Carry of the Month for December/January: Rebozo & Front Torso Carry

COTM #6: Rebozo & Front Torso Carry

This month, we are going down to some basic, more traditional front wrap carries: the Rebozo and Front Torso Carry. Although this post is kind of lengthy, these are both pretty simple carries once you get them down!

Rebozo

“Rebozo” is a term referring to a carry (or pass) where the wrap or sling has one end going over the wrapper’s shoulder while the other end goes under the wrapper’s arm. The basic Rebozo carry is typically done with a short woven wrap (size 1-3) and some babywearers even use a simple piece of cloth (SPOC), DIY “tablecloth” wraps, and other appropriate pieces of fabric (although not ideal for stretchy/jersey knit type fabrics). It is a carry that can be used from the newborn stage through toddlerhood.

The Rebozo is a great carry to have in your repertoire…it is appreciated for its simplicity, ease of in and out, and also for its lightness in warm weather (perfect for our hot climate!)!

A Rebozo can be worn on the front/tummy-to-tummy (ideal for newborns and small infants), on the hip (great from about 6 months through toddlerhood!), and for very experienced and skilled wrappers, on the back.

The Rebozo is a quick and easy carry, it can be left “pre-tied”, is great for lots of popping baby in and out (ie. shopping and errands…or an older infant/toddler), and many babywearers learn to prefer a Rebozo over a ring sling!  Learning to tie a slip knot is probably the most difficult part of the Rebozo, along with learning how to tighten it…but once you have it down, you’ll probably learn to love it as much as we do and be popping baby in and out all day long!

As with all wrap carries, importance is placed on creating a nice, deep seat for baby, with baby’s legs being in a good M position (knees above bum) and fabric supporting under the legs from knee to knee.

Younger babies should have fabric supporting them up to their necks, whereas older babies should be supported at least up to their armpits.

One important note: Much of the difficulty babywearers have when learning the Rebozo (besides the slipknot) relates to getting and maintaining a good seat, and with sufficiently tightening the carry along babies back and shoulders. When practicing the Rebozo, be sure to focus on these aspects to create a safe, comfortable, and supportive carry!

Front Torso Carry

Once babywearers have perfected some of the other front carries like Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) and Front Cross Carry, they are often ready for variations. Front Torso Carry is a variation of FWCC and a lot of babywearers really like this carry because both of their shoulders have free range of motion! It can also be a nice option for babywearers who have neck/shoulder problems.

Front Torso can be used with your base size (+/- 1) woven wrap for tying in back, or a shorter wrap (size 2-4 depending on your build) for tied under bum.

Front Torso is a safe and comfortable carry with a newborn, however, be sure to practice a few times with a stuffed animal or doll so that you are comfortable with making the “pouch” baby sits in and that it is secure while you use your hands to adjust and tighten, and tie off the carry. It can also be used up through toddlerhood…for babies and toddlers who don’t mind arms in and the wrap up over their shoulders – arms out creates too much leaning opportunity, which makes it very uncomfortable for the wearer. Front Torso is a great snuggle or naptime carry!

While this is a great carry, it might not work with all wraps (like ones that tend to sag a bit after some use). And because you do not have the support from shoulder passes, the key to this carry being comfortable is TIGHTNESS – it is incredibly important with this carry, so make sure you are familiar with properly tightening and removing slack from your wrap. Start with your top and bottom rails to tighten and remove slack and also make sure to always tighten in the middle, too (be sure not to overtighten the bottom rail, causing you to either lose the seat and/or have the wrap too tight on baby’s legs).

Important note about Front Torso: this carry is lower on your body, so make sure you are always aware of baby’s neck and face and be familiar with babywearing safety (make sure their chin is never on their chest, etc). We will be going over Back Torso in a future COTM, so keep your eye out!

