Wearing Your Baby Is Not As Easy As It Looks

moby wrap instructionsI can’t be the only woman that had a mental picture of the way I would look with children. For some reason, I always knew that I would be a mother. It was something I wanted for as long as I could remember. I guess when you think about something for so long it’s only natural that certain fantasies develop. Mine always seemed to involve sashaying around town wearing my baby. Hands free. Multitasking. Glamorous.

Damn you, media.

Seriously – I blame the media. There’s always one spread or another showing a gorgeous celebrity post-birth: skinny, giggling, holding coffee, and wearing her baby. How hard could it be? I would definitely be getting one of those wraps and wearing my baby, too.

I decided on the Moby, because it seemed to be the most popular and had a ton of positive reviews on Amazon. Also, it looked comfortable. I registered for it and was thrilled when it was one of the first items to arrive. I would have time to practice wrapping it and would be a pro by the time there was finally a baby to put in it.

I flippantly pulled the wrap out of its container. It was packed like a mini sleeping bag. I began to roll it out of its casing, and to my utter confusion and horror it stretched out to my bedroom door, through my kitchen and almost made it through my living room, too. To be fair, I lived in a floor-through apartment in Brooklyn at the time – but it was actually pretty big for city standards. There must have been 20 yards of fabric in this thing. How in the hell was I supposed to get all of this around my body? There should be a warning on this thing – “only attempt if you can make an origami swan with one hand.”

I brushed off the initial horror of the sheer amount of fabric that was in front of me. I figured, it’s the most popular wrap out there. If everyone else can do it – so can I damn it!  I began looking at the Moby wrap instructions.

Not good.

You know how Ikea has those weird instructions with no words that sort of make you feel like a monkey should be able to assemble your armoire – and three hours later you’re sweating and crying? Well, these instructions aren’t that bad. They’re so simple they sort of mock you. Yes, that’s how I felt. The smiling women on the simple instructions for the Moby wrap that I should be maternally pre-disposed to make work on my body were totally mocking me. The teddy bear I was using to take the place of my “infant” looked sad. Probably because he was hanging upside down by one foot. I decided if I was going to make this happen – I needed more help. Google would fix this – it fixes everything else in my life.

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You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • http://www.facebook.com/LisaAnnCaldwell Lisa Caldwell

    I noticed the Moby worked much better when I was no longer pregnant. I went through the same hormonal-induced hysterics as I tried to wrap my favorite teddy bear. He looked at me as if to say, “WHY?” as he dangled sideways out of it against my 60-lb-weight-gain pregnancy belly. Once I gave birth, I tried it again and it worked much better. I still preferred the Bjorn once we were more mobile, though, the Moby was way more comfortable.

    • Ordinaryperson

      Yea, I had to quit carrying my 1st kid around once I was like 7months along with 2, because of the gut. But I’ve still got #2 in it, and he’s almost a year. It makes grocery shopping easier with two brats. Plus, when he was really little and needed to eat NOW, I figured out how to feed in the wrap (something I couldn’t get with the first one) and then I could still play with the older one, or make it lunch, or whatever.

  • Lori B.

    This is pretty hysterical! I never really thought about wearing my baby with my first. I bought one of those Baby Bjorn like carriers for her but never used it. This time around I wanted to try babywearing because I knew I would have to be on-the-go more with a four year old in tow. I watched the Moby videos on YouTube before making my purchase and those videos scared the crap out of me!LOL I decided to get a Mei Tei style wrap that seems just as cozy as the Moby, but simpler to wrap up. However, I might still need an actual Mai Tai cocktail when I try to wrap the baby in it!

  • L

    Keep trying, Maria! I know exactly how you feel (and I was extra clumsy because I have arthritis) – but after a few days of practicing, this style of carrier ended up being my very favourite thing. For the record, I am the farthest thing from a granola mom. I just found that it was the most comfortable carrier for me AND the most comfortable for my daughter. And it ended up looking cute when I was sipping my Starbucks, OF COURSE :)

    PS – I bought a CuddlyWrap instead of the Moby – and it came with DVD instructions, which was awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/KateReimer Kate Reimer

    Oh Thank God I’m not the only one. I was so excited about the moby and then Could Not make it work. I finally decided that the wretched thing just wasn’t made for short chesty people and gave it to a taller friend.

