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.My 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.Thankfully, 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.And 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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