Dawn Roy says she owes her sanity to Dr. Harvey Karp.
While other parents pull their hair out trying to quiet a colicky baby, Roy said, Karp’s suggestions for tapping into her fussy baby’s “calming reflex” worked like a charm when her son Jacque was just a few months old and crying until the cows came home.
A California pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine, Karp is coming to Connecticut on Wednesday to share his calming secrets, which are contained in two best-selling books, “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and “The Happiest Toddler on the Block.”
Karp’s techniques have been featured on ABC News, CNN, Good Morning America and The Dr. Phil Show. He has gained such notable fans as Madonna, Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Pfeiffer.
“We just love Harvey Karp,” said Roy, who already has “The Happiest Toddler on the Block” cued up on her home DVD and the book resting on her bed stand. “We think he’s the next best thing since sliced bread.”
Karp will be appearing from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Amarante’s Cliff Side, a restaurant and banquet hall at 62 Cove St., New Haven. The free seminar is open to parents who can register online at www.ctclearinghouse.org/registration or by calling the Connecticut Clearinghouse at 800-232-4424. Seminar participants will receive diaper bags containing Karp’s DVDs, diapers and other supplies.
Karp will also be spending several days in Connecticut training Department of Children and Families staff and other social service workers so they can better assist their clients.
“Child abuse and neglect is sometimes the result of a parent who reaches the end of their frustration and tolerance level,” said Gary Kleeblatt, a DCF spokesman. “If we can give parents tools to deal with an infant who is particularly challenging with their crying, we will have taken an important step toward our prevention mandate.”
Statistics show that persistent infant crying is often a leading factor in child abuse and can lead to shaken baby syndrome in which a frustrated parent shakes a baby violently causing serious physical harm or death.
Karp’s techniques are rooted in what he calls “the calming reflex,” which he describes as the “off switch” for crying babies. Admirers have described Karp as a miracle worker whose techniques can quiet a fussy child in a minute or less. The secret, according to Karp, is replicating the coziness, sounds and rhythmic motions of the womb.
Karp calls a newborn’s first three months of life the “fourth trimester.” He says human infants, unlike other creatures, are grossly unprepared at birth for the often overwhelming stimuli of their new world outside the womb, causing them to cry. He suggests