Mei Tai Baby Carriers: Take it or Leave it?

This week I almost faced my biggest fear: going to the airport with two kids and only ONE baby carrier. Does this sound dramatic? Maybe so, but that’s only because I can’t live without my baby carriers. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a wee bit today, but work with me. I’ve been up since 3:30 am.Mei Tai Carriers 101: Helpful advice on how to use the BabyHawk mei tai. *Great list of pros and cons! from Jellibeanjournals.comMy family of four, including a baby and toddler were US-bound yesterday and our flight was cancelled. Today we got to the gate too late after filling out the permissions for our kids to leave the country. We rebooked for tomorrow, again requiring a 3:30 wake up. Pray for me. And GET ME COFFEE!

So anyway, we are eventually going to make our way through the airport where I’ll NEED my baby carrier for baby E., the ring sling, to be exact. However, we left the sling at a friend’s house. We called. They hadn’t seen it. Cue freak out fiesta. We were leaving the next day.Mei Tai Carriers 101: Helpful advice on how to use the BabyHawk mei tai. *Great list of pros and cons! from Jellibeanjournals.comThankfully, another mama friend offered to lend me her BabyHawk mei tai carrier, something I’d never tried before. It’s goofy, but I got really excited about the opportunity to try another baby carrier. I LOVE my Ergo, rely on my ring sling, and cherish the stretch wrap carrier, but I’m always game for test driving other types of baby carriers. So the question is, are mei tai baby carriers worth their price tag or just another natural parenting trend?

I quickly took her up on the offer and had her show me how to tie it on. She showed me a simple tie that made me a little uncomfortable with baby’s stability and safety, so when I got home I searched YouTube for alternative ties. Once baby was tied on properly, the BabyHawk felt great! I could definitely have navigated the airport this week using a mei tai. I was confident in baby’s comfort and security, and it felt good on me too.Mei Tai Carriers 101: Helpful advice on how to use the BabyHawk mei tai. *Great list of pros and cons! from Jellibeanjournals.comAnd then my friends found and returned the ring sling.

Nevertheless, I took advantage of borrowing the mei tai to tell you guys about what it’s like to use a mei tai with a baby so you can better determine which type of baby carrier to get for your baby.


  • Wide seat area is cozyfor baby and protects his hips
  • Comfy for both mom and baby
  • Easy to remove baby from the carrier
  • Great ventilation
  • Lightweight and folds up pretty small
  • Easy to launder
  • No zippers, snaps, or gadgets to get broken
  • Multiple ways to tie baby on front, back, and even hip
  • Can be used with newborns up to toddlers, though they do get heavy quick!


  • Big learning curve for tying it on.
  • Long straps can drag and get dirty when putting it on
  • No sun protection for baby
  • No pockets or places to stash small items
  • Best for kids under two- they can get heavy quickly if they’re bigger. I prefer the Ergo with toddlers.
  • Takes more time to put on and take off than most carriers.

In summary, I really liked the mei tai carrier. I’d use it for walks to the park or errands with my baby. It is light and breezy, which is great for the hot climate here in Costa Rica. On the other hand, I really couldn’t stand having my toddler in it for much more than 15 minutes. The waistband began to dig in and I missed the wide, padded waistband of the Ergo, which is our go-to toddler carrier. I love the versatility of the BabyHawk and that you can tie it on in so many ways with smaller babies and larger babies too.  Learning how to tie it on takes some time, but I really found this video helpful for back carries and this one ideal for teaching you how to front carry with a mei tai.

All in all, I’d use a mei tai if I had one, but I probably won’t be replacing my trusty Ergo or my handy easy-on easy-off ring sling with this.

Share your experience! What is your favorite baby carrier? If you use a mei tai, what is your favorite way to tie it on? Until what age do you use it?

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    • Jelli says

      Chelsea, wraps are definitely a little overwhelming at first. It takes a couple of weeks to master getting the straps in the right place in seconds, but I really do love them, especially for tiny babies. This mei tai does involve a similar learning curve, but it’s great and packs up so tiny!

  1. says

    I tried lots of different carriers with my children but I had a wrap carrier which was THE best. I was able to wear my kiddos until they were 2 1/2 with that thing! I could have carriend them longer (if they allowed it).

    It was so lightweight, super adjustable, and so comfortable. I actually bought it for Baby and mama salsa exercise lessons!

    Everything else I tried paled in comparison.

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve heard about the Baby Hawk. You provided a great pros/cons list.

    Wishing you well.
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…SHINE Blog Hop #14My Profile

  2. says

    I love that you posted on this carrier, because I recently tried on a TON (we are expecting in January) and loved the mei tai style. It’s good to know I’ll probably need to upgrade once Baby Ev is in her toddlerhood, but I found them very comfortable, and we live in Hawaii…so I get your HOT HOT HOT climate too:)
    Lindsay recently posted…You CAN Teach a NON-TECH Dog New TricksMy Profile

  3. says

    I have a mei tai and a ring sling. I preferred the mei tai with a newborn but have been using the ring sling pretty much exclusively since 3 months. I’m now having trouble with our daily commute (by bus), though, because now that baby is 7 months old I want to put her on my hip rather than my front, but because this ring sling has a padded shoulder, I can’t carry shoulder bags on top of the padding (they slide off) so they have to be on the same side where the baby is–it gets crowded and hurts my back! So I’ve been meaning to try the mei tai again in a different carry and see if that’s better. I don’t like the long straps, but since I’m always putting it on/off indoors I think I could cope.

    I just came back to your blog thinking I hadn’t seen you “around” in a while, and you haven’t posted anything for months! I hope that just means your trip to the US has been so much fun you haven’t had time for blogging. Merry Christmas!
    Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook recently posted…28 Book Reviews!My Profile

    • Jelli says

      Becca, thanks for visiting back. I decided to take a year off blogging but honestly, I’m getting the itch to start back up again. Hope you find a good solution for your baby and commute. Have you tried the Ergo in a hip carry? Although my son’s almost a year older than your little one, he’s still comfy for an hour or so in a hip carry with an Ergo, if you have one. If not, definitely let me know how it goes with the mei tai!

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