a) knows me and wants to know how many carriers I really own
b) wonders why on earth people "need" different kinds and colors of carriers
c) would love to have a babywearing "stash" like we see pictures of but doesn't have thousands of dollars to invest in this fun-but-expensive-and-addicting hobby.
So. The first question - I have sixteen carriers. Yes, sixteen. You can see them in the picture above (stop counting, there are three missing from the picture). From left to right...
Pile one: slings. I have two mesh water ring slings. One red (not shown) that I made last year, but I would like to redo it because I don't like the rings I used or the sewing job I did. It was my first DIY (do it yourself), so it was a lesson learned. The other mesh ring sling is white, and it is no-sew. I threaded the shoulder part through the rings backward and the adjustable part through the right way. Done in five minutes. No sewing. Under that is my Hotsling, which is a pocket sling. Then come my two woven ring slings. The green one is a DIY from half of a tablecloth. The blue one is a Maya Wrap.
Pile two: Asian style carriers. The top one is a wrap-pod (podaegi) from half of a 102" tablecloth from Kohls. Under that is a DIY mei tai I made from a Pampered Chef place mat. And the bottom one is a Kozy carrier that I found on Craigslist for $10. (My favorite bargain find!!!)
Pile three: wraps. I have two kinds - stretchy and woven. The stretchy ones aren't in the picture. One is a white one that I found at Tot Trade (a big twice-a-year consignment sale near me). It is from another country and has the directions printed all over it (in a language that I haven't identified) and it worked great when DS was a newborn. The other stretch is a Moby D, which is like a regular Moby but has a woven panel in the middle. My wovens are in the picture: a medium (size 5) Ellaroo; a size 2 tablecloth wrap (the other half of my pod), and a size 4 tablecloth wrap.
Pile four: SSCs, or soft structure carriers. These are not DIY. :) From top to bottom: a performance Ergo that I bought for my husband, a Boba 3G, and an Angelpack.
The second question - I don't need them all (does anyone "need" a collection??), but I do use them for different purposes and places that I'll share about in more detail later. Some are sturdier and clean up easier for wearing DS in the yard. Some are more comfortable for longer periods of baby wearing. Some are easier to manage in a parking lot where I don't want straps dragging on the ground. Some are prettier. Some fold up smaller and can be stashed in my diaper bag. Some are easier to pop a baby in an out of. Some are easier for carrying him on my back. You get the idea.
The third topic - I definitely have what you would call a "stash" but it is definitely a stash on a budget. Only four of these carriers cost me more than $50 (the Ellaroo, and the three SSCs), but all of them were less than retail because I found them used on a Facebook group for buying and trading used carriers. The Maya wrap was bought gently used for $35, and all of the rest were bought at a consignment sale or were made for less than $20 per wrap. The mesh was on sale at my fabric store. The tablecloths were all either on sale or at a consignment store. No, they aren't the top brands or a handwoven specialty, but I have a variety of wraps and carriers that suit my needs and my whims without breaking the bank. And the pricier carriers and wraps generally sell for nearly the price I paid for them, so if you can be without some cash for a while, you can get most of it back and chalk it up to renting a carrier for a year or two.
More details about these different kinds of carriers to come!
If you wear your baby, where do you find good deals? How would you encourage a new babywearer on a budget? Share in the comments below!