Whether you are an experienced babywearer lusting after a custom carrier or a new parent overwhelmed by the cost of baby gear, it can be easy to assume babywearing is a costly thing. While some carriers are pricey (and often for good reason) it is very possible to get a quality carrier for a very reasonable price. Here are a few babywearing on a budget tips:
1. Test them out and borrow. Baby Wearing International is an organization devoted to educating about and supporting babywearing. Many local chapters have a lending library with a variety of carriers available to members.
2. Buy gently used. Many carriers are extremely well made and can be used for many years. Be sure to check all seams and buckles but most hold up very well. Consignment stores, yardsales and online are great places to score a great deal. My Beco Butterfly was purchased when my now seven year old was ten months and it is still in excellent shape being used on baby number four!
3. Make one! Even if you are not crafty there are many options from no sew ring slings to table cloth wraps and scarves used as slings. YouTube is a great place to learn!
4. Shop around. Years ago it was difficult to just walk into a big box store and find a quality ergonomic carrier. Fortunately as babywearing has grown more retailers now stock carriers and more affordable brands are making ergonomic carriers.
5. Exchange, return or sell baby gear items your little one does not enjoy much. Every baby is different so some will enjoy a swing more than a bouncy seat or vice versa, your baby might quickly outgrow their bassinet and you might not use the fancy diaper disposal system more than the regular trash can. If you go through the many shower gifts and hand me downs you might find you’re able to fund your carrier for very little out of pocket cost.