A meh dai was the second carrier I have used with my daughter after I stopped using the stretchy wrap. I remember that my husband and I went to a meeting from our local babywearing library and tried a couple of different carriers. We both liked that the meh dai had some structure to it but was also flexible for different caregivers because of the wrapping.
This was our main carrier for at least half a year, before our daughter got too big and heavy for this particular meh dai that we bought. But meh dais can be used for a long time and I’m currently contemplating getting a toddler meh dai to carry my 3 ½ year old daughter.
What is a meh dai?
A meh dai (or bei dai) is a type of carrier which originated in China. It has a body panel with two shorter straps for the waist and two longer straps for the shoulders. The shoulder straps are wrapped around the back and bottom of the baby to keep baby in place and support the weight.
When can I carry my baby in a meh dai?
Meh dais are great carriers for growing with your baby as they can be adjusted through their shoulder straps. Additionally, some meh dais let you adjust the body panel to different sizes to fit your baby perfectly.
Meh dais that have adjustable body panels can often be used from newborn as long as the body panel can be made small enough so that the seat goes from knee to knee and the body panel doesn’t cover babies head, but instead ends right at the earlobes.
Most meh dais are made from soft or even woven fabric, which allows them to mould perfectly around your tiny newborns’ body.
Most meh dais fit babies perfectly (unless their body panel is specifically made for toddlers). It doesn’t matter if you have a slim or chunky baby, the meh dai will mould itself nicely around your baby.
Toddler and young child
Toddlers and young children can also be carried with meh dais, even if the body panel might not be quite big enough anymore to support your child from knee to knee. If the meh dai has wide shoulder straps, these can be wrapped to give your child a nice seat and support the heavier weight.
When using a meh dai for a toddler or young child it is more comfortable to use one with a padded waistband as straps tend to dig into your tummy when carrying a heavy child. It is also helpful to use a meh dai made from woven wrap fabric, which usually has more grip and gives more support. When buying a meh dai specifically for a toddler or young child you can look for one with a larger body panel to fit your child.
What are typical ways to carry with a meh dai?
Meh dais give you lots of different options in which position you can carry your child. The most common ones being front and back carry.
A front carry is great to use with newborns and babies.
This video from Wrap you in Love shows well how to front carry a baby in a meh dai.
Hip carrying with a meh dai is less usual, but also very easy to do. It is a great way to carry a curious 4 or 5 month old baby, who wants to see more of the world around it.
This video from Babywearing with Jess shows nicely how to do it.
Back carries are generally great to carry older and heavier babies, toddlers and young children as this style of carry is much easier on your back then a front carry. However, because meh dais fit well around your babies’ body, back carrying younger babies may also be possible. Please practise first though and have someone to spot and support with you when practising with your baby.
This video from Wrap you in Love shows two different ways how to do a back carry with a meh dai.
What is a half buckle meh dai?
A half buckle meh dai is a meh dai, which has a buckle at the waistband, but also the long shoulder straps for wrapping. A half buckle meh dai can be more comfortable as the waistband is usually padded. It can also be easier and faster to use as the waistband only needs to be buckled instead of tied.
Are there different sizes for meh dais?
Yes and no.
The body panel of meh dais can be different in size to fit different sized children. The body panel may also be adjustable to fit from newborn.
However, the straps of the meh dai are one size and make it therefore a perfect carrier to fit different sized caregivers.
Why should you choose a meh dai?
- Fits different sizes and body shapes of caregivers
- Fits newborns, babies, toddlers and even young children
- No need to adjust between different caregivers
- Soft fabric
- Can be used for front carries, hip carries and back carries
- Distributes babies’ weight ergonomically
- learning curve of how to use it
- It may take a little longer to wrap baby than with a different carrier
- Breastfeeding is possible, but re-tightening the meh dai may be tricky
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