COTM: Meh Dai Front Carry May 2017

Carry of the Month (COTM) is an ongoing feature for the BWIP blog and Facebook group. Each month one of the Volunteer Babywearing Educators (VBEs) will choose a wrap carry or carrier to showcase and write a blog post with instructions or videos. At our monthly meetings throughout the valley, we will designate time to demonstrate the carry or carrier in person and answer your questions. Feel free to join in on the fun! Post pictures of you trying out the COTM in the Facebook group or email us your entry. Check out the bottom of this post for the prize raffled off for participation this month!

The Carry of the Month for May 2017 is the Meh Dai or Bei Dai front carry, demonstrated here by LaKeta Kemp, a Volunteer Babywearing Educator for Babywearing International of Phoenix. 

The Meh Dai/Bei Dai is a traditional East Asian carrier.  It has a body panel with two shorter waist straps and two longer shoulder straps.  This carrier is easily adjusted to use from birth.  It can be used for front, hip, or back carries.  This tutorial focuses on the front carry.  You can see Meh Dai/Bei Dai hip carries in our COTM post here and back carries in our COTM post here.  

This carrier style used to be incorrectly referred to as a Mei Tai.  We are using the correct terminology now as recommended by the statement at #NotYourPodBuTai.  You can read the statement here and Babywearing International's statement in support of this statement here.  

Completing the Carry

A note about image descriptions in this post:  The majority of the pictures in this post are described by the text of the blog post.  When the pictures are no longer described by the text, image descriptions will resume.  

LaKeta will be demonstrating this Meh Dai with a newborn sized demo doll and a CatBird Baby Meh Dai.  

Because the demo baby is small, LaKeta rolls the waistband so the body panel will be shorter.  If your baby is larger, skip this step.  

Place the carrier around your waist so it hangs down like an apron.  The front/right side of the carrier should be facing you and the warning labels should be facing out.  You can see the decorative panel showing on LaKeta because she has rolled the waistband.

Tie your waist straps with a double knot.

Bring your body panel up over your chest and throw the long shoulder straps over your shoulders.   

Cross  the shoulder straps on your back.  

Take the end of each strap in your hands and pull them out and around to your front.  Pin them between your legs or tie a loose knot to keep them in place while putting baby into the carrier.

Pull your body panel out to make space for baby.

Pick up your baby and put him on your shoulder.

Reaching your arm through the body panel, guide your baby's legs down into the carrier.  

Set your baby down into the body panel. 

Pull up on the body panel to make sure fabric is not bunched underneath baby.  

Adjust the sides of the body panel as needed to make sure baby's legs are able to swing freely at the knee.  

Next we will adjust your shoulder straps.  Take one strap and pull back and out, tightening up your body panel and making sure it lays flat across your back.  

Bring the strap around the front of the body panel, over baby's leg.

The strap should cross baby's bottom diagonally.

Next, pull the strap under the opposite leg.  

When properly placed, the shoulder strap should pin the side of the body panel shut just at the top of the diaper area.  You don't want to place pressure higher up on baby's spine.   

Repeat the above steps with the other shoulder strap.  

Bring the shoulder straps around to your back.  

Tie the straps with a double knot.  

It is a good idea to always tie your shoulder strap knot in the same spot, either above or below the waist strap knot.  This will help you find the correct knot to untie first when you are removing the carrier. 

Take a moment to check each shoulder strap.  Make sure it is spread flat and lays comfortably across your back and baby's back.  

Pull any slack around to the knot.  Repeat this with the other shoulder strap.  

Retie your shoulder straps to use up any slack you brought around.

You are done!  Take a picture and enter our contest by posting it on our Facebook post or sending an email to

Image description: Picture shows a back view of the finished carry.  LaKeta is facing away from the camera.  You can see tan straps crossing over her shoulderblades and tied straps at her waist.  Tall grass are visible behind her and a strip of blue sky is across the top of the photo.  

Image description: Picture shows a side view of the finished carry.  LaKeta is turned toward the left side of the picture.  You can see the Meh Dai tied on her front with the baby doll's head, arm, and leg peeking out of the carrier.  Tall grass is visible behind her and a strip of blue sky is across the top of the photo.  

Image description: Picture shows a front view of the finished carry.  LaKeta is facing the camera.  She is wearing the tan Meh Dai with a white chevron body panel on her front.  A baby doll is in the Meh Dai.  LaKeta is touching the baby doll's feet.  Tall grass is visible behind her and a strip of blue sky is across the top of the photo.  
If you would like to watch a video of this carry, visit Babywearing International's Resource page for Meh Dai videos here

Image description: Picture shows a children's book called "Carried on your Back" by Ida Therén.  The book cover features an ilustration of a light skinned woman with short black hair looking back over her shoulder.  She wears a white dress and holds a bunch of blue flowers in her hand.  She is also wearing a purple wrap on her back which holds a small baby with light skin and black hair.  The baby is smiling and looking at the woman.  The book is resting on an orange and yellow striped woven wrap.  
The prize for the Carry of the Month is a copy of Carried On Your Back by Ida Therén.  This charming children's book celebrates the special babywearing bond between a mother and child.  To enter to win, simply post a photo of you trying out a Meh Dai front carry on the COTM thread in our Facebook group.  If you're not on Facebook email your entry to us at

(Valid only for Arizona residents. Winner is responsible for pick up or any shipping costs.)

At the end of the month we will draw a winner. To earn additional entries, you can post a new picture of you trying it out every day.

Disclaimer: Any tutorials or advice given on this blog by Babywearing International of Phoenix or representatives of BWI of Phoenix are to be used at your own risk. Please use caution when attempting any of the carries highlighted on this blog and using any of the carriers discussed on this blog. Some of the information or advice may put some users of this site at risk due to health issues, physical limitations, or misuse. If you or your child have health issues or physical limitations, please discuss the appropriateness of the carry or carrier with your health care practitioner. BWI of Phoenix cannot be held accountable for any injuries sustained by the reader when attempting these carries or using these carriers.

Our contributing author this month is Lauren Maynard.  Lauren is an Advanced Babywearing Educator with Babywearing International of Phoenix.  She loves trying out new carriers with her preschool aged daughter and newborn son.  Lauren regularly attends the weekend and central meetings.


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About BWI of Phoenix

The Phoenix, AZ chapter of Babywearing International meets several times a month at various locations throughout the Valley. There is a lending library from which members can check out different styles and brands of carriers. Visitors to the meeting are welcome to try on and receive instruction on those carriers from our Volunteer Babywearing Educators. BWI Phoenix strives to educate and encourage parents and caregivers in carrying their babies and children. Each of the volunteers believes that babywearing promotes bonding, learning and growing together. You can join BWIP at any meeting for just $30/year (tax-deductible) and take advantage of member benefits, which include being able to borrow any carrier in our library for up to a month at a time.

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