Review: That’s A Wrap!

October 2, 2012

Since Mazen was born, we have been doing a ton of baby wearing. From making breakfast to working at my computer to events out, the Boba wrap and carrier have both been such a help to allow Mazen to be snuggled next to us (often napping) and give we parents a bit of two-handed freedom.

Boba sent me both the Baby Wrap and the Carrier to review on BERF.

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Wrap

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Recall back in April when I tried the wrap out with a bear – I couldn’t wait to have a real baby to put inside!

I tried out the wrap first because I wasn’t sure that newborn Maze would be ready for the sturdier carrier yet. The first time I put it on, it took me a looong time to figure out while reading the instructions step by step. However, by time #3, I could put it on within 30 seconds with a crying baby waiting to be held! The layers and layers of fabric look intimidating, but once you learn what goes where, it’s very simple to put on.

Putting the baby in properly has been a bit of a learning curve. The first time I put the wrap on, I didn’t realize how tight it needed to be and had to take it off within 5 minutes when it wasn’t supportive enough. Matt learned the same lesson the hard way when he wore it the first time and went for a walk. Let it be known that when these mistakes were happening, we were on high alert to ensure Mazen was safe and his airways never blocked. The lesson we both learned is that the fabric has to be VERY tight when you put the wrap on – so tight that you don’t think the baby will fit in – to be supportive enough once he is inside.

Boba has a complete list of safe baby wearing instructions, tips and very important safety notes on its website. 

The wrap is very comfortable for both me and Mazen. It’s also compact and comes with a carrying bag so that it’s easy to throw in the bottom of the stroller if we need to switch from strolling to wearing while we’re out. We also like the wrap because it keeps our baby protected from strangers who might want to touch or ask to hold him while in public.

The only downside to the wrap is that it’s not quite as supportive as the carrier, and after wearing it while out walking, my lower back was very tired. It’s also pretty hot to have on in warm weather, but that’s to be expected. For someone on the smaller side, there is also tons of excess fabric that I just wrap 2-3 times around my waist. It’s not really in the way, but it is bulky.

Carrier

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Mazen was 3 weeks old when I put him in the carrier for the first time. I first had to adjust it for the newborn size, which required flipping the hip belt up and adjusting the buckles (which was a bit tricky). Putting it on is as easy as snapping two buckles and adjusting the straps, and he felt safe and secure from the first time I used it.

I was amazed right away at how supportive it is for my body. I can wear it much longer than the wrap without feeling physically tired. It’s also more supportive for Mazen, as the fabric is stronger and tighter. I love the pocket on the front too – handy to stash a phone playing white noise (on airplane mode since it’s close to his head). 

The only downside when comparing the two is that the carrier is much bigger and harder to travel with if you’re not using it.

If I had to choose one as a favorite, I would pick the carrier simply because it’s more comfortable for me to wear, and I imagine as Maze gets bigger and heavier, this will become even more important. Matt and I love wearing our baby, and he loves it too – he is almost always calm while he’s being worn. And these days it’s pretty much the only way we can get him to nap!

Boba has offered a 10% off coupon code for any of you who might be on the market for a wrap or carrier. Enter Babykerf at checkout until November 30, 2012 on both Boba and Peekaru products.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erica October 2, 2012 at 9:55 am

Babywearing is great! I recommend trying out a woven wrap – they are more supportive than stretchy wraps like the Boba wrap (which are more useful when baby is tiny).

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2 Kate October 2, 2012 at 10:12 am

Wow, you just said “when he was 3 weeks old!” I can’t believe it’s already been that long. Of course, you may feel differently, after many weeks without a decent night of sleep :)

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3 Shauna October 2, 2012 at 10:20 am

Kath, I love your blog! I am pregnant with my first and your blog has offered me so much useful information and helped ease my fears a little bit. I add things to my registry after reading your posts and am certain I won’t be disappointed once my little one arrives! I also made my husband read your birth story so he got a better idea of what to maybe expect too. Thanks so much! And Mazen is adorable!!!

