*Photo link added! Not feeling the mei tai love - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 09-07-2007, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I keep reading about all the things you mamas can do while wearing your babes....and I just don't get it!

I started with a pouch. It worked great or 3 months or so. Still really only wore it to transport babe around, shoping or walking the dogs. I foudn that if my weight went up or down even a few lbs the fit was all wrong. Moved to a mei tai (hand-sewn...perhaps THAT is the problem??!) in hopes that I really could be more mobile and 'get stuff done' while keeping my sweet one who is the intense 'mama love stage' happy.

It kills my back and makes my shoulders burn (muscle strain). It digs into my sides at the waist and quite frankly makes my fluffy self appear all too fluffy! When I'm out for my morning walk and walk up the hill for some cardio I have a difficult time catching my breath because the straps seem so tight around my waist.

Could it be that I'm wearing it wrong? Dd does not seem to be able to get into the knees higher than bum postion. I tried a back carry, wearing her as if I had a back pack on...again...the straps were so painful and my shoulders were aching after moments. I'll not cross the straps in front of my chest as I need NOTHING to accentuate the size of my boobs(!!) ...I'm rather busty and with dd on my front I can't see much to get anything done! I can hardly sign the credit card slip when I'm paying for groceries.

What am I doing wrong. I really want/need this to work!!!

Any thoughts or tips..other than I need yet ANOTHER style of carrier. That isn't gonna happen.

ETA: Okay...here are a couple of photos that may help you to help me! Another problem that I seem to be having is that dd is often lopsided...listing to one side or the other rather than centered. I can't seem to get her in straight. Is this just her own doing by shifting around or is there a *tip* ?
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d1...e/DSC05864.jpg
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d1...e/DSC05865.jpg

~Lauri
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#2 of 28 Old 09-07-2007, 02:01 AM
 
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Sounds like something funky in the one you have. Possibly tying the waist strap too tight too?

good luck!

-Angela
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#3 of 28 Old 09-07-2007, 03:22 AM
 
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Aw, but wraps are fun!

Ok, sorry, couldn't help it.

It does sound like maybe not the best mei tai. It shouldn't be doing that to you. Do you have padding in the straps? What are they made of? Are they angled? How wide are they?

Pictures would help.




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(I really do think wraps are more flattering if fluffy is a problem - I'm teh supr fluff, but I don't care if I accentuate it. But wraps do look better.)
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#4 of 28 Old 09-07-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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I prefer wraps, too (sorry!).

I had a MT and HATED it. Really. With a passion. It was just so uncomfortable, no matter how many times I tried it.
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#5 of 28 Old 09-07-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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Any chance that you could connect with some local BW's? You could try several different styles of MT that way, and other types as well. How old/big is your dc? I'm not sure how you could tweak the one you have to make it better, unless you can sew. When my dd got to heavy for my MT, I switched to an ergo and that still works great for us.
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#6 of 28 Old 09-07-2007, 07:08 PM
 
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That doesn't sound right. I do have a mei tai; I don't love it, but it can work with the fluff if you tie it right (and I'm a size 24, although I don't have much of a bust--plenty in the middle, though) The thing about mei tais is that it looks like such a simple design, and in concept it is, but there are so many details that make a crucial difference (width and angle of straps, padding used, fabric, panel shape, etc etc).

Many mei tais are made at home by WAHMs; that's not necessarily a problem. It does sound like the design is not right for you. I would try scoring one on the TP like a Babyhawk or a Kozy.

I agree that a wrap is probably the most flattering thing for a plus sized person since there's so much fabric to spread out, but it takes longer to learn--especially for back carries which can be difficult!

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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#7 of 28 Old 09-07-2007, 09:44 PM
 
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How old and how big is your baby? I think at some point it's more comfy and more convenient to move your baby onto your back rather than struggle along with them on the front -- you get your hands free and it's much easier to carry any amount of weight on your back.

Pictures and specification on your MT (strap width, padding, material, etc.) would def. be helpful in trying to troubleshoot the one you already have.

Come visit the NEW QuirkyBaby website -- earn QB Bucks rewards points for purchases, reviews, referrals, and more! Free US shipping on great brands of baby slings and carriers and FREE BabyLegs or babywearing mirror on orders of $100+. Take the QB Quiz for personalized advice!

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#8 of 28 Old 09-08-2007, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay then....before I give up totally and try a wrap - more info to see if I can make this thing work for me.

Dd is 5 1/2 mo and I'm gonna guess around 14-16lbs.

To clarify...I made my mei tai so I do sew and could rip this one apart if necessary. Though I'd rather start from scratch since I'm not in love with the fabric. It's what I had on hand. I'd rather not invest the $$ in a WAHM or other MT simply for $$ reasons. I made my MT inexpensively - but perhaps that is the problem?

Anyhow. the straps are 4" wide and are not padded. They should be eh? The body is 17" wide and 21" or so tall. The body is made from corduroy and the straps form a bottom weight material.

I do think we have a NINO group locally and guess I could try to connect with them.

I'll have DH take our picture tomorow and see if a photo can help in further figuring this out.

