Babywearing has been popular with mothers worldwide for centuries. Having your baby snug and secure against your body is comforting for both mum and baby. With the myriad of options out there, it can be difficult to choose the right baby carrier right for you, your baby, and your lifestyle. Fortunately, Mei Tais are secure, stylish, and easy to use.
Lets take a look at some of the characteristics of these super functional (and popular!) wraps.
First things first, what exactly IS a Mei Tai? The Mei Tai originated in China and is basically a rectangular piece of cloth with straps on each corner. The bottom straps are tied around mums (or dads) waist, and the top straps are tied around the shoulders. Because of the flexible design, Mei Tais can be worn by more than one person without the need to adjust buckles or straps, and with a little practice, mum can nurse baby when front-wearing.
Modern versions of Mei Tais have been updated to be more user-friendly and to reflect current styles. Options are available with padding on the straps and at the waist, with hoods to protect baby from the sun, and with straps that buckle rather than tie around the waist (also known as half buckles or buckle tais). Materials vary, but most are made of natural woven fabrics and have heavier material (like canvas) for the straps. Most have fabric coverings that come in an array of colours and designs.
While some manufacturers claim their Mei Tais are one size fits most, it is unlikely that you will find one that is truly universal in size. Mei Tais designed for newborns are obviously quite small and have a narrow bottom. The back and neck should be sturdy enough to support babys head. For older babies and toddlers, the bottom is wider and usually there is padding at the waist to accommodate the extra weight.
If you are new to Mei Tais (or babywearing in general), check online for sling meets or sling libraries in your area. Babywearing experts are able to give advice about the different types of carriers available. This allows new parents to really understand the different types of wraps and choose which style best fits their family before selecting one.
So, welcome to the wonderful, hands-free world of Babywearing! For more tip-top funky ideas on cool things for you and your family, check out the Funky Giraffe range of baby slings, personalised bibs and more!