I started looking for a Mei Tai after several moms on a Facebook group for infants who had sleep problems suggested wearing my little one for nap time. I joined the Babywearing on a Budget Facebook group, and started looking for a Mei Tai. The Infantino Mei Tai was attractive because it was cheap – about $20 for a lightly used carrier. I didn’t mind spending $20 to see if I liked the carrier and would use it.
Mei tais are based on an old Asian style of babywearing, and they’re fairly easy to use. You can carry your baby on your front (facing in, towards your chest), on your hip or on your back. They tie around you, so they’re a little more work than a SSC, but they’re easy to learn to use and you can easily adjust the position of the straps when you tie to get a tie that’s comfortable for you and your baby.
The Infantino Mei Tai is a budget mei tai – you can get far more expensive, higher quality mei tais from many other companies. I think these versions offer a lot more options: different patterns, accessories, and usefulness (some of them are reversible so you can have two different looks from one carrier). For me, the Infantino Mei Tai served its purpose: a good starter carrier.
Although I bought this carrier so I could wear the little one for naps, I haven’t done that. Not once. Instead, I ended up buying woven wraps to wear her in when we’re out or when I need to get stuff done around the house. I use the mei tai for outside chores: gardening, feeding horses, cleaning stalls, yardwork. Because the mei tai is pretty cheap, I don’t mind if it gets dirty, stained, or snagged. It is also easy to clean: throw it into the washer with wrap-safe detergent and I hang mine to dry.
When using a mei tai, I do recommend checking over it frequently to make sure the stitching is in good repair and there are no rips or loose seams. Those could pose a huge safety hazard if they come lose. So far, the little one seems to like watching the horses and watching me work in the garden. Although I have to be careful because she’s been reaching over and grabbing weeds and parts of plants and yanking them off!
I think the Infantino Mei Tai is a fine budget carrier, as long as you keep an eye on the carrier to make sure it stays in good repair. And practice putting the carrier on and getting your baby situated over a bed or sofa until you have the hang of it (that way, if your baby falls he doesn’t fall far and has a soft landing).