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Which Mei Tai and why?

(13 Posts)
JetLi Sun 08-Nov-09 01:30:41

The Baby Bjorn is getting too uncomfortable now (DD is 16 weeks). Thankfully the BB was an ebay purchase so hasn't cost us much.

I think I quite fancy a Mei Tai - which one would anyone recommend? I quite liked the Rose and Rebellion ones. Not sure how much I should expect to pay really...


MrsKitty Sun 08-Nov-09 04:43:55

I've got a Joeysling Mei Tai which is great...Have always coveted a Babyhawk too though for the beautiful fabric options.

Would probably expect to pay approx £50-£60 new and perhaps £30+ for good condition 2nd hand although I may be a little out of date on that

Reesie Sun 08-Nov-09 06:20:26

Buy some canvas material and make one!!! This website ig great

I really am not a very good at sewing but I ran one of these up in about 3 hours one evening. It is absolutely brilliant and I wear it every day. The canvas cost me £10 off ebay so I didn't even need to go to the shops. I'm going to make some for some friends as everyone who tries mine now wants one. Honestly, make one, make one!!!!

Tangle Sun 08-Nov-09 17:31:17

Do you want buckles? A MT usually has long straps that are tied with knots - the Rose and Rebellion is a Soft Structured Carrier (derived from a MT and much more supportive than a BB, but with a bit more structure and buckles on the straps).

Have you tried any MT's or SSC's out? I tried an Ergo and just couldn't get comfortable in it. I then got 3 MTs with varying shapes to the straps and varying amounts of padding, and one of them I really don't get on with (which suprised me as I have fairly narrow shoulders and it has the narrow, padded straps). Unless you've tried a lot of carriers its not easy to predict what carriers will work well for you without putting it on and adding a child.

Are there any slingmeets near you? They're a great place to try a selection of different carriers and get a feel for what factors are important for you and your DD. You might also want to consider buying 2nd hand (nearly all my slings are 2nd hand and they've all been in fantastic condition at a big discount on new prices) - Natural Mamas and UKbabywearingSWAP are both worth looking at. Depending on what you want you could pick up a good MT for £20 - or as much as you want to spend!

Lastly, re making your own. If you can find the right material and make it well then DIY is, without doubt, the most cost effective way to get a MT tailored to your requirements in a fabric that you love. However, please don't underestimate the amount of time and effort that has gone into branded carriers to ensure that they are comfortable for most adults and their babies and, more importantly, safe to use. Personally I don't have enough confidence in my ability to make a carrier that would be strong enough in all circumstances, but that's my personal choice

MoominMymbleandMy Tue 10-Nov-09 00:00:53

I agree wholeheartedly with Tangle about the time, effort, and experience which goes into making a sling.

Good makers use high quality materials and invest in safety testing and liability insurance.

A product which is going to carry the weight of your baby is something to consider carefully.

As well as the links Tangle mentioned you should also find this site helpful.

It explains the different types and lists tried and tested UK sellers.

JetLi Tue 10-Nov-09 17:53:08

Thanks all for the info. smile

JackBauer Tue 10-Nov-09 18:05:07

I would try the uk babywearing group as well, put out an ISO (In search Of) for a Mei Tai and see what you get offered. They are mostly in excellent condition and if you don't like something you can normally sell it on for more or less what you paid.
I tried one every few weeks before settling for a wrap conversion MT made by a woman who specialises in them.
I woudl agree with not making your own untikl you have at least seen/tried some professionally made ones, I made a few but only after I had been carrying for over a year so I knew what needed to be extra safe and why.

JackBauer Tue 10-Nov-09 18:08:05

Regarding Rose and Rebellion, I have met her a few times (she is local to me) and she is lovely, the carriers are very well made, but they are Soft Structured Carriers (SSC) as opposed to Mei Tais (MT).
The main difference is a MT is all fabric and requires tying up and a SSC has buckles. The waists and straps are normally padded. They are really comfortable but I always preferred the reassurance of a knot in the ties rather than a buckle which could come undone.

(She did once lend me a carrier to wear round an NCT sale as I had dropped in on the off chance and forgotten mine. She is really nice)

peachygirl Tue 10-Nov-09 18:17:10

I have a babyhawk I'm going to put on ebay. It's about 18 months old and I have used it about three times.

It is lovely but I'm a bit of a short arse and found the straps very bulky.

I can put a photo on my profile if you like.

JetLi Tue 10-Nov-09 18:23:07

Thanks JackBauer and peachygirl. Have failed miserably on finding a slingmeet in Sheffield so far sad
I hadn't realised the differences between SSC and MT so that is good to know. I'm also a short arse, and cack-handed too so I figure buckles would be better for us for ease of use. I'd end up strangling myself and/or the child with a wrap I think.

Tangle Tue 10-Nov-09 20:45:45

It really is swings and roundabouts and just finding out what works for you - I didn't get on with the Ergo as I just could NOT adjust the straps so that it didn't rub under my arms. But I know lots of people who swear by them... When I first got a wrap (and a MT, actually), I did quite a lot of practicing with a teddy before braving it with DD blush

Its worth joining Natural Mamas and asking for advice. Ladies that carry their babies beyond 6 months or so seem, IME, to be a self selecting group that are genuinely friendly and helpful. You'll almost certainly find women with a similar body shape that could tell you what they found worked and why, which would give you some pointers for buying 2nd hand to try.

Re. slingmeets, are there none near you or none on convenient days? If there are just none in your area you could always start a thread asking if anyones interested - what have you got to loose?

Fingers crossed you can find something that works

(btw, another handy site is The Baby Wearer - they have reviews of a massive number of carriers, and members that can answer any question ever thought of that's on topic. I just find its a bit american and a bit large - NM is UK based and cosier )

Reesie Wed 11-Nov-09 21:52:19

I think I am underestimating my sewing abilities grin. My home made mei tai is very strong and I have customised it quite a bit. It does fit me better than the the ones that I have tried on at the local sling meets. If you cannot find your way around a sewing machine - I would recommend trying a few different styles on. Also - you need to experiment with different tying styles. Have a look on youtube. Remember the first time you try a mei tai on - you might not find it as comfortable as you would a few more tries down the line as you get more experienced with handling your baby into one and tying it with diffent tensions.

JackBauer Thu 12-Nov-09 08:26:01

Reesie, the only MT I have always kept is the one I made, it's so comfy, but I wouldn't recommend making one until you have tried out some.

I didn't have a slingmeet near me whern I started wearing, I used the Uk babywearing swap group on yahoo and rented some from Bigmamas as well.

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