Best Baby Carrier for Newborns 2019
Boba Wrap review
Stretchy but supportive, the Boba baby wrap provides a womb-like environment for your new baby as they adjust to life in the outside world.
Written by Adele Jarrett-Kerr, published 13 March 2019
Verdict in 10 seconds
- One size fits all wearers
- Easy for getting newborns in and out
- Supremely comfortable for carrying tiny babies
- While many learn to wrap quickly, some wearers prefer buckles
- Machine washable
- Less fabric to deal with than some other wraps on the market
- Relatively cool
- Printed manual and online instructions are exceptionally clear
- You create a custom fit every time you wrap
- No accessories needed (eg newborn insert)
- Lower price tag than most soft-structured carriers
- Extra stretch, which makes it easy to get an ideal fit
- Softest baby carrier option for newborns
- There's a learning curve involved in wrapping
- May trail the floor when putting on and taking off
- Has no special features, such as pockets
- Limited to two front carrying positions
- You will likely need to buy a second carrier beyond six months
What are the key features?
- Four-way stretch helps to get the perfect fit
- Suitable from newborn to toddler (7-35 lbs)
- Suitable for kangaroo care for premature babies following Boba’s instructions (always consult appropriate support if using for babies in special care)
- Integrated head support
- Extra elasticity for more stretch
- Can be neatly folded for storage
- Available in 14+ colours and patterns
- Machine washable on cool cycles
What are the specs?
- 95% French terry cotton; 5% spandex
- Material size: L: 5 metres, W: 50cm
- Suitable from 7 lbs to 35 lbs (birth to around two or three years of age), in theory, but at its best for most up to six months
- RRP: £38 at time of review
- Estimated resale value: £15+ at time of review
How easy is the Boba Wrap to operate?
While five metres of fabric can appear daunting out of the box, many wearers find that they quickly get to grips with the art of wrapping.
Once the Boba Wrap is on, you can easily slip your baby in and out, meaning you can leave it tied between uses and you don’t have to coordinate securing the sling while supporting your baby.
If you’ve used a stretchy wrap before, you’re unlikely to hit any obstacles with the Boba, but you may appreciate its exceptional elasticity – it helps you to create an even more supportive fit once you’ve got it tight enough.
If you’re a first-timer, there is some room for error as you have to create the harness by wrapping the material around yourself and tying a double knot, which takes some practice.
The Boba Wrap’s manual is exceptionally clear and comprehensive with written and visual instructions and installation videos also available online. The manual advises two positions – one for newborn and one for 10 lbs or more.
How adjustable is it?
The Boba is the ultimate in adjustability. Its four-way stretch allows you to pull the wrap snugly around your body to create a truly custom fit, making it one size fits all.
A small amount of spandex makes this wrap stretchier than many other stretchy wraps so that it comfortably clings to you and your baby without skimping on support. You can even place the shoulders in different styles depending on what suits you best.
You won’t need any added accessories to adjust this sling as your baby grows – the wrap is all you need. However, you are limited to one front carrying position, dependent on your baby’s weight.
This sling can even be adjusted for carrying twins, but you should get in touch with a sling library or consultant before attempting to carry both babies at once in the Boba Wrap – it’s one of the trickier carries to get right.
How comfortable is it?
Simultaneously soft, strong and stretchy, this wrap is so comfortable you may find yourself wearing it for hours, whether pottering around the house or out on the school run.
You spread the material across your shoulders, broadly criss-crossing your back to evenly distribute the weight of your baby, which gives fantastic support. The key to comfort with this wrap is to get it as tight possible.
You then tie the tails around your waist, wherever is most comfortable, which makes this a waistband-free option.
Some wearers won’t like the sensation of being surrounded by so much material, no matter how soft it is, and they may find even the lightweight Boba a bit warm.
You should always treat your sling as a layer of clothing in its own right and adjust the layers you and your baby wear to suit. Many enjoy carrying newborns in this snuggly wrap without the obstacles of buckles, straps and more rigid material.
