Category Archives: Mei Tais and other Asian Style Carriers

Tip Tuesday — How to Fold Your Mei Tai

By KS
This week we will talk about how to fold and store your Mei Tai(MT).  We will be using two different types of MT’s from our lending library, a Bamberoo MT and the Catbird Baby MT, from Once Upon A Sling.  I like to tie my carriers with the print side facing in so that if something were to leak in my bag or it is left in the car, the print is protected.
The Bamberoo MT has a padded waist so I fold this one up more like a Soft Structured Carrier.  I start with the carrier on flat surface print side up.
I take the shoulder straps and fold them accordion style on both sides.
 It should now look like this.
I then fold the top one-third of the carrier towards the waist strap.
Continue folding until you have it folded all the way to the bottom of the waist strap.

Take the waist strap and twist it around itself, like you are tying a ribbon on a present.

Then flip the entire carrier over and tie a knot on the other side.

he other type of MT we have in our lending library is the Catbird Baby, which has an unpadded waist and is  less structured.

 

I start the same way with the print side up.  Hood is laying flat.
Fold the whole carrier in half.
Fold both shoulder straps on top of the carrier accordion style
Now fold the body of the carrier and straps towards the waist strap.
Again I folded in thirds towards the waist strap.
Now both waist straps will be on one side of the carrier.  Take both and wrap around the folded carrier.
Come all the way around the body of the carrier with the waist strap until you reach the end then tuck in a corner of both straps.
You now have a neat little packed up carrier ready for the diaper bag or storage.

Bamberoo Mei Tai Review

By AF

Brief Description

The Bamberoo Mei Tai is a carrier with a soft body and 4 straps.  2  lower straps are tied around your
body to secure the carrier and the top 2 top straps are wrapped around mother
and baby to secure the baby in the carrier.

Learning curve

Mei tais are fairly easy carriers for a beginner to use.  One issue would be getting the carrier tight
enough to keep it or baby from sliding down but after some practice, I think it would not be an issue.

Activities

This carrier is great for a trip to the store or cleaning around the house.  The Bamberoo is very
comfortable.  It would fold up nicely for a trip out of town so it would be a nice vacation carrier. 

Innovation

The Bamberoo  has padded shoulder straps.  This is one thing I noticed that I have not seen in some of
the Mei Tai carriers made by other companies.

Ease of nursing in this
carrier

I did not nurse in this carrier and usually don’t.

Weather considerations

The Bamberoo Mei Tai would be useful in any weather, I would just suggest being careful of the straps in
wet/snowy weather.  They could touch the ground and get wet if you’re not careful.

Safety

Once the Bamberoo is on it’s very safe.  I have a 23 month old that bounces and wiggles a lot and once
the straps are secure, he can do that without fear of falling.  The straps stayed tied and he safely stayed on my back during our holiday shopping.

 

Ages

The body of this particular Mei Tai is designed for babies, but it worked great for my 21 lb toddler.

Sizing

I like the long straps.  It’s nice to have straps long enough to fit big mamas.

Tips n Tweaks Tuesday!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! We hope you’ll *love* today’s tip, featuring the Bamberoo Mei Tai

The tip this week is the weightless chest belt carry in a MT.  First load baby on your back in your usual way.  Bring both straps over your shoulders

Tie the straps in a single knot.

Tighten straps and bring both straps to the back.

Bring straps over baby’s legs and cross.

The cross will form the X under bum.

Bring top straps to the front and tie in a double knot.  Adjust chest belt to a comfortable spot and there you have a weightless MT carry

Bamberoo Mei Tai

By B

I had an opportunity to work with Edit, the owner of Bamberoo, to have this carrier custom made. I’ve never had a custom anything made and I had lots of questions. I wanted to make sure we covered as many of their custom options as possible between the two carriers (we also have the Bamberoo Soft Structured Carrier). Between deciding on fabric, strap material, body size, body shaping, hood style, strap length, we had quite a few back and forths. Edit could not have been nicer or easier to work with. If you are in the market for a custom, I can recommend this vendor, if you can get a custom slot! She has a wide variety of beautiful fabrics for straps and body. Bamberoos are super customizable, so you can get exactly the carrier you want.

On to the carrier. I tried this with my 17ish lb 5 month old. She rode legs out and it was the perfect size. This carrier features a rounded headrest as well as the hood. This one is baby sized, with a flat body, rather than seat darts, so baby sits closer to the wearer. It has a flat hood, better to hold up a sleeping little one’s head. We went with the extra long shoulder straps, which, at 90″, are 10″ longer than the standard. This would be ideal if you are fluffy, busty or tall. The extra length was a little cumbersome for me (size 8), so I would only  get them if you actually need the length.

This is a PREMIUM carrier. This is the sort of thing I could wear all day. In fact, I did wear baby girl all day in this. We did chores around the house, then went for a walk. She fell asleep in this twice. This carrier is so supportive, she really felt weighless. I had the opportunity to use the hood. It clips onto the shoulder strap. It was easy to do and gave good head support. I’ve used this in front and back carries and the hood is easy to do myself in either.

I’m a huge fan of mei tais for on the go. For me, they are very easy to switch from front carries to back carries, without taking baby off.

I think mei tais are very easy to nurse in. I loosen the ties, lower baby to boob level and retie her. When she’s done, I bounce her back up to a kissable height and tie again. Mei tais offer great nursing coverage. Generally, people just think your child is asleep in there.

 

Mei tais are a good choice for warm weather as the open sides let air get to baby. They are suitable for year round. This would definitely be an option for a buy one carrier to go the distance. This would work for the duration of your babywearing career.

I find myself reaching for this carrier often when I know Baby Girl is going to fall asleep and I need to get things done. It is AMAZING for back carries and has awesome head support.

 

What’s Baby Doing Back There?

By MC

Here’s a little tip I read (no idea on source anymore!):

 

You get your baby safely & securely on your back.

You’re working away, making dinner – then suddenly baby is quiet,

What is she up to back there?

Is she happy? Is she sleepy? Is she comfortable?

 

When I am home I can usually find a mirror to glance at her –

but thats not always the case.

 

I found a cheap compact mirror (hello, Dollar Aisle!) and keep it in the pocket of my Soft-Structured Carrier.

I can easily see what she is up to & what baby is doing. Also great when I can see her eyes are starting to get tired & I can start my “sleepy dance” and bounce her to sleep.

 

Especially comes in handy as she reaches toddlerhood & is grabbing things while I’m shopping :)

Kozy Mei Tai Review

By C (for you petite mamas, this reviewer is a size 0-2, for reference)

I think the Kozy Mei Tai is a great starter mei tai.  It was the second mei tai that I have used. It was a neutral carrier with black straps and a mossy green body.  I wore it with both my 2 year old and my 5 month old. I think those ages represent the smaller and larger limits of the carrier.

I used the Kozy in a front carry with my infant.  I just wore him indoors and he fell asleep both times.  The straps were just long enough to cross beneath his butt and tie again in back.  I didn’t need to nurse in it.

My daughter, the two year old, I wore outside in a back carry.  She felt very secure.  I didn’t carry her very long as she wanted to get down and walk but I could have kep carrying her longer.

Catbird Mei Tai

By H

Carrier: Catbird Baby

 

Reviewed with children age (s)

  • 6-18 months


Brief Description
Catbird is a mei tai style carrier, tying around your waist and around baby.  It can be used in forward, back & hip carries.  The colors and patterns are very stylish and come in a variety for suiting either mommy or daddy.

Learning curve
I typically use a SSC type carrier or a pouch.  This was a big learning curve for me because I am not used to making adjustments each time (i.e. tying to size) since my carriers are already adjusted to my size.  Because this was new to me, it took me a while to be sure I was tying the carrier in a supportive position for both me and baby. I had to request guidance from one of BWI of Peoria’s VBEs.(Volunteer Babywearing Educator)

I also found this article on weight distribution in front carries to be helpful http://www.onceuponasling.com/MeiTaipositioning.php

For back carries, I am used to using a chest strap, so I felt a little uncomfortable with the standard rucksack carry .  The VBE taught me how to do a Tibetan tie.  The ties are demonstrated here: http://www.wrapyourbaby.com/rucksack.htm.  This type of tying helps distribute baby’s weight more evenly and allowed me to carry him for a longer stretch of time.

