I bought this Chimparoo Mei Tai Cotton Carrier and since I couldn’t really find any real reviews of parents using it online who may or may not have been fake parents and were really employees of the company, but I bit the bullet anyway and bought it, with the intention of writing a review on it later.
It is pronounced: MEY – TIE …. not MY – TIE.
It isn’t an alcoholic drink although you might want one after trying to learn how to get your baby in it.
It cost about $116 CAD before taxes, and one thing that made me giggle was the tag on the carrier because it says in English with a little diagram.
Can you spot the (charming) error in English?
Hint: Look under the diagram on the right.
Must have used Google Translate.
They’re Quebecois, so I am not sure who approved those labels to go out in English, but clearly they missed a big error.
Anyway, spelling errors aside, they’re 100% cotton and handmade in Quebec, which is nice.
I bought the organic cotton version which looks like this on the website:
My baby looks nothing like this (obviously fake or drugged) model baby. His head barely clears the top of the carrier.
I also look nothing like this obviously fake Mommy because she is smiling and doesn’t have baby weight or SERIOUS bags under her eyes.
Plus it looks like she got an actual haircut within the past month or so.
I had really wanted an UNDYED carrier because I knew Baby Bun would be gumming and chewing on the straps or something. He always finds a way to eat something, and it’d be great if he wasn’t ingesting dye (even non toxic dye) while I was carrying him.
However, it turned out to be a lot more of a darker tan colour in real life which made me question whether it was dyed or not but it is OBVIOUS it isn’t plain organic cotton because cotton is not tan-coloured.
I know the lighting is all off, but that’s the colour is true-to-colour, more of a medium sandy tan than a very light beige.
EASE OF USE AS DEPICTED BY THE VIDEO DVD
When you first watch the video on the DVD they mail you, you will be marveling at how easy it looks to tie this carrier around your waist, lift your precious bundle of joy and watch his face light up as he realizes he is going into a carrier.
Don’t forget to kiss your baby for good measure because it makes the experience even more bearable and fun (this is what the video has shown me).
See what I mean here:
EASE OF USE IN REALITY
How it REALLY works with this carrier is you watch the video at least 15 times because they don’t bother pausing at certain areas to let you get an idea of how you’re supposed to tie everything at each step (they go through it rather quickly).
After practicing for about 15 minutes, you finally feel confident enough to reach for your Baby Bun only to realize your child is not behaving like the model baby in the DVD video (where do they find these model babies? I swear they’re fake. They must be baby robots).
So after you pick up your baby, he starts squirming, arching his back and giving you this death stare that says very clearly in Baby-Speak:
Mommy, WHAT in the world are you trying to do to me!?
You almost want to give up and just carry him with your arms and hands without any support and risk getting jelly arms after 10 minutes, but you grit your teeth and persevere.
After you wrestle in your squirmy, struggling baby, all while seated and trying to hum nursery tunes to distract him, 15 minutes have passed and you wonder how long more it’ll take before you can actually get up and go for a walk.
Then you realize you put the carrier on backwards, as in the Chimparoo logo should be facing out, not IN.
So you REDO your work, and RE-wrangle your child back into the carrier for round #2.
Now comes the fun part after you’ve realized which way is up, and that is doing the rest of the crossing of the straps, threading and tying of the carrier WITH ONE HAND, while the other one desperately tries to keep your squirmy, wiggly baby in place, and to try and get him to stay calm and excited about being carried in his new cotton Mommy-hands-free prison, when he has been carried like a prince for the past 3 months with two hands and two arms.
You watch the video another 15 times because now you can’t figure out how the loops are supposed to cross.
After you finally see what’s happening, and you manage to thread the straps through the loops on either side, you have to now try and jerk and bounce the baby up to a more comfortable position with your super strong Mommy arm muscles from eating all that late night cheesecake and cookies, gripping onto the straps behind you…
…HAHAH.. HAHAHA.. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH…….BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA….
*wipes tears from eyes*
….and then try to tie a nice, TIGHT knot behind your back to hold your baby in place, otherwise with the way he’s arching his back, he’s liable to fall out of the carrier or snap his neck or whatever, all the while trying to keep your baby still to get this done.
Half an hour later…. SUCCESS!
… Except now you begin to freak out that you haven’t quite positioned him correctly and he’s going to suffocate…. and frankly you can’t figure out where to knot this stupid thing, and why you and your Baby look NOTHING like the model Mommy and Baby in the video.
Commence 2 minutes of checking and prodding, all the while watching your baby get even more annoyed that after all this time, Mommy is STILL not up and walking around to entertain him.
..BUT IT GETS BETTER
I know based on what you’ve read above, it sounds hellish.. but it gets better.
After a little practice (10 times), you kind of get the hang of it, and you learn that you have to sit down with your knees up, have the baby lean against the fronts of your thighs, and lean back a little, while tipping the baby forward to force him to stay higher up on your chest so that the center of gravity is not so low and it will be comfortable to carry him.
For the life of me, I CANNOT fathom why they didn’t show you how to do this in the video, and instead, opted to show you the Advanced Standing Up Ninja Mommy method with Fake Robot Baby Prop, instead.
