Mei Tai

The Mei Tai style carrier is also named an Asian style carrier, due to its origins in the far east. It is like a cross between a wrap and a backpack style carrier, but traditionally lacks any buckles or modern adjustments. It has base straps that wrap around the wearer’s waist and help distribute weight on the hips and back. The child is then put on the wearer’s front or back, the body portion of the carrier against their pack, then the long shoulder straps are criss crossed over the wearer’s shoulders, across baby’s back and under their legs then secured.

These are a great carrier if you only want to make one purchase that will work from the newborn stage through the toddler years as no additional inserts or accessories are need for the different the ages. A front carry, hip carry and back carry are possible on Mei Tai carriers, however, make sure your child is sturdy enough before  attempting a hip or back carry.

Pros: Distributes the weight on different parts on the body for the wearer and keeps baby’s knees and hips aligned (best for the spine). They fold up relatively small like a wrap so they can easily be tossed in a diaper bag or large purse. They also have a designated body section to support baby’s back and you don’t have to search for the center as you do with a wrap before putting it on.

Cons: Like the wrap there are long straps to wrestle with which are fairly easy to use once you get used to it, but I prefer not to put this carrier on outdoors as I don’t like the straps to drag on the ground. Not a lot of padding in the shoulder straps for the wearer so you may experience some strain with an older or heavier baby with extended use.

Brands we have reviewed that carry Mei Tai style carriers:
Action Baby Carriers

Catbird Baby
Eden Baby Carrier
Freehand Baby Carrier
Kozy Carrier
Mei Tai Baby

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By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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  1. James, Andrea, and Clara Smith says:

    I LOVE my Mei Tai. Mine is made by a local seamstress here in Alaska. It was expensive, but probably my most used baby item. Here is a link to a picture of my mother using it. : )

    I like it because it is SO adjustable, the straps can be widened over the shoulders so that the weight distribution feels like I'm carrying nothing at all (even my 22 lb little chunk), and absolutely brainless to use (I can easily use it by myself with no problems. I love that in my cooler climate I can carry her close to me. She slept in it all the time when she was tiny, and I'd tuck her tiny legs inside (like a frog). Now she is much more interested in looking around, but still lays her head on my chest. It's wonderful! I wish I had the skills to make them for all of my baby bearing friends!

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