happy baby and mother asleep

The “Happiest Baby” sleep training method is a unique method that sleep expert Harvey Karp developed in his book The Happiest Baby on the Block, and it is a unique method that combines some elements of the no tears and cry it out methods. This approach involves viewing the first few months out of the womb as the “fourth trimester” and that more of a gradual transition has to be made between the womb and the world that we live in. Because babies require special care compared to other mammals and are born with fewer developed abilities, they need a more specialized type of environment that can mimic the womb.

Also, human babies as described by Karp are “evicted” from the womb a few months before they are ready due to their head size, to ensure that their heads don’t get stuck in the birth canal. Karp says that many parents assume that a baby needs complete peace and quiet which is actually an incorrect assumption; the sounds that a baby hears in the womb are actually very loud and active. They hear the sounds of walking and swaying and gurgling noises from their mother’s body.

The Happiest Baby method incorporates similar sounds that babies hear in the womb
This method incorporates sounds that babies hear in the womb as a way to naturally transition from the womb to this world, and other unique sleep training methods. It also takes into the account the fact that babies are cradled by the walls of their womb, but when they are alone in their nursery room with their limbs extended it is an uncomfortable position for them. The method incorporates the “5 S’s” – swaddle, side or stomach, shush, swing and suck. Each of these “S’s” is intended to make the transition from the womb to this world much more of a gradual and comfortable transition for the baby.


The 5 S’s of Karp’s method

The 5 S’s of Karp’s method are as follows:

  • Swaddle – swaddling provides babies with the security that they had in the womb and recreates that environment, and it is recommended every time the baby sleeps.
  • Side or stomach – this position is used only for soothing and not for sleeping or napping, as the stomach position is thought to possibly increase the chance of SIDS.
  • Shush – the “shhhhh” sound can be comforting to babies as they hear sounds in the womb that are similar to this noise, and you can whisper it into your baby’s ear while they cry.
  • Swing – this involves gently jiggling your baby back and forth while “shushing” them and recreates the vibrations that babies feel in the womb.
  • Suck – a pacifier works to calm your baby down many times and babies find comfort in the sucking reflex.

Karp’s method can work for all babies

If one of the other methods that you have tried such as a no tears or cry it out method hasn’t worked, Karp’s sleep training method can definitely be worth investigating, as many parents have had success with it. It worked for my own three children although I did it through instinct, common sense and had no idea it was called the Karp method.