I Love Wearing My Baby In My Mei Tai

My road to babywearing wasn’t all that smooth.  Way back when (when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, and my first child was born -  in 2004), Dr. Sears told me that babies loved being worn because they felt like it was the comfort of the womb.

Cool.

So, I went out and bought my Moby – my first babywearing sling.   I was happy anticipating how easy this was going to be, and what joy it would bring.  It was going to work like magic – or so I thought.

Haha!

 

Round 1.  The baby arrived safely at home.  Things got off to a swimming start!

Just a few days after birth, I attempted the Moby.  What?  He’s crying?  Why?  This is supposed to be like the womb.  “He” said it’s supposed to be like the womb.  So I looked online and tried a bunch of holds – still crying.  Plus, I was always paranoid he would fall out.

Hrumpf.

I took pictures and posted them on Mothering.com.  I got some great advice – but still uncomfortable (physically and mentally) and he keeps crying.

I bought a Maya wrap – but all the fabric, and the rails.  I couldn’t figure it out.  Into the drawer with both of them.  Carrying him in the car seat bucket was easier.

 

Round 2. Fast forward 4 years.  Another home birth – off to another swimming start!  YAY!  Put her in the Moby – crying again.

What!

Back into the drawer with the Moby – the bucket is easier – round two over.

 

Round 3.  Determined to be smarter this time, I did some more internet research and found a popular and recommended online shop for custom ring slings.  The fact that they were affordable was an added bonus.   If you haven’t noticed, slings can be very expensive (depending upon fabric, embellishments, and length).

 

Baby Wearers International

I was telling the seamstress I bought the sling from about my story, and my concerns being plus size.  She suggested that I attend a BWI meeting.

What’s BWI, I asked?  <Sheepish grin>

BWI – is Babywearers International.  Babywearing International is a non-profit organization with the sole purpose to encourage  babywearing  and make it a universally accepted practice.

So I searched for a chapter near me.  It’s broken up into regions.  I live in the Mid-Atlantic Region, so I scrolled down and found my area.  Then, you click on your group and it shows you meeting times and locations.

These meetings are free.  You just drop in.  My first visit, I had baby in the bucket and my sling in hand.  They helped me get the sling tightened and adjusted so everyone was comfortable.  I left that meeting with my bucket in my hand and the baby in the sling!  Guess what, even when they helped me, the baby still cried (maybe I wasn’t as babywearing incompetent as I thought).  When he cried, we took him out.   We didn’t force it.   Later, I put him in again and he cried, so I took him out.  After a week of short small practice babywearing sessions, he stopped crying and began to enjoy our time together.

Imagine that!  After 3 baby’s – finally!

If you pay the nominal fee to join BWI, about $30 a year, you have access to their sling library – where they have a wide variety of slings that can then be loaned out to members.  Members, bring them home, try them for a month – bring them back (clean)- and can get another one to try.

It’s try before you buy!  What a money saver!

I paid my fee,  and rented a Mei Tai for the month.  I was completely clueless.  I hadn’t heard of a Mei Tai.  Well,  I have never looked back.  They are easy.  They helped build my babywearing confidence.   No wrapping around a thousand times, tying to and fro, or awkward contortions.  It was so easy for me, and Gray loved it – almost instantly.  Compared to the rails and the wraps – it’s a no -brainer – and, I believe, Mei Tai are the reason why I am still wearing Gray at 15 months.

Now, I can put Gray in my Mei Tai and go anywhere- with zero issues.  He feels safe close to Mommy and enjoys riding along.  It’s so easy to use when running errands, hiking, or on Homeschool co-op field trips.

It’s so simple to use Mei Tais.

I continued to comunte 45 minutes each way to attend BWI meetings.  After I chose my sling and became confident, I attended meetings to learn more, to look at other slings, and to connect with other like-minded women in my area.

 

Plus Size

I’m not an expert, but being a plus size Mom – and wearing a baby was an issue.  I didn’t like wraps.  I could put on any Mei Tai in the library and it fit.  For me, it was reassuring.  I always had to get the biggest size in wraps and slings – and larger sized wraps were not carried in the sling library.

