Browsing Tag

mei tai


Kapow! Babywearing with the Snugiwrap Mei Tai

17 March, 2014

Steph from Snugiwraps sent me the coolest Mei Tai a little while ago. It has cartoon Whams, Bams, and Kapows all over it. I get comments on it every time I pop Juno in.

It has been interesting getting used to a Mei Tai after my long history with wraps and recently the Ergo. I am absolutely convinced that your back and core muscles adapt to support whatever baby carrier you decide to roll with which is why it is tricky to trial something and then tell everyone your decision. For example, after a year of using a long wrap with Ramona I tried my friend’s Ergo at a festival and found it immensely uncomfortable. However, I found a second hand one for a snip in Germany last summer and began using it with 6 month old Juno and totally fell in love with the ease of it and found it WELL comfty. Bizarre, eh?

The Mei Tai is sort of inbetween a wrap and a buckle Soft Structure Carrier like the Ergo. It has the super flexible and snuggly material of a wrap but doesn’t require quite as much demo watching on Youtube as a wrap! (I spent the first three months of Ramona’s life wrangling with my wrap and her limbs whilst trying to copy winsome hippy mamas on Youtube!)

Snugiwraps Sent me a Classic Mei Tai – although they have a huge range of different options.

Here is what I loved:
I absolutely love that you can hand pick your fabric from literally HUNDREDS of designs. Sometimes baby wearing can seem a little….earthy…. so being able to choose a fabric that really fits with your existing style is a massive bonus.

I also love that it is affordable. One of the most affordable carriers out there, a quick google tells me. They have Epic sales too – you don’t get to choose your fabric in the same way but you can save a lot of money.

I love that they are hand made in the UK, which makes them completely above board in terms of labour standards.

I love the hoods you can buy as an addition. A hood with a Mei Tai is an absolute MUST for being hands free. When they fall asleep you just clip up the poppers and their little heads won’t nod about. They have pixie style hoods that clip on, which are frankly just the most coolest thing.

It folds down really quite small – much smaller than a wrap for chucking in your bag.

It is really well made- with much nicer materials and much better craftpersonship then another, more well known, British producer of Mei Tais and Soft Structure Carriers whom I bought a pre-schooler sling from.

Here are some things I didn’t love:

I thought it was rather large. Juno only just fitted it at ten months old and it is meant to be from 6 months. It would be much better fitting for 12-18 month old baby. The body of it came up over Juno’s face unless I tied it with a double fold at the bottom.

I could only wear Juno it it for a couple of hours each day, where as I use my Ergo and Wraps for upwards of five hours a day. My back just didn’t like the Mei Tai that much- although, as I mentioned above this could be to do more with my back already adjusting to other carriers. Or perhaps I simply didn’t quite master the Mei Tai tying technique.

So, in conclusion, I would recommend Snugiwraps to people new to babywearing who want a beautiful, simple carrier for wearing their slightly older baby. And go for buckles and a hood!

Would love to hear your thoughts on Mei Tai’s vs other carriers.


Babywearing: Three easy and quick DIY sling tutorials

12 May, 2013

I simply don’t know how mothers who aren’t into babywearing do it. Without a wrap or sling how on earth do you keep your newborn happy whilst continuing to tweet on the loo/  stand in front of the fridge for endless minutes picking your way through leftovers and the chocolates your toddler received in honour of becoming a big sister/ wash off  the paint toddler has plastered all over her face whilst breastfeeding newborn? Babywearing can work for all mamas and babies – I have heard that even babies born with hip dysplaysia can wear their babies. Also, babywearing is PERFECT for disguising the fact that you are in the supermarket in your milk stained pajama top.

Like many parents we have a couple of different slings – ones for different occasions and timeframes in our daughters life. For these early days I find a stretchy wrap invaluable- it is so comfortable for me and snug for the little lady. I also find a ring sling handy too- it is easy to whip them in and out for pottytunities (we do EC with our daughters.) However, I seem to produce Gold Top milk that soon sees our babies piling on the pounds and becoming rather, um, BONNY, so by 3-4 months need to upgrade to something sturdier like my woven Didymos wrap. Most babies will get to at least 6 months with a ring sling or stretchy.

I have made each one of the following slings and recommend them wholeheartedly- they are genuinely first rate, even though they are cheapskate and will meet all your babywearing needs in the thriftiest possible manner.

