I have been dying to do a series on the carriers I have. Really I just have to start writing instead of spending time thinking about it. I’m starting with this general overview and then will feature individual carriers that I have experience with along the way. Please feel free to let me know if you have tried a particular carrier and would like to write about it.
There’s a huge world of babywearing and I have so many questions..where do I start?
The best place to start is with a local babywearing group. These groups are not only great because you will meet more local moms (support group), but most babywearing groups have a “lending library”. This allows you to either try on various carriers at events or rent a carrier to see if it will work for you. Carriers can be pretty expensive and you may not know what you or your baby will actually like. For example, there are these beautiful carriers that are hard to get (Tulas), they run anywhere from $160 – $500 or so new. I found out a Tula will never work for me because the straps don’t cross. In a babywearing group you can find these details out or see that the carrier won’t work when you try it on.
How do I find a local babywearing group?
There are a few ways to find a local group. The way I did it was to do a search in Facebook. I searched for Babywearing Group and California. Then I narrowed down the search to my local area. Both have an amazing and active Facebook presence.
The thebabywearer.com is a great site for information about carriers, buying carriers and finding a local group to join.
How can I purchase a carrier?
I bought my first carrier at a Consignment sale (a Moby). I was able to buy a brand new Moby for a third of the cost! This is a great way to experiment with carriers for a great price. My only warning is that you want to make sure you know what you are looking for. There are some carriers that are not as supportive, but are cheap and you want to stay away from those.
You can purchase carriers at your local Mom/breastfeeding store. You know I love the PumpStation. They also host sling clinics where you can try various carriers with your baby.
Here are a couple of online stores that are great: PAXBaby.com, has a great selection of items, exclusive wraps and tours for local meetups. Local to me is hipmommy.com, which is run by an amazingly sweet woman (Ivonne) who does local meetups, sling clinics and rentals.
Facebook has a great group for buying new and used carriers, The Babywearing Swap. Be careful though…sales are added quickly and it can become quite addicting. Also when purchasing online, I always advise people to use Paypal so that you can get a refund if anything is wrong. I have purchased a couple wraps this way to use for conversions (future post), but every day I see a good deal or a beautiful wrap for sale. So you have to be good about setting boundaries. It can be trial and error to buy online because you have to know measurements and fit. I purchased a $350 carrier that didn’t work for us at all. It was too large and I could not get the straps tight enough. Luckily I was able to re-sell the carrier on the swap and get my money back.
Carriers do seem to hold their value and some even go up in value (because they become rare etc). But I still believe that making an informed decision is the best route to go and to do that you need to join a local babywearers group or try various carriers in a sling clinic. Wearing your baby can be such a positive experience for both you and your baby! So find what type of carrier works for you and then you can start the search for decoration or colors that you like. Why not be fashionable and fun with your babywearing?
The next posts in this series will focus on specific carriers. There may be some videos as well. I will also document my experience in getting a custom carrier made. Let me know if you have any questions and happy babywearing!