Monday, May 19, 2014

Babywearing: Wrap Conversion Mei Tai (Didytai)

Didytai by Didymos

The third baby wearing product I'm going to talk about is a Wrap Conversion Mei Tai (WCMT).  I know that's a mouthful and it sounds intimidating, so let me break it down.  Like I've said before there are tons and tons of babywearing options out there, I'll only be writing about the ones I have, and love.  The brand of WCMT that I have is the Didytai.  A WCMT is a mei tai that is made from a woven wrap.

When I first had Ethan I was sleep deprived, my hair was falling out, I didn't fit into any of my clothes, and had to deal with colic until he was 3 months old.  On top of that Ethan refused to sleep unless he was on me.  I was going crazy, and had no idea what to do.  I had received a Moby but I couldn't figure out how to use it, and an Ergo, but Ethan was still too small for it.  I heard about a babywearing 101 class that Ivonne Gonz was teaching in Ventura, CA and I said to myself, "What do I have to lose?"  I went to the class and the whole time Ethan was having a fit.  I couldn't even hear what Ivonne was saying, and I was mortified that the other parents probably couldn't hear over Ethan's screams either.  Halfway through the class Ethan had a diaper blow out, but he was so upset I only had time to wipe all of the poo off, and change his diaper.  I wrapped him in a blanket because he wouldn't let me put his clothes on, and just held him to my chest.  Later on Ivonne told me that she thought it was sweet that I was doing skin to skin in order to calm him down (which I had not even thought of in my frazzled state), and we both had a good laugh.

The reason I go into this lengthy story about the beginning of my babywearing journey is that at the end of the class I went up to Ivonne and told her about the difficulties I had faced with babywearing.  Throughout the class she had shown us numerous babywearing options like soft structure carriers, ring slings, wraps, and mei tais.  For some reason the mei tai caught my attention and looked like something I could easily use.  Up to this point anytime I would try to wrap Ethan in the Moby he would scream his head off, I would rip it off, throw it on the ground, and kick it.  Ivonne showed me how to put on the Wrap Conversion Mei Tai; it was as if the angels sang, and the heavens opened up.  Ethan was more comfortable than I had ever seen him, he may have even dozed off while in it.  At that point I thought I don't care what it costs I'm wearing it out! This is the only product I have bought at full price, but let me tell you, at that time it was worth every penny.  From the moment I bought it I used it everywhere, at the grocery store, church, home, parties.  Any time Ethan became upset I would wrap him and he'd calm down and usually go to sleep.  My experience taught me that everyone's babywearing preferences are very different, I know people that absolutely love the Moby and hate Soft Structure carriers, or babies that love soft structure carriers and hate to be wrapped.  For this reason I highly recommend trying a bunch of products before you commit to one, so that you can find one that works for you and your baby.
This is what the Didytai looks like when
layed out.  As you can see it has more of
a structure than a wrap but there is still
some wrapping involved due to the
long straps.

Didytai Pros:

  1. It has an adjustable seat that allows you to use it with your newborn, but it also fits much older children.  Ethan is 1 year old and still fits in it, and there's even room for him to grow.
  2. It is easier to use than a woven wrap or Moby because it has somewhat of a structure already, instead of being a long piece of cloth.
  3. Comes in beautiful colors and patters
This is the widest the seat goes.  Ethan is 1 and the widest
setting is still too big for him, so this will fit your child
well into their toddler years.

This is the smallest the seat will go once you pull the
drawstring.  This would be the size you would use with a
newborn baby.

Didytai Cons:
  1. As Ethan got older I found that it was not as comfortable for me to wear him in it.  The straps are not as supportive as when I use my woven wrap.  I now keep it in the car in case I need my hands free when I'm out, but it's a backup product because my back can't take the strain for too long.
  2. It is more difficult to use than the ring sling, another newborn friendly option because it does involve some wrapping.
  3. It is one of the more expensive options, but there are many affordable mei tais out there the didytai brand is just pricier than some of the others.
I was trying to include the video for a Didytai tutorial on here but it wouldn't load, so click on the link below to view the video.

*Since I'm new to babywearing, each of my babywearing posts will be a short intro to the products I use and really like. I'm a beginner in all of this myself and therefore don't feel comfortable giving long tutorials; I highly recommend you continue to research any products you might be interested in, and try to find babywearing groups in your area that can offer support.

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