When wearing a Mei Tai with baby on your front, I would cross the straps over my back before bringing them to the front again. When you move on to wearing baby on your back in a Mei Tai, for most of us mums, at least for many others I know, it’s not really anywhere near as comfortable crossing the straps the same on your front, one main reason- boobs! Crossing in front for dad’s, the same way you do for a front carry, when they also generally have broader chests than us mums, (as well as no boobs!) can very comfortable, or so I am told!
But I tend to go “ruck straps”, like a backpack over my shoulders, pulling the straps behind me before crossing around each side of my back and bringing the the front again.
Jai asleep on my back at 10 months in a Kozy Carrier with ruck straps.
For me, with my family lineage of competitive swimmers with relatively broad shoulders, I don’t find the Kozy particularly tends to slip off my shoulders so am happy to just ruck tie, making it a quick go to for me quick “back ups”.
The Kozy website has some pretty through step by step photo instructions on their website (http://kozycarrier.homestead.com/instructions.html) and the two strap options for a back carry they list is either crossed over in front or over your shoulders and under your arms, in a ruck fashion.
I have two other kinds of Mei Tai’s in my collection at the moment, a Diva Essenza with wrap straps which offers many more variations in terms of tying the straps (which is an entirely different post in itself!) and a Natibaby Nebula Toddler Mei Tai which has padded straps, similar to that of the Kozy but much thicker. These shoulder straps in a basic ruck, pull on the wrong part of my shoulders, it feels a bit like wearing an oversized backpack if that makes sense…
A few people have mentioned the same “slipping” issue that they find in a back carry with a Mei Tai so I thought I would share a few different ways you can “finish” your shoulder straps with a back carry that can help pull them together more and help with the feeling that they are slipping off your shoulders or sitting too wide and being uncomfortable.
There is no really right and wrong way (as long as it’s tight and secure), and different people will likely have different preferences for different reasons so it’s probably best to have a play and try a couple of different options…
Tiebtan Tie Off
This kind of tie off is probably the most replicable to a SSC chest strap in my opinion. Though it can be a little but fiddly, especially when you are first practising..
There are some much more in-depth proper tutorials out there, this was just a quick slideshow to show the steps of I use to finish off this kind of tie.
Knot-less tie off
To me personally, this doesn’t feel as secure in a Mei Tai with padded straps as it may with a woven wrap or woven wrap straps..
Essentially the same process as a Tiebtan Tie Off but instead of passing the strap under the shoulder strap and pulling over, you go the opposite direction, tucking over the shoulder strap first and then back under… (I think I just made that sound super complicated.. Haha :/)
This first step of pulling the slack out of your shoulder straps should be done regardless of how you decide to finish the shoulders in your back carry really, though, I find it even more essential if I am to knot or twist the straps together in front of me as it is your last opportunity to really tighten them again. When you are doing ruck shoulders, you can tug and pull more tension out if needed, after the straps have gone over and under your shoulders.
After holding and tugging on your shoulder straps above your head (to make sure any tension is out of the seat), you can alternatively bring your shoulder straps in front of you and twist them around each other a few times..
Before pulling the straps back around behind me..
And tie off either behind me, or wrap them around again and tie at my waist..
Excuse the many, many chins hahaha 😂
This is just a few options, there is so so many more out there also, but the beauty of that a Mei Tai affords you much more versatility and flexibility than a soft structured carrier but will less of a steep learning curve than the woven wrap..
Do you have a different favourite way to finish off a Mei Tai that I didn’t mention?? As always, I would love to learn more!