Towel vs. Moby Wrap Throw-Down (Guest Post)

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on using the Moby wrap to wrap baby African-style.  One of Gypsy Momma’s blog readers, Sarah Sell, wanted to try this out.  She experimented with her Moby wrap, and also with a beach towel, and sent the following review that I thought would be useful to share with other readers interested in this style of baby-wearing.  Thanks, Sarah, for your contribution and great unbiased review of the Moby wrap vs. beach towel!

Blog reader trying out African-style baby wearing with baby Athena in a beach towel.

Dear Jessica,

I finally decided to try the African baby-wearing style, but decided to use a beach towel instead of the Moby for the first attempt – the Moby is narrower top-to-bottom and I was afraid it wouldn’t provide enough support. I am now a total convert to the beach towel! It is an amazing way to carry baby and still be able to get stuff done! I can see why millions of African women use this method.

I tried the Moby also, and it works, but the shape makes it more awkward than something towel- or kanga-sized. That being said, there are a few advantages to using the Moby as a kanga-style carrier:

Moby pros:

-Definitely more comfortable: the material is lighter and thinner, and the stretch allows it to give a little bit.
-Versatility: can switch the baby to traditional Moby-style if necessary.

Moby cons:

-Narrower: for a smaller baby, who gets wrapped from the neck down, the Moby has barely enough material to cover her.
-Longer: there is plenty of material to go around, but the excess becomes a large wad that needs to be stuffed in somewhere.

Versus the beach towel:

Beach towel pros:

-Perfect size: the width of the towel allows for carrying any size baby, with just enough material to wrap around Mom’s body.
-Heavier material: provides warmth out in the cold, whether used as a carrier or just wrapped around baby.
-Less unwieldy (Moby owners know what I’m talking about): can easily throw the towel over one shoulder to transport.
-Versatility: can be used as a towel for clean-up, a warm blanket, an impromptu playmat…
-Secure: non-stretchy material gives a sense of security

Beach towel cons:

-Uncomfortable: hot and scratchy
-Ugly: let’s face it, it’s a beach towel. Mine has a large picture of a cartoon mouse on it… Both of these objections could probably be solved by acquiring a real kanga; the material is thinner and more attractive.

I have not tried using traditional Moby-style on my back; in my experience, my daughter is so vigorous in her attempts to get out that she pulls apart the wrapping and flings her upper body out. The stretch material and the wrapping style don’t do enough to control her movements. I loved the newborn hug hold, when she was tiny and would sleep for hours in the little pocket, but she’s too active now to allow that.

That’s all I have on the kanga-style Moby versus towel. Maybe someday I’ll compare front-carry versus back-carry!

I hope you find this information useful! Maybe you will be able to make some observations on baby-wearing while pregnant; that has to be a whole new world right there.

-Sarah C. Sell

Sarah also later added two other great uses of a beach towel:

1) changing pad

2) burp cloth

See my earlier blog on African-style baby wrapping for info how to wrap that baby!  I also want to add that many women in South Africa/ Lesotho use a towel or baby blanket for this style of baby wrapping.

Related Pages:

Three Reasons to Choose Baby Wearing for Travel

South Africa

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