Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I love my mei tai!

Soo...the moby wrap is great for snuggling with an infant, and the ring sling is great for shopping, but when I'm serious about getting housework done, the mei tai is my best friend.
See, front carries and all nice and good, but despite people saying wearing a baby on your front is "just like being pregnant again", I didn't find it true. At all. Especially for washing dishes and hanging up clothes. I can't get close enough to the sink, or lean over very well to reach the laundry basket. When I was pregnant, the baby was, you know, IN my tummy. Not up on my chest! So I wanted a back carrier. Desperately. Plus, with the heat of summer creeping upon me, the moby wrap was making Natasha and I both WAY too hot. The answer to my problem?
A mei tai!
You can buy them, but I have more time than money, so I decided to make mine.
I used this tutorial:

Sewing one of the Mei Tai shoulder straps, with my Grandma's industrial sewing machine.

It was very easy to make, but I discovered a few steps in this particular tutorial that could have been explained better, and it would have eliminated some tears on my part, when I thought I had run out of fabric.
Number 1:
Since I had never really *examined* a completed mei tai, I didn't know how many straps I needed to cut out. I assumed it had 4, but didn't know I only needed to cut out three. (The waist strap isn't as long as the shoulder straps, and is centered on the bottom base of the mei tai body.)
Number 2:
I didn't realize that I didn't need a "front and a back" to each strap. As in, I only needed 3 straps, and each one is folded in half and turned.
Number 3:
I accidentally cut the ends of the shoulder straps shorter than I'd like, in attempting to make them pointed. Maybe I didn't understand the tutorial's directions on that little bit, but I made notes for any future mei tais I might make.
Number 4:
The tutorial isn't very clear in explaining which side of the little sleep hood is to be sewn to the top of the mei tai. I sewed it on upside down the first time. I could have left it, and it wouldn't have made a huge deal, but I wanted it *right* so I took it off and started again.

Other than that, I loved the tutorial, and would definitely use it again.
Perhaps I will someday if this size gets
a little small for carrying a "toddler Natasha."
If anyone is planning to use this tutorial, and would like my notes on the spots I had trouble with,
let me know and I can try to help.

When Natasha was little,
(I know, she's still little, but, when she was *really* little,)
she needed to ride with her legs tucked up like a frog.

Now that my wee one has grown a bit more,
she can ride with her legs out:

We call her our little koala. :)

Did you notice it's reversible? I like each side, but Daniel prefers the plain side. I just don't understand why he doesn't want the people at the park to see the flowered side when he's carrying Natasha...

Like I said in the previous babywearing post, I have done just about everything with Natasha in the mei tai. I forgot to mention that I have canned tomatoes and even mowed the yard with her on my back! She slept the entire time. :)

Don't get the wrong impression about the mei tai being "only for back carries"! That's not the case! I can wear Natasha on my front as well, and it works better at times than the ring sling for housework. In fact, one evening supper was going to be overcooked if I didn't pay attention, but Natasha was hungry too. I put her on my front, and she nursed while I finished supper.
(I did feel a little "far out "doing that, but...it worked!)

I hope to do a post on how I get Natasha ON my back sometime, so stay tuned. :) It's really quite easy.

1 comment:

  1. Yay I'm so glad you're enjoying your mei tai! I had one, but ended up selling it because I had an ergo as well and preferred the structure of that. But, I loved the flexibility of a mei tai. Maybe if we have a baby #3 someday.. :)


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