**BONUS Carry**
From BWI Tucson VBE, Candace: Rebozo and Front Torso are two of my very favorite front carries…combine those two into one carry, and, well, :: swoon ::

Front Reinforced Torso Rebozo combines Rebozo and Front Torso in an amazingly comfy carry for newborn and bigger babies (just keep an eye on leg straightening with the bigger babes!).  I am currently using it for my 7 month, 20 pounder, and it is my go-to front carry and a favorite for naptime. I am a plus-size babywearer and use a size 4 or 5 woven for this carry.

 

Safety: Please keep in mind that if this is your first time using a woven wrap or trying this carry, you should practice over a soft surface such as a bed or couch. If you are attempting the back carry version for the first time, you should have a spotter and/or practice over a soft surface such as a bed or a couch, or even kneeling on a carpeted floor. You can also practice with a doll or stuffed animal first until you feel comfortable.

If you are a beginner with woven wraps, we recommend that your child be approximately 6 months old, with good neck control/head support, and able to sit before attempting ANY back carry.

Stretchy wraps (such as the Moby, Boba Wrap, DIY knit wraps, etc) are not designed for the carries described in this Carry of the Month and should NOT be used for back carries.
These video tutorials and more can also be found on our Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/BWITucson/cotm-6-rebozo-front-torso/

 

HOW TO GET A GREAT SEAT:

 

REBOZO

Video Tutorials:

Rebozo Photo Tutorial:

http://www.babywearinghamptonroads.org/2014/01/carry-of-month-rebozo.html

 

HOW TO TIE A SLIPKNOT:

 

Tips for Adjusting a Slipknot:

 

FRONT TORSO CARRY (FWCC Torso)

 

Front Torso Photo Tutorial:

http://www.babywearinghamptonroads.org/2013/09/carry-of-month-front-wrap-cross-carry.html

 

*Bonus Carry* FRONT REINFORCED TORSO REBOZO 

 

 

 

Carry of the Month for November: Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC) & Secure High Back Carry (SHBC)…and variations

COTM #5: Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC) & Secure High Back Carry (SHBC)…and variations

Over the past few months we have focused on the foundation of learning to use a wrap through both front and hip carries. You have learned to make a good seat. how to tighten and remove slack, how to tie off a carry. Once babywearers get these basics down, they are often anxious to try something new! And new woven wrap users are often equally as eager to learn back carries, so this week we will be introducing the Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC) and Secure High Back Carry (SHBC) – both are great back carries to start with for so many reasons!

If you are new to wovens, we HIGHLY recommend you practice becoming familiar with wrapping through our previous Carry of the Month’s: COTM #1 FWCC & PWCC , COTM #2: FCC & SCC, COTM #3: Hip Carry Series, and COTM #4: Kangaroo & Hip Kangaroo.

If you’re still learning (or just starting to learn!) back carries using a woven wrap, you are probably familiar with the workout you get from trying to tie a baby on your back with a wrap – the sweating, the awkward position, the sore thighs/arms/stomach from standing at that awful 45 degree, semi-squat position angle.

Well, good news! Our first “Back” Carry of the Month is a really nice one to start with because it has some great features including a knot that you tie right away after getting baby on your back to give some added comfort knowing your baby is tied securely to you before moving on. It also has some nice stopping points for you to pause and catch your breath and figure out what the next step is without completely messing up your wrap job.

The basic BWCC and the SHBC incorporate a chest belt (video tutorials posted below). This chest belt is nice because it gives you a knot to secure baby right after you get them on your back. The chestbelt also keeps the wrap out of your arm pits (a common complaint of some back carries), and is also pretty easy on the shoulders. BWCC is a great carry for those who struggle with getting a good seat or for those who have a little one who is a “seat popper” because the last two passes of the carry compensate for a popped seat as long as those passes are nice and snug and nicely spread across your baby’s back and bottom.

