Has anyone had any experience of using these? We recently bought a backpack second hand but it is too long for me to use and I miss not being able to carry my son around - he is only 5 1/2 months and I am only 5ft 1in. Up until now we have used a more traditional sling but I am also finding not so easy to use.
I don't know 'Freehand' Mei Tais, but I'm using my babyhawk almost daily. THe manufacturer's web site has an instruction video: http://www.togetherbe.com/productInstructionsFreeHandMeiTaiFrontCarry.aspx
I guess the best way to get comfortable putting the MT on is to just practice a couple of times (like you probably had to do with the sling). Before the babyhawk I tried a 'funkysling' MT, and found it too big for me (same height as you) and my baby (she's on the second centile, so pretty much on the small side).
Luckily I went along to a slingmeet and tried other MTs so that I could find one that fits me much better. The next time I went to a slingmeet, I tried a back-carry using my MT. Without an experienced slinger around I wouldnt have tried it. www.slingmeet.co.uk Laura By the way, what sling did you use?
I have a mei tai and a connecta - love them both, but use the connecta so much more as so much easier to put on! DD loves it too - we also ahve a big bacpack one which we now never use as i hate the way i feel unbalanced (i am also 5ft 1!), but i bearly notice when carrying dd int he connecta - highly highly recommend them!
we have the solar one, that has the bit that can clip up if dd falls asleep to eep her int he shade and stop her head moving about - great feature as she is always sleeping in it - think is a picture of her in it in my profile on here!
I had that problem with the baby bjorn and the connecta is nothing like it. connecta is really just a mei tai with clips rather than long straps to tie! The connecta makes DD feel more part of me rather than a weird odd weight i have to lean to compensate... if that makes sense!
I got my direct, I didnt find them anywhere else when I was looking - a couple came up 2nd hand but really wanted the solar one for the summer and they were new last year! Well worth the money in my opinion, we use it every day for at least a couple of hours when walking the dogs - she sleeps really well in it too. Also really good when on my back as sheltered from the wind but can still see everything, the big backpack one meant she was getting a face full of wind/rain etc as higher up. good luck