Photo from Google Images. Review of BabyHawk Mei Tai baby carrier, made in Oceanside, CA. From their website: “The modern Mei Tai is borrowed from the ancient Chinese method of babywearing. Traditionally a large square or rectangular piece of cloth, the Mei Tai was secured by tying its four corners together. Today’s Mei Tai come in a variety of colors and patterns, offering on-the-go families an excellent, comfortable, and stylish solution for carrying babies and toddlers. Mei Tai offer caregivers three positions for babywearing (front, back, and hip) and can be tied for a custom fit. BabyHawk Mei Tai can fit women up to size 22/24 and men up to an XXL; you have the option to customize your Mei Tai with extra-long straps. Lightly padded for comfort and durability, Mei Tai straps are 3 3/4 inches wide and is designed for children weighing between 8 lbs. and 40 lbs. Mei Tai can be machine washed with a small amount of detergent; line drying is recommended to preserve color. BabyHawk is dedicated to quality carriers that reflect the style of each baby wearer and the creation of jobs in USA. Your new Mei Tai is proudly made to order in in Oceanside, California with 100% cotton chino twill and 100% quilting quality cotton.”
I started this page when my son was 1 year old, so wasn’t on my made in the USA mission when I worked on my baby registry for the shower/blessing way I had for him. I therefore registered for an Ergo as it was the name I saw recommended over & over, and my sister got it for me, and another friend got me the infant insert. I wore my 1st born quite a bit, it was definitely convenient here & there. I flew alone with him on 3 separate trips to go visit my sister before he turned two & can’t imagine having to navigate the numerous airports without a carrier. My husband wore him throughout our trip to Yellowstone when he was 5 months, through the Denver Botanical Gardens, to various music festivals & and on many more trips, so it has great sentimental value. But now I have a new baby & don’t want to keep using the same ol’ carrier for sentimental reasons! I’m SO grateful the kind folks at BabyHawk agreed to send me one of their carriers to try out. I sent email inquiries to a few of the other made in the USA carrier makers I’m aware of as I really, really wanted to have a Made in the USA option to recommend over the Made in China Ergo & the others didn’t even take the time to respond, so I believe this says a lot about the BabyHawk company! They are very proud to be making their carriers in the US, and want to highlight that fact more.
My baby girl is sleeping in it right now, with her forehead close enough to kiss, one of my favorite parts of babywearing J With a toddler & a newborn, babywearing is not just a convenience, it’s a MUST. I truly can’t fathom life without a baby carrier. I honestly wear my baby girl, who is currently 9 weeks, at LEAST 8 hrs. a day. It’s like my 2nd skin, and she LOVES it! She’s a super happy baby and rarely fusses, but if she’s tired & getting a bit fussy, has been fed & has a clean diaper I can place her in the carrier and it’s like she just melts away. I love that you can get it very tight, I squeeze a burp out of her 90% of the time, and if it loosens up a bit over time as all carriers usually do it’s super easy to retighten it without taking it off (something I’ve struggled with using the Moby, I’ve gotten it tight enough a few times, but it just seems too loose most of the time & I don’t like that feeling). The firmer piece of fabric that goes behind the neck area does a fabulous job of supporting her head & keeping her from slumping backwards, something that happened often in my Ergo. I love that you don’t need an infant insert with this one, and I feel the infant insert in the Ergo made it quite a bit hotter for babe & I. I love the minimal amount of fabric, and that she’ s not cocooned in there. Also, you can send in your own piece of fabric and they’ll custom make you one, which is very attractive to many!
There are a few differences between the BabyHawk and the Ergo, but both are Soft- Structured. There is no hood and no zipper pocket. It has no buckles which I really, really like. This means you can get a perfect fit. One issue I was having with my Ergo is that in order to get it as tight as I like I had to tighten the straps way up, and the strap that loops around my arm was cutting into my breasts, making them sore. With the BabyHawk I can tie the straps where I want, usually around her back, or down by her feet and I don’t have the problem with them cutting into me. You can wear your babe in front, back or side just like the Ergo. With my son I only ever wore him in front, I just never got the hang of getting him on my back so even at just shy of 2 years old I wore him through several airports in the front. Plus, I truly adore having babe’s forehead close enough to kiss. I tried getting the Ergo side hold figured out once and gave up, but will definitely be trying to perfect some of the other holds as my baby girl grows up.
Most of these carriers are $85 which I believe is a fabulous deal considering Ergo’s are $115 at least, and are made in China. The one & only thing I miss about my Ergo is the hood. I can live without the zipper pocket the Ergo offers, I used it a few times but it’s not crucial. But I did use the hood a lot to keep the sun off my babe’s head, but more-so while eating. I don’t know how many meals I’ve eaten while wearing my babes, and eating things such as corn on the cob, can be quite messy. A simple solution I’ve come up with though is to just lay a towel over the top of my babes head instead of the hood. It’s a feature I can live without, but it did come in handy here & there.
I realized I was madly in love with my BabyHawk Mei Tai when I left it at a friend’s house after visiting for the morning. I got home and a bit later went to strap my baby girl on & couldn’t find my BabyHawk. I got a panicky feeling, my heart rate seriously went up, and I remembered taking it off at my friend’s house to nurse & walked away later, leaving it lying on the ground. Even though I had an Ergo, Moby & Balboa laying right in sight at home, I only wanted my BabyHawk. I packed up the kids & immediately drove back to my friend’s house (just a few miles away thankfully) to get my carrier as they live on a farm & I was super worried about a farm dog carrying it off or something, and I just couldn’t chance it. I was so happy to have it back in my hands again. I knew then that I valued this piece of fabric greatly!
I THANK the kind folks at BabyHawk VERY much for generously sending me this carrier, and more-so for giving all families a fabulous, made in the USA option to wear our babes in. I will be recommending this carrier over, and over as much as possible. Please check out their website & FB pages to stay in touch!