One important note: BWCC is a naturally lower / mid-back carry because of how the wrap comes under your arms, knots at the chest, and then goes over your shoulders from the front rather than how most back carries have the shoulder passes come over your shoulder first thing (which tends to lift baby and keep them up). But that knot/chestbelt of the BWCC is what makes it such a great beginner back carry! Also, being a carry that has baby sit a little bit lower on your back makes the BWCC a nice naptime or cuddling carry because they can really snuggle into and against your back. SHBC gets baby higher up on your back, but uses the same principles of the BWCC.

Try the BWCC out and let us know what you think…and be sure to check back in next week to see what carry we’ll feature next!

Safety: Please read our Disclaimer and also keep in mind that if this is your first time doing a back carry, or even this particular carry, you should have a spotter and/or practice over a soft surface such as a bed or a couch, or even kneeling on a carpeted floor, and use a “spotter” if available. You can also practice with a doll or stuffed animal first until you feel comfortable.

If you are a beginner with woven wraps, we recommend that your child be approximately 6 months old, with good neck control/head support, and able to sit before attempting any back carry.

Stretchy wraps (such as the Moby, Boba Wrap, DIY knit wraps, etc) are not safe for back carrying and should NOT be used for back carries.

We have these videos and more (including variations) and tutorials detailing how to make a good seat in a back carry, as well as how to get baby on and OFF your back…all linked on our COTM #5 Pinterest board .  Go check it out!

Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC) – with a chestbelt

Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC) – with a chestbelt / tied “Tibetan” (no verbal instructions, but some great tips are demonstrated!)

Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC) – with a chestbelt

Secure High Back Carry (SHBC) 

Secure High Back Carry (SHBC) 

Lending Library Photo Album

The following carrier are currently available through our BWI of Tucson Lending Library.

SSC = Soft Structured Carrier
NBC = Narrow Based Carrier
MT = Mei Tai
RS = Ring Sling

Carry of the Month for September: Kangaroo and Hip Kangaroo

COTM #4: Kangaroo and Hip Kangaroo

This month’s carry is the Kangaroo and Hip Kangaroo (not to be confused with the “Kangaroo Hold” from Moby!). It is a front carry (and hip variation) you can do with a short wrap or with a longer wrap, depending on how you tie it off. Mid-length wraps seem to work the best (sizes 3-5). Once you get the hang of it, the Kangaroo is a quick, straightforward, and snug front carry – and looks really pretty when wrapped due to the shoulder flip!

The Kangaroo is considered a “precision” carry and requires a little more time and patience to work all the slack out, but getting that slack out is what makes it perfection!! But once you get the hang of it, it is an amazing carry that you will definitely want in your wrapping arsenal!

Why we like it… for babies that like to fall asleep when worn, it is very easy to unwrap the Kangaroo and lay them down to sleep from this carry. It is pretty straightforward and snug, without multiple passes. The shoulder flip (in addition to looking pretty!) helps ensure that the baby is snug against you with no leaning room. For heavier or older babies, you can also spread the leg passes for extra reinforcement. It is also a carry that you can easily wrap on while baby is snoozing on your chest should they fall asleep on you before you’ve had a chance to wrap them (see Wrapping Rachel’s Newborn Kangaroo video!).

Tips for a snug carry…pay close attention to tightening the wrap and getting all of the slack out of the wrap. Getting it nice and snug across baby’s back by pulling all the slack out through the shoulder and back passes. This will increase comfort tremendously and is a key component of this carry! The “shoulder shrug” method of pushing the slack out of the wrap will become your friend.

While a nice front carry option, the Kangaroo is also very similar to a Rucksack Back Carry, so is a nice option to begin practicing with on the front, yet not as intimidating as a back carry – making moving on to a Ruck Back Carry a little less intimidating as it is essentially the same carry with baby on your back instead of on front!

The most important thing to remember (as always) is to get a good seat – knees above bum and fabric spreading from knee-to-knee. For those teeny newborns, also make sure you have good head support – make sure the wrap comes all the way up to their neck, and if additional support is needed, roll up a blanket or burp cloth and fold it into the horizontal panel to provide more support for their head (once you’re all wrapped up).