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4 Claire October 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

I’m glad that you’re enjoying babywearing! It’s one of my favorite things; in fact, we didn’t even pull our stroller out of the box until our girl was almost 3 months old, we just wore her the whole time!
When you say that the wrap is not as supportive as the carrier, are you making sure that the fabric on the shoulders is properly spread out? From your picture of Matt wearing Mazen it’s not put on correctly, the fabric on the shoulders should be like this: http://babygooroo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/boba1-590×410.jpg
If it’s worn properly, it shouldn’t feel any different, support-wise, from a more structured soft carrier. My little girl was a little bigger than Mazen when she was born, and I was going on 1-2 mile walks a week or so after birth with her in the Moby wrap and my shoulders and back have never been sore. Even now, with a 10 month old, I can wear her for long stretches of time (on and off all day for things like hikes and festivals) in the Moby wrap and my back never hurts – of course, you get stronger as your baby gets older as well! :)

I don’t know how often you use the white noise on your cell phone next to Mazen’s head, but you may want to be careful about it too much: http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20030417/white-noise-may-delay-infant-development

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5 jen October 3, 2012 at 7:27 am

Hmmm… this white noise article has stirred up my mommy-worry. I’ve always used white noise for my girl’s naps and nighttime sleep as she’s a terrifically light sleeper and wakes at any little sound without it. When she was young we had to have ti quite loud, but over time we’ve turned it down significantly. But she’s 15 months and we still can’t go completely without it or she doesn’t sleep as well. I’m hoping she’ll eventually outgrow it, but I have worried that perhaps she’ll get so accustomed to it that she can never sleep without it. I guess I’m constantly struggling with whether it’s worse to have her not be able to get that important restorative sleep now or always need noise to sleep later.

The study really focused on rats that had non-stop exposure to white noise (and it doesn’t seem to say what volume, so who knows on that). I probably wouldn’t worry too much about using white noise during sleep for my next one if needed, as slep only accounts for about half her life (12hrs out of every 24). And FWIW my daughter has had no problems hearing and according to her ped has advanced verbal for a 15 month old. Perhaps the white noise time was balanced out by all kinds of baby wearing time listening to me talking to her as we went about our day.

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6 tarynkay October 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

Right- I think that the article is more concerned w/ excessive use of white noise. They say that if you need to use it due to a noisy environment (or a light sleeper, by logical extension) that is fine, just balance that out with lots of clear communication during the day. But it would seem like baby wearing would be the perfect time for this clear communication to occur- and that using white noise while babywearing would be excessive.

I wore my son almost constantly for the first 3 months, and I was always talking to him, or interacting with other people or what have you. He would sleep and wake on his own schedule in the carrier, it was just easier to get things done that way. If he was fussy in the carrier, he was always either hungry, needed a diaper change, or had gas. Babies don’t have very complicated needs in the first few months, they mostly just want to be held and fed. Anyhow, after the first few months, we started needing white noise to help him sleep through the night in his crib, and we currently use it for naps as well.

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7 Claire October 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm

tarynkay, that’s what I meant, I think that having while noise the whole time you’re babywearing is excessive and is what they are talking about in the article (and I would be worried about having a cell phone right next to my newborn’s head, even in airplane mode!). The point of babywearing is not just to get a baby to sleep, but to bond with them!

jen, I’m sure you’re fine just using it for naps and helping your baby to get to sleep at night! I doubt that would be considered excessive.

Here’s another great reason to babywear: http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/are-kids-today-getting-enough-physical-contact/

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8 Nicole October 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I used the Homedics white noise machine with my three boys and they are now 10, 13 and 15 and still use them! I also use a box fan for my white noise since I cannot sleep when it is too quiet. My boys’ hearing has always checked out fine so I don’t think it will hurt them as long as it’s not blaring into their ears. You also have to remember that the decibel level in the womb is louder than a vacuum cleaner so if that doesn’t do damage, I doubt a sound machine in a room will.
If it works for you, don’t stress using it. I like it because no matter where we go (hotel room, friends house etc..) they can take it with them and sleep well no matter what’s going on around them.

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9 Cindy October 2, 2012 at 10:30 am

Great review!! I have actually already purchased the Boba 3G carrier for my soon-to-be born daughter. I agree that it was a bit tricky to redo the buckles for a newborn, but once I got that down, I loved it! I cannot wait to wear my little girl in it when she gets here! :)

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10 Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles October 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

I love the thought of baby wearing! We borrowed a Baby Bjorn carrier for when he is little and bought an Ergo for when he starts packing on the pounds. Can’t wait!

Mazen is looking so adorable! I am glad to hear everything is going so well…

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11 Nicole October 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Be careful using the Baby B’Jorn. It holds the baby’s hips in an un-natural position and can cause hip dysplasia. This is especially true in the facing out position or “crotch dangler” position. This article does a wonderful job explaining why a wrap or carrier like the Boba is better for their anatomy. Basically, you want them “sitting” instead of “dangling”. Plus I have to imagine babys’ legs fall asleep just hanging down like that.
http://dinkerandgiggles.com/safe-babywearing-hip-health-illustrated-guide/

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12 Averie @ Averie Cooks October 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

Babywearing is amazing, but it can be daunting…especially if you’re dealing with a crying baby with little to no head control. I always was amazed by the women who made it look so easy! It took me awhile to finally get the hang of it but once you do, it’s amazing! So many carriers, and like cloth diapers, what works one day may not work the next week due to growth and changes but hitting the groove feels good when you do!

