Since Mei Tai's are so popular - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought I would point something about them.Alot of moms are making their version of these however that doesn't mean they are good to use.What I mean is that they don't have the wider bottom part which is where the baby sits at and their legs dangle there and they aren't sitting there like in a well supported hammock like chair.It can mess up their hips and their spine.Alot of people aren't aware of the damage that can done by using some carriers.The Mei Tai's that look like a sqaure with 4 strings from each corner ARE NOT good for the babys spine or hips.The Freehand Mei Tai however is wider so it makes the legs be supported as if the child is sitting in chair and not just being suspended in the air with the fabric between the legs putting pressure on the spine and hips.I was going to post a link to the info on this but forgot to do it before I started posting this.If I get a chance to I will post the link if not you can go to www.freehandbaby.com and I think thats where one of the articles on this is at.I forget exactly though!
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#2 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 03:55 PM
 
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I am so glad you posted this! It is so true!! I am handy with a sewing machine...been sewing for many many years, blah blah, but when I sat down and really researched how baby should be sitting and dangers to hips and spine and stuff, I decided that my homemades are nice and all, but I'd rather have the "pros" do it. You don't wanna mess up your child's body over a few bucks (hey, if you buy retail rather than wholesale on fabric then you are close to retail carrier prices anyway sometimes...). As with anything else, it is something to not be taken lightly, and something to be researched. Thanks for the reminder!
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#3 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 04:56 PM
 
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but havent women been using the plain square with ties in the east for generations??

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#4 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 05:05 PM
 
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Here's the link:
http://www.storchenwiege.com/babycarrierresearch.htm

My daughter had hip dysplasia, so I'm something of an expert in this. A lot of the positioning will be dependent not only on the carrier, but the shape of the momma. What you are going for is a frog-leg-like position. You want the leg to be bent at the hip 90 degrees, and you want the legs abducted at least 90 degrees apart. What you don't want is for the legs to dangle/hang down (as they would in a bjorn). The more splayed out their legs are, the better for their hips.
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#5 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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I have a Freehand an it!! Still, I don't really understand from the OP how Freehands are different from other MeiTais though And don't all MeiTais spread the baby's legs far apart in a 90 degree angle??
What about MeiTais that are U-shaped??
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#6 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neveryoumindthere
but havent women been using the plain square with ties in the east for generations??
If the baby's legs end up in the proper position, then the plain square one should be just fine.
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#7 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 05:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbeth
If the baby's legs end up in the proper position, then the plain square one should be just fine.
That's exactly what I was thinking when I posted my question just below
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#8 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbeth
If the baby's legs end up in the proper position, then the plain square one should be just fine.
But that is the "if" I'm worried about! :LOL I'm so scared to this day, on baby #3, that I'll somehow "break" him, lol. Even better to know that my homemades ARE ok.

I'm easy. If I can make it, I will. If I can buy it, good too. If I can make it for less than I can buy it, all the better. Thanks again, mamas! I learn so much here on this board.












can you tell ds's #1 and 2 did not get worn much at all?!! My arms ARE buff, btw. :LOL *flexes*
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#9 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 07:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meisubaby
The Mei Tai's that look like a sqaure with 4 strings from each corner ARE NOT good for the babys spine or hips.
This basically very roughly decribes ALL Mei Teis IMO.....including the FH!

Like the other poster, I think that the article is refering to the carriers with a very narrow, formed crotch, which AREN'T Mei Tais at all. Also the baby's feet hang down.

All Mei Tais that I am aware of have broad bottoms. Ironically, the FH is the narrowest one I have owned at about 15 inches. I am sure that Kaire (the maker of
of the FH) would be the first to assure you that hers
as well as others are not known to be bad for the baby's spine when properly used. Maybe she will jump in here to verify. On the other end, the Kozy is an example of a wider body at about 20 inches I believe. Both not very narrow at all!

I think you are going to be just fine if your baby's bum hangs in a position where it is a little lower than the knees, is uniformly supported throughout, and the legs are spread wider. (Or if an infant....legs tucked in "froggy style.")

The only Mei Tai I even know of with a narrow crotch is the Mei Tai Baby.....and it is adjustable, so you can make it as wide or narrow as you want.