Safety: If this is your first time using a wrap, or even this particular carry, please be sure to practice wrapping your baby over a soft surface such as a bed or a couch. You can even practice with a doll or stuffed animal first until you feel comfortable with making a “seat” and securing the passes and tying the wrap. Working near a mirror or reflective surface is also helpful so that you can better see how your baby is positioned in the carry and whether or not you have their knees above their bum and fabric spread from knee-to-knee.

Check back in next month to see what wrap carry we’ll feature next!

These video tutorials and more can also be found on our Pinterest page:  http://www.pinterest.com/babywearingtaz/cotm-4-kangaroo-hip-kangaroo/

Kangaroo Carry (tied under bum, but you can also cross under bum, go under opposite leg and tie in back)

Kangaroo Carry

Kangaroo Carry (short wrap)

Reinforced Kangaroo Carry

 

Kangaroo Carry with a Newborn

 

Kangaroo Hip Carry Variation

 

Reinforced Hip Kangaroo

 

Carry of the Month for August: Hip Carry Series (HCC, HWCC, RHC, PHC, & CHCC)

COTM, August 2014: Hip Carry Series – Hip Cross Carry (HCC), Hip Wrap Cross Carry (HWCC), Robin’s Hip Carry (RHC), Poppin’s Hip Carry (PHC), and Coolest Hip Cross Carry (CHCC)

This month we will be highlighting a few hip carries, which are a great option for infants who hit that curiosity stage and want to look around at something other than the wearer’s chest!  Some parents are quick to forward-face their infants in this stage (4-6 months) because of this, but forward facing positions can be pretty uncomfortable for the wearer…solution: hip carries!!

Why we like hip carries: They are a great solution to the “my baby likes to face out” problem that many parents experience. Like a high back carry, a hip carry allows baby to see out, but also provides a safe and natural retreat against the parent’s (or caregiver’s) chest when they start to experience too much stimulation or become sleepy.

Recommend for infants with good head control (4+ months) all the way through toddlerhood.  Many wearers find hip carries a little less challenging to wrap than back carries, and love the fact that it is easier to accomplish many tasks that can be frustrating due to an obstructed view in a front carry.

The Hip Cross Carry (HCC) and Hip Wrap Cross Carry (HWCC) are pretty straight forward hip versions of the well known Front Cross Carry (FCC) and the Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC).

Robin’s Hip Carry (RHC), Poppins Hip Carry (PHC), and Coolest Hip Cross Carry (CHCC) may look (or even sound) a little complicated, but all are fairly quick and easy to learn.

Robin’s Hip Carry (RHC) is a comfortable and easy carry to nurse in and for laying down a sleeping baby. RHC can be modified to a front carry (tummy-to-tummy) for smaller infants that don’t quite have the head control needed for hip carries, and also has a variation using a sling ring. This carry can be done with a size 3 or larger wrap (depending on wearer’s base size)…a size 4 wrap is typically the average length used for this carry, but can be done with longer or shorter!

*The key to RHC is getting the shoulder/back passes smooth and evenly spread, and placing the “anchor point” high to achieve optimal comfort and to protects against leaning.  Similar to a ring sling, the anchor point – where the wrap crosses/twists at the shoulder – should be where one would wear a corsage or brooch (between collar bone and top of breast).

Poppins Hip Carry (PHC) is also a great carry to nurse in and can be modified to a front carry (tummy-to-tummy) for smaller infants that don’t quite have the head control needed for hip carries. This carry takes very little wrap length so a size 2-4 wrap can be used, depending on wearer’s size and baby’s age/size.

*PHC can be a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, is a fast and easy go-to carry!