Just a note, a great number of shops that  make and sell MeiTais do offer extra long straps.  So, it’s important to go to your area BWI meeting and try different styles.  Different styles will fit differently – and will cradle your baby differently.   In the end, you may or may not need the extra long straps.  It really depends upon the company.

 

If you have been disenchanted by babywearing or scared – I would encourage you to attend a BWI meeting, pay the fee so you can use the sling library – and rent a Mei Tai or two.  You will see how much your life will be enriched because of it.

 

The Thing I learned from my BWI leader

1.  It’s okay if he cries.  It’s a new thing so it’s expected.  He needs to get used to being carried.  When he cries, take him out and try again.

2.  Not every sling works for every woman/Baby combo.  Try a number of different slings (Pay the fee) and see what works best. Body styles, fabrics, kinds of slings – all different.  You have to spend the time to find the right one for you and your baby.

3.  Make sure everything is tight.  Good rule of thumb.  When carrying on your front – if you can bend down and kiss his head, he is good.

I remember that advice and always perform the “kiss” test, even now.

 

I love babywearing

 

Really Happy Mom and Baby

I am really happy with my decision.  The Mei Tai has brought me so many blessings in my life.

Really.

We are meant to be held close and nurtured.  Despite our culture promoting separation – we are made to hold our kids close.  When I am cooking or teaching the kids, I can carry him with me.  If he is fussy, I put him in the Mei Tai, and he calms down almost instantly.  If he is tired and cranky, I put him in and he falls asleep – and stays asleep.  I can take him out and lay him in the bed or keep him in.

I wish I had found a Mei Tai Sooner.  It was such an integral part to forming our bond and strengthening our relationship.  I hope that other women experience this as well.

Note:  Carrying him for 15 months hasn’t spoiled him.  It has actually made him more confident, more willing to play independently,  try new things and be more adaptable to new environments.

Why?

Because he is assured that if he needs me, I will be there.

 

Upcoming Mei Tai Giveaway (Coming 12/4)

Before you go out and buy a Mei Tai, I have a giveaway coming up on December 4th.  You can enter to win your very own woven Didymos DidyTai.  It’s awesome.   A woven Mei Tai, it’s perfect for newborns and bigger babies.  The body style allows you to carry your newborn in the preferred position – legs in a wide straddle and deep squat from day 1.

It is really beautiful Mei Tai and is generously being sponsored by Adriane at Caribou Baby.

Lisa
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Ruby Bums

 
About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile

Comments

  1. I have a Moby and so far I really like it. Its lightweight, convenient, and allows me to go hands free and get things done. Its super long, but I like that. Give me plenty to work with when wrapping, as well as my son grows. Go baby wrapping!
    Tenns recently posted…Creating The Perfect Registry for Your Baby ShowerMy Profile

  2. Mei Tai was my first-ever baby carrier! I went to a small scale baby wearing work shop during my 1st pregnancy to learn about different carriers but the above sounds awesome. I bought 2 and am borrowing 1. I definitely struggle with them too (to this day I can’t do my ring sling on my own). I loved the Mai Tai for the newborn stage the best and also liked that I could hike with a 10 month old and nurse her while doing so. The Ergo is my favorite for now. I still find myself just holding my girls in my arms most often at home though and wish I used my carriers more. This post is a nice reminder to do so!
    Julie recently posted…I Wish I KnewMy Profile

    • Sometimes it’s easier just to hold them. But, if you are trying to anything – anything – a sling is so very helpful.

      I found that there was a huge learning curve with the rails of ring slings. Trying to figure out what rail was what, where to pull, and then not being too confident that the baby wouldn’t fall out. That was the one thing I really had to get over with the ring sling. It’s why I don’t use one now. My toddle is so wiggly. I feel like he’s going to wiggle right out of the hold.

      I know it’s personal, but I feel the Mei Tai is just so much more secure.

