Features: There are various different types of fabric carriers that are inspired by traditional Asian carriers that fasten securely by using tied straps. All have a square or rectangular body with straps coming out of the top corners and various different possible fastening methods and postitions. The most popular Asian Style Carrier is the Meh Dai, which fastens by tying around the waist and over the shoulders. Some may have additional features such as a sleep hood.
Age Range/Suitability: Depending on carrier size, Mei Tais are suitable for newborns, babies and toddlers and can be worn on the front, back or hip. A Mei Tai is a great option if you’d like to share a carrier between different sized adults and children, as the carrier will adjust to fit as you put it on, without needing to change any settings before use. Not suitable if you find tying knots difficult.
Carrying Positions: Front, back and hip, with tying variations possible for each so that you can find the method that suits you best.
Options: Other Asian Style Carriers (Podagis and Onbuhimos) are similar in basic design to a Mei Tai but do not have waist straps and have slightly different features and tying methods. These are usually more suitable for confident baby wearers and for use with older babies and toddlers, though as they don’t fasten around the waist can be more comfortable for carrying while pregnant. ‘Half Buckle’ carriers usually have Mei Tai style shoulder straps but fasten at the waist with a buckle rather than tied straps.
Pros: Can be used from birth to toddler and with any sized adult; a range of different tying methods to suit different adults and children; relatively easy and quick to use for front, back and hip carries.
Cons: Long straps can dangle on the ground while tying; different sized carriers may be needed for younger/older children; different shaped carriers may suit different shaped people better; Podaegis and Onbuhimos are trickier to use and get comfortable.