mei tai vs ergo for back carry - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 02-05-2012, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm transitioning my 6 month old from Moby to ....yes, that's the question. DD  was a ring-sling hip carry girl. She hated being on my back, and was content to watch everything I was doing, and I just put her behind my arm when I needed to do something and be sure she couldn't touch it.  DS in a hip carry is a nightmare- he wants to grab and hold and put in his mouth, and if I put him behind me, he arches and wiggles almost to the point of falling out. Makes simple kitchen chores really challenging.

 

I tried a back carry in a wrap, but he has no patience for the time it takes me to wrap him on my back. I even practiced with DD, thinking it might be that I needed to be quicker (now she wants me to carry her in the wrap all the time) , but still no go. I then switched to a mei-tai, which he loves. I have 2 issues, though. First, he falls asleep after about 15 minutes, and his head goes back at a 90 degree angle, at which point I've been switching to a front carry.This is kind of a pain, as he's in a back carry so I can get some chores done, and sleeping in the front carry means he needs my one arm for head support. The other issue is that he's got a decent amount of wiggle room, so when he's awake, he's on one side or the other, or arching his back. I'm afraid I'm going to whack his little head going through a doorway. I've kind of solved the second issue by tying the long tie behind his back and high, over my chest, which isn't particularly comfortable for me, as it brings the tie high up under my armpits and feels like I"m taking most of his weight with my upper back as opposed to spreading it more evenly. 

 

I've been salivating over the ergo, but if it wouldn't solve any of these problems for me, it's a lot of money....
Thanks in advance for any thoughts on either how to make the mei tai work better for us, or if an ergo (or something else) might work better.

 

 

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#2 of 7 Old 02-05-2012, 08:34 AM
 
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I have an Ergo and LOVE using it in the back carry position. I think some of those problems might be solved by the ergo. My DS is 10 months old and pretty long for his age (30") and when he's in the back carry position, the edge of the ergo still only hits him just a little below the neck, so I think it would be hard for his head to fall back 90 degrees if he fell asleep. The edge of the ergo is a bit more rigid than the mei-tai too which would be a little more supportive of his sleeping head. The Ergo Performance and Sport versions also have a pocket on the front (or on the back in the back position) with a sleeping hood that you can pull out and snap in place as head support if they fall asleep (or if you need sun shade in bright sun). I've never actually used that piece, and it might be a bit tricky trying to get it out and snapped in place once he falls asleep on the back, but I know it can be done and would work great to support his head while napping. Here's a video I found showing that feature.

 

Also, the ergo is very adjustable, and you can really cinch the straps tight very easily once he's on your back and get a very snug fit. Which might also help immobilize him a bit more if he's a wiggler.

 

Good luck! :)

 

 

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#3 of 7 Old 02-06-2012, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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NAK

Thank you so much banshee taco! That helps tremendously and was exactly the information I needed to hear. I just feel like I can't get the (very) wiggly guy contained well enough in the mei tai. Even pulling the long tie way high on his back, he still arches back a bit more than is comfortable for me (obviously it's comfortable for him, because he keeps doing it lol)

I think I'm gonna order an Ergo now :)

 

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#4 of 7 Old 02-07-2012, 08:09 PM
 
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I think a hood on your MT would resolve the issue of the head flop.  Adding one after-market isn't that difficult if you can sew. 

 

As for the back-arching, that's often less of a "comfort" thing than it is a "testing boundaries" thing.  With my DS I had to tie, wait a few minutes and then retie so that I actually got it tight enough.  The first time he was always too loose.  You may also want to explore different ways of tying the straps if the one you're using isn't working for you.  My fave was always the rucksack tied Tibetan.  If he is situated properly in the MT and the waist straps are in the right position / tied tight enough, most of his weight should be on your hips and not your shoulders. 

 

At 6 mos he shouldn't be so tall that his head flops back like that - most MTs will hit at the back of the head at that age.  Are you putting him up there legs in or legs out? 


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#5 of 7 Old 02-08-2012, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for responding, Cristeen...

Wish I could sew.... sadly, I'm able to get buttons back on things but that's about it. I'm going to try the tibetan tie and see if that makes a difference. Your post gave me the thought of looking to see if there's anything sold that would do the same thng, though, and there is, so that might be an option, much cheaper than an ergo (I just keep balking at the price of the ergos!!)

Hmmm. I wonder if my mei tai is shorter than some? It hits him at his shoulders. His legs are out.

Thank you so much for all the tips!

 

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#6 of 7 Old 02-08-2012, 06:38 AM
 
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I have both an ergo and a mei tai, and I actually prefer the mei tai for back carries.

The ergo does have a hood, and it is actually very easy to put up and snap when the carrier is on your back. The snap/straps hang low enough that you can just grab them behind you and sort of twist your arms behind you to get them over your shoulders. It sounds complicated, and looks a little odd, but it's do-able and doesn't hurt you or anything. It just has to be hanging out of the pocket when you put him on your back. I don't like that there's no flexibility in where you "tie" the ergo straps. It doesn't bother me when the babe is on my front, but I don't find where they lie to be comfortable when he's on my back. 

Your mei tai does sound a little short. My three year old only barely has her shoulders out of ours! Anyway, I'm really posting because I'm in central africa right now, and women here often tie a second layer over their babies. It's a really gauzy layer, but I'm thinking you could use any thin fabric you might have around, including a scarf or something like that. It ties sort of like a shawl over top of the woman's shoulders (around her neck, really) and the baby, after the baby is tied on the back. I was just thinking that you could do something similar when your kiddo falls asleep on your back, to deal with the head flop issue. A second, thin, piece of fabric that would provide a little bit of support added on afterwards might work? I have no idea if this is any sort of clear. I should take a picture the next time I see someone doing this! 

It also might be cheaper to just pay a sewing friend to make you a hood for your mei tai - something that snaps or buttons on. Wouldn't be very tricky, really. 


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#7 of 7 Old 02-11-2012, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks quantumleap.....your post gave me lots to think about. I did tons of research, and came to the conclusion that there was a reason my mei tai only cost $20.... It's shorter than most, with shorter straps, and just kind of gaps out at the top with almost no support for my little guy. When I put my 3 year old in it, it comes up to between her mid and low back, and she's not a big kid. I like your idea of a head shawl thingie, but just decided that my mei tai itself isn't really all that I want.

I'm so glad you mentioned that about the ergo not being all that flexible. That's a huge big deal, and something I really hadn't thought too much about.

Anyways, I ended up ordering a babyhawk. I'm very excited.


Thank you everyone so much for all your input! I know no one IRL who babywears, so it's really hard to get this information any other way.

 

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Tags
Babywearing , Babyhawk Mei Tai Baby Carrier , Moby Wrap , Ergo Baby Carrier , Ergo Baby

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