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Meh Dai Tutorial

What is a Meh Dai?

Pronounced "MAY-dye." May also be called a "Bei dai." Formerly referred to a " mei tai" (which is still used by some commercial brands); this spelling and pronunciation, however, is not accurate to the carrier's history and should be avoided.

Traditional Chinese origin.

Sash_Mei_Tai_Carrier_with_Damask_Print.jpg new-size-fidella-fly-tai-mei-tai-babycarrier-blossom-bubble-gum.jpg il_570xN.276068145.jpg

Infantino Sash

Padded Narrow Straps

Image sourced from infantino.com

Fidella Wrap-Strap Mei Dai in Blossom Bubble Gum

Padded-to-wrap straps

Image sourced from fidella.org

Half Buckle Wrap Conversion Meh Dai with hood

Image sourced from Etsy shop Obimama


A rectangular body panel with two long shoulder straps coming out of the top corners diagonally and two shorter waist straps coming out of the bottom corners horizontally. The carrier is tied around the waist hanging down, "wrong-side" out like an apron, and then pulled up over baby. The shoulder straps go over the shoulders, under the arms, and either tie under baby's bum or cross over baby, under baby's legs and then tie.

Good For
  • Front Carries: Good for all ages
  • Hip Carries: Good for babies with strong truck control
  • Back Carries: All ages (for experienced wearers only)
  • Forward Facing: Good for babies with strong head control and decent truck control; usually requires the carrier to be modified/cinched narrower.

Incredibly easy to learn to use. Flexible sizing can fit multiple parents. Offers wrap-like support with the ease of a buckle carrier. Ability (with experience and care to monitor breathing) to back carry newborns safely. Waist-strap and two shoulder straps offer good weight distribution for long wearing. Easy to adjust panel size (by rolling the waistband or cinching the bottom) to fit a newborn.


Panel size is dependent on child's size. Therefore a parent who chooses to wear as their baby reaches toddlerhood or preschooler age may need to upgrade to a toddler-size or preschool-size carrier.

  • Wrap strap: Straps are wide (10"-15") and flat like a woven wrap.
  • Narrow or "Tube" strap: Straps are sewn into a flattened tube (narrower, usually around 4", and double layered.)
  • Padded straps: Section of the shoulder straps closest to the body panel include padding, usually either fleece or open cell foam.
  • Half-buckle: Waist straps include a buckle closure instead of a tie closure.
  • Ring-waist: One waist strap is replaced by double sling rings, which the other waist strap is threaded through like a D-ring belt.

Body panel size is based on child's size. Body panel should be tall enough to reach at least up to baby's armpits but not so tall that baby's airway is obstructed. (The waist band can be "rolled" an extra time to shorten a too-tall panel.) The width should be wide enough to support baby's legs from knee-pit to knee-pit, while still allowing the legs to swing freely at the knee. (The body panel can be cinched with a ribbon or hair tie to make it narrower for smaller babies.) The strap length is determined by the wearer's size. Most mei tai strap lengths are considered one-size-fits-most.

How to Use

External Tutorials

If you are interested in drafting your own pattern, check out the construction basics (specifically x boxes and body panel layers) and the basic measurements of straps and body panels.

A basic beginner's tutorial: Meh_Dai_Wrap_Strap_Basic.pdf This tutorial is a great place to start if you want to combine elements from different tutorials. Start here, and use other tutorials to figure out how to add shaping to your body panel, padding to your shoulder straps, a ring waist, or other features.

Watch our Sew Along videos in our Facebook group by searching the group for "#sewalong #mehdai" (must be a member to watch.)

Tutorials and external Links:

-- Alyssa Leonard - 2016-07-16

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Topic revision: r8 - 2018-02-25 - AlyssaLeonard
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