Took these to help out a couple of moms on my son's birth board. Figured I'd post this here in hopes that it might help someone else out too along the way. Please excuse the fact that many are blurry and that I'm in my ugly bathroom.
In these pictures my son is just shy of 10 months old. He is around 20lbs and 29".
I used my Mei Tai Baby since it's an easily found and very lightly padded, similar to many mei tais (MT) on the market.
He's comfy, happy, and far from too big for a front carry still.
Straps are cross in the back.
I prefer to do a lexi twist at his bum when tying. I just crossed/twisted the straps and brought back around to my back to tie. Since not all MTs have the same strap length, it's normal to not be able to do this like I have.
You can just tie like this in the middle of the baby's back. This works great for newborns.
Or you can tie under the bum. This wears differently to me, so sometimes I'll use this.
There are two ways to tie a MT around your waist. Apron and non-apron. Some MTs are made to be more comfortable when tied one way or the other. It's also a bit of personal preference. Try them both out!
This is tied apron. I tied it on like I would an apron. I then will put the baby on me and lift the MT up around him.
This is tied non-apron.
Back Carries: Recommended that you not do these till the baby has GOOD head control, usually at least 4 months. I also advise that you practice with a helper at first and over a big couch or bed.
There are several ways to get a baby on your back. Do what works for you. I like to superman DS over my head and shoulders! Others like to hip scoot the child around to the back.
My son is very used to this, so he's not a wigglier. I've still got one hand on him at all times. If I wasn't taking pictures by myself, I'd keep two hands on him as much as possible.
I lower him down to where he needs to be sitting for the carry.
I bring up the MT and hold the straps. I usually lean over when I tie so I can more easily make sure there is no extra slack
You want the child to have a good seat in the MT. Ideally a baby is supported from knee to knee with the bum lower than the knees.
There are several ways to tie when in a back carry. (Note I never said these were necessarily flattering. )
Crossed in the front.
Back pack style.
With a "chest strap." Basically did the first part of a granny knot like I'm tying my shoes and then brought the straps around to my back like back pack style. I tend to use this a lot, but be careful because with non to lightly padded MTs, it tends to work itself up to your neck. I don't have this issue with a more heavily padded MT though.
And if you have long enough straps (these 72" straps aren't long enough but I have a MT with 84" straps that are great for this), you can tie "tibetan." This starts off back pack style, you bring around to your back and secure the baby and bring the straps back around to the front to tie a chest strap.
There are also a few ways once the straps are back around to the baby that you can secure the carry.
You can tie it it across the baby's back.
At the bum.
Or lexi twist and bring back around to the front to tie.
MTs are great because you can also do high back carries.
For a high back carry I either tie right under my boobs or right above them.
Then I finish off tying however I'd like similar to a regular back carry.
This time I attempted to tie tibetan since I had a bit more strap length left due to him being higher up. Didn't quite work out, but I was able to fashion a workable chest belt to allow me to go hang up diapers.
When back carrying with a MT, I personally find it comfortable for longer when DS is lower on my back (so not the high back carry). I'm able to distribute a lot more weight to my hips and get it off my shoulders. I find that if the straps are too loose DS hangs back more which brings weight crashing on my shoulders. If he's too tight, it also hurts my shoulders. A bit of practice and I figured out how he should feel on me so I don't have those two problems. I also prefer having a chest belt so that the straps don't dig in my armpits (in case you were wondering I also hate wearing back packs properly). If you're not able to fashion a chest strap with the MT straps, you can also purchase one or steal one off of a soft sided carrier. There are many, many combinations of ways to deal with MT straps and what works for one person may not work for the next. I do caution that if you have a heafty kid, you might need more padding than a regular mei tai to be truly comfortable. I can wear DS for awhile in my Mei Tai Baby, but I can wear him all day if needed to in my Beanslings MT due to the extra padding. I also find that when wearing for long period of times to occasionally redo my tie slightly since each variation will change the weight and wear some. Sometimes I'll wear the straps on the top of my shoulders and other times I have them cup my shoulders lower down. While it's frustrating that you can't always get that perfect fit the first time you wear a MT, I absolutely love its versatility.
If anyone has more questions, needs more pictures, needs me to explain something let me know. Judging by this post I have way too much time on my hands.
Last edited by alwayssmile; 08-31-2011 at 06:41 PM.
I call it a double knot because I don't know knots, but I think it is a square knot.
So I took some pics real quick with Mr. Bear. Mr. Bear is short at only 16". He is definitely smaller than my son was as a newborn.
The great thing about MTs is that you can make the body smaller to fit those tiny newborns. Just roll up from the bottom! I love how Mei Tai Baby has the snaps to make the width smaller.
If you have another brand of MT, just use a hair tie or a ribbon in place of the snaps. I really liked using a ribbon because I could adjust it as needed as DS grew bigger.
For a comparison of that EllaRoo MT with my DS:
Do note that you can froggy a newborn's legs inside of a MT if that's what the newborn wants. Just make sure that there is no weight on their legs and feet; the weight needs to be on their bum. It is very acceptable to have them legs out and it's what I did with DS. I found it hard to get him froggied correctly in a carrier, but easy to get correct positioning when he was legs outs.