You may also have to slide your arms through some areas to adjust the straps so that they lay flat against your shoulders.
You’ll get the hang of this after the 10th time or so.
They didn’t call it “Difficulty: Medium” for nuttin’!
HOW DOES IT STACK UP WHILE WALKING WITH HIM IN IT?
Once you get him in it, and you start walking, it’s not so bad.
I kind of worried because I saw his little head bouncing everywhere, but if I squish him TOO tight against my chest, not only do I get annoyed and sweaty, he gets annoyed and sweaty too because he wants to push off my chest with his little arms and see what’s going on.
He is a little bit tiny though, so his head barely clears the top. I think this carrier is better suited to taller / bigger / older babies who have heads who can clear the carrier and see around them, mine just has little eyes peeking out above the top.
I tried to pull out that little cotton head thingamajig that is supposed to be head support but it only infuriated Baby Bun to have even more of his vision blocked by some stupid piece of cloth.
Plus, it robbed him of the chance to lick and gum that piece of cotton.
He is too young and tiny at this moment to try the Front Carry position, so he’ll just have to suck it up until we’re ready.
He seems to enjoy being in the carrier.
He faces the right side and stares at things that go by, I pat his butt and talk to him, describing what we’re doing and what he might be seeing.
A number of times, after about half an hour or an hour and a half when it’s close to nap time, he’ll doze right off in the carrier.
This is both good and bad because while I am a fan of him getting a nap, I still do not have the technique down of getting him OUT of said carrier without waking him up, and giving me the angriest cry face ever, that says: Mommy.. YOU WOKE ME UP. How dare you! You should carry me around for an hour and a half or for as long as I want to nap! DAMN IT ALL TO HELL!
WHAT ABOUT RELEASING YOUR BABY FROM THE CARRIER?
(Or as I am sure he thinks of it, the Cotton-Prison-That-Is-Not-Better-Than-Mommy’s-Two-Free-Arms-and-Hands.)
So if you are out running errands, AWESOME. He will fall asleep and be totally fine and cuddled in the carrier. If you want to feed him and are nursing, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.
I do not know how you will be able to get out of that carrier SAFELY on your own without having to kneel down and to hold your kid with one hand while undoing the straps with the other.
You need someone else to help you if you plan on standing up and doing this, so that your child doesn’t fall.
TRYING OTHER POSITIONS: THE FRONT CARRY
I tried carrying him in front the other day (facing out), and he really REALLY liked it (I never do this when it’s close to nap time because he needs to sleep facing in).
The only problem is that his bum is so small, the edges of the carrier sort of cut into this thighs and knees and cut off circulation (his feet turned purple!!!).
I can’t carry him in front like that without supporting his butt, not until he gets a little fatter / bigger with a wider seat, because it’s just too awkward for how tiny he is at the moment.
The better carry, seems to be facing in, but he hates it because he never gets to see what’s going on and is always pushing off my chest with his little arms in indignation at being forced to be carried facing in.
OTHER THINGS THAT MIGHT BE ANNOYING
Changing his diaper — you have to get him out of the carrier, change him, and get him back into the carrier and repeat that process all over again.
Moving him from a car seat into the carrier — do this only if you have to walk around for an very long period, like an hour or so, anything under half an hour, consider just carrying him in your arms for the duration.
Your baby is right up against you — And in the summer this might get really hot. REALLY hot and sweaty. So your chest will not be happy…
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 3.5/5 stars
Even though I was pretty negative throughout this entire review, I am starting to warm up to this carrier once I got the hang of it.
I think after a bit more practice, I will become a Pro Chimparoo user and will get Baby Bun properly situated in a very short amount of time.
I like that it is TRULY hands free. I do not have to worry about him falling out or anything like that.
I also think once he gets a little bigger it might be easier because right now his head BARELY clears the Chimparoo carrier, and his thighs barely clear the bottom seat of the carrier so I’m always worried he can’t see anything and will get frustrated / wiggly in an attempt to see more of what is going on, and that the carrier is cutting off circulation to his feet.
Finally, the pocket in front is handy. I can slip in a metropass, or a baby cloth and take a little walk without much trouble.
I even managed to carry him and walk around with a shoulder handbag as a diaper bag (my Longchamp Pliage).
As for the other carriers? Well, I prefer this over the Baby Bjorn for these reasons:
- Bjorn is black, and black attracts heat, which makes walking outside in the summer under a hot sun, an INFERNO
- Bjorn has stupid buckles that you have to try and do up on your own with one hand, or release with one hand? No thanks.
- The Bjorn is more expensive and I am not sure how much better it really is.
I don’t regret buying it, so I guess I’d recommend it.
You can buy a Chimparoo in prettier colours here, and I STILL use it on my son who is now well over 30 pounds. He loves it when he’s sick, feeling sad, tired, or insecure and wants Mommy time.
It just takes a while to get used to it, so don’t get frustrated like I did and scream while shaking your fists at the sky (makes for an entertaining Mommy show for the baby though).