If the techniques don't seem to work for you, then "you must be doing it wrong." I have seen this argument advanced by other self-help books, and it is a very convenient way for the author to explain away any naysayers.

This book also suffers from "could-have-been-a-pamphlet" syndrome. You could honestly get the same information from a few youtube videos. If all you care about are the techniques themselves, then a lot of the material in the book is redundant.
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