Today I got to meet a parenting celebrity, a man I pretty much owe what tiny bit of sanity I managed to cling to the first few months of Kendall’s life. Today, not only did I meet Dr. Harvey Karp, author of Happiest Baby On The Block and Happiest Toddler On the Block, but he also swaddled Leyna up, shooshed in her ear, held her on her side and bounced her while she sucked her pacifier, all while being interviewed by CBS 11’s Tracy Kornet about his magical baby soothing techniques.
Oh, it totally ranked right up there with losing all the baby weight, my first postpartum glass of wine and getting Kendall to sleep through the night as one fantastic moment in parenting.
First, let me just say he is SO kind. And just as helpful in person as his books and DVDs are.
Now, I know, I know, Leyna is not really a baby who needs to be soothed very often, but I also attribute so much of her calm demeanor to our calm approach to soothing her the few times she does need it. And all those techniques we use now are what we learned in Colicky Baby Bootcamp From HELL when Kendall was her age.
Dr. Karp was so good with her, as could be expected. And then he asked me some questions about how Kendall was as a baby. I told him how he was never soothed with *just* the swaddling and/or the white noise, how he always had to be jiggled, VIGOROUSLY. His Happiest Baby On The Block DVD was just what we needed when Kendall was a newborn because it showed us how vigorous we could and needed to be with him. It certainly made us feel much better about how rough we felt we were to get our fragile little velociraptor to calm down.
He told me Kendall was probably one of the 10% of babies that needs that kind of motion to be soothed in the beginning. I guess we are part of the small club of parents who wind up with thighs of steel from bouncing on the end of beds and yoga balls with fussy babies for hours on end. (Jen, you know what I’m talking about!)
We had a good conversation after the interview about the kinds of techniques I can use on Kendall as a toddler. He explains them in his Happiest Toddler On The Block book, and, to be honest, I’ve read it, but it just never really worked for me. I mean, I know there are some things I took away, like repeating back what Kendall’s saying when he’s upsets so I’m validating his feelings, but I never was able to master the toddler-ease, where I’m basically supposed to talk to him like a caveman.
After telling him this, he handed me a copy of the Happiest Toddler On The Block DVD (autographed!). I haven’t watched it yet, but plan to over the weekend. Maybe I’ll grasp the concept a little more and feel a little less silly about it after seeing it. I’ll be sure to let you all know. Goodness knows, my mind is wide open to all approaches to the toddler tantrum these days.
Part of the reason he is in town is his presentation tomorrow morning at the DFW Family Expo. Tickets to the presentation are, unfortunately, sold out (sorry I didn’t tell you all about it sooner!), but if you’re in the DFW area, you should still swing by the DFW Family Expo. There will be SO much going on for families with kids of all ages and stages. Here’s more info:
February 26th, 10 am- 5 pm
Centennial Hall, Fair Park
Tickets are $3 for adults and children 12 and over
$2 children 2-12, children under 2 are free
Tickets available at the door, and all proceeds benefit Children’s Medical Center.
There will be prizes, activities, entertainment and so many amazing companies represented. I plan to be there bright and early. Hope to bump strollers with you!
A BIG thanks to my friends at Metroplex Baby and Kids for thinking of me for this amazing opportunity!
I’ll have video of the interview early next week and will be sure to share it with you all. Leyna was such a little superstar.
Kendall is 2 years, 10 months and Leyna is 8 weeks old.
**Disclosure- All Amazon links are affiliate links. I was not paid for this post or for Leyna’s part of the interview.