The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep: Simple Solutions for Kids from Birth to 5 Years Info

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America’s favorite pediatrician, Dr. Harvey Karp, now
focuses his unparalleled knowledge, experience, and insight on solving
the #1 concern of parents everywhere: sleep. With The Happiest Baby
Guide to Great Sleep
, Dr. Karp—arguably the world’s
foremost parenting expert and bestselling author of The Happiest
Baby on the Block
and The Happiest Toddler on the
Block
—offers invaluable tips on how to help your newborn,
infant, or toddler get the rest they need, while debunking some of the
most widely held myths about babies and sleep. Dr. Karp’s advice
has already be sought after by some of Hollywood’s brightest
stars—including Michelle Pfeiffer, Pierce Brosnan, and
Madonna—and now his The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep
can help anyone guide even the most resistant small child gently
toward wonderful, restful, healthful slumber, so that mom and dad can
enjoy a good night’s sleep themselves!

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Reviews for The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep: Simple Solutions for Kids from Birth to 5 Years:

3

June 5, 2017

but may find another method or book more useful.
This book would be incredibly helpful if you read it before your baby is is three months old. After that it is of limited use because most of the advice depends on you having done what the book said when your baby was a newborn. Late comers will still get some helpful tips, but may find another method or book more useful.
3

January 24, 2017

Very little new information from the original Happiest Baby on the Block (which we couldn't live without) ...
Very little new information from the original Happiest Baby on the Block (which we couldn't live without) and this book itself is pretty redundant. Felt like the Groundhogs Day of reading. I think the better pairing is Happiest Baby on the Block + No Cry Sleep Solution.
1

June 4, 2013

"How to shut down your baby & sabotage breastfeeding at the same time"
This book teaches parents to ignore their children's cues from infancy through toddlerhood and try to force babies to sleep all night before they are developmentally ready for it. It should be subtitled, "How to Ruin Your Milk Supply." Following the tactics in this book will most likely sabotage breastfeeding relationships and make parents wonder why they don't know what their babies need...after learning to ignore all their cues and teaching the babies to shut down, not calm down, from being shaken and scared by loud noises. Here's a great review of Dr. Karp's methods:
[...]

Karp even says, from pages 88-89: "When you place her in the crib--swaddled and with the [white noise at the intensity of a shower] playing--jiggle her to wake her up a tiny bit. [....] However, if she starts crying when you wake her, pat her back (like a tom-tom drum) or give the crib a fast, one-inch jiggle for thirty seconds to reset the calming reflex. If she keeps fussing, pick her up to calm her...but be sure to wake her again when you put her back down.****I know you're probably thinking, Are you out of your mind? There's no way I'm going to wake my sleeping baby!**** But this is one of the most important tips I can teach you! These few seconds of drowsy waking are essential for teaching your baby how to self-soothe. Practice this now and I promise you that within a few weeks, you'll get a huge reward: your little friend will become much better at getting herself back to sleep (as long as she's not hungry or uncomfortable."

How will that teach her to sleep? I wouldn't want to be woken up every time I fall asleep with my parents, and then shaken like a martini or patted like a drum!

Page 187 talks about the "longer and longer" approach. "You might worry that showing your face will only make your infant cry more. But the goal is to teach her that you love her and care about her feelings, but that ****you've made a clear decision not to come in and relent to her unreasonable demand. Resist the temptation to stay too long. [...]Expect the first night to be rough. You'll have to toughen your heart a little."****And then, because he cares more for your neighbors than your "little friend," he says, "Warn your neighbors about your plans, so they don't get worried and call the police! (Offer to loan your neighbors a white noise CD to help them sleep through the crying.)" How does the message that you love her and care about her feelings come though if you "resist the temptation" and "harden your heart"?