Another question to ask: is it possible to leave the MT on my body as I'm running errands and slip dd in/outof it? Can the same be done with a wrap? That would make in/outs of the car so much faster!

Thanks so much!!!

~Lauri
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#9 of 28 Old 09-08-2007, 01:59 AM
 
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There are some ties you can leave on and drive. With a woven 9not stretchy) wrap, I don't think it would be as easy, but you could at least a little. With a mei tai front carry, you can leave the bottom tied and just loosen the top. I don't find that comfortable to sit down in for longer than a minute, but it's certainly doable.

I've never used a mei tai with unpadded straps, but from what I've heard, either padded or wrap-straps (much wider, 8+ inches) are more comfortable.
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#10 of 28 Old 09-08-2007, 02:29 AM
 
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I pretie my wraps quite often. FWIW, I find that my wrap camoflagues my fluff nicely!
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#11 of 28 Old 09-08-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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You can definitely leave the PWCC (pocket wrap cross carry, like a Moby hug hold) or FCC (front cross carry) pretied; I don't find it uncomfortable, but I always seem to have to adjust it after taking her in and out! Not everyone has this problem though.

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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#12 of 28 Old 09-08-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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I put my wrap on in the morning (front cross-carry) and keep it on all day. I just pull the sides apart to pop DS in and out, and tighten it up on occasion. That way I don't have to worry about dragging the ends in mud in the parking lot or something.
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#13 of 28 Old 09-08-2007, 07:41 PM
 
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Sorry--I love wraps too. They are great for popping in and out of (and I use wovens, not stretchy). I have not found this to be convenient enough with a mei tai. Of course, since you want to do back carries, maybe this shouldn't be a deciding factor. I don't know a good way to pop in and out of a back carry in ANY carrier (without someone else there to do the popping, anyway).

If the carrier is pulling so much on your shoulders, maybe the shoulder straps aren't tight enough? You want baby hugged against you by the carrier instead of hanging from your shoulders. It makes a huge difference!

Of course, it's all speculation until you post a pic!

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#14 of 28 Old 09-08-2007, 07:49 PM
 
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I just had a genius idea. :

I know you don't want to try another carrier, but since you are thinking of remaking your MT anyway, you could make an onbuhimo instead. It works about the same as a MT but there are rings at the bottom instead of waist straps. The shoulder straps will come over your shoulders as ever, then thread through the rings and tie in front (for a back carry). This way you don't have straps circling your waist and that could solve that problem (and be more attractive).

So, I've never actually tried an onbu myself. Maybe someone else could chime in to say if this idea has merit.

Hmmm, in these instructions the mama ties it tibetan which eliminates the waist strap altogether. You could do tibetan with your MT too, though. Here are pics: http://www.freehandbaby.com/onbuhimo-instructions.php

Anyway, throwing it out there . . .

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#15 of 28 Old 09-08-2007, 08:58 PM
 
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Depending on how you get your kiddo on your back (I do sack o'potatos, so this wouldn't work for me), you can leave the lower straps of the mei tai tied, and just undo/redo the top straps.

The way I do wrap carries I've never gotten a woven to be poppable (I do pretty tight ties), but it could definitely be mostly left on and just loosened/tightened as needed even if you tie like me.

Waiting for pics. : (I'm the worst, though, I have no real working camera, so I can't ever post pics when I need help. : )
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#16 of 28 Old 09-08-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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I'm mostly just adding to what others have said- but I wanted to share that I often have pain in my back or shoulders, etc. if my ties are not tight enough. I have a sling (not a huge fan), MT, and a woven wrap (which is my favorite and most comfy carrier for me and DS). I'm quick to become uncomfortable if DS is not close/tight enough to me. My MT does have padded straps (which I think helps)- do you think that you could maybe try to add a little padding to the shoulder portion or make them a bit wider to make them more comfortable? Good luck!
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#17 of 28 Old 09-10-2007, 10:38 AM
 
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I can't use mei tais. I just have never found them comfy for more than 5 minutes. I can use wraps, slings, pouches, SSCs and they're all fine, but mei tais always seem to drag on my shoulders. I guess this must be because of something about my build - my height? Just not sure. I have tried lots of different tying techniques but no matter what, I feel like the waist band can't be tight enough and I can't stand it digging into me anyway, and the shoulders just hurt. I wear my SSCs down on my hips so nothing is digging into my middle.

Naomi, Just finished a transformation
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#18 of 28 Old 09-10-2007, 05:42 PM
 
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It looks like your daughter isn't in the mei tai like she should be. There should be a kind of pouch for her bum, and some fabric coming up between the two of you.

It looks like the lower straps are slightly angled? I might redo them so they're coming out at a 45 degree angle straight from the corner, but they should be angled no matter where they're attached. So that's the biggest thing I see.

It looks like the top straps are angled, and you've got them pretty tight. Try adding padding to them.

