Mei Tai / Meh Dai / Bei Dai :  All you need to know about this asian style baby carrier and half buckle carriers
Mei Tai / Meh Dai / Bei Dai : All you need to know about this asian style baby carrier and half buckle carriers
Nov 17, 2020 Baby Carriers Shopping Guide , Articles by baby carrier brand , Fidella , Buzzidil , Love and Carry , LennyLamb , Limas 0 Comments

Find out all you need to know about an Asian style baby carrier known as Mei Tai, Meh Dai or Bei Dai. Discover it’s pros and cons and find out what are the best Mei Tai carriers on the market.

In this article you will find answers to the following questions:

What is a correct name: Mei Tai, Meh Dai or Bei Dai?

First of all, you’ve probably heard about Mei Tai, Meh Dai and Bei Dai and you are wondering is it all the same thing? The answer is yes, all the three names that refers to the same type of carrier. The most common name is ‘Mei Tai’ but it is actually a mispronunciation of the word as the spelling “mei tai” does not reflect accurate pronunciation in either Mandarin or Cantonese. The spelling ‘Meh Dai’ (meh-dye) is a better English approximation of the Cantonese pronunciation, whereas the spelling ‘Bei Dai’(bay-dye) is similar to the pronunciation in Mandarin. Meh dai means “back carrying strap" where “meh/bei” means “carry on your back,” and “dai” means strap. In this article we decide to use all three names interchangeably.

meh/be =carry on your back
dai=  strap
Meh Dais  / Bei Dais  =  back carrying strap

What is a Meh Dai carrier?

A Meh Dai baby carrier is an Asian style carrier. It's kind of middle ground between structured carrier and a woven wrap that combines some features of both. It is often made of the same fabric that woven wraps but is more structure that a long baby wrap that is simply a rectangle piece of material.

What kinds of Mei Tais are there?

There are lots of variations available on the market. Depending of the brand the panel may be squared or rectangular the strap maybe padded or unpadded (some have removable shoulder straps, like for example Limas), the shoulder straps may have wide or narrow ends.

Bei Dai with wide shoulder straps   Bei Dai with narrow shoulder straps

The waistband maybe padded or unpadded it may be strait or in ergonomic shape, to tie (classic Mai Tai) or to clip (half buckle carrier). Some brands offer Mai Tais with very simple design, other opulent designs. Even if a baby hood is an option, most of the recent Mai Tais are quipped with a hood to support your baby’s head while sleeping and cover for sun or wind protection. Some of them are sewed-in others removable.

Classic Mei Tais

The basic design of a classic Meh Dai is a main panel with two pairs of straps. A classic meh dai carrier may have a square or rectangular body panel. The four wrap-straps come out of each corner of the panel. Your baby is seated in the body panel and the straps of the meh dai are tied around you. One pair of strap ties around your waist and is secured with a knot. The other pair goes over your shoulders and crosses on your back (in a front carry) then around your little one, distributing you baby’s weight evenly across your shoulders, back and hips. In the picture below you can see the design of  Love & Carry Mai Tai.

 classic Mei Tai anathomy  - exemple of Love and Carry Mei Tai

In a classic Mai Tai all straps are fastened by tying a knot and  you will not find any buckles. There are however hybrid Mai Tais with a waist to buckle, These carriers are often called half buckle carriers.

Half buckle baby carriers

A half-buckle carrier is a variant on the Mei Tai that has a waist to clip like a soft structured carrier and wrap-strap shoulders to tie. It is a hybrid of full buckle and Mei Tai. In the picture below you can see the design of Limas Baby Carrier

Half buckle anathomy exemple of Limas baby carrier

When to choose this type of carrier? Pros and cons of Mei Tai.

Mei Tai is combining the adjustablity of a woven baby wrap with some of the convenience and simplicity of a buckle carrier. It is a perfect option for you if you are searching for a soft, wrap-like carrier but with a little more structure for ease of use then a baby wrap, that stays mouldable and more adjustable that a full buckle carrier.

A Meh Dai is especially great for caregivers with back issues, as it distributes the baby’s weight over wearer’s entire upper body: shoulders, back and hips.

Expert tip: With most of Mei Tais you can spread the straps across baby’s bottom for extra lift.

A Mei-Tai is ultra adjustable and can be easily shared between different caregivers. It offers three ergonomic carry position : front (facing wearer), back and often hip carry. Of course you have to learn how to make a secure tie, but it’s not that difficult and definitely takes less practice than for warping a long woven sling. Depending of the size some of the Mei-Tais are suitable from birth (always check the manufacturers recommendations).

love-and-carry-mei-tai-standard-size-meh-dai love-and-carry-lovetie-adjustable-meh-dai love-and-carry-lovetie-half-buckle

Meh Dai's advantages

  • comfortable babywearing : carrier distributes the baby’s weight evenly across the wearer’s entire upper body
  • super adjustable : you can easily adjust it to any body type
  • one size fits most wearers : caregivers of different sizes can use the same carrier
  • ergonomic : like a baby wrap, this kind of carrier offers an ergonomic hip-healthy position
  • versatile : carrier can be used is front, back and hip carry position
  • easier and faster to learn than a baby wrap
  • more compact then most full buckle carriers

Meh Dai's inconveniences

  • not easy to keep clean outside during wet, muddy days : it is hard to keep straps from dragging on the ground.
  • using it takes practice : it’s not very difficult, but you still need to learn how to tie it to keep the baby safe and how to distribute baby’s weight evenly.