Coolest Hip Cross Carry (CHCC)… this is a fun one to learn, because, well its name, right?!  Actually have you ever wondered how some of the more advanced carries get their names? Many are named after the “creator”, but apparently CHCC – being a modification on the Hip Cross Carry (HCC) – got its name because someone at some point modified the HCC and decided it was cool enough to get its own name….apparently Coolest Hip Cross Carry was it!

CHCC is a “pre-tied” and “poppable” hip carry, meaning that you can tie the wrap on, and then put baby in and make a few minor adjustments to snug things up and you are good to go! Great for those stages where baby wants up and down, up and down…or for errands – just tie it on before you leave the house and pop baby in straight from the car seat! There is not a modification for infants without adequate head control (the Front Cross Carry would be the alternative), so this should only be used for infants with proper head control (4+ months).

*The trickiest part of CHCC? The slipknot. But it provides some great adjustability! If you are struggling with learning the slipknot, you can use a double knot, but be sure to carefully remove any excess slack from the passes before tying.

Videos and tutorials will be linked below. Try these hip carries out and let us know what you think!

Reminders: An important thing to remember (besides nice, snug passes and a good knot) is to get good positioning and a good seat – knees above bum and fabric spreading from knee-to-knee. For those teeny newborns, also make sure you have good head support – for the newborn modifications of the hip carries, you can roll up a washcloth or burp rag and place it behind baby’s head/neck and fold the top rail of the wrap down and over it for extra support.

Safety: If this is your first time using a wrap, or even this particular carry, please be sure to practice wrapping your baby over a soft surface such as a bed or a couch. You can even practice with a doll or stuffed animal first until you feel comfortable with making a “seat” and securing the passes and tying the wrap. Working near a mirror or reflective surface is also helpful so that you can better see how your baby is positioned in the carry and whether or not you have their knees above their bum and fabric spread from knee-to-knee.

“TASK” Rule for Safe Babywearing!
Two fingers can be placed under baby’s chin
Always able to view baby’s face – even while nursing
Snug and Supported
Kissable – able to kiss the top of baby’s head easily

 

Be sure to check back in September to see what our next COTM will be!

Videos and Tutorials can be found below as well as on our Pinterest page!
http://www.pinterest.com/babywearingtaz/wrap-videos-hip-carries/

Hip Cross Carry (HCC)
HCC (video tutorial):

HCC (picture tutorial):

http://www.wearababy.com/instructions/babywrap?start=5

Hip Wrap Cross Carry (HWCC)

Robin’s Hip Carry (RHC)

Reinforced Robin’s Hip Carry (RRHC)

Robin’s Hip Carry with a Ring

Robin’s Hip Carry for Newborn

Poppins Hip Carry (PHC)

Poppins Hip Carry (Picture Tutorial)

http://www.babywearinghamptonroads.org/2013/01/carry-of-month-poppins-hip-carry.html

Poppins Hip Carry

Poppins Hip Carry for Newborn

Coolest Hip Cross Carry (CHCC)

*tutorials for “How to Tie a Slipknot” below

CHCC

“Inside-Out”/Reverse CHCC (a little more adjustable/better for leaners)

How to tie a Slipknot!

 

 

Carry of the Month for July: FCC & SCC/SCC Variations

COTM for July 2014 is Front Cross Carry (FCC) and Short Cross Carry (SCC)/SCC Variations

Front Cross Carry and Short Cross Carry are great go-to carries to learn! Both are considered “poppable” carries, meaning they can be pre-tied and your baby can be easily popped in and out of the wrap as many times as needed. These are great carries for babies or toddlers who like to go up and down often. They are also great for when you are out running errands as you can tie it on at home, get in your car, and when you get to where you are going, pop baby in and go! 

FCC and SCC are also really nice to be able to sit down comfortably while baby is still wrapped, not to mention awesome carries to nurse in if you are breastfeeding. And, although we don’t get many of them, FCC and SCC are great for cold or rainy days as you can tie them before leaving the house and still put a coat on over if it’s chilly out; or on those rare rainy days in Southern Arizona, you won’t have to worry about the tails of your wrap dragging all over wet parking lots.