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13 natalie @ will jog for food October 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

Great review! I will be looking into Boba when I start my wrap search :)

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14 Andrea October 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I have a question. Can you guys wear the carriers backwards so that Mazen is on your back instead of your front? When I was a baby my parents had a carrier that they wore on their backs instead of their fronts. Is that not reccommended for newborns? I am completely ignorant when it comes to baby stuff.. so you are teaching me a lot! Haha :)

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15 KERF October 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Yes, you can wear the carrier on the back, but the baby needs to be much older (I’m not sure of the exact requirements)

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16 Sarah October 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Most “soft structured carriers” like the Boba carrier Kath has (Ergo and Beco are other popular brands – there are others, too) are suitable for both back and front carries, but it’s usually around 6 months before that is safe or comfortable for the baby. (I just did a quick google search and see that some people start younger, around 4-5 months.) They need good head control and to be able to be comfortable with their legs straddling your back. I highly recommend it, once the baby is old enough. It’s very comfortable for the adult, and leaves you much more free to do things – I raked leaves and did other light chores around the house while my daughter napped on my back around 6 months. Now at 17 months we still carry her in front sometimes, but mostly in back, and she’s generally happy with it as long as the scenery is changing enough to keep her from getting bored. :)

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17 KERF October 2, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Thanks!

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18 Marlow October 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Thanks so much for this thorough review!! I was just telling my sister about your usage of the Boba, as I was recommending she look in to getting one. She is due in November and already has a 4 year old! She didn’t use one with her first child, but I can see where “baby-wearing” can be really convenient, and I hope it could help with the juggling of two kids! :)

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19 Kristen October 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Hey Kath,

I love your blogs and I’m so glad you did this review, as I’m thinking about getting a boba carrier. How much does Mazen weigh? My little girl was born just a few weeks before him and she’s around 7 pounds. I’m wondering if she could be carried safely and comfortably in the carrier or if she needs to be a little bigger. I currently use (and love) money wrap, but looking for a sturdier and quicker option.

PS – Mazen is adorable!

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20 KERF October 2, 2012 at 8:49 pm

He is probably 8.5 to 9 lbs now, but 7 pounds should be no problem (check the website to be sure)

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21 Kristen October 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Umm I meant *moby* wrap! Not money.

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22 Deirdre @ Oh Well Whatever October 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Very cool. I have the Moby which is the same as your wrap and LOVED it with my daughter. With this next baby coming I want to get something more like the carrier for the same reasons you mentioned. The whole body temperature thing gets crazy when you are a hormonal milk producing momma with a baby and TONS of fabric strapped to you!

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23 Sarah October 2, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I loved my Boba wrap at first but it seemed to stretch out. After a couple weeks I switched to a carrier. They are just so much quicker for me to put on.

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24 Jenn October 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I preferred a carrier as well. Still wear the ERGO with Levi at 30+ lbs. I had the same problem when I tried a friend’s MOBY wrap…being wrapped a gazillion times, hot, and not as comfortable for longer walks…especially as he grew.

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25 linda October 3, 2012 at 3:34 am

Thanks for the coupon. My baby just turned 4 weeks and I’ve struggled with baby wearing and I own the Ergo with newborn insert, Moby, mei tai and a Beco. I’m hoping Boba will fit him better – he just gets so agitated in the other carriers, and he’s generally not a fussy baby otherwise. So looking forward to have some hands-free time while carrying the baby…

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26 Amanda October 3, 2012 at 10:38 am

Mazen is sooo adorable! I have been reading your two blogs for a few months now and I love waking up in the morning and browsing the blogs while I drink my coffee. I really hope you keep baby kerf bc that’s my favorite part!

Check out my friends adorable hats. She uses them for newborn photo shoots and I think they would be great on Mazen!
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Modiste-Bee/131083733636390

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27 KERF October 3, 2012 at 11:58 am

Cuuute!

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28 Katy October 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I love the look of baby wraps!

Question: Have any strangers tried to touch or asked to hold Mazen in public? That seems like such an odd thing for someone to do – so I’m curious if this statement was a reaction to an experience, or a preemptive concern?

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29 KERF October 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm

A few have touched his feet but no 1 has asked to hold him ( thankfully because I would say no ).

