I like the concept of babywearing – basically, I like keeping my baby close and having lots of contact. But when my older son was born a year and a half ago, I didn’t know about options beyond the Baby Bjorn and Snugli. These days, I’m a lot more educated – maybe because I hated the Bjorn, which made me awfully hot and hurt my back, even though it was the version with the lumbar support. (One of our most comical moments in our son’s early days involved the Bjorn. It was the middle of the night, he (as usual) wouldn’t stop crying, and we thought maybe a ride in the Bjorn would calm him down. But we had only used it once before, and figuring it out wasn’t that easy. In trying to help my husband with the straps, I lost my grip and punched him square in the nose! Fortunately, he was okay. Unfortunately, being in the Bjorn did not settle our son at all.)
I’m sure that at some point we’ll buy a double stroller, but my plan for the majority of the time after the baby is born is to wear the baby and leave myself free to chase my oldest, who generally dislikes riding in the stroller and would much rather run around. I looked at slings, pouches and wraps, but fell in love with the mei tai, which is sometimes called an Asian baby carrier. A mei tai is simply a panel of fabric with four long straps. The bottom two straps tie around your waist and the top two straps go over your shoulders in various adjustable ways to secure the baby to your chest or back. I especially liked that the mei tai is supposed to be comfortable even for those with back problems and that some versions can be used from the newborn stage all the way through with toddlerhood.
I ordered mine from Baby Hawk after reading good things about the brand on Babycenter‘s Babywearing board and on the forums of The Babywearer. I have to say, though, that I chose Baby Hawk over Kozy Carrier only because Baby Hawk offered a camoflauge pattern as a fabric choice (my husband said that he might actually wear a mei tai in this pattern). My mei tai arrived a few weeks ago and I expect to love it and use it a lot. But I want to mention that although Baby Hawk says their custom carriers ship in 10 to 14 days, mine did not ship until the 17th day and there was no communication from them between the confirmation email and the automatically generated notice from PayPal informing me that Baby Hawk had created a shipping label for my order. I was actually about to contact them about the status of my order when I got the PayPal email.
I’ll update you after the baby’s born and let you know how the mei tai is working out for me.