We Love James Van Der Beek's Adorable Acronym For Calming A Crying Baby

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The dad of six dropped some super-wise knowledge about baby whispering without an ounce of mansplaining

James Van Der Beek has more baby experience than most — he and his wife Kimberly have had six kids since they married in 2010: Olivia, 11, Joshua, 9, Annabel, 6, Emilia, 4, Gwendolyn, 3, and baby Jeremiah, who was born this fall.

That’s a lot of hours of rocking, singing, and shushing under the Dawson’s Creek star’s belt.

He shared some of his hard-won baby wisdom on TikTok and Instagram this week with a video about how to handle a crying baby. It even came with a handy acronym.

“Age-old question: What do you do with a crying baby, as he was just minutes ago?” He begins the video. “I’ve got an acronym for you. It’s CALLLM — there’s three Ls.”

“The first C is connection,” he rattles off. “Recognize that every moment is an opportunity for connection with your baby,” he says. “That includes smiling, laughing, having a good time and also crying. You’re showing them that you’re able to be there. That there’s an opportunity for connection.”

“The ‘A’ is for acceptance,” he continues. “A lot of peace can come from acceptance. You don’t try to change it right away, you just accept that this is the situation. The baby is crying—they have something to say, and you are there for them”

“The first ‘L’ is love. Inject some of that love into the situation. That first love when you saw that first ultrasound, when your mom was in the middle of birth, and there might have been a question mark for a second, inject some of that love into the situation.”

The second L is listen.

“Hop in. Listen from your heart. What does the baby need? What are they trying to tell you?”

The third L is list. This is the one you’re probably familiar with: ask yourself what the baby might need.

“From there, you can go to the List. That’s the one you can find in any parenting book. Are they tired? Are they overtire? Are they cold? Are they hot? Are they hungry? Did they mess their diaper?”

“You finally get to the M, which is magic. And that is something that you as their parent can offer — you as their caregiver — can offer. Maybe it’s’ your own special song, it’s your own way of holding them, it’s your own way of rocking.”

We love that last one — and feel like we don’t remember that enough. We all have a little bit of our own special caregiver magic, if we can slow down and remember that.

Jeremiah, known as Remi, was born in October and announced publicly by the family five weeks later. The couple had been hush-hush about their new child after enduring two late-term pregnancy losses in a row.

“Each child brings their own energy, their own manifestation of consciousness, their own lessons,” he writes when welcoming Remi and reflecting on the family’s two miscarriages on Instagram. “The ones we lost each gifted us with different pieces of the puzzle… leaving us that much more grateful for the ongoing master class we get to enjoy with this sweet, wise little one.

This isn’t the first time that Van Der Beek has shared his parenting wisdom with the world in his very sweet way. His social platforms are filled with pictures of the family and loving reflections on parenthood. What a good dude.

Look at all those happy, lucky towheaded children! Lucky kids, lucky dad.