Solly, Boba and Moby, Oh My! Your guide to baby wearing.
The idea of baby wearing has been around for centuries! Snuggling your baby while still having two free hands is genius, but one of the most FAQ’s I get as a postpartum doula is “Which wrap do you recommend?” While we don’t necessarily have a favorite, we thought we would break down the difference between a few of them and make some recommendations along the way.
First, let’s begin with some benefits of babywearing. If you’ve never considered wearing your baby, you are definitely missing out! Besides the obvious benefit of having two free hands to complete your daily tasks there are also many other reasons to consider it.
- Having close physical contact, with a newborn in particular, can increase the mothers’ oxytocin levels helping with your breastfeeding relationship, building a strong maternal bond and reducing the risk of postpartum depression.
- Wearing your baby takes the pressure off the back of baby’s head, reducing the risk of positional plagiocephaly, also known as “flat head syndrome”
- According to Dr. Sears, it also helps with social development. Babies who are worn are closer to people and can study facial expressions, learn languages faster and be familiar with body language.
- Keeps away germs. When taking your baby out in a wrap people are less likely to try and touch your baby. This can be especially important during cold and flu season.
- Makes breastfeeding easier. Wearing your baby allows you to breastfeed hands free and also creates more privacy.
As with anything else baby related there are, of course, some safety measures you need to be aware of:
- Always be sure baby are maintaining a good, open airway. Babies head should be close enough to kiss and fabric should never cover babies face or mouth. Additionally, their chin should not be resting on their chest. The general rule of thumb is a space of two adult fingers between chin and chest. Until baby can maintain good head and neck control it is best to turn their head to one side with their cheek resting against your chest.
- Babies should be kept tight into your body without any loose or slack fabric. A slack fabric will allow baby to slouch or slump down.
- Support head and neck. Until your little one can support his or her own neck, which usually happens around 4 months, be sure that the carrier is doing the work for them. That means the wrap is high enough to keep the babies head and neck supported. Babies should be in a front inward position until they are able to control their own head and neck.
- Always read labels and be sure you’re following the age, weight and position recommendations.
The Moby Wrap
The Moby Wrap was one of the originals and is a great choice if you can get past the intimidation of what feels like miles of material. An infinite amount of wrap styles are available and lots of You Tube videos are available to help figure the darn thing out. While I love this one for newborns, it tends to sag when used with older babies. Because there is so much fabric it can be cumbersome to have in a diaper bag but because it is made for a wide range to body types it can be used by both parents and caregivers (like your postpartum doula!). The Moby wrap runs about $40.
The Solly Wrap
The Solly Wrap is best described as a buttery soft womb-like environment. Because the fabric tends to be thinner than some of the others on the market it can be a little easier to tie and is also a good option for warmer climates or seasons. Its comes in lots of adorable patterns and stores nicely in your diaper bag without taking up too much space. It is meant to be used for a front inward position and is designed for babies from newborn up to 25 lbs. It is machine washable and its one size fits all. It’s priced at about $65 plus shipping.
The Baby K’tan
Also known as the no-wrap wrap this one seems to be a little more user friendly. It’s basically two pieces of fabric stitched together and can be slipped over your head like a t-shirt. While also lightweight the fabric tends to stretch out a bit after some use, but a quick spin through the wash and it will be back to its normal size. So, if all of that wrapping and tying seems a little scary to you this would be a great option. There are a few different fabrics available so there is something suitable for every climate. Cost: about $50.
The Boba Wrap
The Boba seems to be a fan favorite based on the website reviews. It’s made from soft terry cloth and suitable for a variety of body types. Because of its blend of knit and spandex it is less likely to become stretched out. There are some great tutorials available where you can learn many different wrap styles. It’s suitable for babies up to about 18 months so you will certainly get lots of use out of the Boba. The cost is around $45.
To wrap things up (pun intended!) there are just so many to choose from and it really comes down to personal preference. Finding the right one for you may take some time, but we feel like these are some tried and true options. You can also check out some local mom groups or La Leche League meetings to see if they offer a session on baby wearing. That can be a great place to try different options before investing in one of your own.
Do you have a wrap you love? Drop us a comment and tell us about it. Or feel free to drop us a comment if you would like some help from our experts on baby wearing and wrapping.