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30 Heather October 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm

What always bothers me is when people touch their little hands – since babies like to put them in their mouth. I love babywearing in public for the same reasons – it keeps her close and most people can’t get close enough to touch her!

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31 Amanda M October 4, 2012 at 7:03 am

After working with babies in the hospital, it is very common for random strangers to come in to a labor facility wanting to see the babies in the nursery. Um, how about no? People also like to touch the “bellies” of pregnant strangers as well. So I would imagine strangers wanting to hold a baby would not be out of the ordinary (unfortunately).

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32 sharon October 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Hey Kath, I was going to ask the same question about strangers asking to hold Mazen. I want to hold every baby I see at the grocery store but I just sneek peeks when the moms aren’t looking so I don’t scare them. Also, I have a huge suggestion for you that saved my life when my daughters were babies. I read somewhere that if you put your baby in their crib when they are almost asleep, about a 7 (1 being wide awake and 10 being out cold) they learn to soothe themselves to sleep. This helps them go back to sleep on their own if they wake up in the middle of the night too. My girls were awesome sleepers and I attribute it to this technique. If they started to wake up when I was putting them down I would rub their backs and gradually decrease hand pressure so they wouldn’t notice that I was getting ready to stop and leave the room. I feel sorry for parents with babies that can only sleep if being held.

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33 KERF October 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

This is what Harvey Karp says too, but I think they need to be older than 6 weeks (M would just start crying now)

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34 Nicole October 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm

That’s why I love Harvey–because he gets that it takes a long adjustment period to get them out of the “4th trimester” and into being a baby and he doesn’t try to rush them out of it before they are ready (otherwise you just end up with a frustrated momma and a sad baby!)

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35 Nicole October 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm

This technique does work for some babies (like my first son) but it did NOT work with my second and third sons. They were just more high-needs and wanted to be next to me…so they were (and everyone was happy). Having three boys taught me how VERY different each baby can be and that just because something worked with one of them did not insure it would work with the others. For me, it was about respecting their individual needs and meeting them in a timely manner. They are now 10, 13 and 15 and three of the most respectful and caring young men I know so I must have done something right :)

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36 jane October 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm

so its been a few weeks now..would you do it all over again?! the natural birth that is :-) also you look great-are you back to pre baby weight? not that it is the most important thing in the world, but it is certainly important (especially to a new momma!)

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37 KERF October 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Yes, I would : ) I now have the “it was only 7 hours of terrible pain in a lifetime of baby” attitude. I think i will try it natural again, but I also think I will talk to Matt about having an epidural plan that is more accessible next time. And yes, I’m pretty much at my prepregnancy weight, but my body is totally not back to prepregnancy shape and I was a bit up in weight anyways, so there’s more to lose!

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38 Nicole October 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I LOVE that you’re baby-wearing! With my third son, wearing him in the wrap was the ONLY way he would sleep. Everyone kept telling me I was going to spoil him and that if I never put him down he would always be super dependent on me. I just ignored them and did what worked best for Landon and myself. Trust me, there were times I wondered if they were right–would he EVER sleep in his own bed (we didn’t use a crib and co-slept), would he ever walk if I carried him so much? Well, fast forward to now and he’s 10 and my most independent child out of my three boys by far! He’s also the one I nursed the longest (past 3 years)…even with everyone telling me I was crazy.

I decided I would just take my cues from the apes and gorillas who carry their babies with them 24/7 for the first year or so…if it works for them, I figured it would work for me too :)

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39 Caity October 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Hi! Was just wondering about the differences in the boba air, boba carrier, organic carrier and diaper dude. I have a six month old, and we used a babybjorn carrier when she was tiny, but now it hurts my back to carry her in it. any suggestions?

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40 KERF October 5, 2012 at 9:39 am

I haven’t tried them all, so I can’t really speak to what i think of them, but I think the website does a pretty good job. The air seems more of a sport style – breathable and the diaper dude is just designed for a masculine look

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41 Diana @ frontyardfoodie October 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm

YESS!! I am a huge fan of baby wearing. I use a couple slings I made and the boba wrap. I hope to soon get a boba front carrier since my baby is getting bigger and slings are getting a little uncomfortable for us both but the wrap (though amazing) isn’t easy to just pop on and go like a front carrier would.

I LOVE Boba. They have incredible customer service and a great social media presence so they definitely have my support, loyalty and trust.

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42 angela sherman October 31, 2012 at 8:14 am

Thanks for your review, and the discount code. I have a 4 week old boy and an almost two yr old girl, and I need something that lets me pay attention to both….I just placed my order and I am looking forward to getting it q

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