      I have never tried an Ergo, but I do know people like them a lot. I sort of just refused to spend money on a bunch of slings – you know? I just wanted something that would work for as many stages as possible.
      :)

      I’m pretty lazy, I know.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Julie. I really appreciate your lovely thoughts and that you shared your experiences.
      Lisa recently posted…Mommy Monday Blog Hop – Week 21My Profile

      • I completely understand not spending the $ on the Ergo. I never would either but that’s the one I’m borrowing! And I have to admit after using it, it really is worth it but glad I didn’t have to buy! :)
        Julie recently posted…Cloth Diapering: My 6 StepsMy Profile

      • Haha!

        Yeah, those babycarriers can be quite expensive. That’s definitely one advantage for trying things out first. Although, not just one carrier will work for all of baby in toddlerhood – most likely – or maybe you get tired of it, but buying 2 is better than buying 6 or 7 or more. WOW on the pocketbook!

        Thanks so much for stopping by!
        Lisa recently posted…Homeschool Link Up Week 10My Profile

  3. Oh my goodness..those pictures are precious. Nothing like baby snuggles. :)

    My daughter didn’t like “being worn” until she was old enough to face outward and could see things. I will try again when we have another baby though, so I will definitely keep this brand in mine. Thanks for the recommendation!
    Becky recently posted…Ear Infections (aka the decline of our checking account…)My Profile

    • Yes, we must remember that every baby is different. It’s important to work with your baby to find the best fit. Good for you!

      Another baby sounds like a lot of fun. It’s also a lot of fun sling and cloth diaper shopping :).
      Lisa recently posted…Mommy Monday Blog Hop – Week 21My Profile

    • You are right, Becky. There is nothing like baby snuggles. It’s nice having a baby that likes to snuggle.

      Yeah, once they get wiggly, they don’t want to face inwards too much. I usually put him on my back, but when he gets tired, he wants to go face forward.

      It’s funny, you sort of have to work out their personalities!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Lisa recently posted…Mommy Monday Blog Hop – Week 21My Profile

  4. I adore the pictures of your son sleeping and sucking his thumb in the Mei Tai. Too cute! I remember discovering a sling in which I could hold both my twins but not really for long or too much walking. I finally managed to use it properly on one outing to a party at the horse races in Britain. You can imagine the looks I had from the women all dressed up in their heels and hats!

  5. I love baby wearing. A Mei Tai is one I havent tried though.

  6. Leslie Westenhaver says:

    We don’t currently have a mei tai, but have in the past and they are wonderful for easy and quick ups. <3

  7. I love wearing my baby, but I bought a cheap wrap at Walmart for around $30, so it starts to hurt after half and hour. I’m in desperate need of a new one, especially with my LO getting so big!

  8. I’m so glad you were able to find a product that works for you. Both you and the baby need to feel comfortable! BWI sounds like a great group!
    Megan recently posted…Win a Kindle Fire!My Profile

    • It really is. It saved me. It’s so easy to quit, when baby is crying. It was nice to have a reassurances that things are normal.

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway.
      Lisa recently posted…Didy Tai GiveawayMy Profile

  9. I have a few baby carriers, the mei tai is by far my favorite! :)
    Melissa G. recently posted…Tassimo Coffee Maker Giveaway!My Profile

  10. So much trial and error! I feel like that is where I am starting on baby #1. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I discovered my Mei Tai when I was pregnant with my second. I was a life saver as my first still loved to be carried and my sling and wrap weren’t comfortable around my growing belly. We just had our 4th and I still reach for my Mei Tai more than any of my other carriers.

  12. I love babywearing but have never used a mei tai. Cant wait to try one!

  13. i absolutely love babywearing. it has saved my sanity

  14. Jeanie S
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love my mei-tai carrier too! I wish I had one with more padded, and wider, straps though. AFter carrying my toddler for a bit, the straps tend to bunch, and become uncomfortable. You are so right about how it makes a child more confidant and independant, when they know they can trust their parents to be there <3

  15. I love carriers, I wish I could have bought every single one that exists! I have a Mei Tai made by a local woman and it’s great, but it did take some time to tie. I have the Ergo, which I have gotten way more than my money’s worth from, as I used it 2-3 times a day to walk the dog and get baby to sleep a little bit…(the only way she would!)

  16. Maya Glasgow says:

    I love my Mei Tai. I love how quick and easy it is. I love that it works even though I am plus size.

