In Malaysia, we'd probably see a lot of Indonesian maids slinging babies or toddlers on their bodies using the sarong batik.
Personally, I am not one of the "cultural" types who would go around with the baby strapped onto me full time. Seriously, I think I'd hardly get any work done! I also have a bad back...
She recommended that I wear a "mei tai", which I eyed gingerly although I've seen her carrying her little granddaughter, a cute 1 year old girl with pigtails, around (see pic on the right).
I mentioned my bad back but since the baby is still so small, she doesn't think it'll hurt. Since she has a mei-tai and wrap (a long piece of linen cloth that would be as difficult to tie as a saree!), she lent me the former.
The baby had stopped crying and was watching and listening with interest. She was also quiet when the auntie carried her and placed her on my back while I quickly tied the straps.
When the auntie demonstrated the way for me to tie the baby on my back, I knew I will NEVER be able to do it - gosh, I may just fling her away! You see, you've got to hook the top 2 straps under the child's armpits, hold the straps with one hand, bend down and slowly place her on your back O_O
Of course, the auntie could do it with her eyes closed since she's used to it. Seriously, the little girl took it all in her stride when the nai-nai (paternal grandmother) strapped her on the back.
The baby was *really happy* (although she looks worried in the pic but she didn't cry at all) and I was able to continue:
- cooking dinner i.e. stir-frying a plate of vegetables,
- washing some plates and
Besides feeling rather warm in the back, I was worried each time I turn around that I might knock her legs or her body against the doorway or the edge of the wall. Feeling rather stressed (and hot!), I unstrapped her after about 30 minutes.
My back didn't hurt at all and I quite enjoy using the "mei tai" (front carry) when we go out. She can even fall asleep comfortably, take a nap and wake up without crying :D
Since it's a traditional "mei tai", the Hubby had to help me tie the straps across my back (in an "X") each time I carried the baby in front. I like it so much that I trawled the web in search of a modern "mei tai" where I can snap on the straps myself. I've only used it once since it arrived and I like it a lot already!
Guess that'll be in the next post?
P/S I forgot to mention that a few days later, the neighbour's daughter presented me with a new mei-tai in dazzling gold. It's just as nice to use as her everyday one but I need someone to tie the straps up for me. Thus, it's a back-up carrier for now ;-)