My $.02

Please someone jump in if this in incorrect in any way.
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#10 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The Freehand is more diamond shape half way down and not just a square which is why its best.It creates a little hammock for the legs to sit on and be supported almost to the knee where as the square ones just cut off right next the thigh groin areas thus creating improper pressure.like the bjorn and snugli it makes more of the pressure go in the groin/hips/spine
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#11 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 11:51 PM
 
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Umm...if you like your FH best that is GREAT.....but I have to disagree with you about the "pressure points" for the others!

Most people I know wear the FH the same as any other Mei Tai, and that puts the pressure directly on the same place as the others!

I would ask Kaire about this....really. I am sure she would tell
you that the other Mei Tais don't have the problems you are suggesting.

But again, the FH is a great Mei Tei. There are LOADS of reasons to like it. Pretty prints, easy for babies to get their arms out and see out, good quality sewing and lots of other reasons.

It just is not in any way superior for the reason YOU are stating, and I would hate for others to worry about their Mei Tai based on your post.
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#12 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 11:58 PM
 
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I think I am missing something here. The Bjorn and the like are not mei tais as far as I know. Also, I have only two mei tais (a Kozy and an AngelPack) but they aren't even close to letting my ds's legs hang down. In fact, I often worry that his legs are spread too far apart. I haven't ever seen a mei tai for sale that just lets the legs hang. Exactly which mei tai are you worried about?
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#13 of 26 Old 05-21-2005, 12:07 AM
 
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yeah im confused as well.....I just took a look at the freehand site and i do see a slight curve in the sides... but I dont see how that would affect the positioning of baby. As long as its wide enough I dont see how the legs would dangle down improperly. I had a kozy and it was just a rectangle with straps and a rounded top... so that is bad for a baby too Other than the mei tei baby and another new one that I cant think of the name of I've never seen a mei tei that wasnt more than a glorified rectangle with straps....

I've made lots of my own mei teis... and I have never had the dangly leg problem... I hope this post doesnt scare mamas from wearing their babies because they think they have to spend $$$ in order to do it properly
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#14 of 26 Old 05-21-2005, 12:21 AM
 
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As I get ready to make my first Mei Tai tonight, I just wanted to point out that it is not as if the WAHMS who currently make Mei Tais have certifications or something that make them "professionals" and therefore able to produce a more "safe" mei tai. (Please take no offense if you are a WAHM who makes mei tais. I'm sure yours will be prettier than mine! And probably sewn better!)

My understanding of the hip dysplasia is that the legs aren't supposed to hang straight down, and that any other position is fine. I don't see how that position would be achieved in a Mei Tai. Really the only concern I think would be with a wrap front cross carry with the baby forward facing or with a bjorn type carrier.
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#15 of 26 Old 05-21-2005, 12:26 AM
 
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I have to agree that most MT don't dangle a baby at all... the only carriers that do are baby bojorn and such... I've been wanting to try out a FH but haven't got the $$ right now, but as said about a Kozy is just as good and it's got the "square body" to it also. I also have have a happy cruiser and it doesn't let baby's legs dangle and creates a nice pocket for her butt to sit in with knees above the butt.
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#16 of 26 Old 05-21-2005, 01:30 AM
 
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Ok, looks like that's been cleared up!
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#17 of 26 Old 05-21-2005, 02:18 PM
 
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It's hard to see in the pics but the bottom of a FH mei tai is different. I have a FH, AngelPack, and some other abcs.

My 2 cents -

W/ FH it's super easy to know the hip/leg position is right because of those triangles in the corners - they make up for the narrower body, imo.

My angelpack is wider through the body and it's also easy to get the right position in.

That said I can see where a narrower style you could get the wrong positioning in if you weren't aware of it - like my podegis - I have to really watch positioning in them.

