I have been a babywearing educator for 7 years. I have traveled hundreds of miles for conferences, heard amazing people speak about the benefits of babywearing in the real world. I know how babywearing saves lives, reduces domestic abuse, helps postpartum depression, aids children with illnesses and special needs, and what a necessary skill it is to teach. I will write many articles about these topics in the future I’m sure. I believe in babywearing for many deep, meaningful reasons. But today, I’m going to take a break from all of that and talk about the lighter side, the reason most get excited about it, it’s fun! We love collecting, trading, buying, selling, ogling, petting and otherwise gushing about pretty carriers!
I attended my first babywearing meeting when I was pregnant with my second child. I had no idea I would end up getting so deeply into it, I just wanted to find a comfortable way to carry my child and keep them close. Before my daughter was born I had purchased three carriers! I bought a wrap, a mei tai, and a pouch sling. I wanted to have different styles available so I would have something I loved when she arrived and I had the chance to figure it out. I practiced on teddy bears and my toddler and got ready. Then I fell in love with the people in that group and started attending regularly. I joined The Babywearer, an online forum for enthusiasts and people learning how to wear. Suddenly I was exposed to so many different styles, colors, weaves, and fabrics! I was hooked!
Over the last 7 years I’ve probably had over 100 carriers come and go. I’ve tried silk, cotton, wool, linen, merino, tussah, and cashmere. I’ve had custom dye jobs, and fancy wrap conversions. It was a ton of fun. I sold most of them for about what I paid and lost very little money in the process. I stopped participating in the stash churning a couple years ago before there were so many new brands on the market but I had a blast!
There are many wonderful and powerful reasons that babywearing is important and I strongly believe that every adult in contact with young children should have basic wearing skills. That said, it’s ok to just be in it for the fun of it. You can absolutely find one or two carriers that are comfortable and beautiful and allow you to care for your child and get on with your life. But if you enjoy hunting for hard to find carriers and drooling over the pretty fabrics, enjoy!
Below: My kids’ father attempting to hold every carrier I owned during the peak of my collecting.