Monday, May 10, 2010

About the Podaegi

About the Podaegi #babywearing

A podaegi (or podeagi, or pod for short) is a a traditional Asian carrier that is similar to a mei tai. Unlike a mei tai (pictured at right),  a podaegi only has two straps, located at the top of the carrier. It can have either a large, blanket like body, or a narrower body similar to a mei tai in size.

I was curious about podaegis, so I decided to make one and see if I liked it. First, I made one with a narrower body, using this podaegi tutorial from Sew She Sews.
I chose for simplicity's sake not to use multiple fabrics for the outside, using instead a pretty decorator fabric for the exterior of the body, and lighter fabric for the inside. I used duck cloth for the straps. After it was finished, I was excited to play around with it!

At first I had trouble getting it right... the decorator fabric seemed too stiff, and the blanket seemed too narrow. Once I got the hang of it, it worked well, though. The back carry seemed even easier than a mei tai! Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of the narrow podaegi before I loaned it out, but here is one of my second try, which has a wider body. Not a really really wide one like the Jan Andrea pod (here), but definitely wider than the first. I think the narrow body design was harder to wear correctly... I am very comfortable doing a back carry with my mei tai, but it was a hassle getting the pod spread out when the body was so small. Also, the blanket part of a podaegi isn't weight bearing, so I used lighter weight fabric for the blanket the second time, which is easier to manage. The only thing I would change about my second podaegi would be the straps- I'd make them wider or pad them.  They are about 3 1/2 inches wide and after about 20 minutes of a 30 lb toddler they begin to be a little less comfortable on the shoulders.
It does a front or back carry, goes on faster than a wrap or mei tai, and can be used either for my toddler (pictured to left) or my 10 month old. It is great for discreet nursing as well because it is so wide!

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them!  This is a really fun carrier and I'm glad to have tried it... I think this one will definitely earn a favored place in my babywearing stash! :)

Some Podaegi links:
Podaegi sewalong on TBW (membership required to view, I think)
Making a Wrap-pod (combo between wrap and podaegi- the comfort of a wrap and the ease of a podaegi)
Quilted Podaegi Tutorial (narrow body size)
Wearing Instructions for Wide Podaegi (step by step, with photos!)
This podaegi blog has some great pictures and videos on podaegis
Where to Buy
The Korean Baby
Podaegi for Sale by Bella Slings on Etsy
If anyone knows of other sellers, please share!

(repost of a guest post, originally posted here)

No comments: