Have you ever heard of the term “baby wearing“? It basically means holding your baby with the assistance of a cloth carrier. Did you know that baby wearing is one of the best things you can do for the “structural, neurological, physiological, and emotional development” of your baby? (Learn more here.)
According to MobyWrap.com, baby wearing can promote secure emotional attachment, lower the incidence of illness, increase hormone levels that contribute to good breastfeeding and milk production, allow fathers to provide soothing comfort, reduce the risk of developing a flat spot on the back of the head, increase language acquisition, advance social development, provide a sense of neurological organization, help establish independence, make caring for an older sibling much easier, and reduce crying (AMEN!).
While baby wearing is a practice that, in most cases, is in the best interest of you and your baby, you should know that not all baby wearing products are created equal.
So this month I wanted to feature a product that will help you wear your baby in comfort and style, while also keeping her and you safe.
Meet the Moby Wrap.
The Moby Wrap is a long piece of cotton stretch fabric that is used for wearing babies and toddlers from 8-35 pounds (newborn to approximately 3 years old). It has won over a dozen awards, has been used in hospitals and neonatal intensive care units (NICU) to promote skin-to-skin contact, and encourages good ergonomics for both the baby and the wearer.
I somehow heard about the Moby Wrap before my first baby was born and I was so intrigued by it that I ended up putting it on my baby registry. Holy moly, am I glad I did. Turns out our sweet little newborn had a colicky side to him that reared its ugly head. A LOT.
The Moby Wrap became one of our go-to tools during those first three months of parenthood because it was one of the only things that would put him to sleep, or at least calm him down so we could get the ringing in our ears to stop after all the screaming he’d been doing. My first little guy practically lived in the Moby during his early months. And you know what? Baby two wasn’t much different. (Maybe they were ganging up on us.) He has been very much the same way.
My experience with my two boys has made me such a believer in the Moby Wrap that I really felt strongly that I needed to feature it as Mama OT’s Product of the Month at some point. Well, it’s your lucky month!
Some of the links below are my referral links, which means if you click over and wind up making a purchase, you will get a great product and Mama OT will receive a small commission to keep this blog running, at no extra cost to you…thank you! Read my full disclosure here.
Here are 15 reasons you should consider using a Moby Wrap to carry and calm your baby:
1. It’s comfortable for the adult. The Moby Wrap uses a wide piece of fabric to evenly distribute baby’s weight between both of your shoulders and your back, so it is super comfortable. There are no buckles, straps, or fasteners to uncomfortably press into your shoulders or back. Many other baby carriers have relatively narrow straps and place most of the carrier’s weight on your shoulders, sometimes even on just one shoulder. I’ve worn both of these kinds, and I can tell you that they hurt after not too long, even if they’re “padded”. Even if the packaging says it distributes the weight well (such as with the Baby Björn), it really doesn’t. Your shoulders start to hurt from having those straps dig into your muscles as your ever-growing baby dangles from your front. You don’t run into that problem with the Moby.
2. It’s comfortable for the baby because it places his spine and hips in a good position. You know how babies start out in the fetal position? Well, babies should be worn in a position that allows their developing spine to remain in that natural C-shape (this is why you should generally avoid using a Baby Björn or similar carriers, which place baby’s spine in a straight up-and-down position).
Babies should also be worn in a position that places them tummy-to-tummy with the adult and puts their legs in either a frog-like position (for younger babies) or wraps baby’s legs around the adult’s waist while supporting their legs with fabric all the way to the knee. This supports and protects their hips from a potentially painful and life-altering condition called “hip dysplasia“. Both of these good leg positions are demonstrated in the photos above (click on the images to be taken to each product). Carriers like the Baby Björn and Infantino Baby Carrier do not support baby’s hips in a healthy position, but both of these good positions are encouraged when you use the Moby Wrap.
3. It’s comfortable and calming for baby due to the stretchy nature of the fabric. I have owned a couple other baby carriers, and none of them stretch and move like the Moby. And if your baby craves being bounced while held in order to calm (like both of mine!), you are going to want a baby carrier that stretches a bit so that bouncing is calming for your baby rather than pain-inducing.
4. It provides a swaddling sensation for baby and can calm her when almost nothing else will. I’ll be honest, this is the primary reason why I use the Moby Wrap. Forget the late night car rides, mechanical baby swing, or super expensive robot mom. When it comes to calming my baby, THE MOBY WRAP WORKS. Period. In fact, the word “Moby” has become a verb in our household, as in, “I’m going to Moby him so he will calm him down.” Yep. I can remember many a night spent wearing my screaming baby in the Moby while bouncing up and down on an exercise ball and patting him on the back in order to calm him down. When it comes to fussy — even colicky — babies, the Moby gets the job done.