Karp claims 30-40% of parents who cosleep have a problem, which means 60%-70% DON'T have a problem. And if so many people are cosleeping without a problem, then isn't that normal sleep? Page 137: "Another study found that while many families loved bed-sharing, 30-40% felt it was a problem for their child and family. They got into the habit only because they didn't know how else to settle their infant. And the same study found that parents who bed-shared were three times more likely to say they had significant stress in their marriage. So feel free to make the decision that is right for your family, but please do it safely."

For more baby-friendly and breastfeeding-supportive information about sleep, please check out these resources and find your local La Leche League group (by clicking "resources" on [...]
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2

December 4, 2017

Not helpful
This book might have been helpful before I had my son, but now - nearly five months in - it feels like the advice is mostly "you should have started better sleep associations earlier." There's not a lot here for people who are trying to correct poor sleep associations, and the advice that is given feels thin and not very sympathetic. When my son scream cries every time I put him down "sleepy but awake," and doesn't care at all about the "lovey" I'm giving him as a transitional object, there's no real advice for what I should do. One of my friends has a magical unicorn baby for whom all of advice in this book worked amazingly and immediately. My son is not that baby, and it's been much much harder to correct his sleep associations. There's not a lot of support in this book for parents like me.

If, like me, you're in the middle of a nasty sleep regression, or you're trying desperately to get your kiddo to sleep the 7-8 solid hours his/her pediatrician says he/she should be sleeping by now (but they keep waking up every 2 hours despite your best efforts), or you're exhausted because your kiddo won't sleep anywhere except latched to one of your boobs, this book isn't great. For parents in situations like mine, I recommend "Precious Little Sleep." If you're currently pregnant and want to begin good sleep practices early, this could be a good resource (although, reflecting back on my son's first few months, I don't know if I could have managed any of the newborn advice, either).
5

November 3, 2016

Buy this book
LIFE-CHANGING! You do not need to read the entire book to follow the system, but I was so impressed with it that I read the entire thing. I used this in combination with the CD of white noise and had my daughter sleeping through the night the very first night I implemented it (at two months old). I could almost see the relief in her eyes as I followed this system and she was finally able to get the sleep she was desperate for. It has been four years and I STILL play the CD in her room each night. This is my go-to baby shower book and I have purchased it countless times since.
5

July 16, 2018

Brilliant.
LIFE. SAVER.
Used the techniques outlined in this book, and both my kids are amazing sleepers. After bringing our first home from the hospital (now 3.5 years old), we looked at each other, crying, exhausted, in pain, not knowing what the heck to do with this tiny, screaming, starving human that wouldnt sleep. This was recommended to us by a friend who said "read it BEFORE you have the baby", but we didn't, and that was a HUGE mistake. So, while trying to breastfeed and dealing with the pain of a rough delivery and 30 hours of labor, and after not having slept for about 6 days, got this for the kindle and sort of read it while in a stupor, and seriously, this changed our lives. Used the same techniques for my second (now 14 months) and he still resists naps, but both of my kids started sleeping through the night at a young age. And really, my second would be a terrible sleeper if it wasnt for the techniques in this book. He takes a 2-3 hour morning nap, a 1-2 hour afternoon nap (usually), and sleeps about 11-12 hours at night. My first still takes an awesome 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon and sleeps about 11 hours at night.
If you need to know what the essentials are for a new parent, this is one of them! I now buy this for every baby shower I go to. All a new parent needs is this book, a crib, a swaddle or sleep sack, a white noise machine, a wubbanub, a few onesies & footy pajames, loads of diapers, and boobs/formula. All the other stuff they tell you to get is really just for fun! :)
Good luck!
5

December 27, 2014

Life saver
I have read the book many times and even have pages bookmarked that I revisit when I reach a new developmental stage and need advice for my baby. I like that it is not extreme (not attachment parenting but not the fever method either) so it gives balanced advice and doesn't guilt you for using one method over another. It also provides different options rather than preaching one "right" way.
3

