I’ll be posting a quick babywearing tip every Tuesday – today’s is basic mei tai troubleshooting.
First, tie the waist strap on so baby’s weight will be at your belly button or higher. Better for your centre of gravity, and it won’t drag on your shoulders as much as a low-rider.
Second, you want your baby sitting properly on their bottom. If your little darling is trying to stand up while you put the mei tai on, they probably won’t have their bottom nice and deep in the sling – which means it just won’t feel right when you tie on the shoulder straps.
Third, give a little bounce for back carries as you pull the shoulder straps tight in front of you. This gets baby’s bottom properly into the seat created by the sling, and ensures those shoulder straps are tight so gravity doesn’t drag down on your shoulders and neck. For front carries, I sometimes use one hand to support their weight at the height I want them sitting while I pull the straps tight – for the same reason, I want their bottom staying put while I tie knots and I want those shoulder straps tight.
If in doubt about how tight to tie it, go tighter. My rule is do it up so tight you can’t breathe, then loosen ever so slightly. Loose, low slings are for wusses who only want to babywear for five minutes a day – once you’ve got that slingling tied on, they might want to stay put for a few hours and you need to be comfy!