Most won’t choose this sling for an older baby. Though the Boba Wrap is in its element from birth to four months, it’s not as supportive beyond six months as your baby gets heavier and becomes more mobile.
“I can wear this wrap for hours at a time and feel no aches or pains.”
How does it look?
The Boba comes in range of colours, from muted tones to wildly bright shades and patterns. There’s something here for everyone.
Since wrapping surrounds you in material, it is an unavoidably conspicuous item so you may want to bear that mind when choosing your colour or print.
With that said, its style is simple without the fuss of buckles or a sleep hood. We were satisfied that the Boba Wrap will continue to look great as the stitching is neat and there were no loose threads, pulls or flaws in the fabric following our testing period.
What's it like to use day-to-day?
This is a brilliant wrap for young babies to fall asleep in. The fabric passes over the shoulders to provide a built-in headrest and the baby is well supported, with chin off chest, face visible and with a curved back as they would sleeping in your arms.
Thanks to the Boba Wrap’s brilliant fit, your baby remains snug as you get on with other tasks, but you may find that you’re not completely hands-free, depending on what you’re doing.
One of our testers found that she sometimes needed to support her baby’s head. Bending over unsupported is not an option with this type of sling.
Breastfeeding is possible with this baby wrap and you may find that the wide material helps you to do so discreetly if you prefer.
It’s advisable to ask a sling library or consultant to give you demo so you can breastfeed a newborn confidently. Our tester with a younger baby didn’t feel her baby was secure while breastfeeding in the sling and noted that she wouldn’t feel confident walking around while doing so either.
Since the Boba is extraordinarily stretchy, it’s important to tie it as tightly as possible and re-tie as needed. One tester found that after wearing the wrap for a while or walking briskly to chase her toddler on a scooter, she felt like her baby was sinking a bit or that the wrap felt looser.
How safe is the carrier?
The Boba Wrap carries the International Hip Dysplasia Institute “hip healthy” certification as it maintains an ergonomic seat once correctly tied, which keeps your baby’s hips in the recommended 'M' position.
The centre panel in the front carry position gives the baby good lateral support too. Both of our testers found it easy to get their babies in the optimal position once the wrap was tied.
If needed, this wrap could even be used in kangaroo care of premature babies or others in special care. Always seek appropriate support if you want to explore this option and consult your doctor if you have any concerns.
Our tester with a younger baby found that the Boba Wrap felt really secure and that her baby stayed in the correct position. However, she sometimes needed to reposition his head to make sure the material wasn’t covering his face as he sometimes leaned into unexpected positions.
The Boba is made from durable material. This sling will come through all sorts unscathed. The tails of the wrap are long but, once tied, they pose no issues as they’re kept well away from your baby.
Bear in mind that this wrap cannot be used for hip or back carrying as the stretchy material makes those positions unsafe.
How easy is it to clean?
If there’s any time your baby carrier is likely to brave bodily fluids on a daily basis, it’s the newborn phase, so it’s vital that the Boba Wrap washes well.
As it turns out, it’s up to the job. One of our testers ran a banana smearing test with good results and both found the sling washed beautifully.
But because it is a simple length of fabric, it does show up dirt. Luckily, it machine washes at 30 degrees on a gentle cycle, although you’re advised to spot clean where possible to protect the colour.
An older baby could suck on the shoulder passes, but you may find that you’re ready to move on to a different carrier by the time they reach this stage.
Bear in mind that the fabric trails the ground when putting the wrap on and taking it off – unavoidable with five metres of material to grapple with. So it can be a struggle to prevent the wrap from getting wet or muddy if you're putting it on outdoors. Many wearers work around this by tying it at home before heading out.
Scoring highly in all categories for our tester with a younger baby, the Boba Wrap is a best buy for the earliest months.
It’s comfortable for both baby and wearer, suitable for all shapes and sizes and brilliantly cosy for keeping the tiniest of babies close to you.
You would need to move on to a different baby carrier as your baby grows, but the lower price tag makes it worth considering anyway.
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All prices correct at time of publication
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