[Note: Before I buy my gear and products, I always do a lot of internet digging. I don’t have a ton of money to go out and buy every product and try them all, so I rely on other people’s reviews. The ones i find most helpful are the people that get into the nitty gritty. How does the product really work in their daily lives. I absolutely hate “product is great!” reviews. I want the specifics. So my reviews aim to help you in that way. How does this product truly enhance or take away from my mothering experience is what you’ll get…carry on.]
Honestly, one of my favorite things to do is wear my baby. Not only does it allow me to have him close to me, for both of our comfort these days, it also allows me to get other things done around the house. We use 2 in our home, check out the pros & cons of both styles after the jump.
Before I invested in a carrier, I did some research to find out what the best positions were for RJ as he grew and there is a lot to read out there about which ones are best to prevent hip dysplasia and support an infant’s neck and trunk. I’m no doctor, so I won’t pretend like I can rehash the science of it all. You can check it out for yourself here.
The main factors I considered when choosing my carrier were support for RJ, value over time (would it grow with him?), price, and style (because I don’t want to be a basic mommy)
My ultimate choice, and now favorite baby accessory was and is the Baby Hawk Mei Tai carrier. These carriers are an evolved version of the centuries old Asian style of carrying your baby. What I love about the BabyHawk mei tai is that it’s made in America and comes in really snazzy and badass prints, like the camo one we rock over here. We get a lot of compliments on how cool it is.
Mei tai carriers provide the perfect seat for baby’s legs to be supported and they are amazingly versatile, allowing me to wear RJ from newborn to toddler. I don’t mind needing to tie the straps every time I wear. For me, that’s just an added opportunity to make sure my carrier is safe and functioning properly. And the ultimate perk of this carrier is that random touchy-feely people, and there are plenty of them in LA, will not dare touch your baby. [For the record, if i can smell your breath, you’re too close]. I also try to keep busy during the day. LOL, that’s not hard with a newborn. But I like to get other stuff done and still have 2 dogs to take care of. Wearing RJ makes it much easier to get it all done and makes walking the dogs a breeze.
Of course, daddy wanted cool baby gear so he could rock the baby too, so we got him a carrier if his own, which i’ve also tested out. Again, in buying the carrier for The Man, it was still important to find one that provided the best support to prevent hip dysplasia and gave him full support. For his, we landed on the Infantino Fusion carrier. This is a more modern working of a baby carrier, similar in scope to an Ergo style that everyone on every other mommy message board seems to love, BUT, a much better value for our budget. I have used this one as well, but absolutely love the mei tai, and if you’re extra crafty you can even make one of your own. More thoughts on both below.
BABY HAWK MEI TAI
- Folds nicely to fit into baby bag and easily washable
- Grows with baby. Suitable from newborn to toddler with just a few adjustments in the way you tie the straps as he gets bigger.
- Newborn baby legs stay enclosed nicely in a froggy position.
- Great prints and option to customize fabric swatches.
- No need to adjust any buckles to fit your partner. You simply tie it to fit yours and baby’s bodies.
- Provides great back support while carrying
- Proven and sturdy way to carry as shown by centuries old use of this style of carrier. Feels like you’re getting back to basics with no extra fluff.
- Perfect for front and back carrying.
- You can successfully breastfeed on the go with a mei tai!
- For the uninitiated, tying the straps seems daunting. The Man hates needing to tie them every time.
- Baby tends to get very warm inside with being so close to your body. Layer appropriately for newborns.
- Price point. The BabyHawk mei tai is a bit pricey, but when you factor in it being made in America with quality materials, it makes sense. I also feel this is a product that will last, making it completely worth it.
INFANTINO FUSION CARRIER
- Lightweight, easy to store
- About half the price of the Baby Hawk, but time will tell if its value exceeds the cost.
- Works great as a secondary carrier for me and The Man loves it. Great for Dads who can’t get the tying down.
- Adjustable seat to grow with your baby into toddler stage.
- Perfect for front and back carrying.
- Not easily foldable to fit into diaper bag. A little bulky for on-the-go.
- Baby’s legs are not enclosed, even with newborn carry. Not suitable for new newborns, in my opinion.
- Doesn’t fit as snugly around the baby on the sides.
- Buckles and snaps to adjust
- Depending on you and your partner’s sizes, may need to adjust in between carrying for each of you.
Obviously, my verdict is still the mei tai, but both products are well worth it to be closer to my baby when i’m washing dishes or walking two dogs. Let me know what carriers you’ve decided on and if you’ve tried a mei tai in the comments below.