Earning my black belt in Karp Fu

This is my testimonial on the effectiveness of the soothing techniques described by Dr. Harvey Karp in his book The Happiest Baby on the Block. I’ve been successful triggering Owen’s “Calming Reflex” using the five S’s as he describes. Here is a picture of me putting Owen down following his circumcision using the first four S’s.

Owen the Happiest Baby on the Block

Your mileage may vary. Here are descriptions of the five S’s (in order of application):

  1. Swaddling: Tight swaddling recreates the confinement of the womb.
  2. Side/Stomach position: Holding the baby on the left side slightly face down.
  3. Shushing: Karp uses a loud "ssh" sound similar to the loud white noise that is present in the womb.
  4. Swinging (and jiggling): Gentle but constant jiggling (especially of the head) is intended to remind babies of the constant motion they experienced in the womb.
  5. Sucking: Breast or finger, mostly. Karp also recommends the use of pacifiers.

Borrow the book, watch the DVD or attend a “Happiest Baby” newborn care course at your neighborhood hospital (e.g., Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, WA).

2 Replies to “Earning my black belt in Karp Fu”

  1. Thanks for the tip and link. Owen probably will tire of the S’s sooner or later and having an alternative at the ready is a good idea. I will also try Paul Simon’s Graceland, Bob Marley and some Buena Vista Social Club in a pinch.

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