We were lucky enough to recently win the first wrap conversion mei tai made by Maria at Dotty Moo Moo. Dotty Moo Moo is a new venture by Maria Gingell; the brains behind Simply Mei Tai, with the idea being that customers will be able to buy a well made, basic, affordable, wrap conversion mei tai without the long wait that often comes with a wrap conversion. I have agreed to have a play with it and share my views with you all prior to it being available to loan when our sling library is launched. My slingees are 8 month old; 14 lb Eliza and 3 year, 4 month old, 32lb Joseph. I have predominantly used this carrier with Eliza as it is a baby sized carrier.
The sling that we received is a baby sized wrap conversion mei tai. On first impressions this carrier is well made with neat stitching, with the thread matching the wrap fabric perfectly. The fabric is a striking blue-green colour and feels very soft and floppy yet the mei tai feels very substantial and strong with the body obviously being made of multiple layers of wrap fabric.
Upon putting the Dotty Moo Moo on for the first time I found that the fabric had a slight stretch to it which makes the sling very comfortable to wear but can also make the waist straps a little difficult to get tight enough. However, it was suggested that this may only be a problem if the wearer has a slim waist as a fellow NG slingmeet committee member tried it and said that she had no problems. The shoulder straps are lovely and wide making it easy to spread the straps to make the shoulders comfortable and not dig and also to give support under the child’s bottom. This can be useful with a bigger child as it can hep to give their legs support even if the carrier panel is not wide enough. Eliza is a small 8 month old and she fit in to the sling nicely, however, if she was any smaller than she is then ht sling would have been too big without cinching the waist. This surprised me somewhat as I expected the sling to be narrower with being a baby sized mei tai; however, as a sling to follow on from a stretchy wrap or similar this would be a perfect size.
I used the Dotty Moo Moo for both back and front carries and it is comfortable to use for both. I personally find a mei tai great for a back carry as I find it easy to use the long straps to manoeuvre the child on to my back. Regarding the straps; the only thing that I found that I don’t like about the sling as it is, is that the straps are incredibly long. Although saying this I am 5 ft 2″, size 12 and my child is only 8 months old. For a slightly larger wearer with a slightly larger child the straps would be fine. However, for me as it is the straps are too long to do a back carry without tying tibetian and even then I had enough excess to put the straps in to my pockets. This made it difficult for me to do back carries. It is worth saying though that it is better to have a sling with straps that are too long than too short as you can always make the straps shorter but not longer.
We took the Dotty Moo Moo mei tai to our February sling meet and it got a very positive response from those people who tried it. It was tried by people with children of various ages between 8 months and 3 years and we found that the mei tai is ideal to carry children from approximately 14 lbs in weight (My 8 month old) up to 2 years old although it would be fine to carry older children if needed, especially if the wrap straps are used to extend the leg support offered.
In summary the Dotty Moo Moo mei tai is a great mid budget sling (£75 plus postage from Dotty Moo Moo on Etsy) and very very well made and comfortable. It would suit somebody looking for something to enable them to carry their older baby after they have outgrown a stretchy wrap or other typical new born carrier, well in to toddlerhood. It is a good sling for beginning to back carry and the slight stretch, although it may make it slightly more difficult to get a tight knot on the waist band, it makes the sling very mouldable and comfortable.