Dr. Harvey Karp is one of America's most-trusted pediatricians and child development experts. He is on the faculty of the USC School of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Karp practiced pediatrics in Los Angeles for over 25 years. His landmark discoveries and unique ability to translate complex science into effective techniques to empower parents have revolutionized our understanding of the needs of young children. He is the founder and CEO of Happiest Baby, a smart-tech and parenting solutions company.
Dr. Karp has devoted his life to helping families raise healthy and happy children. His highly innovative and celebrated books/videos, The Happiest Baby on the Block, The Happiest Toddler on the Block and The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep have been translated into dozens of languages and have made him one of the world's most renowned baby and sleep experts.
Dr. Karp's breakthrough discoveries "the calming reflex, the 5 S's and Toddler-ese " have benefited millions of parents and are taught by thousands of specially trained educators in over 20 nations. No wonder, the NY Times applauded his landmark ideas by saying, "Roll over, Dr. Spock!"
For over 20 years, Dr. Karp has been a tireless advocate and a national leader in the promotion of children's rights to a healthy and safe environment. His work in protecting children has directly led to state and national laws protecting children. Dr. Karp has served as a spokesman on environmental issues for the NRDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California Department of Health, and is a founding board member of Healthy Child Healthy World. He is a board member of EWG, whose mission is to protect our nation's public health and the environment.
Dr. Karp is an advisor to Parents, Ser Padres and American Baby magazines and a pediatric expert on BabyCenter. He has appeared numerous times on Good Morning America, CNN, Today Show, The View, Dr. Oz, etc. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Time, Newsweek, LA Times, Parents, People Magazine, etc.
Question: What advice do you have for sleep-deprived new parents?
Dr. Harvey Karp: Don't be afraid to ask your friends for help. Historically when raising children there was always help around for the parents, such as aunts, grandparents, siblings etc. Today, many parents don't have access to this and feel they should be doing it on their own, without the support, and that's why we are seeing increased anxiety and postpartum depression.
Investing in tools to help calm and boost your baby's sleep such as the use of white noise, swaddling, or SNOO can be a great help in assisting you to get the rest you need.
Question: What are the current challenges facing most new parents?
Dr. Harvey Karp: Exhaustion is the number one issue parents are facing today. 50% of babies are still waking one or more times per night at 6 months.
Sleep deprivation is used to train Special Forces to endure torture and it can cause the same mental impairment as someone who is drunk! It's also a key trigger of postpartum depression and can cause other issues like marital stress, child neglect and accidents.
Question: What practical advice can you share for these parents?
Dr. Harvey Karp: Don't be afraid to ask people for help and support and invest in tools to help calm and boost your baby's sleep.
Reducing crying is critically important...it is life-saving because infant crying (and a mum's exhaustion) are the main triggers for postpartum depression, infanticide, SIDS, breastfeeding failure, marital stress, poor bonding, overuse of doctors, overtreatment of babies, car accidents, etc.
Question: What is the SNOO?
Dr. Harvey Karp: SNOO is the most awarded baby bed on the market. It has been built to be the world's smartest, safest most effective baby bed. It boosts baby's sleep throughout the night by imitating the rhythmic sensations, like rocking, shushing and holding that babies enjoy 24/7 in the womb. The in-built microphones hear when the baby cries and responds with motions and sounds on an increasing level depending on how unsettled the baby is, like an experienced caregiver. It often calms fussing in less than one minute and has been built to prevent accidental rolling, one of the leading causes of infant sleep death.
Question: What inspired the creation of SNOO?
Dr. Harvey Karp: Baby beds hadn't changed in 1,000 years, they were really just boxes. I knew that I could soothe babies with the 5 S's technique. Working with renowned industrial designer, Yves Béhar, and leading MIT engineers, we were able to create a smart responsive bed to boost sleep and calm babies by using the same rhythms they experienced in the womb. However, it really is more of a caregiver rather than a bed - it is like having another set of hands to rock and soothe the baby all night so that parents can get some rest.
Question: Why is SNOO the smartest and safest baby bed ever made?
Dr. Harvey Karp: SNOO is the world's first smart sleeper as it imitates the rhythmic sensations babies enjoy in the womb while responding to fussing with increasing sound and motion.
It's the safest baby bed for infants as it keeps sleeping babies on their back (the safest position) all night long and prevents them from rolling to the stomach, which is the primary cause of SIDS and suffocation-related deaths. For the first time in history, parents can sleep peacefully, knowing that their baby will stay in the safest position–all night long!
Question: What are the main benefits of the SNOO system?
Dr. Harvey Karp: SNOO is proven to boost infant sleep by 1-2+ hours throughout the night by imitating the rhythmic sensations they enjoy 24/7 in the womb, and in return helps parents gain an extra 1-2 hours of sleep. It also ensures that sleeping babies are kept in the safest position on the back all night long.
The Smart Sleep also encourages infants to develop healthier sleep habits by learning to self-soothe but also helps parents learn their baby's cues like when they just need a bit more soothing or when they are crying for hunger etc.
Interview by Brooke Hunter