Mei tais are Asian inspired carriers and are by far one of my favorite options when it comes to babywearing. I have always loved how the panel of the mei tai conformed to my baby like a woven wrap would, with the added bonus of not having to deal with an excess amount of fabric. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to snuggle in the BB Tai before the girls hit the max weight limit, and I really wish we would have found this carrier much earlier on in our wearing journey.
I had seen/heard of Babylonia carriers for a while, but it took a while before we found the opportunity to dive in and try one. The first thing that caught my eye as I browsed their options were the beautiful and diverse colorways they offer (13+ to be exact!). The first thing that I noticed when I received our BB Tai was how soft the carrier was. This particular mei tai is made of 100% organic cotton reminds me so much of a woven wrap- both in touch and the way it snuggles your baby. (This is a wrap conversion mei tai, made of wrap material versus the general canvasy-type materials you typically find in mei tais.) The fact that they use non-toxic dyes is an added bonus because you don't have to worry about if your baby decides they want to chew on any part of this carrier.
In addition to the BB Tai reminding me of a wrap when putting it on and wearing it, it also has wrap straps-meaning that you have full control of how wide/spread you want the straps to be across your body and also across your baby. (Versus the typical mei tai straps that are generally a few inches wide.) These straps make this carrier especially perfect for older/heavier babies you have full control over how much you spread the straps, which allows you to distribute baby's weight across your body. You can spread the straps across your baby's bottom allowing even more of the weight to be taken off the wearer's body AND making it just a little more comfortable for baby (since it allows for more of a seat vs just straps to help keep them in place/the carrier secure). And the plus side to having wraps straps? The endless options of fancy finishes that you can do. You can even add a sling ring to the mix if you really feel like living on the edge.
The padding of the waistband was a bonus feature for me. It offers a nice change to the way the waistband feels when being worn. The padding allows for a less "diggy" feeling in your waist and even offers a little something extra for baby when they sit in the carrier. The best part? When doing a back carry it is very easy to identify where the carrier panel ends and where the straps begin. (This helps for when you want to ensure that your carrier is centered and ready to put your baby in.) It also has comfy "legs out padding" at the bottom of the panel, giving your wearees some cushion for their thighs, which is especially nice for once their legs get a long enough to where their knees extend past the panel. (See photo below.)
The one thing that I had a little trouble with at first with the BB Tai was the hood. I didn't tighten it at first and the straps to adjust it would hang off my shoulders, which was kind of annoying. But after a few times I realized that I need to adjust them enough to fold the hood in half, which I liked because it showed off the contrast of the right and wrong sides. The need to tighten the straps to fold this hood in half is all up to the wearer and their comfort level. After a while I didn't even notice when the strings to adjust the hood were not tightened, and when tandem wearing, the strings hanging on my shoulders actually kept my opposite side baby occupied. (It opened up the opportunity for the girls to learn about "up and down" as well as "tight and loose.")
One thing that stood out to me about the BB Tai that sets it apart from not only mei tais, but carriers in general, is the built in (and removable) infant insert. This insert is held stable with an intense velcro strip on each side of the insert. This insert allows for a younger baby to have a guaranteed seat and stay in place while enjoying the comfort of being so close to their mother/caregiver. I had the opportunity to use this carrier's insert with a 9lbs, 7 week old baby. (I have also used a different brand of mei tai with a 3 day old (9 lbs) baby in the past.) At first, I wasn't so sure about the necessity of the infant insert. It seemed to be placed super high up on the carrier and a tad overwhelming. I tied the carrier around my waist, and then laid the panel on a flat surface (the sofa), gently placed his legs into the opening, and slowly lowered him in. It was definitely not what I expected the first time I tried it. (Order of trial: first with the insert, then without the insert, and again for a third time with the insert.) On my first go, I didn't see the point in having to utilize it UNTIL I tried the carrier without the insert. I noticed without the insert that he was lower and while the carrier kept him in place (thanks to the wrap straps), he seemed to be more "swimmy" in it than with the insert. (Note the feet in the photo comparison below.) On the third try, I could feel how much more secure he was. It was easier to get him close enough to kiss, and really put the potential longevity of use for the BB Tai into perspective.
Overall, I really love the BB Tai, and especially for being a WCMT, you really can't beat the price point ($119). Being able to use this carrier comfortably from 8lbs through toddlerhood is a huge plus because it can (in the long run) save you a lot of money and the headache of having to "upgrade" to a bigger kid size friendly carrier. It also makes tandem wearing easy and enjoyable, thanks to the wide wrap straps helping distribute the weight.
A few extra side notes about the BB Tai:
- The BB Tai is also a plus-sized wearer friendly option. Thanks to the extra long straps, wearers with a base size of 7/8 will likely find that they will be able to wrap the straps around the front to the back, unlike other mei tais that limit the option of only being able to tie under the bum (TUB).
- The BB Tai comes with a matching zippered over-the-shoulder bag for storage. The best part about this is that the bag makes for a great tote/diaper bag if you are wanting to feel a little extra snazzy and "accessorize."