Wear your baby? Why not!

A Canadian mother shares her research on various baby carriers found around the world in 1963.

It was an unusual practice in 1963

An expert in baby-carrying methods from around the world demonstrates them for Canadian viewers in 1963. 2:38

Mrs. Peterson was looking for a way to keep her babies close while still having her hands free to do housework.

She began to research baby carriers around the world, and found a variety of innovative contraptions. She also found an added benefit to carrying a baby this way — the motion puts the little one to sleep!

Mrs. Peterson demonstrates a baby sling that is worn on the back using a tumpline. (CBC Archives/Take 30)

Babywearing is very common these days, but in 1963 the idea was unusual. The CBC program Take 30 invited Mrs. Peterson to demonstrate some of the methods her research turned up (using a co-operative baby doll instead of the real thing).

"You can carry a baby up to the age of four in this carrier," she said, wearing something she designed herself that looks like a backpack.

She showed photos of women in Greece, Thailand, Mexico and Senegal using baby carriers of different designs.

Another carrier from New Guinea uses a tumpline — a strap that goes around the forehead, attached to a hammock-like sling that keeps the baby's weight on the parent's back. 

"This is where the baby gets this up-and-down motion that's so hypnotic," says Mrs. Peterson, whose first name was not supplied to viewers.