At last I am a parent! For the first time on this blog, I’ll write about a parenting book. As a parent, I’m now turning to books, family and friends for advice on raising my kiddo. As a children’s librarian, it’s always important to be able to help parents find resources that will help them be successful as caregivers. Now that I’m a librarian and a mom, I have an even bigger interest in these resources and plan to keep blogging about the parenting books that have made a difference to me (so hopefully they’ll make a difference to you or a parent in your life).
Just before I had my son, a co-worker gave me a copy of The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp. I had heard her rave about this book and was eager to read it. As I began reading, I was quickly sold on Karp’s “5 S” method of calming a cranky or colicky infant and his theory that infants need a “fourth trimester” outside of the womb. I won’t give too much away (because the book is worth the full read and because he teaches parents how to use his method safely and effectively) but Karp encourages things like swaddling and shushing to simulate the womb and calm a baby.
For the past three and a half weeks my son has been a fairly easy baby to care for. Hold him, feed him and let him sleep. No big deal. I thought to myself at one point, “I’m glad I read The Happiest Baby on the Block, but I guess I won’t be needing it.” However, over the past couple days I noticed some crankiness I couldn’t fully solve. Last night it hit me. My son was dry, fed, warm and attended to by several people who wanted to keep him happy. No luck. He needed the 5 S’s. I followed the method I learned in Karp’s book and like magic he was perfectly content.
My baby was happy and I was happy. I had the information I needed to solve a problem that my child had. He was uncomfortable and I was able to bring him comfort. As a librarian I saw this every day. “My son is biting other kids, do you have a book that will help me teach him to stop?” “My daughter is a reluctant reader, will you help me find something to read that she can get excited about?” Librarians give kids, parents and teachers the information and resources they need to attain their own success. I’m excited to continue reading more parenting books so that I can pass on great information to caregivers, just as my co-worker did for me.