A few weeks ago I entered the complex world of baby carriers. I started with onePost on baby slingsand since then I've been carrying my newborn(Edited to add: She is currently six weeks old and weighs 9 pounds)around in various baby ring slings and mei tais. What is a Mei Tai? Well, it's not an alcoholic beverage, that's for sure. And I wouldn't recommend tying one up either if you've had one too many.
It is important to note that I am not a babywearing expert. So I'm sure someone will read my review and say, well, she's getting it wrong! But if that's the case, then putting the baby carrier on incorrectly is also a valid part of this review. If you're a baby carrier expert, you don't need a baby carrier review. This post is for people who are new to it like me and want to carry their baby in something that is easily portable and safe for their baby.
(I actually went to a place called Metro Minis in New York City (no longer in store) for all my purchases and instructions on proper use. To see a visual demonstration, whether in store or mineUsing babywearing videos online, is the key.)
Let me help….
1. Catbird Baby Mei Tai baby carrier on test
Mei Tais (aka Asian style baby carriers) are all very similar. They're kind of a middle ground between slings and structured soft carriers like the Ergo or the Baby Bjorn. Its shape is similar to a structured carrier, but instead of buckles, all closures are double knots. You will not find any buttons, snaps or hardware on aCatbird-Baby Mai Tei(ca. $ 83 - $ 90).
Basically you double knot a strap around your waist, hold your baby while you pull the carrier over baby's back, and then throw the straps over your shoulder, cross the straps and then loop them around the front, twist and then double knots in the back. Which I now realize is a lot easier than it sounds. For example, I only had to be shown how to use it once before taking it down. And unlike a sling or ring sling, there's no room for error - I really can't imagine getting it wrong (always double knot).
The Mei Tai baby carriers can accommodate newborns to toddlers weighing up to 40 pounds. They're comfortable enough for relaxed indoor use, but durable enough to make you feel safe outdoors.
TheCatbird-Baby Mai Teiare available in numerous colors and patterns - all reversible, i.e. a pattern on one side and a single color on the other. I personally found the patterns very sophisticated and not at all childish. I was drawn to a camel colored mei tai with a bold aqua and pink floral pattern (theZoe-Muster); a nice change from the utilitarian feel of most monochromatic structured tote bags.
The fabric feels very high quality, the top is padded and bends slightly forward to comfortably accommodate your baby and can be worn on the front (facing in or out), on the hips or on the back to be carried. For newborns, you can put your whole baby in the pouch. For older babies, you can let their legs hang on either side of you.
CatBird also makes aFleece Mei Tai Coverfor the winter which I always used when taking the baby out of the house. But it's worth noting that any newborn carrier with shoulder straps can handle it, no matter the brand.
judgment on theCatbird Baby Mai Tei Babytrage: YAY
2. BabyHawk Mei Tai Babytrage im Test
Almost everything I said about the CatBird also applies to himBabyHawk Baby carrier(about $90), although there are a few differences. The most noticeable difference is the color and pattern options, so I'm sure a lot of people choose their mei tai just based on what pattern they like best. That's not a bad thing - both the BabyHawk and Catbird are great products.
If I have to differentiate, I would say that the quality of the BabyHawk fabric feels a little less premium than the CatBird. The bag is a bit smaller and the straps are not as wide. Also, the top of the pouch has a hard, stiff cushion that doesn't easily adjust to the needs of your baby - especially a newborn.
BUT – there is one major benefit that made me choose thisBabyHawk Baby carrierabout the CatBird every time. It has a pocket on the front. The pocket is big enough for cash, a diaper and a pacifier - meaning you can leave the house without a bag.
judgment on theBabyHawk Mei Tai Babytrage: YAY
3. Sleeping Baby Ring Sling Review (mit Tragetuch Girasol)
Of all the types of baby carriers I've tried in the past few weeks, ring slings have been the least popular. They look very sophisticated on and are easier to store away as they use less fabric than oneBabywickel, but they have the greatest margin for error in dressing.
First, it should be noted that ring slings are not recommended for use with your baby in a cradle position. You should sit upright as in a Mei Tai stretcher orBabywickelThis makes putting on a ring sling correctly more difficult than you might think.
The most important thing is that the material around the ring is untangled, organized and free to move. It's all easier said than done. Even after watching a video online, my baby would seem to lean away from the ring while doing so, often causing her head to flop dangerously to one side. As I tightened the ring sling, it seemed like the material would cut into my baby's neck. It may be easier to use the sling when the baby is a bit older and can sit up on their own. (She is a six week old newborn).
Conclusion: Even though I had a handy tutorial and watched online videos a few weeks later to learn how to do it right, I'm still not sure I ever got it. My baby weighs less than 9 kg. so I'm supposed to tuck her feet under the fabric and hold her in a little ball against my chest. The only problem is my daughter has heartburn and doesn't want to tuck her feet in all the time so she would lock her knees making it difficult for me to get them in the right position.
Also, I've never been able to keep the baby in the Ring Sling for as long as some of the other baby carriers - both for the comfort of my baby and mine. As much as it has been said that ring slings shouldn't feel weighed down on one side when worn properly, I didn't find this to be the case. You hold your baby up by one shoulder and I definitely felt an imbalance and it kept stretching my back.
The Girasol Wrap Cloth ($129) has three color options to help with toningBaby sleep ring– something of paramount importance as you try to unravel the wrap. As for the color combinations, you can follow the stripes - the outer stripe pulls the bottom tight together and the inner stripe pulls the top tight together. The fabric is high quality and durable and available in great colors.
JUDGMENT about theSleeping Baby Ring Sling: NO
4. Sakura Bloom Baby Ring Sling Bewertung
TheSakura Bloom Baby-Ring-Sling(approx. $88-$200) is used in the same way as the Sleeping Baby Ring Sling. The only difference is the fabric. The Sakura I have and have tried is reversible silk with a muted color on one side and a pop of color on the other (it also comes in fine linen). It looks nice but needs dry cleaning which definitely throws a wrench into an otherwise nice product. Especially since my baby has reflux and spits up regularly.
That being said, the Sakura Baby Ring Sling in Silk is made from a lightweight (but sturdy) fabric and is perfect for summer. Besides, it can be easily stored or thrown in your bag without taking up too much space. It doesn't have the color combinations of the Girasol version of the Sleeping Baby sling to make it easier to put on, but I found the fabric posed a lower risk of tangling, making putting on a little smoother than the Girasol ring sling .
But the main downside was that every time I wore it, my husband would tell me that he didn't like the way our baby's head tilted to one side. He felt that her neck wasn't properly supported. I think when I first put the sling on it looked correct, but my baby could sort of shift into a less supported position the longer I wore it.
JUDGMENT about theSakura Bloom Baby-Ring-Sling: NO
Final Thoughts on Ring Slings and Mei Tais
Of course I prefer the Mei Tai baby carriers over the Baby Ring Slings.In fact, if you get a baby carrier from all the options (Babywickel, Mei Tais and Ring Slings), I would get a Mei Tai baby carrier. It's light enough to wear indoors and durable enough to wear outdoors. Also, it's great that it's versatile and very easy to use. If you want to choose between theCatbird Mei Taiand theBabyHawk Mei Tai, it all comes down to one thing - how important is a bag to you?
If you are getting a Mei Tai baby carrier I would also recommend getting the fleeceCatBird coveras outerwear. It's an easy solution to keeping your child warm while you carry them around, especially as it's not recommended to put a baby in a coat in a baby carrier. Just put the blanket on when you leave the house. It's very warm and you don't want your baby to overheat.
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Photo sources: company websites andMetroMinis
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