Activities
This would be a good everyday carrier.  Easy to use for housework and light walking, such as grocery shopping or mall walking.  Once you are accustomed to tying, it would be fairly easy to use this for medium quick trips (although I would worry about straps getting wet or dirty in inclement weather).

Ages
This carrier could be used from infant to toddler because of the range of adjustability.

Storage
Easy to fold up and the carrier would fit in a large diaper bag. Easy to fold flat in a suitcase for traveling or in a drawer or closet.

Sizing
This would be easy for parents of different sizes to share since tying allows you to adjust.  Longer straps are available for people with a larger build.

Catbird Mei Tai

 

By B

This Catbird Baby Mei Tai was donated by Once Upon a Sling.

They have 2 exclusive prints in this carrier, the Citron Birds and Owl Owls. They also have a number of other prints. I love the Citron Birds!

With the yellow and grey and the birds, it feels very trendy. I really like that it’s an exclusive. You know that a bajillion other people aren’t going to be wearing the exact same carrier as you, even if you are with a lot of other babywearers. These carriers are well priced, $89, with the “Babywearing Essentials” Catbird priced at only $69. If you’re on a tighter budget, this is a great way to try out a quality carrier for less money.

When wearing a mei tai  in a front carry, I prefer to cross the straps over babies butt and tie behind my back. It gives more support for a heavier baby.  I like that the straps on the Catbird are just long enough for me to criss cross in the front.

The Catbird has a flat hood, great for supporting a sleeping baby’s head. It ties onto the shoulder straps. The hood can be folded inside when not in use.

A unique feature of the Catbird is the elastic adjustment loop. You can use this to make the base of the carrier smaller.

Catbird says you can carry front facing out this way. I’m still not a fan of front facing out, but if you really must, this is a carrier that can do it in a more supportive fashion than many. I would use the base adjustment to enable a tiny baby to ride legs out. My daughter was not into the froggie legs in carriers as a teensy baby. She really preferred to ride legs out. This carrier would enable you to do that from a young age.

Mei tais are my favorite carrier for on the go. You can tie the waist on and leave it tied while you pop in and out of the car. We travel by bus sometimes. I really really like mei tais for that. You can start off with baby on the front, then, without taking the carrier off, move baby to a back carry. You just do the hip scoot.

I like nursing in mei tais as well. You just untie the shoulder straps, lower baby to nursing level and retie. Baby nurses upright in the carrier. You have a lot of coverage in this as well.

Apparently, this carrier also tastes great!

 

Kozy Review

By MC

Reviewed
with children age (s)

  1. 0-6
    months
  2. 6-18
    months

 

 

Brief Description

This carrier is a mei tai, so everything is tied – no buckles.

 

Learning Curve

I  like Mei Tai’s, I feel they are easy enough for newbies to figure out. I figured
one out with my daughter when she was first born, though I did make sure I
watched a few tutorials or had friends show me how to wear it for
newborns.

 

Activities

I used this carrier with both a 6 month old and a 12 month old.

I like the mei tai over a soft-structured carrier (such as Ergo or Bamberoo) for
getting a nice close fit. Especially with the 6 month old, it was nice for naps
& walks so she would be snug and close to me (especially in the colder
weather).

 

I liked the Mei Tai for longer wearing. Around the house for activies or for
walks. I still prefer a soft-structured carrier for quicker trips. Such as
getting in and out of car or just running up down stairs in my house (when I am
caring for the 6 month old and my daughter, 12 months old, I always have to have
someone in the carrier when we are going up/downstairs). And personally I still
prefer SSCs for nursing as I can get the straps just right for each side. I
prefered the mei tai for longer times wearing so I could get her snug and
comfortably tucked in and she could hang out for a while.

 

I was able to do both front and back carries. I didnt attempt the side carry, but
hope to as some point. I know Kozy has instructions on their website.

 

Innovation

I have an older Kozy, and I could tell the differences between the two for sure!
This one (the newer one) has longer straps and much wider, supportive straps. It
was much more comfortable for longer wearing. I also appreciated the curved
‘head rest’ at the top, this was nicer – especially for my older – taller –
child. And I also appreciated the ‘dad-friendly’ or neutral print. Even for
myself (& my husband) – we prefer solid colors.