  17. I have used both a sling (maya) and an ergo. The sling took a bit to get used to, but it was great once I figured it out!

  18. i have never used a mei tai style carrier but i would love to try it. i have tried the ergo style one but i am always up for trying new ones :)

  19. I love mei tais too! They are so simple to use for back carries and they are small and portable.

  20. jessica bennett bowling says:

    I would love to try a mei tie!

  21. I would love a MT!! We currently have a SSC and a RS

  22. My baby was really colicky at first and I was so glad I had the Moby. Now that he’s bigger he still gets fussy sometimes so into the Ergo he goes, where he is much happier. I’ve even tried wearing him on my back once now that he’s older and that worked great too. I look forward to lots more babywearing and would love to try different styles like the Mei Tai.

  23. Erica Williams says:

    I don’t have one, yet.. i’m hoping to get one soon, though and try it out.. looks awesome.

  24. LOVE the MeiTai. I’ve been waiting to try one but so far only have a woven and an ergo. It’d be great to try this with my heavy little man and hopefully with the next little one!

  25. Brittany C. says:

    I enjoyed reading about your journey! Thanks for sharing!

  26. cortney t says:

    My ergo was handed down to me so I got it for free! I couldn’t have spent that much on it! Money is tight! I have wraps but currently don’t have any. I would love to win this!

  27. Sometimes it’s easier just to hold them. But if you are trying to anything a sling is so very helpful

  28. i love love love baby wearing!!! i really want a mdi tai for my baby next in march 14!!!

  29. I’m expecting my first, and right now I have a moby and a SSC, but I’d like to try other types as well. I’ve heard many people have good luck with mei tais. I anticipate needing to try a few things to find what works best for us. If something doesn’t work I’m fine trying to sell it or passing it on to a friend.

  30. Tabitha cagle says:

    So I am borrowing a hop tye from my friend and so far I like it! Now I want to try out a mei tai! Just trying to save up for one!!!!

  31. The mei tai sounds interesting. I’ve never tried one, but it sounds nice.

  32. I love babywearing! That is the only way I’ve been able to get things done some days. But I’ve never been able to try a mei-tai, and I’ve wanted one for a LONG time.
    Jennifer Marohn recently posted…The Ultimate Men’s Christmas with Racor… A M.O.O.N EventMy Profile

  33. Jena Carr
    Twitter:
    says:

    Mei tai’s are great! Sadly, my daughter outgrew hers :(

  34. Melissa Marinho
    Twitter:
    says:

    My baby LOVES to be worn, I have a carrier that is difficult to figure out and put on, the Mei Tai looks like it is enjoyable for both mom and baby, and easy to use!

  35. I have a very large toddler who has been at the 98 percentile for height his whole life. I found it so much easier to carry him in my Mei Tai! He is 17 months and I still use it (he is 28+lbs and 33″)
    Gemma Barnacle recently posted…Halloween, and 18-month sleep remissionMy Profile

  36. Nettie Larson says:

    We really want to try a mei tai! We had a Moby, but baby was too heavy by 2 months, so we got an SSC and a woven. They both work great, but now that he’s mobile I’d like to try something quick, but supportive like a wrap.

  37. stacy hancock says:

    we all have to start somewhere, right?! i started out with a snugli. killed my back! graduated to a pouch sling. worked great for newborn stage. then up to an ergo. then a ringsling. then loads of stuff! my favorites are the ringsling(love my maya) and now the emeibaby is great. have never tried a nice mei tai, i bet i’d like those, too.

  38. Amanda Murray says:

    I just tried a Mei Tai wrap for the first time today. My baby girl just loved it! She was really fussy while I tried all the other carriers. The Mei Tai held her so close and was still so supportive! I can’t wait until we can get one for our family as I’m sure my husband will love carrying our sweetly around in it too!

  39. Crystyn H
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love baby wearing!

  40. Thank you so much for reassuring everyone! Babywearing can be a daunting and scary experience when you don’t know anything in the beginning but once you learn it is an amazing thing!

  41. The DidyTai looks so comfortable. I’ve never tried a wrap conversion mei tai. I’ve heard that they are amazingly supportive.

