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Happiest Baby on the Block

1 rating: 3.0
A movie

Noted pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp takes parents through the necessary steps of calming down newborns enough to stop them from crying.

Release Date: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Happiest Baby on the Block

DVD is not a good as the book

  • Mar 24, 2006
Pros: Actual baby footage - visualize the 5 S's in real time.

Cons: Amateurish quality - not ready for prime time

The Bottom Line: Good to learn by watching the calming techniques of Dr. Karp. My suggestion is either the book or the DVD, not both!

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

As a big fan of the book (see my Epinions review - http://www.epinions.com/content_224250793604) I purchased the DVD just in case I missed anything.

While the DVD is enjoyable at 72 minutes. Personally, I did not learn anything I didn't already glean from the book. However, I understand that some people learn better by watching instead of reading so I understand the merit. I chalk it up to individual learning styles.

On the positive side, the viewer does get to watch Dr. Karp apply his techniques and calm and sooth hysterically crying infants much to the relief of their parents.

My only real complaint about the DVD and the book as well is that they don't appear "professional". They both have a home grown feel to them. The book is illustrated poorly with what looks like pen and ink sketches and the DVD is even more amaterurish.

For example, the sound quality is poor, the camera just follows Dr. Karp around and is in many parts jerky. The boom is visible in several scenes. I suspect this was a grad student who did the filming and editing. This detracts from the overall good theory, ideas and techniques of Dr. Karp.

The DVD applies the same principles as the book:

His theories are based on what he calls the 5 "s" verbs or as he refers to them as the 5 S's. All of these relate to matching the environment of the womb.

Swaddling - Tight swaddling mimics cramped womb conditions. This is the most important, the tighter the swaddle, the better the infant seems to like it. There is no such thing as a "too tight" swaddle.

Side/stomach position - Place your baby, while holding her, either on her left side to assist in digestion, or on her stomach to provide reassuring support.

Shushing Sounds - Sounds that imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb. Examples are making the shhhhh sound, vacuum cleaners, a hair dryer, a fan etc...

Swinging - Swinging motions were present when in the womb. Motion provides security sensations. Rocking, car rides, and swinging movements calm the baby.

Sucking - Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system and triggers a relaxing reflex. What to suck include bottles, breasts, pacifiers, a finger.

The DVD can be purchased easily off Amazon for approximately $20. I would not recommend both the book and the DVD. One or the other is sufficient.

For additional information on Dr. Karp, see


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children up to Age 4

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