Anyway...
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#18 of 26 Old 05-21-2005, 02:28 PM
 
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Now I'm confused. I rarely use a MT, I mostly use a wrap. But even with that, T-Bone's legs dangle. Obviously, it is not like a Bjorn - he is not hanging by his crotch, he is supported by the fabric under his butt, and mainly by the "straps" of fabric looped under his thighs. But he just refuses to bend his legs, so they hang almost straight down. I cannot get him to do the "froggie" position. This bugs me cuz it's harder to tie this way and feels much less secure, but the podeagi-knowledgeable Korean women I know say this is a good thing because this way he won't turn out bowleggeed. (Koreans say that they are bow-legged - as a people - because of the way they are carried. I think it's an old wives tale, but whatever.) Anyway, so now I'm confused. The legs hanging straight down is good bad or neutral?
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#19 of 26 Old 05-21-2005, 03:05 PM
 
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My dr fwiw said they are all OK as long as they don't hold the legs together as some culture's baby carriers do. Holding the legs toogether can cause hip displacea (sp?).
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#20 of 26 Old 05-21-2005, 06:32 PM
 
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The healthiest position is with the thighs up at your waist, parallel to the floor, with butt slightly lower than the knees. Bowleggedness is not caused by this, bowleggedness is caused by rickets. It is an actual curvature of the long bones in the legs that occurs when the bone becomes soft from Vitamin D deficiency and cannot properly support the weight of the child. It has nothing to do with the hips and pelvis. (The best way to avoid rickets is to get your breastfed baby in sunlight about 10 minutes of sunlight a day.)

Think of the way a newborn curls up when you hold him against your chest, with legs drawn up into the fetal position. That is how they are supposed to be.

That said, I tend to think that occasional front-facing carries for short periods probably won't hurt anything, and with wraps you can often spread the fabric so that the legs are supported in the right position, even facing out. Also, in a wrap that is tied properly, the baby is supported by being snug against the mother's body, rather than the weight hanging forward and bearing down on the crotch.

There is a sticky discussing the actual research on this topic on TBW, I think on the "Choosing a Carrier" forum. It's all in German and hasn't ever been translated fully, IIRC. Most of it is based on a certain type of traditional carrier that holds the baby similar to the Bjorn style, and those particular tribal people have all kinds of hip problems as adults (again, IIRC. It has been a while since I read it).
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#21 of 26 Old 05-22-2005, 03:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbeth
The more splayed out their legs are, the better for their hips.
And all these years I was wondering if my kids being so sprawled out on my hip were hurting them, hmmm, guess my being fat is finally good for something :LOL
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#22 of 26 Old 05-23-2005, 03:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingMomEsq
On the other end, the Kozy is an example of a wider body at about 20 inches I believe.
Actually, not quite THAT wide :LOL
It is around 17-18", which is wider then many. That said even the more narrow MT's spread the legs out well. The first one I made was only like 12" and worked great for my dd (kept her legs spread and up) when she was 4-6mo old!!

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#23 of 26 Old 05-25-2005, 11:08 PM
 
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what about the new Mama By Design? The one with a "pocket" for baby?



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#24 of 26 Old 05-26-2005, 12:02 AM
 
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That's kinda nifty and really pretty!

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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#25 of 26 Old 05-26-2005, 08:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meco
what about the new Mama By Design? The one with a "pocket" for baby?



www.mamabydesign.com



Hey, meco, you're great at this ... :LOL


(BTW, her 'Seminole patchwork' meitai blows me away. Beautiful. Hoping when she opens up she'll have a few for sale ... )
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#26 of 26 Old 06-01-2005, 06:50 AM
 
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Bowleg thread hijack:

Quote:
Bowleggedness is not caused by this, bowleggedness is caused by rickets. It is an actual curvature of the long bones in the legs that occurs when the bone becomes soft from Vitamin D deficiency and cannot properly support the weight of the child. It has nothing to do with the hips and pelvis.
Ayep.

As for Koreans, my hubby is half Korean and wasn't carried in a traditional manner, but his legs still can get a bit bowed if he doesn't think about it. I think it's partially due to nutritional problems from their country being occupied and terribly poor for so very very long, and perhaps just some simple genetics.

My (semi-bowlegged) MIL gave me a true Korean podegi (the big blanket version, not the smaller American versions I see now) and has really urged me to use it (too hot! and has "Greenbud" embroidered on the back, I'm NOT wearing that in public!), so obviously her family doesn't think it's causing problems.
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