December 8, 2018

Good Starting Place, not Specific.
If you're needing an overview of infant sleep and need a starting place to help your baby sleep this is great. But if you already know the 5 S's and have an understanding/knowledge of infant sleep you'd probably want to pass. I was hoping this laid out more of a plan than it does. So...just not what I was specifically looking for but still super informative and well written.
2

May 26, 2014

Repeat of the first book.
My baby was extremely fussy for the first 6 months or so and remains a high needs baby and a terrible sleeper. So I'm pretty much the target audience for Dr. Karp. I thought the first happiest baby book was ok. Great information (and strategies that really work!) but most of the book could have been summed up in a couple of pages. Also, there's very little credible use of "research." However, I'm not going to knock it because IT WORKS. So, probably worth the money.

HOWEVER, this book is not worth it if you read the first one. There's very little new information. Take the principles from the first book, apply them to bedtime, and BAM, you've got this book. Don't waste your money.
2

April 21, 2014

Some good tips for newborns...
I haven't read Dr Karp's other books (I had gone through "Happiest Baby..." sample but it only went as far as the endless list of Dr Karp's credentials and didn't give me an insight of the content, so).
This one covers all the basics you will find in any good sleep book - watch for signs of overtiredness, importance of routine, etc. So,nothing new there, but a good summary.
The 5 S technique seems great to calm newborns; maybe reading it before my son's birth would have helped; they're just not as helpful with a 4-month-old. I did not read the toddler section.
The pointing of possible problems is fairly basic : too hot, too cold, too tired, too early to go to bed... and the repetition of "use white noise!" is too much - we get it. To be fair, Dr Karp warns about the repetition in the intro; I still didn't expect a specific paragraph to be quoted twice, word for word, in the book.
Overall, I may not be that objective, because the over-cheerful, upbeat tone was über-annoying to me, as was calling your baby "your little friend"; I realise this is pure personal taste though!
1

June 16, 2015

One Star
Just save your money. None of the books help.
5

May 11, 2018

Stuck to his strategies and had our little one go ...
Stuck to his strategies and had our little one go from struggling with naps and never sleeping more than an hour or so during the night to regular naps and 3-4 hour stretches in the first month. It is definitely worth a try if you have a fussy sleeper!
3

April 18, 2016

Not his best book
First off, I must say that I am a Dr. Karp's "Happiest Baby on the Block" groupie. I quote him like gospel on how to soothe a newborn. This book was not as helpful for me. Some of the sleeping "solutions" (like waking up your sleeping newborn when you put him down) seem somewhat impractical. We had a particularly challenging sleeper and the one trick that helped - sleeping in fully-reclined infant swing - was something covered in Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby book. Maybe this book wasn't too successful for me because it's really individual how to get a baby to sleep well and a learning curve all new parents need to navigate on their own. But if you're desperate, as I was, this book does serve the function of making you feel like you have a few more tactics in your arsenal to at least try - and that mindset can mean everything with a baby!
5

November 17, 2018

Must read, don’t let your baby cry!!!!
Forget “healthy sleep habits happy baby” or “baby wise”. I tried to do a few things they said and it only led me to having to let my baby cry and frustration. I tried since day one to let my son soothes himself, so I wouldn’t have to let him cry. It didn’t work. I tried early bedtimes like 5:30-6. Ridiculous, my baby was crying a lot for a week because I thought he was on a phase but once I pushed his bed time for later, realizing he was fighting because he wasn’t tired to go to bed that early, he was great. Once I got that solved I started realizing those books weren’t what I should be following unless I’d be ok with letting him cry. If you’re against “let your baby cry it out” you MUST buy and try this before. I’ve read the “regular” first book from Dr. Karp and it helped me a lot at the first few months as I started swaddling and understand his 4th trimester. I’d put the swaddler on and he’d fall asleep right away with no soothing at all. I do white noise and he sleeps soooo much better too!!! Now with my 5 months old baby I was having nap issues and saw myself having to let my baby cry. Plus he’d wake up almost every hour on the wonder weeks or every three hours normally! Once I got this book it has solved everything and my baby only wakes up once at night with almost 0 crying. I say almost as I do let him be for the first 2 min to see if he won’t go back to sleep but besides that, everything that’s written on this book makes sense and all the suggestions work.
2

October 4, 2013

repetitive at times
Repeats the 5's too much. Does not give real advice for napping problems and deciding what to do if baby wakes up often other than using white noise.
3

January 3, 2018

Not as helpful as other Dr. Karp guides
While Dr. Karp's 5S strategy worked wonders for us, I found this book much less helpful. The main tip in the book is to make sure the baby is slightly awake when s/he falls asleep so that even if you nurse your baby to sleep, they learn how to fall asleep on their own. I'm sure this works for some, but this just didn't work for our baby. Also, a lot of the tips in the book assume that a baby will not be going to daycare at 3 months, which isn't a reality for many families.
4

March 31, 2017

Great for infants
If you have a newborn, I highly recommend this book. I think some of the ideas will be harder to implement as children get older. I understand the book says it's for up to five years, but I think the majority is for infants. It's great advice, but it's advice that's easier if you start younger.
5

June 10, 2017

Life saver!!
This book has been a life saver!! We were having lots of problems at bedtime and naps with our baby and after reading this book and following the tips my baby falls asleep at bedtime so much easier and takes her 3 naps a day! I recommend this book to everyone with a baby, or a pregnant mommy. It's a life saver, a must read!!!
1

January 28, 2016

One Star
It tells provide tips on how parents can sleep better but not their babies. Waste of money.
2

August 20, 2016

this book is a waste of your precious precious time
Harvey Karp's tips for baby soothing are simple and you can find them quickly with a quick google search. They are the 5 S's: Swaddling, Side or Upright positioning, Shushing, Swaying, and Sucking. That's really all you need to know. I was more than 50 pages deep when I realized I had been reading the same thing over and over - "Parents of newborns are exhausted (duh) and I have a foolproof way of getting more sleep for both baby and parent." There is some interesting information, but if you are truly having sleep trouble, this book is a waste of your precious precious time.
3

July 30, 2015

It has a few good tips on baby sleep patterns and things like that ...
It has a few good tips on baby sleep patterns and things like that but nothing you can't google and find out through forums
3

May 8, 2015

... read this when I was pregnant and everything sounded like a good idea
I read this when I was pregnant and everything sounded like a good idea. Until I gave birth and reality hit! Other than the 5 S's, I would take his advice with a grain of salt. The 5 S's did help with the newborn stage but just read about it on the internet, you don't need to really buy the book. Dr. Karp is very against letting your baby cry. Crying is not the end of the world, though. Sometime it is needed to teach your baby to sleep. I also questioned his authority when I read this thing in his book: Don't let your baby near cell phones because of the "microwaves." What is this, the 1970's? He thinks cell phones are like voodoo machines. Things that make you go, "Hmmmm."
2

January 5, 2014

I appreciate that Dr. Karp's guide is written for sleep-deprived parents. Great tips and info to help your little angels feel comfy and happy.Full Review
5

December 8, 2016

The advice is solid but very repetitive, and the tone is condescending.
5

May 28, 2019

A newborn must have!
This book saved my sanity! My sweet baby was a terrible sleeper, didn’t nap more than 30min-45min and up every 1.5 hours in the middle of the night, I was losing my mind from sleep deprivation. Bought this book and implemented the five Ss and started a bedtime routine with my 6 week old baby (bath, swaddle, sleepy aromatherapy, bottle while rocking and dad reading a bedtime story, and then putting down in bassinet in a dark room with white noise... all this triggers the “calming reflex”) and he started sleeping! Still not the best sleeper, but was sleeping in his bassinet by 10-11pm, doing a 4 hour stretch, wake up to feed, and then another 2-3 hour stretch. We have room for improvement but overall doing much better! From now on I will buy this book as a baby shower gift for every first time
Mom.

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