  42. Roxanne Hobbs says:

    I started baby wearing with my third baby. I bought my first sling when she was about 2 months old. That was 16 years ago and I am currently slinging baby # 10! A couple of months ago I came across a good deal on a new Ergo and a great deal on a Mai Tai so I bought both thinking I would probably try out the Ergo and then return it and keep the Mai Tai. Baby decided otherwise. She loved the Ergo & hated the Mai Tai! So now I keep the sling & Ergo in the truck to use when we are out and am working on back carrying with the Mai Tai when we are at home. I have always loved my slings but I am liking having a few different options now. Next up is trying out a wrap. Maybe at next month’s BWI meeting! :)

  43. Danielle Lytwyn says:

    I really want to try a wrap when we have our next baby

  44. Crystyn H
    Twitter:
    says:

    I want a mei tei sooooo bad!

  45. i love wearing my baby but don’t have a mei tie yet.

  46. Megan M
    Twitter:
    says:

    I loved your post – I wish every new mom could read it! I was fortunate enough to have a BWI chapter in my area also, and have been wearing my babe since she was born (we started with a moby, but we tried mei tais next!). I have since found wrapping to be my calling and love my woven wraps. I think babywearing is so fundamentally important to child development, so whatever means you feel most comfortable doing it (even in a non-ergonomic carrier) is great, and much better than not wearing them at all. Great job mama!

  47. I didn’t know that some babies initially cried when being wrapped! My LO took to it immediately. I’ll keep this in mind with future LOs!

  48. Hannah Avery says:

    I have been wanting to try a Mai Tai for awhile. One lady I met told me that she had several babywearing devices, and the one she uses most is the Mai Tai. I own a Boba Wrap and a ring sling. I used the Boba a good bit this last spring/fall for hiking, etc., but this coming spring I think my daughter will be too big for it to be comfortable for me. I think I need a more structured carrier! The ring sling is nice for quick, but again, it is not a sling for hiking or wearing very long!

  49. I am new to this wearing thing, have tried a few options that look easy… this is my next try . 8-) looks awesome!

  50. Bekah Kuczenski
    Twitter:
    says:

    I have never tried a Moby because it looks far to complicated to put on. I don ‘t like ring slings because they are uncomfortable. So, I think the Mei Tai would be perfect for me, it looks so comfy for mama and baby and it looks easy to use!!

  51. I need to try a Mei Tei style wrap! Currently attempting use of boba wrap!

  52. I have started with my 4th, she has reflux and needs to be upright, babywearing is awesome

  53. I am still trying to find a carrier to use for my baby girl who is due in Feb. For some reason, I cannot get the hang of the wraps and I never feel that they are snug enough. I have tried some actual carriers but I always hear how bad they can be for the baby. I don’t know! The Mei Tai seems like it would be great though and I would love to try it.

  54. This is great information :) I have an ergo, but my baby (toddler) likes it for about 5 min and then wants out. I really want to try a mei tai- they are beautiful and comfortable :)
    Ashleigh Swerdfeger recently posted…Godsland Top TenMy Profile

  55. Thank you for sharing your stories. I wish there was a BWI chapter nearby (really, it’s southern california, I thought there’d be at least one of everything!).

  56. Jessica Stratton
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love wearing my kids! I have a wrap that is kind of hard to use. I have a boba that’s great for toddlers but I don’t really have anything for a small baby. I would love to try a didy tai! And this one is beautiful!

  57. Wow thanks for sharing about BWI! The lending library through the chapters sounds like a great chance to try a little bit of everything. And I’m glad to know if my baby cries then it might just take a few tries and to not give up. I had never seen a Mei Tai in action until I watched the Caribou Baby video and it looks like an awesome carrier!! Thanks for sharing your experience!
    Laura B recently posted…Home For The Holidays Giveaway Hop ~ Ends 12/30My Profile

  58. Alayna Gonzalez says:

    I tried the Baby K’tan when my little girl was born 3 months ago. I actually tried two, I had to return the first one and get a smaller size. But she never liked it and I still always felt like I needed to keep a hand on her or she’d fall. So after I returned the last one I searched online for a while. I wanted a rebozo, but couldn’t find an affordable one, and wasn’t sure about it. I saw an Infantino Mei Tai on Target’s website, and it was even cheaper than the K’tan. Once I saw the price of other Mei Tai’s, I knew I’d never be able to afford one. I went with the Infantino and I really love it. I still have to keep my little girl in the frog leg position since the fabric is so wide, but she likes it. And I don’t feel insecure about it at all, either! Now I’m trying to save up money for a more expensive one. Possible a DidyTai. LOVE mei tai’s!

