Product Type: Babyhawk baby products
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BabyHawk mei tai baby carrier - pros and cons
Babyhawk Mei Tai
Member Name: karlsm93
Babyhawk Mei Tai
Advantages: Generally comfortable to wear, hands free
Disadvantages: Slips slightly, baby has to sit with legs wider apart
The babyhawk mei tai is suitable from birth up to 40lbs, however a baby should only be placed in the back position when they are six months plus. Now, since I already had a baby carrier which had been heavily used since my daughter was a newborn, I didn't get this sling until my baby girl was just over five months old, so I could only have her in the front position initially.
THe mei tai is based on an asian style sling, with material ties that allow you to carry a baby comfortably and securely, leaving your hands free. In fact, the BabyHawk brand promotes this for 'comfort, style and fashion'. My first baby carrier involved clips and so I had no experience of tying a sling, and I was a little apprehensive that it would take too long to get baby in and out and just be too much bother in the end. I did a little research online and found a LOT of positive comments about this mei tai sling and how easy it was to tie, which put my mind at rest when I ordered the product.
When you order your babyhawk mei tai, and there are a handful of websites to choose from, you will see that there is a huge variety of babyhawks to choose from in terms of pattern and design. On the material of the mei tai there is room for a pattern, back and front or only on one side (depending on how much you want to spend). Although on some websites there is only a limited amount of patterns to choose from, you can also go through websites where you can even customise your own design. In the end, since I didn't want to spend the earth, I opted for a front pattern but no back pattern, and a rather vibrant pattern. THe material itself was brown, and when the product arrived, I have to say that the pattern against the brown material looked very stylish. The other thing about these material slings, although I have yet to do so, is that it is machine washable. It is also worth pointing out at this point that the material itself, especially around the neck/head area is stronger and offers decent support for baby's head.
Along with the ability to create you own style in regards to a sling, the other positives of these slings are that they are generally comfortable to wear, despite the weight of baby. Despite my initial worries about the ties, there really is no problem at all. A little book comes with the sling that has colour step by step photographs showing the variety of ways to wear this sling from newborn upwards and back and front (inward) facing, and I practiced a couple of times in the house before I was brave enough to try it out myself going into town. I can certainly manage the inward facing sling myself, and have no problem with the ties. When my husband puts out daughter on his back when we are going out a walk, I do find that it takes two of us so one of us holds our daughter, whilst the other ties the straps. There is information inside the booklet to show you how to do the back style of sling by yourself, but it involves shifting baby round your back with one hand, and with a wriggly baby like mine, that just wouldn't be a safe option.
I wear this most weekends when I am going into town to do errands and my husband often wears it when we got out walks at the weekend, to avoid the hassle of the buggy. There are negatives however and they are worth pointing out. Despite following the instructions as well as can be, and making sure there is no slack in the ties when securing them around my daughter, she still manages to slip down as I walk around, sometimes more than others. My husband finds the exact same when she is on his back in the sling, and very often if we are out walking, we may have to tighten the straps again and hoist our daughter up higher on my husband;s back. I can't see any other way for her not to slip without the sling being uncomfortable to wear. When I say slip however I just mean that she gradually slids down a few centimetres from where she started off at.
The other slight negative of this product is that a baby's legs have to be quite wide to get the sling to wrap around them, and my daughter doesn't always like sitting this way in the sling, but she is getting used to it, but even my mum has commented that the cling makes my daughter have to widen out her legs a lot.
In terms of comfort, the sling is super comfortable if you are not walking at any fast pace with a baby in the inward facing position. One weekend when hubby has a sore back, I took my little girl on a walk with her inward facing, however since I was going at a faster pace than when I would be walking around town, I felt that I was being pulled forward and it started to feel slightly uncomfortable. If you are just strolling around then there is no issue with comfort.
All in all, there are pros and cons of this sling, but I still like it, and find it great for being out shopping - no buggies, hands free, napping baby who is cuddly and warm. However, it does slip down a little and the baby has to sit with legs quite wide apart. SO not perfect but not bad!
Summary: A sling with good and bad points
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