It’s finally happened. I am THAT mom. You know, the one with THAT kid. The kid who slaps then pushes another sweet baby-cheeked toddler at library storytime. Did I really sign up for this gig? As I hauled my bucking bronco away from the stares of fellow moms and toddlers, I flashed an openly envious glance at a mom whose six-month old lay sedately in the infant car seat not even dreaming of such egregious social faux-pas like kicking, screeching, slapping, and shoving…yet. I guess it happens to the best of us eventually, this overnight metamorphosis from sweet baby to testy toddler. Still, I think wistfully of the bygone days…
One aspect of bygone days that I miss sorely, especially as Little Friend flails her limbs in icky, screechy tantrums, are the swaddled moments. All those little limbs, fingers, and toes wrapped up nice and snug in a swath of soft fabric. That little bundle wasn’t going anywhere. And Little Friend was a swaddler. Like most preemies, she took immediately to the womb-tight sensation of her Halo Sleep Sack. It wasn’t long before we found another swaddling solution for the little tike: a Moby Wrap.
There are oodles and oodles of baby wearing options on the market today: frontpacks, backpacks, slings, wraps, mei-teis, and more. There are buckles, and straps, and infant inserts, and rings. Just a quick tour of baby wearing research left my head spinning like a ride on Willy Wonka’s chocolate river. Eventually, I sifted through my research to find mom after mom who raved about the Moby Wrap. Turns out, the Moby Wrap is the most popular wrap-style baby carrier on the market today. I bought one. I’ve never looked back.
So how does it work? Well, “Wrap” is the correct term for a Moby. When you receive your Moby in the mail (yes, I’m assuming you’ll buy one, dear Reader. Don’t even try to resist the urge!), you’ll pull out one LONG and WIDE strip of stretchy t-shirt fabric. You will proceed through a series of gymnastics clearly outlined in the instructions and will end up basically swaddling yourself in the Moby and then inserting your dear baby in a variety of positions, depending on the child’s age and your preference. (I have some fairly humorous memories of using Big Friend as my initial Moby model since my pregnant belly at the time didn’t exactly help the tying part.) Tricky? At first. And this the wrapping regiment is the chief complaint against the Moby. It’s going to take some brain power and patience before you get the hang of the “wrap”, but is the learning curve worth it? As worth it as it is to learn to make molten chocolate lava cakes at home instead of waiting to order them once in a blue moon from a fancy restaurant. Try it a few times, and you’ll be able to wrap the Moby despite your infant-induced sleep-deprived haze any day.
Shall I count the ways I love thee, O Moby Wrap?
- Comfort – Unlike all other baby carriers I’ve tried, all of which need constant fiddling with straps and buckles, my Moby evenly distributes Little Friend’s weight (from 4 pounds to her current 22 pounds) across both shoulders and along my lower back. The Moby’s shoulder straps are wide and adjustable, so with a few scooches of my arms and back, I can get the perfect fit within seconds. I’ve used my Moby wrap on quick dashes from car to store and on miles-long hikes and never felt sore or uncomfortable. By its very wrapping nature, the Moby also gives a customized fit to each wearer, making it easy for my husband and I to switch back and forth wearing it.
- Style – Regular old Mobys come in a variety of flattering colors from the gender-neutral standbys to more daring shades. Since I bought my plain moss-green Moby, the company has expanded to include six other lines of tempting fabrics, designs, and colors. There’s the Moby Seasonal and the Moby with UV protection, and the Moby Camouflage style for dads who can’t handle plain ol’ moss-green. If I had to do it all over again, I’d be hard pressed not to buy a Moby D or the more expensive but sumptuously striped Dolcino.
- Convenience – I’m going to sound like I’m contradicting the previous paragraph in which I acknowledged that the Moby can be a bugger to wrap. But really, this baby carrier is pretty darn convenient. Tying it becomes a snap, and then I found I could wrap it on myself before getting in the car to run errands, stuff Little Friend in the Moby when we got the store, and not pause for a minute to bang about a clunky infant car seat in the cart. I also loved that the Moby could fold small and flat in my luggage when we went on car trips or the occasional plane ride.
- Price – Um, let’s see. The Moby Wrap costs about 70% less than other leading baby carriers. Yes, those Baby Bjorns, and Ergos, and Baby Hawks, and Beccos are going to set you back $100+ bucks. The Moby comes in at $39.95 through the company website. Do I really need to mention any other compelling reason to give the Moby a try?
And one final plus to add to my “I Love My Moby” list: I can use it as a baby straight-jacket. Perfect for those library storytime temper tantrum days.
Go ahead. I dare you to try wrapping a Moby Wrap around you and baby. Like me, you may find that all other baby carriers suddenly become overly fussy, complicated, and unnecessary. Then again, if you find yourself mummified in a confusing panel of fabric, you may want to watch an online tutorial to help you get that Wrap thing down to a science. Moby Wraps can be ordered directly from the company, or check here for a list of retail and online stores. If your life would be better with a little molten chocolate lava cake in it, keep reading for my favorite make-at-home recipe…
These cakes are slightly underbaked so that the chocolate center oozes when cut into. (We’ve enjoyed eating them many times without the extra hassle of making the sauce.)
Yield: Makes 6
4 1/2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup hot water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Vanilla ice cream
Stir both chocolates in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted. Add 1/3 cup hot water, corn syrup and extract; whisk until smooth. Remove from over water. Cool slightly. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Before serving, rewarm in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted. Cool slightly. Whisk eggs and egg yolks in large bowl to blend. Whisk in sugar, then chocolate mixture and flour. Pour batter into dishes, dividing equally. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
Bake cakes until sides are set but center remains soft and runny, about 11 minutes or up to 14 minutes for batter that was refrigerated. Run small knife around cakes to loosen. Immediately turn cakes out onto plates. Spoon sauce around cakes. Serve with ice cream.