What are Asian Style Baby Carriers?
Asian style baby carriers are soft, slightly structured baby carriers. They distribute the weight evenly through the whole of the wearer’s torso so are a comfortable sling choice. The baby is held in an upright position on the wearer’s front, back and sometimes hip. There are two styles of soft carrier – Mei Tais and Soft Structured Carriers (SSC).
Loan fee for all of these carriers is £10 Deposit is £30
Mei Tai (pronounced May Tie) are the less structured style and are a westernised version of the traditional carrier of China. They consist of a square or rectangular panel of fabric with a strap coming off each corner. The straps can be padded, wrap straps or just standard fabric straps. Mei Tai with wrap straps are often referred to as Wrap Tai and can be bought off the shelf (Didy Tai and Hop Tye) or be custom made by someone who converts wraps to carriers. Mei Tai are made from a variety of fabrics, such as cotton twill or corduroy, and usually have a patterned fabric on one side of the panel and lots of designs are available. They are usually reversible, often with a plain side the same colour as the straps. Some styles have a headrest or sleephood. Depending on the type, they can be used from birth to around 35-45lbs. Some brands made sized carriers (baby/toddler and preschool) and others make one size to fit from birth to toddlerhood.
To use a Mei Tai, the straps are tied with a simple double knot – the shorter two straps tie around the waist of the wearer and the long straps go over the wearers shoulders and are tied, either under the babies bottom or at the wearers waist. A baby can be carried in an upright position on the front, back and some manufacturers include instructions for a hip carry. Mei Tai can be used from birth with the baby’s legs crossed inside the carrier.
Advantages of Mei Tai:
- They are quick to learn how to use.
- They are supportive with heavier babies and toddlers and allow comfortable carrying for long periods of time.
- They are very adjustable and can be tied exactly where it is comfortable for the wearer. They are suitable for different sized parents.
- They allow secure and hands free carrying positions, especially with an older baby.
- You get two carriers in one due to the reversible design.
Disadvantages of Mei Tai:
- Not as easy or quick to tie when out and about due to the long straps and can take a bit longer to put on than a buckle carrier.
- Some babies do not like having their legs inside a carrier so not always suitable until a baby is big enough to have their legs out.
Buckle Carriers are also known as Soft Structured Carriers (SSC). They are the more structured style of soft carrier and are therefore considered the more ‘mainstream’ looking. The straps are often heavily padded and have a section of webbing threaded through plastic buckles with which to fasten. Some SSCs are suitable from birth, others from 4-6 months, up to toddler. They are often one size fits most, though some carriers are sized for baby/toddler e.g. Tula.
SSCs come in a range of designs and colours and often have a padded waistband for comfort. Many have a sleephood/headrest to support the head of a sleeping child and there may be pockets in the body of the carrier or optional accessories such as waist pouches. Some designs are suitable from birth – either because of an integral or separate infant insert (e.g. Ergo), or because it is possible to narrow the seat of the carrier for young babies (e.g. Action Baby Carrier).
SSCs are used for an upright front or back carry facing the wearer (although some models do allow for a hip carry) the short straps are simply buckled around the waist and the wearer’s arms put through the loops of the shoulder straps
Advantages of Buckle Carriers:
- They are very simple to use and quick to put on whilst out and about.
- They are very comfortable and a good choice for people with back, pelvis or shoulder problems as the design is very supportive for long periods of time with a heavier child.
- They are generally very popular with dads.
Disadvantages of Buckle Carriers:
- Designs which have a heavily padded waistbelt are bulkier.
- Adjustability can be restricted by the heavy padding and buckles.
- Parents who are either very slim or very broad may find some styles of buckle carrier less comfortable than others.
The library has the following Asian Style Baby Carriers available to hire:
Kozy carrier Mei tai in Chesterfield.
The Kozy Carrier mei tai has wide padded shoulder straps, a padded curved head support and is made from strong durable fabrics. It has a generous sized body which supports your child throughout their legs, bottom and back. It can be used from birth through toddlerhood and beyond. It has a patterned fabric panel which reverses to a solid colour panel the same colour as the straps.
Hop-Tye Mei tai in Miami
The Hop-Tye is made from specially woven wrap fabric with wide, mouldable straps to help support baby and distribute their weight comfortably. Easy to reduce the body size for newborns, and supportive for older babies too.
A super soft bamboo mei tai with padded straps made from Lenny Lamb woven wrap fabric.
An extremely adjustable mei tai made from Neobulle woven wrap fabric, will take you from small baby to big toddler.
Half Buckle Carriers:
Half buckle carrier made with Storchenwiege woven wrap fabric.
Ellaroo Mei Hip
Half Buckle Mei Tai style carrier that can be used for hip carries only. Great for babies with good head control and upper back strength (from about 3-4 months). Light to carry around and quick and easy to use.
Other Asian Style Carriers:
Similar in shape to many modern mass-produced baby carriers, but ties on like a mei tai and has additional support for baby’s thighs to support a better hip position and reduce pressure on the pelvis and lower spine. It’s best for younger babies and suitable for front and hip carries.
Soft Structured Carriers (SSC)
Boba’s 4th Generation ssc retains features of the 3G with added insert to provide infant support to fit a wide age range with greater ease.
Boba’s 3rd generation ssc features stirrups for older children (7-45lbs)
Popular and generous sized baby carrier (7kg-20kg)
A highly adaptable carrier that fits a wide age range from baby to preschooler. The library also stocks the ‘Size-It’ an accessory to make the carrier narrower for smaller babies & the ExTend to make it wider.
A supportive soft structured baby carrier which draws inspiration from traditional mei tais. Shoulder and waist straps buckle on. The shaped body panel of the Connecta has a wide base to support correct positioning for babies and provide comfort for wearers The curved, rounded top of the design provides head support while still allowing baby room to move.
We have a number of connecta carriers including those with petite straps & solarweave fabric which are very popular for the summer.
Action Baby Carrier
Compact and very easy to use, this misleadingly simple looking carrier has a sleep hood and a hidden internal harness to support your baby’s weight. Suitable from newborn-toddler (8 to 40 lbs).
A birth to toddler carrer that is very popular with those wishing to use an ssc with a newborn as it doesn’t require an insert. Easy to use, can be worn as a front, hip or back carrier. (7-35lbs)
A versatile carrier that can be used from birth (with an insert) to pre-school. (7-45lbs) Front, hip or back carrier
ERGObaby Original Carrier
A popular SSC that works well for a wide range of different sized children and adults. Suitable from 4 months up to 20kg. Can be worn in front, back or hip carrying positions.
Larger sized SSCs:
Action Baby Toddler Carrier
The toddler version of the great value and comfortable Action Baby Carrier, with a bigger body panel to fit toddlers and preschoolers from about 18 months.
Tula Toddler Carrier
Toddler version of the Tula Baby Carrier to fit for even longer. Great quality, comfortable and adjustable carrier made entirely within the EU. Suitable for front and back carries. With all the same great adjustability and features of the standard Tula, this is suitable from approx. 18 months to 4+ years.