Front Cross Carry typically requires at least your base size wrap (for most babywearers, this is your long wrap ranging in size between a 5-8, depending on your build). Short Cross Carry and SCC Variations, can be done with a mid-length woven wrap. The two variations we like – using a sling ring and tying at the shoulder with a slipknot – make it a bit more adjustable than the regular short cross carry.

The Front Cross Carry can be done with a variety of wrap types (wovens, stretchy wraps, gauze wraps, hybrid wraps, DIY wraps). Short Cross Carry and its variations are probably best completed using a woven wrap for overall comfort, tying, and adjustablity.

Both FCC and SCC are nice secure carries as baby sits in the “x” created by the cross passes (with legs straddling each pass). It can be used tied nice and high on your chest for a newborn, and is great for bigger babies and toddlers, too!

An important thing to remember (besides nice, snug passes and a good knot) is to get good positioning and a good seat – knees above bum and fabric spreading from knee-to-knee. For those teeny newborns, also make sure you have good head support – you can either tuck their head into one of the cross passes or roll up a blanket or burp rag and tuck it behind baby’s head/neck spread between the two cross passes to provide more support for their head (once you’re all wrapped up).

Safety: If this is your first time using a wrap, or even this particular carry, please be sure to practice wrapping your baby over a soft surface such as a bed or a couch. You can even practice with a doll or stuffed animal first until you feel comfortable with making a “seat” and securing the passes and tying the wrap. Working near a mirror or reflective surface is also helpful so that you can better see how your baby is positioned in the carry and whether or not you have their knees above their bum and fabric spread from knee-to-knee.

“TASK” Rule for Safe Babywearing!
Two fingers can be placed under baby’s chin
Always able to view baby’s face – even while nursing
Snug and Supported
Kissable – able to kiss the top of baby’s head easily

Be sure to check back in August to see what our next COTM will be!

Videos and Tutorials can be found below as well as on our Pinterest page!

 Front Cross Carry – photo tutorial

http://somdbabywearers.weebly.com/blog/front-cross-carry-photo-tutorial

Front Cross Carry with tips for nursing discreetly

Front Cross Carry with wrap folded in half lengthwise

Front Cross Carry – nursing upright and in cradle position

Short Cross Carry

Short Cross Carry

Short Cross Carry – Tied at Shoulder (SCC TAS)

Short Cross Carry with Ring Variation 

I want a Mei Tai, but which one?

I want a Mei Tai, but which one?

By Sarah and Kelly, BWI of Tucson

Mei Tai carriers are a very popular option that combine the ease of an SSC with some of the same dynamics of wrapping. As with many other types of carriers, the Mei Tai is produced by several different companies and in many different sizes. When choosing a baby carrier of any kind it is always important to find something that is going to fit both the caregiver and the child well, but sometimes knowing which carrier that is can be difficult. There are comparisons of some of the different Soft Structured Carriers available, but so far none of the Mei Tai carriers that I could find. So, a fellow babywearer (Kelly, who is also a VBE) and I, along with help from some members of our local BWI chapter, set out to create a comparison of some of the popular brands of Mei Tais. We chose brands that are easily found, well-known, and fairly budget friendly. Those brands are: Infantino, Freehand, BabyHawk and ToddlerHawk, Bamberoo, and Kozy.

It’s important to remember that the fit of the Mei Tai includes the body panel reaching from knee to knee on the child being worn. This allows for proper positioning and comfort for both the wearer and the wearee. Our goal with this project is to show you how a toddler fits in these different Mei Tai brands and sizes. We hope that by using a toddler it will be easier to see what might fit both a younger baby and an older child so that you may be able choose the brand and size that will be best for your specific needs. We’ve also taken measurements of the body panel, waist length, and strap length for each of the individual carriers in order to give specific information about the size of each Mei Tai.

