Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to get things done around the house when you have a little baby: Review of the Moby Wrap

Having grown up in a house with babies and small children, I learned how to do a lot of things with a baby on my hip. I watched my mother do amazing things in the kitchen with a baby in her arms. However, there are some things that you just need two hands for. If you are a mom, you have probably been there. For example, when washing dishes it takes SIGNIFICANTLY longer when you have one hand. Some people will tell you to put the baby on the floor, in a swing, car seat, or bouncy seat. I do think that there is a time that is appropriate for baby to be on the floor, or to use baby swings, car seats, and bouncers, but my baby doesn't like the swing, we use the car seat as little as possible, and I usually put her in the bouncer when I'm in the shower or eating soup and really can't hold her. I don't want her to get a flat head and honestly, I just want her with me so I can smell her and feel her and talk to her...but dishes don't wash themselves. Don't worry folks, this is where baby-wearing comes in.

You have probably seen baby carriers before. I was familiar with standard front-packs and the aluminum-framed Gerry carrier that mum would put us in - used much like a backpack. I actually have fond memories of being carried in mum's backpack...well, I remember putting my feet on the bar in the back and trying to stand and her telling me to sit back down or she would have to take me out of the backpack. I had never seen a wrap carrier when I was growing up. Basically, it is about 5 yards of fabric that is can be wrapped around your body in a number of ways to form a very comfortable, secure, and adjustable baby carrier. When I was putting together my registry, I spent a good deal of time researching wrap carriers and deciding which one would be best for our family. I read numerous reviews and blogs and watched you-tube videos of people putting on the wraps and using them. I thought about making my own wrap carrier by serging the edges of five yards of fabric, but decided against it once I saw the price of fabric at the store that wasn't even as nice as "real" wrap fabric. Also, I don't have a serger. After much debate, I decided on a Moby Wrap, and I have not regretted that decision.

The biggest reason that I chose the Moby Wrap is because it is a slightly stretchy jersey-knit 100% cotton material, much like a sturdy t-shirt, but the fabric is thicker and sturdier than most of the other wraps on the market. There are woven wraps, and people love them, but I wanted  my baby carrier to have the comfort that comes with a stretchy carrier. It comes in organic cotton, prints, designs, a modern color palette, and a UV protection material as well. Mine is the original. The Moby is a wide piece of fabric and crosses over the shoulders and across in the back, so baby's weight is evenly distributed across your shoulders and back, so you can wear your baby for hours and hardly notice. The Moby Wrap is absolutely awesome for newborns, and even at 9-months, my baby girl still loves it. Our daughter was notorious for falling asleep in the Moby Wrap, sometimes within mere minutes of putting her in. She loved the secure feeling of the wrap around her, and being so close to mum, daddy, or auntie. The theory is that the wrap is reminiscent of the womb, much like swaddling is, but unlike a swaddled baby in a crib, the baby still feels mum breathe, walk, and talk etc. It makes sense that she'd love it! It can calm fussy babies right down. Some babies with digestive or gas issues do really well sleeping upright in the Moby even if they can't sleep laying down in a crib. For extra skin-on-skin time around the house with baby, you can use the Moby Wrap with baby in just a diaper and no shirt between you. Using the newborn hug hold (as shown in the first picture in this post), there is a minimal amount of fabric between you and baby, and baby can keep her legs frogged up together under her the way that she likes them instead of forcing her to keep them apart! The Moby Wrap covers enough of your skin that around the house, you aren't revealing much besides your armpits, and some of your back. You can even nurse in the Moby Wrap!

Is the carrier safe and secure? Absolutely. I would suggest practicing putting the wrap on a few times in front of a mirror to understand the mechanics and make sure you have it right before you put the baby in. Some people have expressed that wrap carriers are confusing and hard to use, but I disagree. I think that a wrap is very intuitive to use and there aren't any clips, clasps, straps or adjusters. As with any baby carrier, there is always room for human error, so use common sense and make sure that baby is in the carrier properly and can breathe easily with her face visible at all times. If it is on correctly and tight enough and the baby is in it properly, you can have both hands free and still have baby super close! There are many ways to use the Moby Wrap. We use the hug hold now, but we loved the newborn hug hold when she was tiny. There are detailed instructions available here on the Moby Wrap website. If baby is sleeping, you can secure her head with fabric too, making sure that her face is always visible and close enough to kiss. In the picture of my husband to the right, you can see that the baby has slid to the side slightly after a long afternoon in the woods, but her face is up and visible (to him, not to us) and her head is supported by the wrap. The Moby Wrap is also machine washable - ours has been washed several times and still looks new. I do find that it is hard to eat neatly in the Moby Wrap. When I was trying to eat a dough boy at the fair, my poor girl ended up with quite a bit of powdered sugar in her hair.

The Moby Wrap is not bulky, so it works well for walks outside in the fall and winter when you might need a fleece or a jacket. I usually put the wrap on first and once the baby is in it, I put my husband's coat over both of us. She is secure and warm and all she needs is a hat. It does get hot and sweaty using a Moby Wrap to hold you little heater close in the hottest part of summer, so use your best judgement to make sure that you and baby don't overheat!

Wraps are also great for carrying your baby in crowded areas, like family reunions. My daughter can only handle being passed around so much before she gets overstimulated and cries. When the baby is in the carrier, people are far less likely to ask to hold her, so I don't have to say "no" quite as much. Sometimes I'll have her start out in the wrap and then take her out once she is used to her surroundings, other times I will pass her around a bit and put her in the wrap when she is done. The same wrap can be used my my sisters or my husband without messing with adjustments, since we put it on "from scratch" each time. There have also been times that the wrap has functioned as a piece of cloth - whether it be a blanket, a nursing cover, or a changing pad.

The Moby Wrap can be used with newborns up through 45lbs.  Personally, I doubt that I will still use it for my 45lb daughter because I prefer using soft-structured buckle carriers for toddlers, but that is a topic for a separate post. I really feel that the wrap is unbeatable for newborns and small babies.

Do you wear your baby? What carriers do you prefer?

It is important to note that we received our Moby Wrap as a baby shower gift from our friends. I was not compensated in any way for this review and I am not associated with the Moby Wrap company. My opinions are my own. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Heidi, I like the mom actually made me one. Both my girls lived in this until about 3 months or so. For Emma we spent the money to get a structured carrier because she wouldnt Ever be content unless she was held. Thankfully she outgrew that at about 7 months. We used Lillebaby baby carrier and I really like it. Its made my life (and emmas) so much better!