Dear Dr. Karp, I wanted to tell you (like so many others) how *The Happiest Baby On The Block* has turned our baby into a completely different person. Our son Milo never slept right from the start. Even during those newborn days when they are supposed to sleep a lot, he wasn’t sleeping. The less sleep he got, the crankier and fussier he got. He became very angry and hard to console. He wasn’t ever really a screamer but there were definitely days I called my husband at work in tears because Milo had been crying for hours and nothing I tried had helped. This vicious, downward cycle of not sleeping got worse every passing week until by the time he was 10 weeks old, he was only managing 6-8 hours of sleep a day (mostly while held) and Iliterally had not slept in weeks. He would wake up 15-30 minutes after being put down… ALL NIGHT LONG. My husband and I were taking shifts at night, but being the breastfeeder I wound up doing most of the work. My neighbor, who is also the leader of our local La Leche League chapter, texted me one evening and told me she was dropping off a book for me to borrow. She came by and handed me *The Happiest Baby On The Block *through the crack of the front door while Milo screamed in his new sling I’d bought. I started reading it that night, and by the end of chapter 1, I was crying because I thought, “Finally! There is someone out there who knows what I’m going through and has an answer!” Milo’s sleeplessness had gotten so bad I was beginning to think he had autism, since he was no longer smiling and interacting as he had been doing before. He began to just stare blankly into space when he was awake and barely seemed to notice us. I was heartbroken. As it turned out, he was just so far beyond exhaustion, he could not function. He wasn’t even taking naps during the day because his body simply wouldn’t settle. I understood this (once I realized that was his problem in retrospect) because my husband and I hadn’t slept either. I was beginning to lose my mind and I felt a little bit crazy. One awful Friday night, he woke up every 5-10 minutes all night, and the next night was even worse — by 4:30 a.m. neither my husband nor I had gotten to sleep yet. We had an exhaustive list of things we’d tried. I’d only been able to read part 1 of your book (since who has time to read when your baby doesn’t sleep?) but had gotten the gist of it and was planning to buy a white noise machine that week. My husband got the bright idea of searching iTunes for a white noise album, which he found, so he quickly downloaded it, synced it to our iPod, and we put it into the speaker dock near Milo’s head, softly playing ocean waves. He was still sleeping in our room, in a bassinet. He slept an hour and a half, which wasn’t great but it was better than 10 minutes. The next day I read the better part of the rest of the book when I could get a chance, and that night we tried something different. I swaddled Milo as tight as I could, put the iPod dock into HIS room, and really cranked the volume up on those ocean waves. We put him in the crib in his room (since it was much too loud for our taste) and waited. He didn’t wake up in 10 minutes. In fact, he slept for 4 hours. Milo spent a total of 14 hours asleep that night, only waking me up 3 times to eat. He spent the entire next day napping, and the entire next night sleeping again. I am happy to report he’s been sleeping that way ever since. Milo really, truly is the happiest baby on the block now — laughing, smiling, and babbling at me all day long. Your book had changed our lives, and definitely his. Thanks so much, for your wonderful expertise. I wish I knew another way to say thanks. With utmost gratitude (and sanity!), Michele
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