  59. Judith Martinez says:

    I love my mei tai! It is hands down my favorite way to wear my baby. I’m a plus size mama too. :)

  60. I totally agree with you on the mei tai. My little one started sitting up on my back at 5 months old while I was trying to wrap her. With the mai tai It’s so much faster that I got her tied in before she could sit up. It’s easier, quicker and cooler in the summer.

  61. Michelle Lee says:

    I discovered babywearing with my second baby (my first was a crier, too). I’ve never tried a mei tai carrier, but I’d love to!

  62. I love how you said carrying him doesn’t spoil him, it makes him more confident.
    Elisabeth recently posted…Be Anxious for Nothing (Not Even Labor)My Profile

  63. Love this review, esp the pictures! So cute!!! I just love babywearing!!!! :D

  64. Christina Swenson
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love baby wearing!

  65. I didn’t even THINK a group like this existed?! I’m going to see if my city has a support group … 5 months and I’m still carrying my girl around – IN MY ARMS!! I have TWO ergo baby carriers- one I received from a friend, but forgot about and went out and purchased a brand new one- have attempted to use it twice! No success YET- I also carried her on her earlier months in a sling that was leant to me. I managed to get her comfortable but still not hands free for momma! I have baby carrying envy when I see ANY momma walk by with specialty coffee in one hand and the other hand free to do what ever she wants, flick her hair, point out a bird flying by, slapping me across the face for not figuring out how to wear my baby yet!!! Arrrrggghhh this needs to happen for us! My arms are getting tired from my ever growing baby girls needs for snuggles – thank you for this post! I NEED to find a BW chapter close to home! Hope there is one!!

  66. I would love to try a Mei-tai. I bought a Moby Wrap for my now 4 year old when she was a month old because she had colic real bad. Carrying her is the only thing that would stop her crying!

  67. I would love to try a mei tai, i’m a petite woman and Ive tried a few different kinds of carriers and none fit properly! for me everything has always been too big, and because of that i never was able to get the support i needed with a growing boy! so they always hurt my back. I really like that a mei tai is a lot more customizable to all different body shapes and sizes!

  68. I also am plus size and never thought of my size beaning a problem with baby carrier. Thank you for that now I no that I have to try on what ever baby carrier I would like to buy. If I may say you and baby are looking really cute in your photos.

  69. I moved from a stretchy wrap to a woven one, but a Mei Tai with wrap straps seems like it combines some of the best features of a wrap with a more structured carrier!

  70. Tara Cockrill
    Twitter:
    says:

    I would love to wear a mei tai!

  71. I like it,Being a man do you think i will look strange?

  72. Christina Strapp says:

    I’m very new to baby wearing. I can’t wait to baby wear with my next baby. I wish I new more about it with my daughter.

  73. I had wanted to be able to carry my son so bad and was able to do for a few minutes with the Mei Tai but with my back and neck issues, it wouldn’t work. I did try to wear him for an hour despite the pain but I paid for it the next few days not able to hardly move! So not everyone can carry but I can say that the Mei Tai was the one that could last the longest carrying time.

    • Hey Bev,

      It’s really tough when you have back and neck issues. Even with all the padding and the fact that the weight is balanced, it still puts a big strain on those muscles. Good for you for keeping at it. I’m sure you tried a whole host of carriers. Thank so much for stopping by, and for your comments.
      Lisa recently posted…Mommy Monday Blog Hop Week 36My Profile

  74. That is so great you got to wear your 3rd baby, from the pics it looks like you both enjoyed it very much! :) I love baby wearing, it just feels right, and is great to free up your arms. Great post Lisa, thank you for sharing.
    Mackenzie recently posted…Organization: What’s that?My Profile

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