Allow me a moment to introduce our models, or rather, I’ll let Kelly introduce herself and her son:
“I’m Kelly, this is my child, K. I am 5’ 3.75” and about 130 lbs (I wear about a size 6), he is 18 months old and 24lbs 10 oz and 31 inches tall – round and on the shorter side for his age. I would classify myself as athletic/petite, and K is on the short and adorably chunky side.”

First let’s look at a front carry with the different Mei Tai carriers. As you can see, in some of these, the carrier is not quite reaching knee-to-knee for K (e.g. Freehand, BabyHawk, and ToddlerHawk), although he is still well positioned. There are differences in the height of each carrier too; some of these carriers are offering full back support up to K’s neck or further, and some, while offering good back support, are only reaching to K’s shoulder blades. It’s important to note that while it is safe for a carrier to support K’s back only up to his shoulder blades, most children will quickly outgrow the carrier as they increase in height. (Please note that you should be able to click on each photo in order to view a larger version.)

MT front lbl

We’ve also included photos of the same front carry, but with a view of how the ties look in the back. This is so you may be able to tell how much length is left over after tying as pictured above (straps are crossed in back, crossed in front across K’s bum, and then tied off in back).

MT front-back lbl

It might be difficult to see, but if you look at the knots tied in back, some of them have very little length left over. Those are the Infantino, the ToddlerHawk, and especially the Kozy. The ToddlerHawk and Kozy have the option of special-ordering extra long straps, but the Infantino does not. You can see that with the Kozy, Kelly had barely enough to tie off in back. For anyone of larger size than Kelly, like myself, it would be impossible and you’d need to tie under your child’s bum. Tying off under baby’s bum is acceptable and safe; I personally prefer to be able to cross straps and tie in back as pictured. Therefore, because the Kozy is made for larger babies, toddlers and up, it may be wise to pay a little extra for longer straps if you plan on wearing your child in front as well as on your back.

For the sake of being thorough, let’s also look at how each carrier looks when used in a back carry. It may be a little easier to tell how well the individual Mei Tai carriers fit K in these pictures.

MT back lbl

Kelly has K nicely positioned on her back, using ruck straps, and crossing each strap over one leg and under the other to tie off in front. Because she is able to use ruck straps for back carrying, there is extra strap length left over and those carriers that had little left over for tying off in the front carry, now have plenty left over to tie off in these back carries.

Now that we’ve seen how each carrier is fitting Kelly and K in two different carrying positions, let’s look at the specific measurements for each one.

MT info collage

Note on the BabyHawk and ToddlerHawk: Please be aware of the manufacture dates of both the BabyHawk and ToddlerHawk. The measurements differ between the two, with the width of the ToddlerHawk body panel being 1 inch less than the BabyHawk. We believe this to be due to a more recent rebranding of BabyHawk. It is our understanding that currently the BabyHawk and ToddlerHawk body panel will measure the same width wise, but the ToddlerHawk will measure taller, unless ordered with custom width and height. This is a great example of why you should always ask for specific measurements before buying a carrier, especially when buying used.

The feel of a carrier when being worn is also important. Some Mei Tais have thicker padding on the waist and/or shoulder, and would be better suited for larger framed caregivers. Kelly, since she was the caregiver modeling these carriers for me, has offered up some personal insight into this aspect of each Mei Tai.

kellysimpressions

We hope that this information will help in deciding which carrier will work best for you and your child. There are many other good brands of Mei Tai carriers that we were unable to cover in our project, but they are definitely worth checking in to; Ellaroo and Catbird Baby come to mind. Please bear in mind that all measurements and carriers used were done with what we had on hand, and what we were able to borrow from the lovely members of our local group, Babywearing International of Tucson.

P.S. We would like to thank all the lovely ladies and men who graciously entrusted a Mei Tai into our care for a time in order to complete this project. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!