5. It allows your baby to be worn in a variety of positions (and prevents you from wearing him in a forward facing position), all of which are good for his growing body. Did you know it’s actually not great to wear your baby in a forward facing position, mostly because it is bad for baby’s body? Read more here and here. The Moby Wrap generally does not encourage wearing your baby in a forward-facing position, which is good! Rather, it encourages you to wear him in a tummy-to-tummy or side hip-hold position. Both of these positions are better than facing your baby forward while he is being worn. I will say that it is possible to wear your baby forward in the Moby. If, for some reason, you absolutely must hold your 4+ month-old baby in a front-facing position while in the Moby, opt for the Lotus hold instead of the Joey hold (find both of them here).
6. It allows you to nurse your baby while still being worn. Nursing your baby while wearing her in the Moby can take a little practice, but you can nurse on-demand if you think ahead and are prepared.
7. It allows him access to his hands so he can self soothe. Baby’s hands aren’t removed from his mouth by being stuffed into little arm holes on the sides like they are in other baby carriers. This is important when it comes to both body awareness (baby knowing where her hands are) and self-soothing.
8. It’s easier to use than it looks. The number one reason people I know give for not using or trying the Moby is, “It’s too complicated to use.” People get intimidated when they pull that super long piece of fabric out of the bag and then look at the instructions. Look, guys. It’s not hard. I tell everyone that, when you put on a Moby Wrap, all you do is just make two X’s — one in the back and one in the front. Then you tie it off and you’re done. It’s really very simple. Kind of like learning to tie your shoes…practice a few times and then, once you learn it, you’ll never forget it.
Click here to watch a short video with basic instructions on how to put on a Moby Wrap. Then learn how to put your baby in the Moby using my personal favorite, the Newborn Hug Hold (starting at 8 pounds, watch video here), as well as the Kangaroo Hold (starting at 8 pounds, watch video here), regular Hug Hold (starting at 3-4 months, watch video here), and side Hip Hold (starting at 5+ months).
9. It’s one-size-fits-most. This allows mom, dad, grandma, babysitter — whoever! — to wear and carry your baby whenever necessary. This is a great feature. Other baby carriers that are similar to the Moby (such as the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier) require you to order a specific size, which basically means mom becomes the sole baby wearer and baby soother. Hey, dads need to help, too! Moms aren’t the only ones who should be working to get baby to calm down at midnight after he has been screaming for hours on end.
10. It grows with your baby. Because the Moby Wrap is basically a really long piece of fabric, its size is naturally adjusted as your baby grows. As mentioned previously, it is made to hold children from 8-35 pounds, which means you can use the same Moby Wrap all the way from birth through toddlerhood. Yay!
11. It allows you to keep your hands free while keeping baby secure. Baby slings with an adjustable ring are great but, to me, they don’t feel quite as secure as the Moby. This means I always have to keep at least one hand on baby while in the ring sling no matter what I’m doing, which kind of defeats the purpose of a hands-free carrier. With the Moby, I have been able to do things like go grocery shopping or put my toddler in and out of his car seat or carry a gazillion things at once while also carrying my baby in the Moby at the same time. Super helpful.
12. It can hold twins. Seriously!!! And in more than one way! Follow step-by-step instructions here and/or watch this amusingly dry video of a dad figuring out how to put his newborn twins in the Moby here.
13. It is easy to clean. If you wear your baby, your carrier WILL get baby vomit or baby poop on it…or both. All you have to do to clean the Moby is toss it in the wash. That’s it. You can even put it in the dryer just like you would your towels or sheets. Done and done.
14. It is available in a variety of colors, patterns, UV protection, and even sports teams! Go for girly pink or purple. Pick a more neutral color like black, brown, green, slate, or navy. Find a design or theme you love such as flowers, owls, plaid, or even your favorite baseball team (seriously!). Or choose a UV-protected SPF 50+ or light colored wrap (such as natural, lilac, or moss) to ward off the rays and heat of the sun.
15. It is cheaper than many other “fancy” baby carriers. This is an important reason, isn’t it?! Why spend close to a hundred dollars or more on a baby carrier that won’t be as good for you or your baby as the Moby? Save your money for cute baby outfits and opt for the versatile, safe, healthy Moby Wrap.
I’m not saying that the Moby Wrap is the only way to wear your baby. There are other baby carriers out there that can be good for both baby and adult. However, I am a huge believer in the Moby Wrap and have had such success with it that I find myself recommending it to friends and readers all the time. So if you’re in the market for a baby carrier for yourself, a friend, or a family member, take a look at the Moby. You’ll be glad you did!