  • http://twitter.com/jlwrench JL Wrench

    I was like you, but had no alternative with twins. I needed to wear one. I found out how to make mine, so it was longer (I’m fat) and that worked out so much better.

  • Rebecca

    I do ok with my moby wrap, but I hate how they make it seem like it’s going to make your life soooo much easier. Hands free! Get the dishes done! Sweep the floors! Play with your other children! Yeah right. Try sweeping while holding the broom a foot in front of you and you can’t see the floor. I can hardly reach the kitchen faucet and I have to stand sideways and try to wash everything one handed. It’s like being pregnant on top of your boobs.If my kid is sleeping I’d much rather have him in his bassinette and really have my hands free. I only use the moby if he’s fussy and I’m trying to eat dinner or something.

    • Tinyfaeri

      I agree – it doesn’t make much hands-free, and I never trusted it when bending over. I was able to use it while working from home, though, when my daughter went through a phase where she would not nap during the day without being held and walked around the room, occasionally with music blaring. So I’d put on the Moby wrap and sit bouncing on an exercise ball to work. … I’m really glad those days are gone, but it got us through it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/LisaAnnCaldwell Lisa Caldwell

      You just described my 5pm routine: Moby Wrap while bouncing on an exercise ball. While watching the World Cup. (It was 2010)

  • Tinyfaeri

    I don’t think it ever occurred to me to try the Moby wrap on while I was still pregnant – that would suck! For me it took some practice, but I love the Moby wrap – I still use it sometimes walking the dog and my little one is almost 11 months old. My hubby had a baby bjorn, and I used it once walking around the city. I still like the Moby better (it’s softer, and for me distributes the weight better), but if you don’t have the patience for wrapping the cloth it’s a nice, one-piece thing. :) Edit: and the bjorn is easier in public – the Moby is so long that you kind of have to wrap it before you leave the house and keep it on the whole time or it can drag on the ground when you’re out and about and putting it on. The bjorn is easier to take on and off in public.

  • K.

    A lot of it has to do just with size–of you AND your baby, I think.

    The moby didn’t work out for me, purely because I’m petite with a short torso. My 5’10″ Amazonian friend loves hers, but wrapping it around me was like trying to recoil a roll of toilet paper. My small stature (less than 5′) and my baby’s huge size (Dad’s a big guy) might make baby carrying harder for me, no matter what style carrier I choose. Every single one–the Bjorn, the Ergo, the Moby, and the Pikkolo, which is what we eventually got–women are shown doing like, backflips, but I find it hard to do the basics, like cook and do laundry because–like I said, my kid is big and I’m small and so literally, my arms just don’t reach that far around him in order to say, chop an onion, and I’m also forever craning my neck to see over his head. When he’s a little older and I’m a little better at getting myself into the thing (which is a whole separate issue), I’ll see if carrying him on my back or side works better. But as further testament to my suspicions, my husband, who is 6’3″ uses the same carrier (part of the reason we went with the Pikkolo was because it could accommodate the difference in our sizes better) ALL THE TIME, like it’s nothing. Bastard.

  • bumbler

    I used the hip-carry pocket style slings and they were soooo much better than those confounded moby wraps (in my experience). With a pocked sling you just pop the kid in and go. As tiny infants, they’ll be in front, but after just a few months you can swing them over to a hip carry and have freedom to actually reach and accomplish things. I think you can hip carry with the moby as well but I only ever see people doing a front carry, which is so cumbersome.

  • jef3r

    The moby sucks ass. LOL! I could never get it to fit right and hold my baby. She was always crying when I had her in there and never looked comfortable. I ditched it immediately and got a Mei Tai instead. SOOOOOOOOOO much easier and sooooooooo much less fabric. I could toss it in my diaper bag and bring it with me anywhere. The moby is so much damn fabric it would fill my diaper bag if I tried to put it in there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lineyjoe Liney Marks

    I totally understand your frustration. I have felt this way about so many baby items that others claim to be a lifesaver. But I really do love my Moby. When I was staying at home while my husband worked (maternity leave is over now…tear…) it allowed me to go to the grocery store. Sticking the carseat in the cart is a pain because I couldn’t fit all my groceries, and nobody wants to push a stroller and a cart. With the Moby I just cruised around everywhere. The instruction booklet was useless for me though. I never even looked at it. I looked up YouTube videos. Try looking for FWCC–that’s the best hold for newborns IMO. The Newborn Hold is not secure enough for me.

