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Dr. Karp believes that babies, especially in their first few months of life, can experience "fourth trimester" issues. Babies can have a difficult time getting used to the huge amount of stimuli present in life outside of Mom's body. Their reaction to all of this is to cry and cry.

The Happiest Baby On The Block method formulated by Dr. Harvey Karp, addresses these issues by helping you learn how to effectively recreate the environment of the womb, outside of Mom's body. Once you have learned the steps, you will be able to alleviate some, if not all, of your baby's colic symptoms.

The 5 S's

There are 5 components to this method which, when used together, work amazingly well to calm your crying baby and in many cases help your baby go to sleep with no fuss.

Using cross-cultural techniques combined with his own research, Dr. Karp has developed the "five S's system". Some babies will need all five, others just a few to help induce what he calls the "calming reflex."

  • Swaddling - Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support the fetus experienced while still in Mom's womb.

  • Side/stomach position - You place your baby, while holding her, either on her left side to assist in digestion, or on her stomach to provide reassuring support. Once your baby is happily asleep, you can safely put her in her crib, on her back.

  • Shushing Sounds - These sounds imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb. This white noise can be in the form of a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, a fan and so on. The good news is that you can easily save the motors on your household appliances and get a white noise CD which can be played over and over again with no worries.

  • Swinging - Newborns are used to the swinging motions that were present when they were still in Mom's womb. Every step mom took, every movement caused a swinging motion for your baby. After your baby is born, this calming motion, which was so comforting and familiar, is abrubtly taken away. Your baby misses the motion and has a difficult time getting used to it not being there. "It's disorienting and unnatural," says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.

  • Sucking - "Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system," notes Karp, "and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain." This "S" can be accomplished with bottle, breast, pacifier or even a finger.

These steps sound pretty easy, but seeing them done properly, in conjunction with each other, is the key to relieving your baby's colic symptoms and making Mom, Dad, and baby less stressed and much happier!

You can learn more about The Happiest Baby on the Block Technique from Dr. Karp's book (available from or with his VHS tape or DVD. Many people have reported that they have had MUCH more success with the calming technique after they actually saw it in practice on the DVD or VHS.

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