Since we’ve been babywearing for the last two years I’ve come in contact with lots of different people. Some have been really welcoming. Some have been a bit judgmental. You see, I started babywearing with a piece of material I found in my sewing stash. Yep, that piece of material around my torso and my then three month old, was what I used for the first few months.
I didn’t know what I was “supposed” to use. I just knew that the ladies in Peru were doing it with pieces of fabric. I went online, saw this video on a no-sew rebozo, and decided to try it. I grabbed some white material that was long enough to tie around me and the baby, followed the video, threw him in it, and have been babwearing ever since.
After a few months, my partner found an Infantino mei tei at a swap meet for $5. I threw it in the washing machine and took my oldest around the world (South Africa, Brazil, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea) in it for two years. When we won the same, but this time brand new, mei tei from the Black babywearing group on Facebook we put our second baby in it and saw the world.
Now that our oldest is about to be four years old, we’ve had to upgrade to a toddler Tula. Since we’re still cheap, we bought it used off of eBay for $80 (brand new they are around $160) while on vacation in Las Vegas.
Over the last, almost, four years we’ve been babywearing we’ve spent a whopping $85 on babywearing. That’s it. $85.
Even though babywearing is primarily used in low income communities around the world, it’s been rebranded as an upscale white people thing here in the United States. That’s probably because lots of the carriers (think Ergo, Tula, LillieBaby, etc.) are $100+ and when you’re earning $11 and hour spending NINE HOURS of your income on something that you don’t really understand doesn’t make sense. I get it. My point is this, if you are thinking about babywearing but you don’t have tons of money … don’t worry. It can be done.
If you want to babywear but don’t want to spend tons of money on it:
- Check your local thrift stores. Often they’ll have baby carriers in the sheets and towels section for $10 or cheaper. Just check to make sure that all the parts are there and in working condition.
- Check your local babywearing groups. Often there are parents that already have carriers that they are looking to sell. I actually got the one and only new baby carrier from a Black babywearing group on Facebook. I won it.
- Check Craigslist and eBay. There are tons of barely used carriers (I think people get them as gifts and never use it) available and prices can be quite cheap.
- Make one. This is the most challenging option but there are groups on Facebook that specialize in helping individuals sew their own babycarriers. My guess is that members mostly make Moby-type wraps and mei teis.
Hopefully, you’ve been encouraged to try babywearing. Please let me know how it goes and if you have any more ideas of how to get cheap, safe baby carriers.