That's what I can think of to suggest based on those pics. Hope it helps.
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#19 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 07:31 AM
 
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Hmmm, in these instructions the mama ties it tibetan which eliminates the waist strap altogether. You could do tibetan with your MT too, though.
I do this with my Kozy and it's great for easing the should strain.
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#20 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 10:09 AM
 
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It looks like the shoulder straps are really close to your neck. I find that if I get them spread out a bit more - towards my shoulders- the strain is almost nil, but if they are too close to my neck it is super uncomfrtable.
As far as teh fluff appearing fluffier.....sigh.... I have the same issue and I hate it but I dont know what if anything to do about it...
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#21 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 12:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MommytoTwo View Post
It looks like the shoulder straps are really close to your neck.
That was the first thing I noticed, as well. I would probably try to wear them spread out more.

I'm also curious how you're tying the bottom ties. I tie mine on sortof upside-down, if that makes sense, so that the panel and shoulder straps are hanging down toward the ground, and the outside (pretty fabric) of the panel is facing my legs. When I tie the waist straps I'm careful to keep them as smooth as possible. Then I put babe on my chest and pull the MT up around him. Because I put it on upside-down first, the result is that it doesn't twist the waist ties, which would help them to stay laying flat instead of bunching up and cutting into my waist.

I also bring the shoulder straps back around to the front but pass them over his thighs first, then cross or tie under his butt. This helps to support him a little more, which takes pressure off the waist ties. Looks like this (not a great shot, but the only one I've got).

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#22 of 28 Old 09-13-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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I agree with the last two posters:

Try moving the shoulder straps away from your neck a little and toward the ball of your shoulder. Try different placements, if you haven't already, to see if some specific spot is golden and the pain goes away!

And crossing the straps over your baby before tying is a good idea too. Trying different things like this is the best way to find out how YOU are going to be comfortable!

Here's my instructions page for a front carry (sorry some pics aren't working--it's under construction): http://www.wrapyourbaby.com/meitaifront.htm
Steps 6 and 7 show two different ways to try tying the shoulder straps and you'll just have to image step 8 (it's what pp posted a picture of, I believe).

And my back carry instructions show some similar options in the back carry (in retrospect, black straps on black t-shirt: not a great idea): http://www.wrapyourbaby.com/meitaiback.htm

Regarding the waist straps being too tight, have you tried tying them on a little looser? Too obvious? As long as it doesn't interfere with how close and high your baby is on you, it would be fine. They shouldn't be constrictive! If you do end up altering your MT, maybe a little padding in the waist straps would keep them lying flat and broad around your waist, and not turning into a tight rope, if that's what's happening? I'm not a sewer :

I think your pics look great, actually. Nice positioning all around. I even think those little knees look fine--the legs aren't dangling and the baby's weight isn't all on the base of her spine. It looks to me like his weight is on her bottom and thighs. As her legs get longer, the knees above bottom look gets more distinct.

It's just a matter of tweaking it to your comfort. It would be nice if you could do that by adjusting your method, but it could also just be that they need padding!

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
Wrap Your Baby Comfy, versatile baby carriers and lots of wrap instruction.
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#23 of 28 Old 09-14-2007, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You guys are THE BEST!!!

Thank you for all your thoughts, tips and hints. I'm kind of getting a little more used to my MT and have tweaked how I wear it and find I'm doing better. I still think the straps are way to narrow and could use some padding. I've started sewing #2 and will make some changes and see what happens.

Adasmommy, thanks for the site...I just read a great tip about re adjusting after 15 min or so. I totally find that everything has shifted after about 10 minutes and never thought to bounce dd up again and re-tie. DUH!

Thanks for the encouragement! I might...just might still consider a wrap.......

~Lauri
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#24 of 28 Old 09-14-2007, 12:48 AM
 
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Try out an onbuhimo! I can't use MT's to save my life....same issues you have. I recently made an onbuhimo and it is fabulous! I found the waist straps were too much "extra" on a mei tai so not having them worked so much better for me. I hated wraps! Have you tried a ring sling? That's our default (by default I currently have 5 ) carrier...works well for transition size wise and easy to figure out!

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#25 of 28 Old 09-14-2007, 10:11 AM
 
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I'm also wondering if the way she is sitting in it has something to do with the material. That looks like a nice light weight material which would be good for the pretty side, but I don't see a sturdy fabric to give it strength. I usually use a twill for the weight bearing part of the mei tai. It not only make the entire structure sturdier, but the fabric doesn't bunch up like a light weight material would.

Kristina mom to A 1/12 J 11/05 D 4/08 and tiny dude in late April 2010
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#26 of 28 Old 09-15-2007, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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S_Kristina...

I bet you are right! Not only is it flimsy, the coudory is *grabby* and it makes it really difficult to shift dd around at all. Not a good choice but what I had on hand.

Live and learn!


Thanks for your thoughts...
~Lauri
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#27 of 28 Old 09-15-2007, 09:15 PM
 
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I am glad it seems to be working out a bit better. For your next go-around in carrier making, I would make the top straps thicker and padded, and I would actually angle them a bit more toward your shoulders so that when you tie it the staps will be away from your neck. Also, definitely loosen the waist strap!
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#28 of 28 Old 09-15-2007, 11:18 PM
 
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I agree with PPs - it looks liek you have the waist tied incorrectly so your baby's weight is then hanging around your neck. If you create a seat for her and have the straps further out it should be a lot better.
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