Thanks to some amazing teamwork from the local sling community, the Surgery now has one of the new Moby Go front position carriers.
The Moby stretchy wrap is well known all round the world.. I don’t have one in the Surgery as I prefer some of the newer, lighter and less cumbersome stretchy wraps around, but Moby is a big brand and many, many babies have been happily snuggled in their slings. This new carrier is marketed at parents who find the stretchy wrap no longer supportive enough for their bigger babies but wish to carry on carrying, and there is a helpful leaflet stating some of the benefits of babywearing. (Apologies for the phone pics!)
It is a cotton twill full buckle carrier with a padded waistband (fairly firm, firmer than the Rose and Rebellion, for example) which buckles shut, with a curved cut to the panel, some lovely soft leg padding and cleverly shaped wide cotton shoulder straps that buckle shut (crossed across the back). My testers and I (we are all different heights and sizes) tried it out with a front carry with a four-month-old and a nineteen-month-old for comparison. We were all impressed with how comfortable it was in the front position. The carefully shaped wide straps fitted over the shoulders and across the back very well (I am petite and was able to get a snug fit with the four month old at the smallest setting) with no digging at all. The buckles into the sides of the panel come already buckled up, and there is enough length for the straps to be put over the head and arms slipped through and baby to be slotted into the resulting pouch. Most people will probably unbuckle the straps so each can be put on individually. There is a safety elastic on a long fabric tongue beneath the buckles to protect little fingers. The straps have to be tightened backwards, so may be awkward for those with wrist complaints, but we all found it easy enough. The waistband is sturdy, and bore up well for the 19-month old without being too diggy on the pelvis, and didn’t fold in half. The width of the panel is good. It was a little too wide for the four-month old, but being soft and floppy with gentle padding it cinched in happily into her knee pits, and fitted the 19month old very well, giving her a great spread squat seat. The panel is nice and tall and the curved upper part can be easily folded down a little for shorter babies, and still gave great back coverage for the 19month old even with arms in. My 32 month old also fitted quite nicely – not knee to knee (less important at this age) but still good back coverage, and we were all able to lean forwards and not feel baby/toddler was about to slip out. While none of us tried nursing in the carrier, it is clearly possible by loosening the straps and the waistband very slightly to allow baby to move downwards until her mouth can reach the nipple, and in fact the instructions describe how to do this.
The instructions state it can be used from 15 to 45lb (ie not from birth “if your little one is not demonstrating good head and neck control, we recommend using a Moby Wrap”), and is to be used for a front hold, baby’s legs should “hug the wearer’s stomach”. There are no instructions for any kind of back carry, hip carry or any option for forward facing in the front carry.
A friend of mine tried out a back carry with his seven month old son. The straps are much too long to be used as a rucksack style back carrier, and are shaped for being crossed over (they just slip off ruck-style), so he tried them crossed over on his front. This was safe, but the straps were still too long and his son was much too low on his back because of this. Bigger children may be able to sit higher, possibly as they are taller.
*It is never advisable to use carriers against manufacturer’s specifications, and while many people find creative solutions, I don’t think the design and shape of the carrier will work well for back carries*. Moby is clearly aiming at people wanting to move on from stretchy wraps and not yet ready to brave the world of back carrying.
We tried a hip carry, again, not part of manufacturer’s instructions – it was manageable but again, the straps weren’t shaped for this.
I think this is a great, comfortable option for those who love front carrying and Moby have done well with the design and the shaping. I’m hopeful that their huge market share will open a lot of parents’ eyes to the possibility of comfortable, supportive babywearing beyond the stretchy and may well provide a good bridge well into carrying into the toddler years.
Pricing is more of a sticking point. Retailers are selling them for between £65 to £70, which to my mind, is too expensive given its limitations of only front carries. You can buy a Connecta for £65, a Sleepy Nico for £75, a Manduca for £80, etcetera, all of which have the option of being used for back carries.. I would say a price point of around £40 was more reasonable.