Dr. Harvey Karp

The pediatrician and SNOO founder on supporting mothers, parenting in prisons, and rethinking how to wean babies off of opioids.


I’m a pediatrician and child developmentalist. I practiced pediatrics in Los Angeles for many, many years and then started writing books to help guide parents. My joke is that my job is half pediatrician and half grandmother because so often parents need something other than medical information to help guide them.

In many ways, today’s parents are the most educated parents who ever lived. But they’re also the least experienced when it comes to taking care of babies. Many parents have never even held a baby before they have their own. 

Young people are excited by the idea of moving to a city. You want novelty, you want difference, you want change, and then you get stuck in the city. Your family is back where you came from. You’re not living next door to them, and for much of your life, you really don’t want to live next door to them. Then suddenly you have a baby and go, “Oh my god, that’s why people live next door to each other.”


The big lie ... is that the normal family is two parents and a child.



It always seemed to me that if we could put a man on the moon, we could figure out why babies were crying.



It’s really fundamental: mothers need to rest after they have a baby.