Diva Milano Essenza Mei Tai | Argento | Wrap Conversion Mei Tai WCTM | Review

 

This carrier is:

  • Diva Milano brand.
  • Mei Tai (an Asian-style carrier).
  • Wrap conversion mei tai (WCMT), meaning sewn from a woven wrap.
  • Manufacturer made (the same manufacturer who weaves and sells the woven wraps, sews and sells these carriers).
  • 100% cotton.
  • “Argento” is the name of the silvery grey and white color.

Words I would use to describe this carrier:

  • textured
  • soft
  • adjustable
  • thin
  • elegant

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.

With my second child, I used mei tais almost exclusively for his first six months of life. Of all the brands I tried, the Diva Milano was hands-down the best for a newborn. The body panel is the smallest of all the mei tais I tried, and the cinching mechanisms allow it to become even smaller, for a tiny newborn. The body panel cinches both top and bottom – less common even for adjustable mei tais. The top cinch ends up providing head support for a floppy newborn. It was the only carrier I tried with my newborn, where I did not feel the need to support his newborn head when he fell asleep.

In the Smeraldo photos, my baby is about three weeks old. I have the waist of the mei tai rolled up slightly to shorten the body panel. In the Argento photos, my baby is about five months old.

The waist and shoulder straps are some of the longest of mei tais I’ve tried.

The fabric is thin, and there is no waistband. Once my baby reached about 14 lb, I felt the waist strap pressing into my hips uncomfortably. At that point, I was more comfortable in a mei tai with either thicker fabric waist straps, or a padded waist band.

Since the body panel is so small, I would not expect it to fit a child older than one year, and it might also be uncomfortable for the wearer at that age, due to the weight of the child on the thin waist straps.

SIZING

Best for newborn through about one year old.

Body panel is one of the smallest here, which means it fits an infant better, and a toddler not at all.

Diva Milano changed the body panel in 2014, as stated by websites who sell their carriers in the U.S. The original Essenza mei tai was approximately 14×14 inches, and the newer ones approximately 15×15 inches. If purchasing a used one, I would ask for measurements to verify the sizing.

HIGHLIGHTS

Body panel cinches top and bottom, and has elastic on the sides. The small size held a small baby perfectly. The cinching at the top of the body panel provided fantastic head support for a newborn lacking head control. Newborns tend to roll their heads back or sideways since they don’t have head control.  This was the only carrier that completely supported my newborn’s head. In other carriers I sometimes needed to adjust the hood periodically, or even hold his sleeping head up with my hand.

Elegant woven fabric in a paisley-type pattern.  Fabric comes in only one pattern and thickness, but in a variety of vibrant colors.

Fabric is thin and neither too grippy or too slippery.  It is sturdy for how thin it, and has just the right amount of diagonal stretch.  This is important for brand newborns or preemies who need the support of a strong (not stretchy) fabric. (Keep in mind that preemie wearing has special considerations and is definitely a good opportunity to consult a babywearing educator).

Fabric is particularly breathable and light for hot weather.

Waist and shoulder straps are extra long.

CONSIDERATIONS

Waist straps are narrow, and combined with the thinness of the fabric, can dig into the wearer’s waist when baby gets heavier.  I had mild discomfort from the pressure of the waist strap after my baby exceeded 16 lb or so.  Prior to that, it was not an issue at all.

Small body panel size will not support a toddler.  This isn’t a carrier to last from newborn through two years old. I have seen a photo of someone wearing it with their two year old, and am still trying to figure out how they made that work!

MEASUREMENTS – BODY

Body Panel Structure – cinches at base and top of body panel, elastic on sides of body panel

Body Panel Width – 14″ wide old model (prior to 2014), 15″ wide new model, cinches to 5″ wide at base and 6″ wide at top of panel

Body Panel Height – 14″ tall old model, 15″ tall new model

MEASUREMENTS – WAIST

Waist Band Structure – unstructured, no defined waist, double layer of fabric throughout, thin fabric, thin straps, can get diggy

Waist Band Height – 3″ tall / wide

Waist Band Length – 34″ from where body panel ends, to end of one side (making a total of 82″ of waist from end to end)

MEASUREMENTS – SHOULDER STRAP

Shoulder Strap Structure – Single layer of fabric, unpadded wrap strap style shoulders, box pleat attachment to body panel

Shoulder Strap Width – 8.5″

Shoulder Strap Length – 83″ long from shoulder to short taper, 87″ long from shoulder to long taper

MEASUREMENTS – HOOD

Hood Style – double layer, flat (not cinching)

Hood Height – 8.5″

Hood Width – 9″ wide at base tapers to 12″ wide at top

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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