Here are some tips on how to adjust your Pathi Mei Tai to achieve optimum comfort and positiong with your little one. The photos show the Toddler Mei Tai. Most of the adjustments apply to the Standard size as well (unless otherwise stated in the captions).
Please note that these tips are not a full set of instructions and do not replace focused, personal attention. You should always refer to the TICKS rules of safe babywearing when using a baby sling.
And excuse the state of me in the photos. I chose getting it done over looking the part…
Optimum Positioning in a Mei Tai
In a Mei Tai, your little one is best supported when
- the seat fabric reaches no further than the back of the knees, leaving calves to swing freely
- baby’s bum is lower than their knees
- the back panel is smooth and snug around baby, without wrinkles
- the top of the back panel (straight line between shoulder straps, when head rest is folded down) ends at or just above baby’s shoulders, supporting baby’s neck
As your child grows, you can use the shoulder straps to support their legs and their shoulders will come above the top edge of the Mei Tai.
Shortening the back panel
Narrowing the seat
Here’s where that belt comes in, that you’ve seen above! To ensure the fabric of the panel reaches no further than the back of baby’s knees, you can use a kid’s belt, shoe lace, ribbon, pop sock etc to hold the fabric together. This is called cinching. Cinch as close to the waist belt as possible. Move the buckle/knot to the outside of the Mei Tai before positioning baby.
For extra head support, you can fold the padded head rest of your Pathi to the inside, so it’s between the panel and your baby.
If you are using the Standard size with a smaller baby and folded waist or the Toddler with a baby younger than 5ish months, they may require an extra tweak to achieve snug head support. Tying the shoulder straps in a way you would tie a Front Wrap Cross Carry with a woven wrap can get you that result.
It may take a few runs to get all tweaks just right, practice in front of a mirror will get you there though. For cinching the seat, a second person can be useful, so you can get the sizing just right with baby in the Mei Tai.
A Mei Tai allows you to position baby high on your back, giving them a great view of the world.
If you would like some reassurance or tips for using your Mei Tai (of any brand), you are welcome book a Mini-Consult with bumptobeyond in person or via Skype. You can also check in with an experienced Mei Tai user in your area or at your local sling meet.