parenting

Dad's zany 'How to Fight a Baby' video goes viral

Nov. 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM ET

Video: One dad’s playful video called ”How to Fight a Baby” shows him tossing his infant a short distance onto his fluffy bed and pretending to grapple with him. It’s going viral, but it’s also sparking debate about how rough it’s appropriate to be with a baby.

Babies. They intimidate the best of us, but Gavin McInnes has got your back.

The New York writer and father of three posted a YouTube video Monday called “How to Fight a Baby,” and it immediately took off, thanks to some killer wrestling moves McInnes demonstrates on his 10-month-old son, looking ever so vicious in only a diaper and showing lots of skin.

“There are a lot of different moves you can do to kick a baby’s ass,” McInnes says at the top of the video, before proceeding to flip and flop the tot around onto a fluffy comforter on top of a bed.

McInnes also reveals the “one Achilles heel” for every baby when he blows into the boy’s face: Wind.

Not only does McInnes' infant son not appear to be hurt; he seems to be having fun in the video. He also fights back, slapping his father’s face and at one point scratching his dad’s eye, prompting McInnes to exclaim, “He just scratched my actual eyeball!”

McInnes appears in the next scene with an eye patch.

“So yeah, dealing with babies is nothing to be afraid of," McInnes proclaims. "Just keep their nails trimmed and you’re good.”

The lighthearted video racked up half a million YouTube views within 24 hours. It has garnered mainly positive response, including people calling it “too funny” and McInnes the “coolest dad ever.” However, some viewers are concerned about the baby's safety.

“I loved most of the video, I hated it when he throws the baby tho, I know he just playing but its not cool,” wrote one.

How to Fight a Baby
Gavin McInnes/YouTube
Gavin McInnes tosses his infant son onto a fluffy comforter on a bed in "How to Fight a Baby."

McInnes said the speed of the response has surprised him. He said someone approached him about the video at a party Monday night just hours after he posted it.

As for those worried that he plays too rough, McInnes is unconcerned. “I mean, I would hate if child services took my children away, but outside of that, I’m not concerned if it makes people mad or not,” he told TODAY.com.

McInnes said he speaks as a seasoned parent. "This is my third kid. Your first kid, you’re so scared that they’re going to die that you sneak into their room and you put your finger under their nose to feel breath. And the second kid, you might check in on them once in a while to make sure they’re OK.

“The third kid you go, ‘These things are really hard to kill. Their bones are like rubber,'’’ he joked. And there is research that says he may have a point.

How to Fight a Baby
Gavin McInnes/YouTube
Gavin McInnes says he is unconcerned about viewers who think he plays too rough with his baby."Their bones are like rubber," he jokes.

Studies have shown roughhousing with children can be good for kids. Research within the past decade has shown the benefits children receive from rough-and-tumble horseplay, including gaining confidence, learning how to handle their bodies, and taking chances.

The book “The Art of Roughhousing," which is co-written by a medical doctor and a psychologist, said horseplay can actually help make kids smarter and more emotionally intelligent by teaching them how to interact with others and teaching them self-control, fairness and empathy.

McInnes agreed, calling helicoptering parenting hurtful for kids. “I think the safety pendulum has swung too far,” he said.

How to Fight a Baby
Gavin McInnes/YouTube
Gavin McInnes' baby appears to be having fun in "How to Fight a Baby," at one point poking his father in the eye.

McInnes has done a number of irreverent videos involving his children, including one that questioned why doctors said it would take an entire year for his newborn daughter to learn how to walk (he got her to take her first steps within 11.5 months), and another on how to discipline a baby “if he steals your car." He said his wife especially enjoyed the latest video he made of their son.

“She thought it was hilarious. We both watched it 100 times,” he said. “Even my mother-in-law, my archenemy, was OKwith it. She was worried about my eye.”

The flippance of his videos may not surprise people who have followed McInnes; he is the co-founder of the Vice magazine and now helps run the website Street Carnage, both of which hew to a brash tone. But he readily admits parenthood has changed him.

"Having kids is the best thing that ever happened to me. All my friends waited until it was too late, or they say they’re not ready because it’s too expensive or something," he said. "Well, it's as expensive as you want it to be. It's also super duper fun and it's really easy."

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