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Advantages of the Bei Bei and how it differs from the Mei Tai
A frequent question that people ask me is:
Do you have a Mei Tai? The Mei Tai is a Traditional Chinese carrier that has originated in the same province, Yunnan, as the Bei Bei. The Mei Tai has been a popular carrier with Americans because of it’s comfort and ease. The Bei Bei is a new carrier to the United States, as of 2005. I arrived back in the states and brought this traditional,redesigned carrier to share with others.
I had the privilege to live in China for a year and when I was there I was able to experience traditional babywearing with the yunnanese minority baby carrier known as the Bei Bei. I feel honored to have taken this carrier and redesign the strap and bring it to America for others to enjoy it ease, comfort, and versatility. This carrier can be worn on the front, back, and side. You can view me demonstrating all 3 positions in a video on my website.
I have been working at the local artisan market for the last 3 years, Portland Saturday Market. When people have come to my booth to try on carriers I let them try on both a Mei Tai and a Bei Bei, and 75% of the time they will choose a Bei Bei over a Mei Tai. This is when they are looking specifically for a back carrier, or a carrier which holds a bigger baby. The baby is usually happier in a Bei Bei versus a Mei Tai, because it only has one strap and can be worn high up on the caregivers back, and still give enough head support when the child falls asleep. The child can look over their caregivers shoulder and see everything that you can see. The other advantage of a Bei Bei over a Mei Tai is that the baby can either be worn with the legs straight down or straddling the mama,papa, or caregiver. I wore my youngest child with her legs straight down my back until she was 12 months old, and this worked well for both of us.
A third differnce in the Bei Bei and the Mei Tai is that with a newborn or small infant the swaddling of the baby helps support the spine giving the baby more spinal structure. In a Mei Tai a newborn or small infant has to be put in the carrier with froggy legs. If your child likes to be stretched out I would wear a Bei Bei, but if your newborn or small infant liked to be curled up with froggy legs than I would wear a Mei Tai. I was blessed with two beautiful girls and one would like to be curled up and the other loved to stretch out.
I would not recommend a Bei Bei if you live somewhere humid, or hot, (100 degrees on a regular basis).
Posted on 04 Sep 2007 by Tanya Woods
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