Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Moby vs The Maya

If you asked me a year ago how I felt about the Moby or the Maya I would have obviously thought you were asking my opinion on pop music. And I would have responded with some remark like, "Of course! I used to dance to Moby with glow sticks in my hands, and loved Lady Marmalade as much as the next sassy girl."

But nowadays, as is every moment in my life, I am talking about something baby-related.

I love the idea of having your baby strapped to your body - it allows you much needed freedom to do anything from fixing your hair to folding laundry (or as I probably shouldn't share I cooked dinner with her attached to me last night...don't do that at home!). Plus it calms them down instantly (at least in our case), and gives you some extra bonding time - and I think you look like a cool mom too!

When I registered I had no idea what the difference in baby carriers was, and really had only heard of the Bjorn. As I did more research I heard names like Ergo, Hotsling and Moby, and on the advice of the ladies I polled for this blog, I registered for the Ergo and Moby (let's put the Ergo aside for this posts sake - plus I haven't actually used mine yet :).

Fast forward to our "baby school" classes at Isis, where our lovely instructor told us all about this fabulous product called the Maya Wrap. So easy to put on! All natural fabrics! Easy to adjust! It is the new must have for all cool mamas! Naturally I was sold. It took me a while to commit, but I recently picked up a Maya Wrap after a hectic visit to the doctors office: the fire alarm went off as Marlo was naked on the scale and we had to evacuate ASAP - picture me sweaty, trying to dress a screaming baby as quickly as possible, and then the doctor hoisting my stroller over his shoulder as I carried her in her car seat down the 4 flights of stairs. I felt I (and Mo, as I am calling her now) deserved a present, as it was our first day out and about as mommy and baby, and it was a doozie. I tried it on with Mo at the store - it felt comfortable, was easy to just throw on- picked out a nice green color, and then gasped when I saw the $75 price tag for this piece of material with two rings at the shoulder (see photo). I then said to the sales girl "I can probably make this myself, but I will take it anyway." And home we went...

Before I continue this review, I should mention to all of you that I have terrible back issues. In 2004 I injured myself at the gym, thus herniating my L5. I have had cortisone shots, and physical therapy, but after giving birth the ol' back pain is back with a vengeance (I still have to tell you all the story of the 3 failed epidurals - good times). This is the reason I have leaned more towards products with two shoulder straps and added back support, i.e., the Moby wrap and the Ergo.

Anyhoo...For those that aren't familiar with the Moby it is a giant piece of fabric, that is about 18 feet long, which is folded in half. You do this elaborate (but fairly simple once you get the hang of it) wrapping of the fabric around your body and put your baby over your shoulder and slip her into the pocket and secure her with this other flap...yadda yadda yadda. After about two minutes of fidgeting and flipping fabric all around your body you have a very secure and happy baby, snug as a bug on your chest.

Now, I think it is fabulous - I can't even feel her weight on me (granted is only 7.5 pounds now), I can wear it for hours and my back never hurts, the fabric is really soft so I can just wipe her mouth if need be, and in the future when she is bigger there are about 5 other ways of holding her with the Moby. There are also multiple ways to hold your baby with the Maya, but the Moby offers much more versatility when it comes to position, including a way to hold two babies at once. The Moby also has a higher weight capacity, therefore allowing you to use it longer. See their websites for more details about positioning.

My husband on the other hand thinks it is ridiculous. As I was wrapping it all around him, the one and only time he tried it, he looked at me and said "are you serious with this?". It takes a good minute and a half to get it all situated around you so that you have everything where it needs to be in order to secure the baby. Picture me flitting around my 7 foot husband like he is a maypole with this giant piece of black fabric. Yet another reason I wanted to try the Maya wrap...

The Maya wrap is more of a sling than a baby carrier. This thick piece of material is billed as 100% cotton, but it is definitely not as soft as the Moby (even before one washing), and looks a little burlap-y (or what I like to think of as "crunchy fabric"). It has these giant loops that sit on your shoulder, through which you thread the material like you would a belt through d-rings. Once that is done, there is nothing you have to do again but flip it over your shoulder. Definitely the easiest of the two to assemble. You then, like the Moby, place your baby in the pouch that the folded fabric makes on your chest. A couple of quick pulls of the end of the fabric to tighten and you are good to go. I wore it for a total of two minutes, and the put it back in the plastic bag it came in to be returned the next morning...and here is why:

The first reason is because after 2 short minutes of having my 7.5 pound baby in it, my back was killing me. It put all her weight on my one shoulder and just pulled me down, thus putting way too much pressure on my back. The second reason was that Mo could not get comfortable in it. The pouch was way too big for her little body, and the bulky fabric seemed to suffocate her. I kept having to hoist her up and re-adjust the fabric to get her comfortable, and then she would sink down into the burlap abyss. Thirdly, I felt like it smelled funny. My parents once went to Morocco when I was little and brought me back this camel back that smelled kind of like a petting zoo for years and I feel like this had that same raw/natural smell. I wasn't sold, and didn't think it was worth anywhere near the $75 I paid for it (I got the olive green one with the small pocket).

I am sure there are people out there that love the sling, but mostly because of my back I don't think I will ever be able to pull off the one shoulder baby holster. And I was so hoping I could because I love the way they look.

My only gripe so far with the Moby (which I should mention retails for around $40) is that after washing it, it shrunk a bit. I didn't have as much excess fabric in the front to tie as I did the first time I wrapped it around me before washing. Other than that I love it.

I guess I just have a thing for small, bespectacled, bald, hipster, pop djs.


  1. I completely agreee. I love my moby wrap too. I actually use it at the grocery store and let little Parker take a nap while I shop. I just don't recommend it on an airplane...Not sure if you read that post, but it was a bitch to get undone while seated and the baby is screaming. Yikes!

  2. This is a great review. Very helpful. I like your writing style. :) You had me laughing outloud with the maypole-husband thing.

  3. Thank you for this! I am a first time mama-to-be and working on my registry. I am set on the Ergo, but wasn't sure whether to go with the Moby or Maya! I am definitely going for the Moby. Love your blog too! Check out my new blog if you have a chance!

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