Recently, we’ve seen a big buzz around the BWI of CI Facebook page about Mei Tai style carriers. While not usually the first carrier caregivers discover in their babywearing quest, a Mei Tai is a fantastic option for wearing both smaller and larger babies!
Let’s chat first though about the history being Mei Tai carriers. The Mei Tai (pronounced may tie) is an Asian Baby Carrier, originating in China. A Mei Tai is any square (or close to square) of fabric with parallel straps coming off of the side of each corner. The traditional Mei Tai carrier can hold a child from birth up to the limit of the parent’s ability to wear their child, but for today’s brands – be sure to check the instruction guides!
Mei Tai’s can be found anywhere from the $25 Infantino version price point, to the $85 BabyHawk Mei Tai, up to a much pricier Obimama wrap conversion Mei Tai (when someone takes an existing woven wrap and has it remade into a Mei Tai) running anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. There are also many other Mei Tai brands everywhere in between. You can check out a few of those at Becoming Mama’s post here.
One other question I hear often is, “Are all Mei Tai’s the same?” No. There are several different types of options on Mei Tai’s – such as padded straps, wrap straps, straps that start padded but turn into wrap straps, as well as padding on the waistband are all different options. One other option you may see is a “half buckle” where the waistband buckles together but the shoulder straps tie off at the ends. As with any type of baby carrier – I find the best way to figure out what works the best for you is to try on/try out several different options to see what feels right.
Here are a few videos on how to learn your Mei Tai in the front position. The first is a newborn Mei Tai carry:
And here is a front carry in a Mei Tai with an older baby: