July 28, 2008

The Ancient Art Of Baby Balancing


So I saw this old photo on c-monster, which got me wondering just how long this balancing a baby on one hand thing has been going on.

There are over 800 "balancing baby" videos on YouTube at the moment. Balancing a baby on one hand seems to be a dad thing. Though I did find this one mom doing it in the 1950's, and there are the occasional uncles--and this guy, whoever he is.

And it transcends cultures. Here's a dad in Laos doing it. Here's an Indian dad doing it. This one's tagged "gypsies." This dad's doing it in Barbados, but I think he's just on vacation. And the dad in this 1990 Betamax video is speaking Spanish, and is from a country where people still used Betamax in 1990.

Betamax baby shows the two basic techniques: the less precarious, sitting balance [also seen here] and the full stand. Here's a video which made the rounds last year of a dad getting his kid to stand on one foot:

But that's not new; the 60's dad in the second half of this MST3K-style puppet clip does one-foot-on-hand, and then he tops it:

Most balancing babies seem to be 6-12 months old, though there is this 3-month-old named Eliana. Very advanced for her age.


My husband does this to our baby and I thought he was crazy. Now I feel better knowing we're "not alone." Not surprised we don't see any moms balancing their babies. (We have other superpowers, such as making milk...)

my chinese dad had us all trained to do this in the 70's. a picture i wish i still had featured my brother balancing while wearing the mr. potato head glasses. classic.

i was extremely disappointed that both my girls were disqualified from participating in the family tradition due to being in the 75th percentile for weight. my brother's son, 20th percentile, carries on the legacy.

Check out Leopold, the amazing balancing baby, here:


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