A Mei Tai, also known as a Meh Dai, originated in China. It’s a special kind of baby carrier that has quickly taken the world by storm. If you’re looking to buy a decent carrier and ditch the stroller for a while, you’re in luck. We present to you a list of the best Mai Tai baby carriers on the market today. And if you’re still not sure about getting yourself a decent Mei Tai carrier, feel free to peruse our buyer’s guide, where we list everything you should look for in a Mei Tai.
Best Mei Tai Baby Carriers in 2019
The Best Budget Carrier: Hooded Mei Tai
The Hooded Mei Tai is an excellent option if you’re looking to save a few dollars. This particular carrier is lightweight and made of cotton. In addition, it has a lot of padding to it, for extra safety. Most budget options for carriers out there usually don’t come with a lot of padding, or any padding at all. In other words, the Hooded Mei Tai is already ahead of its competition.
But this product wouldn’t be on the list of best Mei Tai baby carriers if it didn’t have other amazing features to offer. One feature that separates it from other budget models out there (and even a few pricey ones) is that it’s reversible. If it gets stained, all you have to do is reverse it and put the baby back in. Feel free to wash it later — the Hooded Mei Tai is perfectly suited for machine washing.
You can adjust the Hooded Mei Tai in three positions: the front, the back, and the hip. In addition, it comes with a small pocket for its pop-stud fully detachable hood. Though if you want, you can keep loose change in there, or a candy bar.
- Three separate carrying positions
- Lots of extra padding
- Detachable pop-stud hood
- Carries weight up to 33 pounds
- Slightly more suitable for petite wearers
- Simple, almost mundane design
The Best Carrier for Newborns: Didymos Meh Dai
One look at the Didymos Meh Dai and you’ll think you’ve just bought a blanket. In fact, you’ll also feel that when you touch the Didymos, as it is made from 100% organic cotton. You’ll also notice the soft, yet durable drawstring adjuster. It’s soft enough not to harm your newborn, sturdy enough to hold it in the carrier, and stretchy enough to ‘grow’ alongside the little one.
Possibly the biggest reason why we think this is the best carrier for newborn babies is the lack of padding. With toddlers, you need some padding because they fidget around frequently. But newborns don’t usually move that much. What they need is a soft, gentle carrier that feels like a second skin. Based on that feature alone, Didymos passes the best carrier test with flying colors. However, it might not be that well suited for cold weather.
Like most high-quality Mei Tai out there, Didymos comes with a little hood. If you’re caught outside in the rain, just pop the hood over your little one’s head and it’ll be safe.
- 100% organic cotton material
- Zero padding for that extra-soft touch
- Stretches as the newborn grows
- Adorable design
- Not the best option for winter months
- Not the sturdiest option for older babies
The Best Carrier for Toddlers: Infantino Sash Wrap
If Didymos was tailor-made for newborns, Infantino Sash Wrap is a godsend for toddlers. As we stated earlier, newborns aren’t that active during their early months. However, toddlers will fidget up a storm! Their little arms and legs are forming, and you’ll need a sturdy carrier if you’re going to handle all that energy.
Once again, a single look is enough to let you know just how great Infantino is. All of those padded straps will keep the carrier secure around your shoulders, back, and waist. And if you’re not convinced by the padding and the number of straps, take another look. You’ll see just how long and how wide they are; they aren’t coming down anytime soon.
Aside from the straps, the Infantino also offers a lot of versatility. Moms can easily maneuver the baby in the carrier for breastfeeding. In addition, you also get a soft little hood to cover up your little one in shoddy weather. The soft material Infantino is made from feels amazing to the touch and your tiny toddler will love it. It’s also 100% organic and perfect for machine washing.
- 100% organic, machine-washable material
- Wide, long straps with lots of extra padding
- Durable and secure
- Allows for lots of room for toddlers to move around
- Suitable for breastfeeding
- Slightly bulky for petite parents
- Not too suitable for feeding with moms who have large breasts
The Best Carrier for Plus-Size Parents: Liliputi Mei Tai
When companies advertise products like Liliputi Mei Tai, they stress that the carriers are great for plus-size moms. Of course, any plus-size parent (or relative, or even a friend) can carry the baby using Liliputi, but there’s a reason they stress moms in particular. After giving birth, a mother’s body tends to gain weight and, during the child’s growth, moms can either gain or lose additional pounds. Also, moms tend to spend more than 90% of the time with the newborn during the first several months.
How does all of this help you buy Liliputi Mei Tai, exactly? Well, as a mom, you’ll want a carrier that grows OR shrinks with you as time goes by. Liliputi is a great choice because of its extra-long straps. If you happen to gain some weight, simply loosen them enough to make yourself comfortable, but also to keep your baby secure.
The material of Liliputi Mei Tai is 100% organic diamond-weave cotton. That makes it perfect for newborns who need a soft, skin-like touch. It’s also a great choice for newborns because it has no padding. However, that might be a problem with older babies if you prefer to have additional support.
Finally, we should note that this carrier is easy to wash, a bit difficult to iron, and that it can hold a baby weighing up to 33 pounds. In other words, it’s a relatively easy plus-size Mei Tai carrier to maintain.
