Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mei Tai Baby Carrier Review

             Hey folks! It's been awhile, but if you've read my previous babywearing-related posts, you'll already know that I really want babywearing to work for us. Both because it's easier with multiple kids and for the snuggle factor, especially since this will probably be our last baby. Now that I've thrown the evil stretchy wraps to the wayside, the mei tai carrier I'm borrowing from a woman in our playdate group has really been a game changer. So, I thought I would give credit where credit is due and share about our experience with it along with some pros and cons if you're in the market for this type of carrier.
             Mei Tai Baby (MTB) offers, you guessed it, mei tai carriers. If you're not familiar with this style of carrier, they are kind of like a cross between a wrap and a soft-structured carrier (SSC). They are similar to wraps in the way that you have to wrap it around your body and tie it, but like a SSC without buckles because it has less fabric than a wrap and skinnier straps. 

             MTB carriers have a lot of perks, including:

-Good price point. At $79, they are about mid-range from what I have seen for mei tais. I have seen Infantino ones and one other brand I can't remember for cheaper, but many other brands for much more.
-I'm not sure if they still offer it or if it is just currently unavailable, but they have tons of really fun color and print options to build your own carrier! They have ready-to-ship models as well.
-Machine washable. If you have one of these, you likely have kids and quite frankly, who has the time or wants to go to the trouble of handwashing something amiright?
-Not NEARLY as hot as wraps! (At least the stretchy ones I am accustomed to.)
-They are a good option for fluffy girls like me. I found a lot more leeway with the shoulder and waist strap length on the Mei Tai baby than I did even with the Wrapy and Boba stretchy wraps I have. There is plenty leftover after tying!
-It comes with two snap tabs near the bottom of the seat on the outside to cinch it together for smaller/younger babies to get a better fit, if needed.

             What I was left longing for:

-A sleep hood. This is the biggest thing for me. It's not a big deal when we're using the carrier outside since I put a sun hat on Little Bit anyways, mostly to keep bugs off, but it would come in handy when we're out and about running errands or going to playdates.

             I also wish the back weren't quite so high. Height-wise, I think it would be better suited for an older baby or toddler. But, from what I have heard from a lot of people, that is the point at which they usually end up getting a SSC anyway for the extra support. Since Little Bit is only 5 months old and only about 2 feet long, it took us awhile to figure out what to do adjustment-wise that worked for us. (Well, her, really.) 

Before we got adjustment figured out. 

             We first tried a rolled up baby blanket for her to sit on, but she was still sitting kind of low. Or at least lower than I think she likes since she likes to look around and has freakishly good back support for still being so young. My husband eventually suggested trying to fold the bottom a few times before tying it on around my waist and that seems to have done the trick finally!

             Honestly, that has been our biggest learning curve with the MTB carrier. For me, it wasn't that hard to learn how to tie it since I was used to the wraps and it's basically the same way. It took me a bit to figure out where to get the criss-cross of the straps in the back to where it felt good for me, but I think that's to be expected from person to person. Sometimes I would get them in a good spot, others it was a bit pinchy. I feel like I finally have the “sweet spot” figured out. There's also something to be said for not tying it too tightly! Obviously you want it to be snug for baby's safety, but don't overdo it, otherwise you won't be comfortable. 

             Overall I'm pretty happy with the Mei Tai Baby carrier. (Especially since I'm borrowing it for free! ;) ) All carriers are going to have at least a little bit of a learning curve. Even with ours, I still noticed both Ripley and I were a lot more comfortable right away than with the stretchy wraps. Now that I have her situated up to where she can look around better, she seems even happier! And you know what they say: A happy baby equals a happy mommy. (People say that, right?)

Much happier campers!

             Visit Mei Tai Baby to purchase your own carrier. You can also view their tutorial on how to wrap and tie it, which does a much better job to illustrate it than I probably could. ;) You can stay up-to-date with MTB on Facebook

I did not receive compensation for this post. This item, as mentioned, is being borrowed from a friend. I have no association with the Mei Tai Baby company.
Thinking Outside The Pot
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  1. I remembered buying one of those baby carriers when my kids were still babies, they're absolutely amazing, less hassle than a pram and the snuggle factor is at its best. The downside of it though, because my kids were born big, they're so heavy to carry, even my husband complained about his aching back. Great review! #FabFridayPost

    1. There's definitely a learning curve, but they do come in handy at places where a stroller doesn't fit very well/too many other people. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I used to love baby wearing (when my back would allow it) and I loved the look of wraps and how snuggly they felt bit to be honest I was a pretty crap wrapper and they always came loose and baby would slump too low so I moved onto soft structured carriers for a while instead. Much easier to use. I was going to suggest that you try rolling up the bottom like you would an apron but I see you worked that out. At least this carrier will last you a while. That's always a bonus because the good ones aren't cheap. Your baby looks lovely and snug in there and that's what it's all about :-)


    1. I have not tried a "real" wrap yet, but I've heard nothing but good things about them...except if it's raining out. ha ha I've only tried the stretchy wraps and didn't really care for them. I'd love to try a woven wrap out, but I'm not sure where to even begin with all of the different materials and sizes they come in!
      I just recently got my first soft structured carrier. It's taking a bit to get used to! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  3. God I miss my Mei's by far the best carrier I had. :) I recommend it to everyone who is looking for one! :)
    I had good fun with the Manduca as well but I don't know...the Mei Tai was just something special to me. :)

    Here we are sporting our Mei Tai while out shopping:


    1. I just recently got my first soft structured one and so far I've been surprised to find I prefer the mei tai still. I thought the SSC would make things a big faster and easier getting on and off, but maybe I just still need to get used to it. Baby doesn't care for it as much either since she sits lower.
      I've never heard of the Manduca. I'll have to look that up!
      I really need to start practicing back carries. I tried it once with hubby's help and Little Bit didn't seem to like it. I think if we get it worked out she'll like it better so she can see more. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  4. I have a carrier like this for my toddler and love it. Especially if I don't feel like lugging the stroller around. Thanks for joining the Family Joy Linky Party.

    1. So you don't think toddlers are too heavy for these type of carriers? I've heard a lot of people say they "graduate" to a soft-structured carrier when their kids get older. Just curious!

  5. I used to wear my baby too! Though I haven't used MT before. It is such a great convenience way to carry your baby and also great to have your hands free to look after the older one if you have two kiddos. My kids are too big for baby wearing now. I do missed those days. Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost