The word babywearing conjures up fear in alot of parents. At first glance it can appear incredibly complicated! I loved the idea of wrapping but it took me a good few weeks of watching youtube videos before I dived in! Likewise on first appearances Mei Tais and their long straps terrified me! Yet I know some mums that swore by them!
At the baby show at the start of this year I decided I needed to start upgrading from my stretchy moby wrap, which I couldn’t use for back carries, to something that I could back carry in. I visited the baby calm stand and decided on a Maya Wrap Maya Tie. Initially I found it daunting and it took me a good few uses before I liked wearing it but now its one I swear by. We’ve tried a few others, Snugbaby I found too padded for my liking and the lower part of the body was too thin that it didn’t last knee to knee very long. I’ve also tried a Palm and Pond as well as a Nia Nia, but I always find I come back to my Maya Tie!
So what is a mei tai? Well its a simple carrier, one large rectangle which is the body, two waist straps which you tie around your waist, ideally above your belly button, and then two shoulder straps which you can tie in a number of ways (Youtube ‘how to tie a mei tai’). I tend to favour crossing over on my back if I’m wearing him on my front or if we are back carrying I tend to bring them under my arms and cross around his bottom.
I like the mei tai as it is quicker than wrapping I find! Its also cooler for the summer months as more air circulates around you. And its simpler for back carrying than wrapping is. There are so many bonuses! The connecta I mentioned yesterday, which although is a buckled carrier is also a mei tai style, just with buckles rather than straps which you knot!
Mei tais come in a whole range of styles, different colours, panels, fabrics, some are interchangeable. There is one to suit every taste! I assure you! They are great carriers to keep in the car or mine got kept in my pushchair for a long time for those times when he simply didn’t want to be pushed anymore! They fold up nice and small!
Safety note! Its important to always make sure the stitching on your mei tai around the waist and shoulder straps is secure and tight, a tug on them will check this, listen for any snaps of stitches and look for any pulls. There was an incident this year with one manufacturer who had a dud batch however this is rare and buying from a reputable manufacturer should ensure high quality secure stitching