Monday, December 13, 2010

DIY Mei Tai Baby Carrier

This past Summer, I purchased a woven wrap and was so excited to be able to wear Little Man on my back so that I could get some housework done. Although I loved the look and feel of the wrap, I didn't love putting it on. It took too long for me to get on and I didn't feel comfortable putting Little Man on my back by myself.

So I began the search for a soft structured carrier. The two types of carriers that fall into this category are buckle carriers and Mei Tai's. I was able to try on both styles at a La Leche League Parenting Conference. Although a lot of people prefer buckle carriers, I found them confusing and difficult to adjust. When I tried on a Mei Tai, it just felt right. It was easy for me to tie on and no adjustments had to be made. Plus I liked the way the tied straps looked over buckles.

So then I began my search for the perfect Mei Tai. Nice padded ones can be fairly expensive, costing around $100+. I looked online and found several tutorials showing how I could make my own. I was nervous because I'd never sewn anything this complicated before, but I decided to give it a shot. I used this tutorial and the materials and supplies only cost me about $35. I made A LOT of mistakes and I kept running out of thread. It took me about a week to finish. But I am VERY happy with the results.

It's a little wrinkly in this picture because I wear it all the time. In fact, I just wore Little Man on my back for two hours this morning while I was finishing some Christmas decorating around the house. It is so fast and easy to put on and I feel very comfortable putting him on my back by myself. And he loves it too!

Here'a picture of me wearing him in a front carry while we were out and about in the city.

And here is a picture of me wearing him in a back carry after church yesterday while we were wrapping presents for our upcoming Christmas outreach. If I hadn't had the Mei Tai, I probably wouldn't have been able to participate.

I have worn him while cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, putting on makeup, shopping, sightseeing, preparing for a meeting, and even directing a wedding rehearsal. This thing sure has come in handy! If you are looking for a baby carrier, I would still recommend a ring sling for the first few months. After that, a Mei Tai is the way to go! If you are curious as to how to put one on, here is a site with good instructions.