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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Using a Mei Tai with a Small Baby

Legs out from birth is the current recommendation for using baby carriers. This can be hard to do with a mei tai though, so I made a photo tutorial to teach people how it is done. I am using a doll and an old CatBird mei tai (the newer ones have a loop that can be used to cinch the MT).

Place your baby on top of your mei tai. Use a ribbon or string to cinch the mei tai. You want the fabric to extend from knee to knee.
Tie the mei tai on. Tie it higher up on your body for a smaller baby.
You can fold down the waist band of the mei tai to make the body shorter with a small baby. Fold down before you tie it on.
Pick up your baby and place them in the carrier. Make sure the fabric extends from knee to knee, and baby's bum is lower than their knees. You can't see the bum lower than knees here because I used a doll.
Cross the shoulder straps behind your back and bring them around over baby. Cross the straps over baby's bum, and tie in back. Make sure the cross is high so baby can't fall out the side.

If you don't have enough strap to tie in back, you can tie a knot in front. Some people suggest tying over baby's back, but that can push baby's back out of it's natural curve. Instead tie over or under baby's bum.
^^Over baby's bum..
˅˅Under baby's bum 
-it's hard to show with a doll, but the knot is really under the bum, and it cannot slide up.

You can also do a Lexi twist (wrapping term for twisting the straps a few times) to offer more support. Generally the twists would be higher up than in this photo, but I'm using a small doll.

Edited to add:
Rachel (a babywearing educator and awesome person!) made this video to showcase these instructions: