Review: Maya Wrap Baby Carrier

I hadn’t given much thought to baby transportation before Little Miss was born. We researched and bought a stroller several months in advance – and it was a great choice – but once in service I realized strollers are a major nuisance when store hopping by car.

Maya_wrapGramma gave us a no frills wrap that was merely a looped piece of fabric. Aside from turning a whole load of baby clothes purple, it just wasn’t the right fit for us. Then a friend gave us a more robust padded wrap. Mom fussed with adjusting it for a comfortable and snug fit for several weeks before giving up.

In a bout of homogenous rage I bought a front-style baby pack with a million locking straps. In theory, it was the perfect carrier – a lot like a backpack, so it seemed familiar. In service, we quickly realized the pack had two modes – baby stares at your chin, or baby stares forward like she’s strapped to the hood of a car.

Facing backward, Miss cried because she couldn’t see the world. Facing forward, she cried because she couldn’t see the parent carrying her. Plus, when I put on the pack, I felt like a paratrooper getting ready for my jump, and I was going to die, because, Oh My God, so many straps and buttons! Did I miss something?

One day we discovered a Maya Wrap sling at a local store and it quickly became our personnel carrier of choice. Most of the time we position Miss sideways off the hip so she can look forward or at us.

The major complaint we hear from parents who admire Miss in the wrap is that wraps seem confusing and difficult to use. In our case, the store owner took the time to explain the logistics of use. Plus, the Maya Wrap comes with an instructional DVD (VHS also available) at no extra cost.  Smart. Smart. Smart.

The Maya Wrap also rocks for other reasons:

  1. Easy to nurse from. Has extra fabric for privacy, or playing peek-a-boo.
  2. No bulky padding. (Try padless before assuming you need it.)
  3. Tucks away easily, unlike strap-laden baby packs.
  4. Machine washable
  5. Weight range up to 100lbs (35lbs is the recommended carrying limit).
  6. Multiple positions – front, back, left, right, vertical or horizontal.
  7. Has a simple Velcro pocket.
  8. Unfolds easily into a makeshift blanket for floor play
  9. Miss sleeps well in horizontal sling mode.
  10. Many fabric choices.

The one oddity is that Miss has lost her primal instinct to hold onto Mom or Dad for dear life. Think about primates at the zoo. Baby monkeys clutch their moms as their moms freely move around with babies hanging on like Christmas tree ornaments. But if we hold Miss without using the wrap — freely straddling Mom or Dad with her legs around our side — she doesn’t try clinging or holding onto us for fear of falling. It’s not really an issue, just an observation.

Maya Wrap main site and instructional video streamed online [mayawrap.com]

Comments

2 Responses to “Review: Maya Wrap Baby Carrier”

  1. Lissi at NineAcres.com says:

    The Maya Wrap is a wonderful ring sling. The “shoulder cap,” an extra flap of fabric above the rings that can be pulled down over the shoulder, helps even the newest “slingers” learn to spread out the fabric on their shoulder. This is key in keeping comfortable! I love that feature, and it’s one of the slings I recommend for someone interested in “babywearing.”

    I just wanted to let you know that what Gramma gave you is probably a pouch, sometimes called pouch sling or tube sling. The loop of fabric performs much like a ring sling, but it doesn’t adjust (although some brands do have zippers or snaps that will change the size of the pouch). Pouches are a great choice for toddlers who like to be in and out a lot, or even for babies who might be in and out of a car multiple times. The issue with pouch slings is that you must get one that fits the wearer. Often this means mom and dad can’t share.

    What is usually referred to as a wrap is simply a long piece of cloth, somewhere between 3 and 6 meters, no rings, no seams. This fabric can be wrapped around baby and wearer in hundreds of different configurations. This is sometimes confusing because the Maya *Wrap* sling is popular, but technically it isn’t a wrap, it’s a ring sling. :-)

    Hope this helps others find the baby carrier to fit there needs! Happy babywearing!

    July 26th, 2005 at 2:45 pm

  2. Elliott Kim - 21st Century Dad says:

    A baby carrier is a very personal thing. Every carrier or sling has its staunch advocates and detractors. This is understandable since humans come in all shapes and sizes.

    My wife and I attended a babywearing meeting. I think she found it through Meetup.com. We got to try on a wide variety of carriers, the Ergo Baby, Scoota-Baby, Baby Bjorn, mei-tais, pouches, ring slings, etc. The craziest one was simply 15 feet of fabric you wrap around yourself and the baby.

    I suspect many parents just give up and go back to the stroller. Some of these baby carriers can go north of $80. Why buy and try another one when $80 can buy a lot of diapers.

    Thankfully, we got to try a wide variety of carriers at the babywearing meetup. We found a couple that we like for the different situations we find ourselves in.

    The only recommendation on a baby carrier I can make is to try several. You’ll find one that fits your body just right. It opens up a whole new world. I’m a believer in babywearing.

    February 3rd, 2008 at 1:07 am