peppermints & poppies

where life imitates art

on babywearing… February 12, 2011

Filed under: Baby,Sewing — Katherine @ 12:50 pm

Things about parenthood I wish I’d known in advance, part 260: spending lots of money on an all-singing, all-dancing travel system is stupid, cause actually within a couple of weeks you’ll realise how restrictive a pushchair is (seriously, I have discovered maybe 10% of how hard day-to-day life must be for people in wheelchairs – what’s with all the random and unnecessary steps, world?), and abandon it in favour of a carrier.

Things about parenthood I wish I’d known in advance, part 261: spending lots of money on an all-singing, all-dancing carrier is stupid, cause you can make one yourself!


Back view

(I feel compelled to point out that the back straps are the same shape and size, they just look a little wonky cause of the way they’re sitting on the dressform).

I love Phoebe’s Manduca, but there are a few things I wish were different (narrower between her knees, more streamlined, straps easier to wear crossed), and after seeing all the beautiful mei tais all over the internet, I decided I could totally make one.



I settled on a basic design somewhere between a mei tai and a soft structured carrier. I like the lightweight and streamlined look of the mei tai, but I love my buckles, so I went down a buckle tai route.

A lot of carriers have sleeping hoods, but baby girl hates having it over her head, and doesn’t stay asleep long, so I fashioned a sleeping flap that would support her head while snoozing, but that could be folded and fastened out of the way the rest of the time.

Sleeping flap down

Sleeping flap up

It’s not perfect, the next time I’ll have a few alterations to make, but for a first attempt I’m pretty pleased. I took it for a test run round town yesterday and while the waist belt needs some work, the rest is really comfy, probably more so than the original! And Beebs seems to like it too:


I’m already planning my next attempt!


7 Responses to “on babywearing…”

  1. Ana Says:

    We’ve bought a travel system but I’m also planning to do a lot of slinging too. I’ve bought a sized one for myself but we’ll need to get one for Mr G once Baby G arrives.
    Your version looks like a really good idea. I have seen patterns for various mai tai type ones but I can’t help feeling something with buckles would be less of a fuss. I don’t suppose you’d do a tutorial or basic pattern for this…?

  2. Janice Perkin Says:

    clever you – she looks very comfy!

  3. […] and speaking of Katherine earlier, have you SEEN what she has made? I am in awe of her skills, she is seriously […]

  4. Casey Says:

    it looks great! I loved carrying my son, I miss babywearing like crazy!

  5. Cuckoo Says:

    Goodness me! You made this?????? I’m in total awe. I really can’t think of anything more to say at this point, so impressed.

  6. Erica Says:

    With my firstborn (now 13), I too invested in (or requested) all the baby paraphernalia, not realizing that IIIIII would be THE baby carrier, pretty much all the time.

    I very much loved babywearing with my youngest (now 6.5 y.o.), but was not clever enough to make my own. Had a Baby Bjorn and it was very comfortable. Yours looks cozy and perfect! Hope it continues to make your life easier!

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