Carriers on a Budget

       I think just about every new babywearer experiences a similar emotion when encountering the babywearing swaps for the first time. Sticker shock. In the world of baby carriers there is such wide range in pricing. When a new babywearer stumbles across carriers that cost upwards of $1,000, many find it surprising if not off-putting, but there are without question affordable options out there. It is just a matter of knowing where to look. Here are some carrier options that are priced at $100 or less.

Soft Structured Carriers-

Infantino Support Ergonomic

  • Infantino Support Ergonomic Carrier – $50

http://www.infantino.com/product.cfm?product_id=1414

http://www.toysrus.com/buy/baby-gear/baby-carriers/front-hip-baby-carriers/infantino-support-ergonomic-carrier-grey-200-125-12268634

  • Infantino Union Baby Carrier – $30

http://www.target.com/p/infantino-union-baby-carrier-grey/-/A-13260163?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Google_PLA_df&LNM=%7C13260163&CPNG=Baby&kpid=13260163&LID=PA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=13260163

  • Ergobaby Carrier at Marshalls – $60 to $70
  • Babies Beyond Borders Buckled Carrier – $80

Babies Beyond Boarders Buckle

Baby Buckle

http://babiesbeyondborders.com/catalog.php?category=23

Toddler Buckle

http://babiesbeyondborders.com/catalog.php?category=25

  • Babies Beyond Borders Buckled Carrier Seconds – $45

http://babiesbeyondborders.com/catalog.php?category=28

 

Ring Slings-

  • Sleeping Baby Productions – French Twill Ring Sling – $40

http://www.sleepingbaby.net/basics.php

  • Wearlovestudio.com – $35 plus cost of materials

http://www.wearlovestudio.com

  • Babyette Ring Slings – $50 to $90

Babyette Ring Sling

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BabyEtte

  • Taylormade Ring Sling – French Twill – $57

http://www.sproutingup.com/item_190/French-Twill-Ring-Sling.htm

  • Little Frog Wrap Conversion Ring Slings – $53

http://www.sproutingup.com/item_772/Little-Frog-Ring-Slings.htm

  • Colimacon et Cie Wrap Conversion Ring Slings – $73

C&C Ring Sling

http://www.sproutingup.com/item_751/Colimacon-et-Cie-Ring-Sling.htm

  • Chimparoo Wrap Conversion Ring Slings – $90

http://www.sproutingup.com/item_725/Chimparoo-Woven-Wrap-Ring-Sling.htm

 

Mei Tais-

  • Infantino Sash Mei Tai Carrier – $35

Infantino Sash

http://www.infantino.com/product.cfm?product_id=1415

  • Infantino EcoSash Mei Tai Carrier – $45

http://www.infantino.com/product.cfm?product_id=1415

  • Babyhawk Mei Tai – $80 to $90 new

http://www.tendercargo.com/catalog/babyhawk.html

  • Taylormade Mei Tai – $95

http://www.sproutingup.com/item_775/Taylor-Made-Mei-Tai.htm

  • Freehand Mei Tai – $75

Freehand Mei Tai

https://www.togetherbe.com/freehand-mei-tai-2

  • Freehand Podaegi – $75

https://www.togetherbe.com/freehand-custom-podaegi

  • Babies Beyond Boarders Half Buckle Mei Tai – $75

http://babiesbeyondborders.com/catalog.php?category=13

*occasionally may have seconds in this style for less

  • BBB Half Buckle Mei Tai – Toddler – $85 to $90

http://babiesbeyondborders.com/catalog.php?category=22

*occasionally may have seconds in this style for less

 

Stretchy Wraps-

Moby Wrap

Moby and Boba stretchy wraps retail for around $60, but it is often recommended that babywearers check the swap boards and their local craigslist for these carriers, as the resale value is often much lower. Stretchy wraps can typically be found second-hand for anywhere from $20 – $30. Many babywearers decide to go the DIY route when trying out stretchy wraps and find it to be a great option.

 

Woven Wraps-

  • Little Frog Woven Wraps –  Starting at $57

Little Frog Woven

  • Colimacon et Cie Woven Wraps – Starting at $97

http://www.sproutingup.com/item_752/Colimacon-et-Cie-Miel-et-Malice.htm

  • Chimparoo Woven Wraps – Starting at $98

http://www.sproutingup.com/item_726/Chimparoo-Woven-Wrap.htm

  • GypsyMama Bali Breeze woven – $60 to $90

aphrodide

http://www.wrapsodybaby.com/shop/breeze.php

  • Marsupial Mamas 40% off sales

http://www.marsupial-mamas.com/

There are excellent deals that can be found during Marsupial Mamas sales. You can purchase high quality woven wrap brands for around $100 or less.

 

Stalking the Swaps-

There are often great deals to be found on the online babywearing swaps, though it can be a matter of patience. Some of the brands to keep an eye out for include Didymos, Hoppediz, and Storchenwiege. These are all very reputable brands, but you can currently occasionally find them priced below $100. The main Facebook babywearing swap offers an album specifically for carriers under $100 ( https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.576821189006850&type=1 ) and there is also a separate swap specifically for affordable carriers, Babywearing on a Budget (https://www.facebook.com/groups/156002947911287 ).

 

Do It Yourself (DIY)-

There are DIY options for nearly every type of carrier, so this is a great route for those looking for affordable babywearing. Numerous online resources for DIY babywearing exist, but it is important to seek out a reputable source so that DIY carriers are safe and sound for carrying a child. A few of the many solid resources include “Babywearing DIY Advice and Support” on Facebook  (https://www.facebook.com/groups/334070496681248/ ), TheBabywearer’s DIY Forum (http://www.thebabywearer.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?76-Do-It-Yourself ), and Jan Andrea of Sleeping Baby Production’ DIY tutorial pages (http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/ ),  though there are certainly more out there to choose from as well.

As this list shows, there is much that exists in the way of reasonably priced baby carriers. The wonderful thing about babywearing is that you can make it work for each parent and child’s individual needs. Making babywearing fit your life by making it suite your budget is only one of many examples of the versatility of this incredibly beneficial tool.

Warning: Please be aware that knock-off carriers do exist. In recent years, knock-off Ergos, BabyHawks, and Freehands have been an issue in particular. Purchasing fake baby carriers is far more concerning than purchasing a knock-off handbag because of the safety implications. Legitimate baby carrier brands are safety tested and lead tested among other things. When it is a product meant to carry your most precious cargo, it is not a good time to purchase a product made of questionable materials. If you would like to check on a retailer to see if they are included in Ergo’s Authentic Retailers List, please check here: http://store.ergobaby.com/index.php?page=locations  .  To see a comparison between an authentic Ergo and a fake Ergo, please check here:
http://thehumbledoula.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/how-to-spot-a-fake-ergo-baby-carrier/

Megan Oberg, VBE