Baby Hawk Mei Tai Dragonfly Review

This carrier is:

  • Baby Hawk brand.
  • Mei Tai (an Asian-style carrier).
  • 100% cotton.

Words I would use to describe this carrier:

  • basic
  • simple
  • supportive
  • stiff when new
  • lightweight

We would be thrilled if you would add YOUR OWN review of this carrier! Reader reviews located at the end of the post near the comments section.

The Baby Hawk has been manufactured for many years now, and has stood the test of time. It is a simple, basic mei tai, with a headrest and no hood. It makes a good entry-level mei tai, or a good backup / beater / car-carrier-emergency, stuffed in the car somewhere. The straps are wider than most other narrow-strap mei tais, and padded with just the right amount of padding. It fit my toddler (although I  would say he is outgrowing it), and could be used with small babies as well, if some manual adjustments are made.

It can be worn in a front, back, or hip carry.

FABRIC

The Baby Hawk comes in huge variety of fabric colors and patterns. The basic structure is a heavyweight cotton canvas for the straps, waistband, and frame of body panel (also interior of body panel), with a decorative patterned piece in the center. There are many variations on this, both in fabric (some minky soft!) and color and style (some have full panels instead of the framed panel. The canvas is not rough enough to hurt anyone, but it isn’t soft like higher-end mei tais or woven wraps can be. It’s canvas. If the carrier is used, and “broken in”, the fabric will be softer and more flexible (thus more comfortable typically). When brand new, it can be stiff and a little rough.

It is 100% cotton. With multiple washings, the deep color of the cotton canvas will fade. This is typical of any carrier I’ve owned, of any brand, made from cotton canvas.

SIZING

This carrier is one-size, without manufacturer adjustments. Without modification, it should fit children approximately 6 to 18 months, depending on height and weight.

There are many ways to adjust a basic mei tai such as this, to achieve a good fit for a range of ages of children. It is best to receive help from a babywearing educator, when modifying a carrier. Some of these methods are encouraged, or discouraged, by some educators. Use common sense as a parent, when adjusting any carrier, and get help if possible. Fabric should never be over baby’s face, baby’s head should be visible, and located “high enough to kiss” on the parent’s chest.

One option is folding/rolling the waistband upward once or multiple times. This will shorten the usable height of the body panel, to better fit a smaller infant. The waistband can be folded inward or outward, as either option achieves a different fit. I prefer to fold outward (away from my body) when rolling a waistband on a mei tai.

Another option is adding something like a cloth diaper or receiving blanket under baby’s bum, inside the carrier. This raises the baby up inside the body panel, to a better height within the body panel of the carrier. I have found this to be a little tricky and not my favorite for a mei tai.

A newborn has a very narrow crotch area, perhaps 6-8 inches from knee-to-knee. Since this mei tai is 15.5″ wide, narrowing it will be helpful to better fit an infant. This can be done by tying something, such as a ribbon, around the part of the body panel that goes between baby’s legs. This will hold the mei tai at a width more comfortable for the child.

Please adjust any carrier at your own risk, and preferably with help, if you are a new user. It isn’t hard to make adjustments, but there are some safety tips that are useful to learn, when learning a new carrier, or learning babywearing overall.

EXPERIENCE

My eighteen month old shown in photos is 23 lb and 33 inches tall.  While is no longer quite knee-to-knee in the carrier, he is still supported by it. It was easy to get a REALLY high back carry with him, so he could see over my shoulder.

It was surprisingly comfortable, even with a toddler this heavy, in a basic back carry (with ruck straps). The shoulder padding is not too thick or too thin, and felt comfortable on my shoulders. My toddler loved being able to look around, since he is used to being worn in a buckle carrier that sits him lower on my back.

BODY PANEL

The body panel is flat in a rectangular shape. It has a border or frame of solid-colored fabric, with a center panel of decorative fabric. The border colors and decorative patterned fabrics come in a huge variety, and have changed over the years. They can also be ordered new, in a customized combination. The top of the body panel is thickly padded to create a headrest and head support for a small baby or sleeping baby.

15.5″ wide

14″ tall from arms-out top of body panel to top of waistband

6″ tall padded headrest section (3″ of that taller than arms-out measurement)

8-11″ wide padded headrest section

3″ tall unpadded waistband (sometimes will act as part of body panel height, since baby’s body can sink into this area)

20″ tall from top of headrest to bottom of waistband (this is total height, not usable height)

WAISTBAND

The waistband is unpadded. It is two layers of fabric at the base of the body panel, extending into long straps with tapered ends. It is made from cotton canvas.

3.5″ tall underneath body panel, unpadded

29″ waist strap on either side

73″ total waistbelt end to end (tapered ends)

SHOULDER STRAPS

The shoulder straps have a padded section, then an unpadded section. They are two layers of fabric attached at an angle to the body panel, extending into long straps with tapered ends. They are made from cotton canvas.

3.5″ wide padded section

4″ wide unpadded section

16″ long padded section

54″ long unpadded section

70″ total shoulder strap (tapered ends)

We would be thrilled if you would add YOUR OWN review of this carrier! Reader reviews located at the end of the post near the comments section.

 

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