Get the latest from TODAY
Ever wish a single word could stop the screams of your crying baby? For one new dad, that’s just what happened. When author and motivational speaker Daniel Eisenman was shooting a Facebook Live video with his newborn daughter Divina on his chest and the baby started to cry, he immediately chanted a resounding “Om” at the baby — and her crying suddenly stopped.
In a Facebook video, Eisenman told TODAY Parents that he wasn’t surprised that the trick worked — rather he was “stoked” that it had calmed down his little one.
“I hadn’t done it on video before,” he said, explaining that the sound had previously worked on Divina, who just turned one month old, and that he and friends had actually chanted to her when she was in utero.
“Friends would come over and we would chant to the belly. She was born in the living room. Even during the birthing we were playing Thai Buddhist Monk chanting. Beautiful track.”
He and his wife, Diana Eisenman reside in Southern California with their newborn daughter, and are excited that their video has now reached and inspired so many people around the world.
“We’re awakening the world to some beautiful ideas,” he said.
But using a calming sound or other techniques to quiet a baby is nothing new. Dr. Harvey Karp, author of the book and video, “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” has been sharing his “shushing” techniques with new parents for years.
“All babies around the world are born with a very ancient and almost magical ‘calming reflex’ that is sort of an off switch for crying and an on switch for sleep,” said Dr. Karp. “It’s turned on by imitating one or a few of the 5 powerful sensations babies experience in the womb called the 5 S’s: swaddle, side/stomach, sound, swing, suck. Some calm like this with rumbly sound (Ohhhhhm, a hair drier, loud shushing) some need rhythmic motion (bouncing on a yoga ball) and some need combinations (like a car ride which has strong sound and jiggly, swinging motion).”
“Divina’s dad is using a combination of three things: side position, swaddling (one arm is pressed against the dad’s body) and of course when he adds the third — the sound — is when it all comes together and you can see the reflex getting turned on,” Karp explained.
When TODAY asked Daniel Eisenman how he managed to stay so calm when his daughter started to cry during his live video, he explained that he’s learned to let go of “pressure and performance” in work, parenting and life.
“I don’t see crying as a bad thing,” he told TODAY. “When my grandma was in human form she cried easier than anyone I ever met. There was energy and emotion. She was courageous enough to let that flow through her. She was courageous enough to express herself.”