Babywearing on a Budget
Babywearing is a great way to bond with your baby, keep the baby close, transport your baby, and multi-task while with the baby. There are several different types of carriers on the market from ring slings, to pouch slings, to wraps, to soft-structured carriers, and more. There are a lot of great websites and resources available to help you find the wrap, carrier, or sling that meets your needs. I suggest doing your research to find out what will work best for you. Also, if you have friends that have the wraps and slings that you are interested in, ask to try them on to see how they feel prior to making a decision.
Not only are there many types of carriers out there, but there are so many fun patterns, features, and different uses depending on the carrier you get. Whether you buy several carriers for different activities and trends, or whether you just need one basic carrier... baby carriers can be expensive! One way to save a good deal of money on these carriers is to purchase secondhand (pre-loved, used) carriers online. It can sometimes be difficult to know where to purchase these carriers, so I've compiled a list here.
Websites and Stores to Purchase Used Baby Wraps, Carriers, and Slings
Here is a listing of websites for where to purchase used/pre-owned/pre-loved/secondhand wraps, carriers, and ring slings.
- NoBetterDeal.com- You can find great deals on this site. The products are generally open-box, damaged box, or new-never opened. There is a great selection which often includes Ergo, BabyBjorn, Boba, Baby K'tan, Infantino, Peanut Shell, Zolowear, Moby, and more.
- Amazon Warehouse- Amazon's warehouse section doesn't often offer carriers, however, when they do, you can be assured that they are top quality. You would also have the benefit of Amazon's great shipping services and customer service. Once on Amazon, go to the warehouse tab and search for "baby carrier" to see your options. I have seen Ergo carriers, Osprey, Kelty, and Chicco offered in the past. If you have time to wait, you will probably find a great deal.
- GlobalEnfant.com- This site offers a variety of used and clearance carriers. They also offer free shipping on US orders. Brands include Moby, Beco, Sleepy Wrap, Ergo, Boba, Catbird, and more.
- FrogMama.com- This site offers a clearance section with returns, gently-used, and seconds quality carriers. Brands include Beco, Onya, Boba, Babyhawk, Angelpack, Pikkolo, Maya, Moby, Sakura Bloom, Wrapsody, Tula, Didymos, Comfy Joey, and Little Frog Woven Wraps. This site also offers a military discount! Email the staff in order to get your code.
- ThanksMama.com- This site offers a section of gently used and discontinued baby carriers. Some items are recent returns, so they are like new. Brands include BabyBjorn, Belle Baby, Boba, Britax, Cybex, Ergo, Maya, Moby, Onya, Sakura Bloom, Scoota Baby, Sleepy Wrap, and TogetherBe.
- AbbysLane.com- This company will often offer used Boba Carriers and sometimes gently-used Tulas. They are a certified Boba reseller. They don't always have Bobas in stock, but when they do, you can get a deep discount. Also, if you are interested in getting a great deal on a used Boba or Tula, follow Abby's Lane on Facebook. They will sometimes offer flash sales, but the products get listed on their Facebook page.
- ebay- ebay generally has a large number of baby carriers for sale. They pretty much offer every brand under the sun and at great prices. Since you cannot be too certain of who you are purchasing the carrier from, I would recommend being vigilant about reading the seller reviews and inspecting your carrier upon arrival for safety and quality.
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Facebook Groups and Swaps for Baby Wearing
Facebook groups and baby-wearing swaps are probably the most popular place to buy, trade, and sell baby carriers currently. If you go to Facebook and search for "Baby Wearing Swap" you will find many groups available. There are nationwide groups and local groups. These groups are great because they are usually a good resource if you have questions about a carrier or if you want to get some advice or past experiences from people who have purchased in a similar way.
Aside from Facebook, there are many other websites that host swaps for wraps, slings, and carriers. Some of the sites are better moderated than others as far as keeping out scams. Read through the rules of each site to find one that you are comfortable using. Some of the more popular sites are listed below.
Local Cloth Diaper and Second-Hand Kids Stores
Do some research to see if there is a local store that specializes in cloth diapers or babywearing. Often, even if you have a specialty baby or cloth diaper store that doesn't necessarily sell baby carriers, the store will hold events for baby carrier swaps and sales. Inquire at the store to see what options they have available. Additionally, if there are second-hand children's stores in the area, there is a good chance that they will sell used carriers.
Is it Safe to Buy a Used Baby Carrier?
When purchasing baby items on a budget, I will be the first to tell you that there are certain items that you just need to buy new. Car seats and cribs are big items that you want to be sure to purchase new so that they meet necessary safety requirements. Unfortunately, there is not a great answer when it comes to baby carriers. It is fair to assume that open-box returned items are safe if they are still covered by the manufacturer's warranty. When it comes to very loved carriers, you need to use your judgment. For the most part, mamas selling carriers take child safety seriously and won't sell damaged products. When you purchase from ebay, Craigslist, or a similar site, you don't really know who you are purchasing from. I would recommend in such cases that you inspect the product carefully for any tears, stitching coming undone, cracks in plastic (if structured carrier), and general sturdiness. Also, be sure to check the item carefully once you've placed your baby in the carrier to be sure that they appear well-supported and comfortable. Ultimately, it is up to the mommy's judgment whether or not a carrier is safe for her child.
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I hope you have found this article useful for finding previously owned baby carriers. If you know of a good resource that I have not listed, please let me know so that I can add it to the list above. Thank you and happy babywearing!