1- A stretchy woven – 5 minutes to make, £7
DIY stretchy wrap tutorial

Here is how: DIY stretchy wrap tutorial babywearing

You will end up with one loooong bit of fabric (5 metres suits most, I made mine shorter, around 4 m) which can then be tied into all sorts of wraps- I use this pre-tie the most (click here for demo.)

If you use tee shirt material you won’t even need to hem it but if you use something lighter like gauze you will need to hem it to stop it fraying.

2- A ring sling, 30 minutes to make, £10Three DIY  slings babywearing

My friend made this one for me, using some beautiful sari material and some heavy duty curtain hooks. Here is an identical tutorial.

(Do excuse these heavily vintaged-up photos, I am clearly trying to hide away my pokey, tired peepers!)

3- Mei Tai carrier, 2 hours, £15

I used this tutorial from the beaut Grumbles and Grunts but adapted it to turn it into a toddler carry by making it slightly bigger and adding loads of stuffing. In some ways it was a blazing success – soooo comfortable for carting my two and a half year old about. In other ways it was an utter failure; I added so much padding (like, 2 pillows worth of stuffing HA) that it was incredibly bulky and was, strangely, like carrying a toddler and 2 pillows about…Three DIY babywearing tutorials

So maybe stick to the simple version, it should see your tot through to about two years old.

Right, I’m off to go and graze in front of the fridge again.

What stuff do you get up to with a baby velcroed on to your chest? Have you found any brilliant babywearing tutorials?

PS I’d hate for you to miss a post… enter your email to get them pinged into your inbox. I won’t be spamalot, promise!

Babywearing, Craftiness

Easy Sling for Your Toddler’s Doll

9 January, 2013

It is a bit frightening/funny/awkward when your tot learns to copy everything you do. This morning Ramona has been exclaiming “Holy McNoly!” at everything (it could have been so, so much worse but I am desperately trying to modify my sweary antics!) and for the last few days she has been wandering around with a huge swab of red lipstick on her cheek that looks like a nasty gash. She somehow laid her hands on some old “Stay all day” makeup. It’s a wonder product, really. We are three days in and despite several attempts at washing it is not budging! Remind me not to go around covering my face in lipstick in front of her again, okay?

Ramona has often emulated breastfeeding (she nursed a bulb of garlic, I think it was just comfort feeding though) and now she is all about babywearing. It is handy for me too as it means one less thing that I will inevitably end up carrying home from the park. I have tried a couple of methods and now I want to present to you The Easiest, Quickest Sling you could possibly make for your tot.

It is a traditional Asian carry, a mei tai, meaning no buckles just two bows. I have found a way to eradicate most sewing, so this should be crafted up in a tick…

DIY sling for toddlers doll

I often pick up vintage cotton placemats and embroidered hankies, ribbon and binding whenever I see it at a car boot or charity shop. Just a little rummage in my cupboard found me just what I needed. How delightful is this retro soldier fabric? It is a tea towel-y thing, but way too small to be helpful in the kitchen.

easy quick toddler doll sling

Fabric placemats and small tea towels are ideal as they don’t need hemming, but a square of any fabric will do, just put a hem around the edge so it doesn’t fray. Mine was 27cm x 27cm but round it up to 30 and it will fit both big dolls and big toddlers!

Simply place your fabric in the middle of one of the 70cm ribbons and sew one straight line, attaching the ribbon to the back of the fabric. This will give you two shorter bottom straps. coming out of either side. Then sew one 70 cm ribbon to each top corner, pointing verticallytr. These will look long but they need to cross over your child’s back and tie around the front, so long is good.

Ummm….. Ta Da! For real, that is it! It is a 5 minute number, tops.

To put it on:
This might sound complicated, but once you do it you will see how simple it is! Tie the bottom strap around your kid’s waist, with a bow at the back, the pattern/ front of the fabric facing out. Place doll chest to chest with your toddler and bring the square up over dolls back. Put a strap over each shoulder, cross over the back (to look at tot’s back would show a big X) and bring straps around to the front again (under dolls bottom) and tie a front bow.

Every tot that has seen Ramona’s has wanted a carry – it would make a great pressie. I think it may have usurped the Easy Toddler Wings as my gift of choice!

Have fuuuun!

PS I’d hate for you to miss a thrifty/crafty/parenting post- enter your email to get them pinged into your inbox. I won’t be spamalot, promise!