I’ve shared one way you can get a small baby high on your back using a woven wrap. If you aren’t into wrapping, a mei tai is another great choice for newborn/small baby back carries (for other recommended newborn/young baby carriers, check out our guide). I suppose Eleanor isn’t technically a newborn anymore (or maybe she is – when does that stage end?), but this technique works well for any wee baby who you want to get nice and high on your back.
First, a word about mei tais… Our mei tai page has basic info on styles and brands of mei tais. But here are a few things to consider if you are thinking about a mei tai for your young baby.
- While there are many fabulous padded waist mei tais on the market, I think a non-padded waist is a better choice for a small baby. You don’t really need the extra support a padded waist offers and a non-padded waist allows you to cinch the bottom of the carrier to allow baby to go legs out sooner. You certainly can use a small sized padded waist mei tai with a newborn, but you’ll probably need to stick to the froggy leg position for a while. A non-padded waist mei tai is also easy to wear higher on your back as a padded waist is meant to be worn at your waist or hips.
- If the body of your mei tai is too tall for your baby, simply roll it a time or two to make it the right height. If you mei tai doesn’t have a built in cinching mechanism, you can use a ribbon.
- Mei tais often come with hoods or headrests to support baby’s head.
- Because you can wear a mei tai high on your back, you can back carry much earlier than you can with a buckle carrier. Remember, a newborn/small baby should always be worn high – her head should be at the nape of your neck. Most buckle carriers are designed to sit low on your hips so you can’t get a young baby high enough to be safe. I also don’t feel comfortable recommending a froggy legged back carry in a mei tai so you’ll want something you can cinch if need be.
- Mei tais are a nice alternative for someone who isn’t a fan of wrapping. True it does involve tying (although that also allows for a custom fit), but they are quite simple to get on and may feel more secure for someone nervous about back wrapping.
- There are several easily found mei tais that are well suited for newborns: Babyhawk (my personal favorite), Kozy, Mei Tai Baby, CatBird Baby, and Freehand. If you are looking for a wrap conversion to use with a small baby, check out our review of the Hop-Tye.
And now, without further ado, here’s our video tutorial of a mei tai high back carry with a young baby. Remember, always use a spotter (or practice over the bed) until you are very comfortable with the carry. Practicing in front of a mirror can help too. You’ll be a pro in no time!