If you’ve been reading Practical Parenting for a while, then you’ve most likely noticed that I don’t recommend a lot of parenting books.
It’s not that I don’t believe in parenting books. I most certainly do. I believe that when parents are sleep deprived, under stress, and feeling lost, help is a very good thing.
But I also believe that all children are individuals, and they need to be raised with their unique needs in mind.
While there are some great parenting books on the market, there are also many books that encourage parents to adopt a certain parenting theory. This can be a source of comfort for some, but it can also become a crutch.
The truth is that parenting is a fast paced journey full of highs and lows, and not all stressful situations can be solved within the confines of certain parenting theory.
Sometimes…you just have to get out the door.
I do, however, believe in one particular series of parenting books: The Happiest Baby by Harvey Karp, M.D.
Not only is Dr. Karp the official child sleep expert for BabyCenter, and advisor for Parents Magazine, and a member of the Barnes and Noble Expert Circle, but he is also one of America’s leading experts on children’s health and the environment and an authority on breastfeeding.
Dr. Karp helps parents all over the world with topics such as: Sleep, breastfeeding, self-esteem, tantrums, and patience.
I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Karp last week (I know, can you imagine? For me this was akin to meeting The Beatles…and I’m married to a musician) and hear about his new book, The Happiest Baby Guide to Sleep.
Let me just say this Practical readers: This is the book for you! Not just for babies, this book addresses sleep issues for kids age 0-5. Dr. Karp provides practical (and you know you love practical) strategies for helping babies sleep through the night, as well as strategies for the nighttime battles made famous by toddlers and preschoolers.
Tired parents? Help has finally arrived!
I must admit that I was mesmerized while listening to Dr. Karp speak at the luncheon last week. I have admired his work for years, but hearing about his travels all over the world and what he has learned along his journey was incredibly inspiring.
Below are some of the highlights:
- Babies can learn to sleep independently from the first week of life!
- It’s perfectly fine to rock or nurse your baby to sleep…as long as you wake her right when you place her in her crib. In that brief moment, she learns to self soothe.
- White noise works well for all babies (I have always been a believer in this), but not all white noise is created equal. Choose low, rumbly sounds to soothe children. High-pitched white noise can cause stress and interrupted sleep.
- Driving while severely sleep deprived is akin to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Sleep deprivation increases the obesity risk for both parents and children.
- Pre-bedtime screen time results in interrupted sleep for parents as well as children. Unplug!
- Boosting self-esteem helps your children feel more independent and self-confident (can I help it if Dr. Karp and I are on the same wavelength?)
I stole a few moments with Dr. Karp following the luncheon, and I’m very glad I did.
Sometimes people seem too good to be true. Sometimes you have to wonder if these parenting books are really worth the price.
In the case, the answer is yes. Dr. Karp is a man on a mission to help parents everywhere. For him, it’s not about being the next big guru. This is a pediatrician who genuinely cares about people and has an incredible message to share.
What is his message, you might ask. His message is this: You can do this. You can teach your children to sleep independently, resolve tantrums without yelling, and be the patient, mindful parent that you hope to be. You have the ability to raise thoughtful, kind, and confident children.
It’s always a pleasure to meet another like-minded professional. But it’s an entirely different experience to meet another like-minded professional who is truly in it to help others along the parenting journey.
Dr. Karp is a person who genuinely wants to help parents become the parents they wish to be.
And in just two days…he is taking his message to the big screen. On June 21st, Ali Landry will team up with Dr. Karp for Parents Night Out. This live theatrical event will appear on 600 screens across the country and is sure to help thousands of parents resolve some of their most frustrating parenting dilemmas. Check here to see available screenings.
On a personal note, I was completely reenergized after spending an afternoon with Dr. Karp. I write a lot about self-esteem, routine, and helping your children toward independence here at Practical Parenting. Listening to Dr. Karp share his strategies and research reminded me that we are all in this together.
It truly does take a village…