Which Mei Tai to choose? What are the best Mei Tais ?

Top 3  Best Mei Tai Carriers of 2020

In our expert opinion these are the best Mei Tai carriers available of the market in 2020 :

Top 3 Best Half buckle carriers of 2020

The best half buckle carriers of 2020 are :

Different sizes of Bei Dais

As you noticed on the list above there are different Mei Tai sizes. Some Mei Tais are designed for newborns some for small babies other for bigger children, so always take a look at the manufacturer recommendations.

Can I use a Bei Dai with a newborn baby?

A Meh Dai is perfectly suited for carrying newborns however the carrier must be the right size. The following Mai Tais are suitable from birth:

How to choose the right size of your Fly Tai Mei Tai Carrier?

The Fidella Fly Tai Babysize is suitable from birth. You can use the babysize Fly Tai carrier till you baby is 80 cm tall or weights 15kg. The toddler size is suitable form 9 months till you child weight 30 kg. You child should measure 74 - 104 cm to use the toddler size.

Fidella Fly Tai Babysize

  • suitable for babies : 56 - 80 cm
  • weight : 15 kg

Fidella Fly Tai Toddler

  • suitable for toddlers : 74 - 104 cm
  • suitable form 9 months
  • max. baby weight : 30 kg

Fly-Tai-Babysize-Mei-Tai-baby-carrier fidella-fly-tai-toddler-mei-tai-carrier

Why to choose Fidella Fly Tai?

The Fly Tai by Fidella is a wrap conversion, which means the carrier is made of woven wrap. The baby size is perfect choice foe newborns wheare as the toddler size can be used extremly long. It can support even four year olds.

How to choose the right size of your LennyLamb WrapTai?

Lennylamb Mini is recommender for babies from 4 to 18 months old of max. weight 18 kg. While Toddler WrapTai is suitable for children form 10 months old up with within limit of 20 kg.

LennyLamb WrapTai Mini

  • suitable for babies : 4-18 months
  • weight : 18 kg

LennyLamb Wrap Tail Todder

  • suitable for children from 10 months
  • max. baby weight : 20 kg

lennylamb-mini-wraptai-mei-tai-carrier lennylamb-toddler-wraptai-mei-tai-carrier

Why to choose LennyLamb WrapTai?

The  WrapTai by LennyLamb is a wrap conversion, and is made of woven wrap fabric produced by LennyLamb. The WrapTai carrier  has a minimalist design, there are no bulky padding, nor stiff waistband.

How to choose the right size of your Love & Carry Meh Dai ?

Lennylamb Mini is recommender for babies from 4 to 18 months old of max. weight 18 kg. While Toddler WrapTai is suitable for children form 10 months old up with within limit of 20 kg.

Love And Carry LoveTie 

  • suitable for newborns and small babies (3,5 - 15 kg)
  • weight : 15 kg

Love And Carry Mei Tai 

  • suitable for babies from 2 months (4,5 - 15 kg)
  • max. baby weight : 15 kg

love-and-carry-lovetie-adjustable-meh-dai love-and-carry-mei-tai-dino

How to choose the right size of your Limas half buckle?

Limas Plus is slightly bigger then Limas Baby, so if you are serching for a Bei Dai suitablef from birth this should be you choice. The Limas Plus however will serve you a bit longer then Limas Baby size.


  • suitable from birth to approximately 18/ 24 months
  • suitable for babies: 50 - 86 cm
  • recommended baby weight : 3 - 15 kg

Limas Plus

  • suitable for children : 56 - 104 cm
  • recommended baby weight : 4 - 18 kg

limas-baby-half-buckle-carrier limas-plus-half-buckle-carrier

Why to choose Limas carrier?

The bigest adventage of Linas are unique shoulder straps with removable padding.  You can insert in the shoulder ssraps pockets paddings (approximately 33 cm long). This is a perfect solution for those that prefere not padded shoulderstraps as long as a baby is sall but apretate the paddigns when child is getting hevy.

Safety first

Always think about your baby’s safety when carrying you little one.

Safety babywearing

We recommend you to read our article about Babywearing Safety Ruls and print the T.I.C.K.S Rule for Safe Babywearing which apply to any type of carrier or sling.

It’s done? Great ! Now, here are some extra safety tips to keep in mind when using a Mei Tai :

Extra safety tips for Mei Tai carriers

  • If you are new to tying knots practice the first few times without your baby inside.
  • Then ask your partner or a friend to assist you when you start to practice with your baby.
  • Do not hesitate to make readjustments if you feel like your baby is not safe or comfortable in the carrier.

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