  • Rachel

    This article was really funny and enjoyable to read.

    Wraps scared me (pre-pregnancy, I ordered wrap-style shirts that were traumatizing), so we went with the Ergo carrier. Our baby enjoyed it (read: allowed it) for a very small window earlyish in his infancy. After that, just screaming any time he was put in it (the fit was right, nothing pinched him, etc.; he just hated it). He only allowed us to carry him either on our shoulders or hips. My friend gave us a hip carrier, which he also refused to sit in. It was at the exact same height I held him, but nope, if he’s not pushing our arms to the point of muscle failure he is not content. :)

  • T.

    The Moby is a pain! I ended up getting a Baby K’tan which I absolutely LOVE! It lets you wear your baby int he exact same way as the Moby – so you still get to have that amazing close and cozy feeling – but it is already wrapped for you, so it is so easy to put on. I fell in love with it instantly and have now used it with both my little ones…

  • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

    It wasn’t hard for me to do ONLY because I had a friend physically show me. Otherwise, I would have been lost. My son HATES being worn though! I’ve tried and tried and he just SCREAMS!

  • Kele Ivey

    I loved the Moby, but there is definitely a learning curve. Wearing my colicky baby made life bearable thos first few months. Give it another try after the baby is out.

  • Tracie Rathsack

    Ok. I’m no longer pregnant and this damn thing is the BANE of my existence. It’s currently on the floor and a Jack Russell Terrier adn a Shih Tzu have made it a bed. It’s long enough for a flipping Great Dane.

    I have looked at every single video I can. I’m hot, sweaty and frustrated after 20 minutes of this. Either my torso is wrong, I can’t follow the instructions because I am the (now second) person in the world who can’t figure it out, or there is a defect with me, my baby or the moby.

    I’ll say it’s the moby.

    Since I have no receipt for it, I guess it will become my dogs’ new blanket. I hope they poo on it. or rip it up. I am so frustrated with it right now I can’t see straigh, and now I have a baby that is JUST as po’d and sweaty as I am.

    THANKS Moby. That helped. Gr.

  • Jennifer G

    I had an Ergo. I *WANTED* that Ergo. My baby HATED that Ergo. It was so hot that his head would turn red. I couldn’t see over him. I was afraid to wear it in the house, because I couldn’t see if I was about to trip on something…like a toy that my older son left on the floor…or heck, even my older son who might be sitting on the floor playing with said toy. I so totally could *NOT* have worn it outside. So I returned it and got a Moby. I washed the Moby because it smelled too much of dye. I cannot figure out how to wrap and tie the stupid thing. I love the moms who recommend tying it and then wearing it all day, even if baby isn’t in it. HA!! Super UNCOMFORTABLE and lumpy around the back of the waist. Baby and I both hate it. I want to try the hip carry, but good grief, have you tried to follow those videos?!? Even more confusing than the basic wrap instructions. And because I washed it, I can’t return it, so I hope I can figure out that stinkin’ hip carry. And don’t *even* get me started on how either carrier I tried worked (or didn’t work) with my hugenormous new mommy boobs!! Baby wearing in South Central Texas. With summer coming? Maybe I’m just crazy.

    • Jennifer G

      Sorry, I just saw a comment below where someone recommended tying before going out in public. I honestly meant no offense. I just want my wrap to be comfortable and I can’t figure it out!!

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  • Spring Stearns

    My kid is 3 and a half months old, and I just now have gotten comfortable with the Moby Wrap. It takes a lot of practice, and when you have a newborn, that time could be better spent on SLEEP. I’m still thinking of getting another carrier, mostly because I’ve heard the Moby doesn’t do well for bigger babies, and also so people who occasionally watch my son (i.e. grandparents, aunts, etc.)–people who DON’T have a Moby to practice with–can still wear my son comfortably. I think they would enjoy it, and I think he would too.

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