'How to Dad' shows how to put a baby to sleep

 Photo: YouTube

A New Zealand dad who has risen to fame making "how to" parenting videos credits his youngest daughter with his success.

And if you watch his latest clip, "How to put a baby to sleep", you will understand why.

In the cute YouTube clip posted last week Jordan Watson's daughter Alba does what parents everywhere wish their own toddlers would do - lays down and goes to sleep on command. 

Watson made his first video - "How to hold a baby" - a year ago, when a colleague had a baby on the way.

Watson's wife of four years took his eldest daughter Mila, out to get coffee, leaving him with baby Alba.

Using the vacuum cleaner as a stand-in to focus the shot, he dusted off the video camera and started filming.

The resulting clip features seven ways to hold a baby, with names for each position ranging from "The Standard Shoulder Hold" to "The Dance Partner", to "The Other Dad's Superman Hold."

Watson posted the video on his friend's Facebook page that night and awoke to a slew of notifications - it had hit 250,000 views in 10 hours.


"It was just me cutting together, in my eyes, crap - just me being an idiot and thinking that one guy at work's going to like it."

The clip has now been viewed more than 2.3 million on YouTube.  Watson, a part-time landscaper, was floored by the clip's success.

"You can't plan a viral video," he says. "I think if you take Alba the cute baby out of it, they're not going to do very well - it's definitely 99 per cent her, 1 per cent me."

Despite her tender age, 18-month-old Alba is aware she's the real star the of show.

"Everyone's like, 'you've obviously trained her', I was like, no, me and my wife are bewildered - it's like the camera brings something out in her and she just turns on the super cute factor."

After his first two posts, Watson took a six-month break from vlogging. But when people kept asking for further instalments, Watson decided to start a Facebook page and commit to posting a video a week.

"Every parent can kind of relate, and there's so many people out there who're aunties, uncles, they look after people's kids... It's just everyday scenarios with kids which has given me the inspiration for it."

His recent video, "How to travel with a baby", depicts his misadventures with Alba on a family trip to Rotorua. 

The clip has been shared more than 123,000 times on Facebook, with Watson assuring viewers that no babies were harmed in the making of the video.

Not everyone gets the joke, though. 

Watson's video "How to wash a baby in the sink", in which he pops a togs-clad Alba into a sudsy sink, and continues washing the dishes, prompted one viewer to call on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg​ to shut down Watson's page. 

"I just wrote back to them that Mark Zuckerberg was actually a fan of the page, that shut them up quite quickly."

"He's not, but you could tell they didn't know what was up or down."

In fact, Watson takes his role as inadvertent parenting counsellor seriously, responding to private messages from new parents who are feeling overwhelmed. 

"I just sit there and I look at for a while thinking, 'What do I do here?'" Watson says.

"If I don't go back to them I just worry about this poor dad out there who's freaking out."

Watson admits he was stumped by a viewer asking for advice on breastfeeding.

"I think that's a mum question."

- Stuff NZ