Friday, March 25, 2011

a mei tai.

Remember the soft-structured carrier?  Well, basically, a SSC is the modern version of the mei tai.  No buckles, no snaps, no webbing on this carrier.  Just soft cotton and long straps.

I introduce you to a mei tai, aka Asian syle carrier, aka Babyhawk:

It should definitely remind you of the SSC but rather than the buckling shoulder strap you have two looong shoulder straps, rather than the big hip strap you have a shorter set of straps and rather than the sleeping hood you have a head support.

The shoulder straps:

See how loooong the shoulder straps are?  The shoulder straps do most of the work holding your baby tight in a mei tai.  With most carries, these straps crisscross your chest or back to create a hands-free hold. The top part of the shoulder straps are thick cushiony cotton to help distribute baby's weight evenly across your shoulders.

The hip straps:

Depending on what carry you choose, the hip strap will either tie across your hips (duh.) or across the top of your chest like in the secure high back carry.  With most carries, you start out by tying the hip strap like an apron so it dangles down.  That way, when you pull it up a comfy little seat is created for baby to sit in a natural hip-flexed position.  Or if baby is too little to sit with legs spread, she will simply sit in the seat with her legs in a froggy position.  No crotch-dangling, remember?

 Head support:

The head support is designed for little babies without neck control.  This is not a sleeping hood and it really wouldn't be very helpful if a toddler fell asleep in the mei tai.  It is solely designed to keep a little baby's head from flopping back.  A good thing.  A very good thing.

The best way to learn how to wear your baby in a mei tai is to watch youtube tutorial videos a million and five times.  I would link some good videos but my current laptop is 10 years old and doesn't support videos.  Yes.  10 years old and I'm proud of it.  Practice with an empty carrier, practice with a stuffed animal and finally, practice with your baby.  By the time you actually have you baby in your arms, it will be second nature to you.  And, don't be afraid of the back carries.  If I can do it, you can do it.  Seriously.

I bought this Babyhawk off Craigslist when I was pregnant with Liza.  I used it quite a bit when Liza was resisting the ring sling but not quite big enough for the Ergo.  I really like it and I appreciate the traditional design but it's not my favorite carrier.  For me, the biggest drawback is that storage is a pain.  I like things to neatly hang on our coat hooks but the Babyhawk just doesn't cooperate with it's long straps.  Actually, I've been thinking about selling it because I haven't used it in several months.  If you are interested, send me an email at lmd328 at gmail dot com and I'll send you some pictures.  The reverse side is a super sweet pink and brown damask so it is perfect for either gender.

This is the second post in a series all about babywearing.  If you have a question, let me know and I'll try to help you out.  Thanks for reading!

Do you have a mei tai?


Mandi S. said...

look at that clean floor!! :)

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

I sweep during naptime which is when I do most of my blogging...don't look too close though.

BrownFamily said...

I have a Babyhawk but have never seen the high back carry before. I've only seen the back carry where you tie the hip strap around your waist. Is it ridiculous that I'm excited to try the high back carry because I feel like tying the straps around my waist squishes my stomach and makes me look fat! This is a perfect solution to my problem! Do you know if there is a point when a baby gets to big to use the high back carry? I have an 8 month old and a 2 year old and am curious if it's meant for smaller babies.

Mandi S. said...

LOVE the high back carry! I think I used it up until 11-ish months or this go 'round. That's when Charlie was just a little too heavy and I was having to readjust a lot. He *lived* in my babyhawk in a high back carry from 2 months to 6 months when I needed to get anything done or we went on walks etc.

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Brown, not ridiculous at all :) We all have our reasons.
There are a bunch of good youtube videos for different syles of getting baby on the back with the shbc. It is a great carry but I can't do it for long periods because it smushes my boobs too much and I'm paranoid about clogged milk ducts.

It definitely works well and is designed for babies. Liza was probably only 3 months old when I started wearing her in the high back carry.

Rebecca said...

ooh ooh me me me!!! I am currently scouring craigslist for a babyhawk. I have a ring sling and moby and really want something to use for a back carry.