Mei Tai Tips
If the straps are leaving red marks on baby’s legs, remember: red marks do not necessarily mean baby is uncomfortable–you will know if baby is uncomfortable! But, if you still want to get rid of them, try tying the shoulder straps over the fabric of mei tai, rather than directly on baby’s skin. To do this, bring the straps around the side of baby as high as you can, instead of over baby’s legs, and cross to come under baby’s bottom (to form a supportive seat) and under opposite legs without touching baby’s skin.
For a tight, supportive tie that does not slip try bringing both straps from baby’s side as if you were going to tie in the middle of baby’s back. Instead of tying, twist the straps around each other twice, then bring down under baby’s legs and around to the front (if baby is on back) or back (if baby is on front) to tie at your waist.
If the straps are digging into you uncomfortably, be sure to keep the straps flat (not twisted) along it’s entire length (except for the intentional twist in above tip). The strap will not dig into your skin or baby’s if it is not bunched up.
If you are having trouble getting baby’s arms out, try rolling or folding the bottom of the mei tai before tying the waist straps. Alternately, tie the waist straps as usual, but when tying the shoulder straps under baby’s bottom, hike baby up higher in the body of the mei tai (with arms out), and tie straps tightly under bottom to hold baby in this higher position.
If the mei tai is making your shoulders sore in front or back carry, the mei tai is probably too loose. In order to not swing or pull on your shoulders, baby should be held flat against your front or back, and as high on your front or back as possible. Carriers tend to get looser in the first fifteen minutes of wearing them, as baby’s body settles and the fabric adjusts. It is a good idea to undo the knot and just pull everything tight and high after a few minutes of wearing.
If the waist straps feel too tight around your waist, your shoulders are not supporting enough of the weight. Baby should not be hanging from the waist straps but sit above them close to your body.
If baby’s head is hanging back when baby falls asleep, the body of the mei tai should be pulled up higher to support the head. For small babies who need constant head support, the body needs to be supporting their heads at all times, of course. You can pull up on the body of the mei tai while bouncing baby lower, or retie the shoulder straps to let baby sink lower in the body (still keeping baby and mei tai tight and high against you when you retie). If baby’s arms are out of the mei tai, just tuck them inside to pull it up higher.You may not be able to adjust the mei tai when baby is on your back so if you think baby will sleep, make sure the head support is there when you tie it the first time. Or you can always ask helpful strangers for assistance.