Carrier Type – Standard Size Mei Tai (MT)
Made by Melkaj
I had a custom MT made by Agniezska the work at home mum (WAHM) based in Poland who is the creative and driving force behind Melkaj.
Melkaj Mei Tai come in 4 sizes, baby, standard, toddler and pre-school, with the width and height of the fabric panel getting bigger for each size up. Melkaj are available in standard fabric or wrap conversions (WC) can be booked too.
Melkaj will work with pretty much any standard cotton print fabric that you would like for the fabric panels, added to this Agnieszka can then add either machine or hand embroidery to match your fabric panel so that you have a fully reversible carrier which is entirely unique. She will discuss the design with you; I had sketched out very roughly what I wanted and sent her a photo of the sketch.
Straps are quite long so suitable for carriers of all shapes and sizes and available in a number of fabrics. I chose cord as I wanted something with some grip. Melkaj match the strap fabric and reverse fabric to your fabric panel and have a huge selection of complementary colours. Available fabric for a printed panel (or you can have plain if preferred) is on the website, or you can buy your own and post to Melkaj.
So onto the carrier itself. The actual production of the carrier took about a week from the design/ colours/ fabrics being agreed and delivery from Poland took less than a week to the UK. The MT arrived in it’s own fabric storage bag and was beautifully presented (it was like opening a present, which was nice as this was my Christmas present to myself!)
The carrier has good padding to the waist and shoulders and within the seat itself for baby/ toddlers legs. The cord straps took a bit of getting used to compared to the much slippier cotton straps I’d been used to using on the Babyhawk MT I had but held beautifully firm once tied it wasn’t going anywhere, which let’s face it is what you want from a carrier. It is easy to get a good seat in it with the usual jiggle dance to get them nice and snug in the panel!
I’ve carried my 22lb one year old in this for a couple of hours at a time and whilst he doesn’t feel weightless, he is very comfortable and the sling feels more supportive than some wrap conversions I have tried. The shoulders are lovely and cushy and the cord has become supersoft and lovely to the touch. This sling has been well used and abused – straps dragged through the mud on woodland walks, chewed by a teething baby, used as a seat harness when no high chairs were available. It has one flaw though in that when washed – even on cold wash with gentle detergent the colour from the cord straps has leached and this has given the whole of the inner patterned panel a different hue.
If I had a wishlist for this carrier I would like it if the bigger sizes had some extra stitching to help keep the padding in place for older kids to offer a tiny bit more support and seat darts would be a great added feature, but these are personal added extras that I would love and are by no means essential.
Overall a very easy to use carrier, for front or back carries, comfortable for both wearer and wearee too for short or long periods, very well made in terms of structure and looks lovely with two attractive sides. Most importantly my little one loves it (this may not be obvious from the look on his face in the pic above!)
Please note that all reviews are the subjective view of individuals and are not representative in any way of Sheffield Slings.