Before you have a baby, you probably aren’t sure exactly what you need. I’m sharing my experience to help you avoid buying stuff you won’t use.
A baby carrier is one of the baby essentials I recommend for you, even if you have a short list and a tight budget. Save money by buying just one baby carrier.
Why Is a Baby Carrier Essential?
- Your baby gets what s/he wants: being close to you.
- You keep baby close enough to kiss, so you become atuned to your baby’s needs. (The “attachment” in attachment parenting.)
- You are free to use your arms and keep moving.
Especially in the first few months, most babies want to be very close to their parents. After babies start to move around, they will still spend a lot of time asking to be picked up. You have a higher vantage point to see the world. You are comfort when there is too much stimulation. Even a toddler wants to be held a lot. I still think of my little boy (before he was 6′ tall) saying, “Hold me,” and me getting out the sling that was sturdy enough to hold a toddler.
You will hold your child a lot. A baby carrier makes that a lot easier.
How to Save Money on Baby Carriers
Baby carriers are an expensive item because they involve a lot of high-quality fabric. I wouldn’t advise you to save money by getting a low-quality carrier or low-quality fabric. This is a safety issue. The baby carrier industry has done a great job in the past few years creating a standard that keeps your baby safe. It’s worth choosing a carrier that adheres to the high standard.
So, my alternative method of saving on baby carriers is to get just one carrier that works for all sizes and situations.
The staff at bynature.ca recommends the Wrapsody Bali Stretch Hybrid as their most versatile and economical carrier over the lifetime of your use.
- Wear newborn to toddler
- Use as front carrier, hip carrier, or back carrier
- One size fits all. 6 yards of fabric with hemmed, tapered ends so it is easy to tie
- Soft fabric doesn’t create pressure points on your body, like heavier wraps or too quick wrapping sometimes creates
- Compact enough to fit in your bag
- Includes a DVD to help you learn wrapping
What makes this carrier a particular favorite is the soft, stretchy fabric. This 100% cotton fabric is soft like a stretchy wrap but strong and supportive enough to function like a woven wrap.
One of the most important things for about a baby carrier, since you will be spending a lot of time wearing it over the next few years, is what it looks like. I hated my baby sling that had pastel baby patterns on it. I always reached for the one that matched my clothes (black). Think about how you dress, and buy your baby carrier accordingly. You will save yourself having to buy another one because you hesitate to wear the first.
With the Wrapsody Bali, the choices are gorgeous. Each one is unique because of the variations in hand-dyed and batiked fabric (from Bali, Indonesia). You can get a beautiful pattern, if that fits you, or a rainbow stripe, or a more subtle, neutral color. You have choices, and they are all dyed with baby-safe dyes (no heavy metals). You baby will suck and chew on the carrier, so that is important.
You will probably be wearing this carrier every day for a year, most days for the year after that, and occasionally into the third year. You will get a lot of wear out of your baby carrier. Don’t let the price tag scare you into skipping the baby carrier or opting for a cheaper version that you will have to replace.
Choose wisely the first time, and you will save in the long run.
More Baby on a Budget
All this month we will feature posts on saving money with babies.
See my short list of baby essentials and the stuff you will find on all of the other lists but you probably won’t use: “Baby on a Budget: What Do You Really Need?”
What is the best way to save on cloth diapers? Find out in “Baby on a Budget: Cloth Diapers.”
And, simplest of all, what do you need to buy to breastfeed? My answer in “Baby on a Budget: Breastfeeding Supplies.”