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The Happiest Baby on the Block. Er, in the Sticks.

soothe happy calm babyFirstly: I chose this book—it was not sent to me free of charge with the sweet promise of making money if I review it (although, if your product is the next Snuggie, calorie-free ice cream, or alien detection kit that will confirm what I think about a former coworker, I’m not offset by the idea, manufacturers, not offset)—and therefore I’m reviewing it because I have a positive bias and believe you will, too. But, yeah, I do get a commission if you purchase this arsenal of life-saving tips that will get you sleep and sanity. Which, like, totally means we both win.

Mixed emotions come with the knowledge that you’re about to become a parent. A cup of OMG, a tablespoon of OH NO, a dash of WHYYYY MEEEE, and a hint of HOW MIRACULOUS cocktailed my outstandingly wretched pregnant person. Family was telling me I’d learn along the way, to chill, that I didn’t have to be an expert in a day.

But, because it’s what I do best, I set the bar high so I can beat myself up after the long fall.

So, come month nine when I felt like the only thing I knew about babies was that they defecate, cry, and deserve epic greatness, I started freaking out. I mean, freaking out some more. And people didn’t think it possible, psshh.

The solution? The words of Harvey Karp, M.D., in best-selling The Happiest Baby on the Block.

It’s not a new one. It was released when I was acing algebra tests and getting written up for showing my cheeks. The information in it is so not new it’s ancient, so ancient that we advanced literati have shucked it out the window just so we can stare at our carefully clad babies wailing in their expensive cribs in their thermostat-regulated house and ask God WHY? WHY?

Well, newsflash from the past: There are solutions to Baby’s crying and your ripping your hair out (only if the latter is tied to the former, that is). There are lots of things we can do to make Baby happy. An example from The Happiest Baby on the Block? Granting a fourth trimester. Don’t worry, your glorious uterus is back to shrinking. Your job simply is to mimic what Uterus did for Baby. Ergo the 5 s’s:

Swaddling, sideways lying, shhhing, swinging, sucking.

All sounds like something you want to try with your procreator in crime, right? Feel free to tango on the king mattress, but, baby about to blast out of this girl’s hee-haw, I read the book in a day, waddled away from the toilet, and felt pretty close to being an expert at something other than ice cream eating for the first time in my life. Bring on the crying baby because I really want to calm her, confirm my expert status, and then go do the dirty with Procreator in Crime.

With some ice cream.

Sure, modern-day practitioners might upturn their highbrows at some of the advice in the book (pacifiers what?). Some of my relatives who have no place to give advice have plenty to say about the idea of not leaving your baby to “cry it out” in the crib (no wonder I see said family only on Thanksgiving and Christmas out of mere obligation, with copious amounts of fermented drink in my veins?). And, sure, even though there are proven methods, there is no magic bullet: Parents will have to practice and modify accordingly.

There are more books about babies and parenting than there are fat molecules in my ass. If you want a quick read with quality information, detailed yet understandable steps, real-life anecdotes, empirical back-up, graphics, all from a compelling, credible voice, The Happiest Baby on the Block might make you, too, the happiest lad or lass on the block.

Seriously life-saving:

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