- 100% organic diamond-weave cotton
- Long straps suited for plus-sized moms
- Soft material well-suited for newborns as well as toddlers
- Easy to wash
- Comes with a hood cover
- Lack of padding might not be suitable for toddlers
The Best Carrier for the Summer: Catbird Baby Mei Tai
It’s always lovely to see different designs of a Mei Tai carrier. Some products out there only give you a choice of one color, two at most. But Catbird Baby Mei Tai comes in at least seven different colors and patterns. While the design isn’t as important as performance, it definitely helps to have a good-looking carrier around your waist.
Of course, Catbird Baby is about more than its looks. This carrier gives you five different options for carrying your baby. Unlike other Mei Tai carriers on the market, this one actually allows for outward-facing. In addition to these positions, you can also adjust the size of the carrier and the length of its straps. To put it simply, it’s perfect for babies of all ages and sizes.
So what makes it the best summer Mei Tai carrier? Well, that would be the combination of material and design. This carrier is made of 100% organic cotton, which allows the air to circulate better than most materials out there. With Catbird Baby on, you won’t have to worry about your little one sweating or suffering from the summer heat.
- 100% organic cotton
- Adjustable straps
- Five different carrying positions, including outward-facing
- Easy to wash and maintain
- Variety of designs and colors
- The shoulder-strap length a bit short for plus-size moms
Common Mei Tai Carrier Questions
Most parents new to Mei Tai have a lot of concerns, which is natural. After all, a Mei Tai isn’t quite the same as a regular carrier, though they are extremely similar. Let’s cover a few of those questions here.
The most important part of any baby carrier is safety. With that in mind, people are usually a bit apprehensive when it comes to Mei Tai carriers. So, is Mei Tai safe? The short answer to that is ‘yes,’ if you know how to fasten it properly. Luckily, most Mei Tai carriers come with instruction booklets or even instructional videos. All you have to do is follow each step to the letter and your Mei Tai will be as safe as Fort Knox.
The next question parents tend to ask about Mei Tai is ‘will my baby develop separation anxiety if I use it too much?’ Once again, the answer is to your favor. Most studies actually show that a carrier can have the opposite effect on your baby. For example, your Mei Tai can help you breastfeed more easily, as well as reduce your postpartum anxiety. In addition, the more you move around with a carrier, the faster you’ll regain the fitness that you lost after giving birth.
Finally, there’s the question of back problems. In case you’ve had a previous spinal injury or experience frequent back problems, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before buying a Mei Tai carrier. Of course, most carriers are designed ergonomically. Not only do they fit your back and shoulders well, but they also distribute the baby’s weight evenly. In other words, the pressure on your back will be reduced when you use a carrier.
Features to Look For in the Best Mei Tai Baby Carrier
It’s extremely important that your Mei Tai carrier is made from soft, natural materials, especially if you have a newborn. Synthetic materials can cause allergic reactions, as well as prevent air from circulating properly. Your baby’s skin needs to breathe, so always go with cotton. However, other materials, such as French terry, can also be a decent choice.
The material should also be soft and smooth. Coarse materials irritate the skin, but more importantly, the baby will feel stressed. Soft fabrics imitate skin-on-skin touch. When you use soft Mei Tai carriers, the baby will feel safe and it’ll cling to you as if you were holding it.
Straps usually make or break the Mei Tai. Ideally, you’ll want to get a carrier with wide, long straps with at least some padding. A wide strap has a better grip on your shoulder, your back, and your waist, i.e. it’s less likely to fall off than a carrier with a thin strap. In addition, long straps are perfect for moms who are losing or gaining weight. You can simply adjust them according to the needs of your body, as well as the body of your little one.
‘Some padding’ is the best amount of padding for a Mei Tai carrier. If there’s too much of it, the baby might not feel comfortable. Moreover, it might be heavier than regular carriers. However, it’s also not a good idea to get a carrier with next to no padding unless it’s for a newborn. Padding allows for more structural support and safety around your back. And speaking of safety…
Safety & Comfort
We cannot overemphasize this point: your baby needs to feel safe in its Mei Tai carrier. That means you’ll need to find a model that’s easy to strap in, but hard to accidentally loosen. For example, a decent Mei Tai carrier will stretch just enough to allow your baby to grow, but it will stay in its original shape for years before any sagging. It should also have a design that won’t put pressure on your lower back or shoulders. The baby needs to feel comfortable, but so do you.
Earlier, we mentioned stretching and maintaining the original shape. In other words, the carrier you buy needs to be flexible. However, it should also be sturdy enough not to rip. After all, your baby will start moving those limbs sooner than you think and every move it makes will affect the carrier. The same goes for the carrier’s straps. If they are too thin, they have a chance of snapping.
Finally, the carrier of your choice should withstand some bad weather. It doesn’t have to be industrial-strength material; after all, you won’t be going out during a hailstorm with your baby. But in case there’s a light rain shower or a minor snowstorm, you need something that will protect the little one until you get inside.
Just like clothing, toys, and bibs, your baby will get your Mei Tai carrier dirty at some point. And since you’ll be spending a lot of time with the toddler in the carrier, you’ll need to clean it often. Before you decide on buying a Mei Tai, check how well it washes.
A Mei Tai carrier might sound exotic and difficult to use. However, just like with any other carrier out there, you get used to it quickly after a few uses. More importantly, the design and ergonomics of a Mei Tai make it a popular choice among modern moms (and dads). If you’re interested in giving a Mei Tai carrier a try, we humbly recommend one of the illustrious five from this list. You owe it to yourself and your little one to get the safest, softest, and overall best product.