First Look Review

Happiest Baby on the Block DVD Review

Happiest Baby on the Block DVD
Price:   $11.00 List | $9.74 at Amazon - 11% off
Pros:  An excellent how-to tutorial on 5 great techniques than can help soothe a crying baby
Cons:  These are techniques, not a cure to the fourth trimester or colic
Bottom line:  Highly recommended! An excellent resource for first-time, sleep-deprived parents
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Dr. Harvey Karp

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD

Last Updated:
Tuesday
October 20, 2015

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There is little more painful than hearing your newborn cry endlessly, as you try desperately to get them and you a little sleep. While some parents are lucky enough to have a baby that sleeps for hours right from the start and continues to do so, most of us aren't so fortunate. Dr. Harvey Karp's best-selling DVD, the Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer is a gem not to be missed.

The first 3 months of a baby's life are what Dr. Karp calls "the fourth trimester," a time prone to lots and lots of crying due to inability to self-soothe. It is also a time when babies both desire and respond well to sensations that mimic life in the womb.

Presented in an easy to understand, how-to video, Dr. Karp teaches you a set of techniques he calls the 5 S's which trigger the "calming reflex" in young infants. These techniques provide a new parent with a tool box of to soothe a distressed baby. Brifely, they are the following:
  • Side/Stomach position
  • Shushing
  • Swinging
  • Sucking

While some of these techniques such as swaddling are well known, Dr. Karp provides a clear overview of how all five can be used most effectively, and in combination, to help you and your baby sleep longer.

Since Happiest Baby and the 5 S's have become all the rage, and for good reason, a new recommendation for SIDS reduction has been issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics to discontinue swaddling at 8 weeks and switching to an infant sleep sack.

Not only does Dr Karp know how to soothe infants, the video below demonstrates his magic with both infants and toddlers.


While we prefer the DVD, many parents find the Happiest Baby on the Block Book very helpful as well which covers some additional content.
Juliet Spurrier, MD