How do you Baby Wear on a Budget?
Just like all other baby gear you need when you have a newborn at home, babywearing can be expensive if you aren’t prepared.
When you do a quick search for baby carriers, you may be shocked at how expensive they can be.
But don’t let the price of high-end baby carriers discourage you from wearing your baby!
With these tips and tricks for baby wearing on a budget, you can carry your baby without breaking the bank.
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What is Baby Wearing?
If you’re new to baby wearing, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.
Baby wearing is simply the act of wearing your baby instead of carrying them or pushing them in a stroller.
And while it may seem like the latest fad, the concept of baby wearing has been around for centuries.
There are a few different ways you can wear your baby depending on the type of carrier you use and the age and size of your baby.
- Newborns can be worn in a wrap or sling right away, as long as your baby weighs around eight pounds or more. As your baby grows, they can be carried in the parent-facing position in a wrap or carrier.
- When your baby is old enough to hold their head up on their own, they can be switched to an outward facing position in a wrap or soft-structured carrier. This carrying method allows them to comfortably and safely see the world around them while they’re being held.
- Older babies and toddlers can ride front-facing or on your back. When carrying baby on your back, it’s a good idea to use a soft-structured carrier designed for backpack carrying.
Benefits of Baby Wearing
On top of making life a little bit easier for you by allowing you to free your hands as you carry your baby around, baby wearing also has tons of benefits for both you and your baby.
Babywearing can enhance your connection with your baby.
The simple act of being held is one of the best ways to strengthen the bond between you and your baby.
When you’re holding your baby, it’s easier to notice small cues, like movements and sounds, that can tell you your baby’s mood, making it simpler to tell if your baby is tired, hungry, or just needs a diaper change.
Wearing your baby can make everyday life easier.
We know holding your baby can enhance your bond.
But carrying your baby all day can be hard on your arms and make it difficult to get anything done.
Baby wearing allows you to hold your baby without the need to use your arms at all.
Baby carriers and wraps make it possible to hold your baby against your chest, hands free.
Is Baby Wearing Safe?
When done correctly, wearing your baby is perfectly safe.
But there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure you and your baby are safe and secure in your carrier.
Most baby wearers follow a set of guidelines known as TICKS:
T for tight:
Baby should fit tightly in your carrier and be upright as they’re held. This will prevent accidental falls while you’re carrying your baby.
I for in view:
Make sure your baby is safe by keeping them in view at all times. This will help you monitor their breathing as you’re holding them.
C for close enough to kiss:
When wearing your baby, make sure you’re close enough to kiss the top of their head to ensure they’re in the right position.
K for keep chin off chest:
To keep from obstructing your baby’s breathing, make sure their chin is off their chest as you wear them.
You should be able to fit two fingers under your baby’s chin while being worn. While wearing your baby, keep them in an upright position with their spine curved and legs squatting to keep their chin from dropping too low.
S for supported back:
Although your carrier should be tight enough to keep them upright, you should avoid overtightening the wrap or straps over your baby’s back.
Make sure there is no gap between your baby and your body, but keep the wrap loose enough so that you can easily slide your hand in the carrier.
In addition to ensuring your baby is properly secured in the carrier, you also need to consider your own safety as you carry your baby.
Make sure your carrier is positioned properly on your chest to prevent back injury or soreness, especially if you wear your baby for long periods of time.
Types of Baby Carriers
Before you can pick the right baby carrier for you, you need to be informed.
There are tons of different types of baby carriers to pick from, which means you have a variety of options when it comes to carrying your baby.
In addition to giving you choices in terms of how you carry your baby, these baby carrier varieties also range in price. So, if you’re on a budget, picking the perfect carrier is essential!
Weight range: Birth to 20 pounds
Average price: $40 to $65
Stretchy wraps are a popular method of baby carrying that are made out of stretchy material that you wrap around your body.
To use this type of carrier, you wrap the material around your body snugly before putting the baby in place.
When using a stretchy wrap to carry your baby, it’s important to remember that this carrier should only be worn in the front since the stretchy fabric isn’t strong enough to support a baby when carried on your back.
Using stretchy wraps to carry your baby is a great option during the newborn stage, but may not work for the long-term.
The stretchy material is perfect for swaddling a small baby, but as your baby grows larger, the fabric could start to sag and become uncomfortable.
Weight range: Birth to toddler
Average price: $90 to $400
If you’re interested in a wrap but want something that lasts through toddlerhood, consider a woven wrap.
Although this type of wrap is more expensive than the stretchy varieties, it does allow for longer use than a stretchy wrap, which may make the extra investment worth it.
Like a stretchy wrap, a woven wrap is made up of a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around your body to hold the baby.
But instead of being constructed of a stretchy material, these wraps are made of a thickly woven fabric.
This increases the versatility of the wrap, allowing you to hold extra weight that isn’t feasible with a stretchy wrap. That means you can use your wrap to carry your newborn as they grow into a toddler without purchasing a new carrier.
While stretchy and woven wraps look similar, the method for wearing baby is slightly different between the two.
When using a stretchy wrap, you first wrap the fabric around yourself, then add the baby. But when using a woven wrap, you typically wrap the baby onto your body.
And that means there are a variety of different wrapping methods you can use depending on the situation and your baby’s size.
Unlike stretchy wraps, which usually come as one-size-fits-all, woven wraps come in sizes ranging from 2 to 8. The size of the wrap you’ll need will depend on your body size, height, and the type of wrap you’ll be using.
If you’re not sure what size you’ll need, it’s a good idea to go up to ensure you have enough material to do a variety of different carries.
Soft Structured Carriers
Weight range: 7 to 50 pounds
Average price: $120 to $175
While wraps are very versatile options for baby wearing, there is also a learning curve involved in using them.
If you’re worried you won’t have the skills or knowledge to properly wrap your baby, using a baby carrier may be a better option for you.
Carriers usually have a padded waist belt that you fasten around yourself with a buckle, along with a panel that serves as the seat and back to hold the baby in place. The carrier also has padded straps that go over your shoulders to help support the baby’s weight.
Most carriers can be worn on your front or back, giving you different carrying options to suit your needs.
In addition to giving you the choice to carry on the front or back, you can also decide which way your baby will face as you carry them.
Infants should always be put in the carrier facing toward you, but as your baby grows, they can face outward in the carrier, too. And since the straps and buckles are adjustable, you can readjust the size of the carrier and the support it provides as your baby grows.
Weight range: Birth to 35 pounds
Average price: $60 to $100
Although slings are typically fabric baby carriers, similar to a wrap, they are worn differently.
Slings are used to carry baby by placing the fabric over one shoulder and crossing the body like a sash.
There are two different types of slings to choose from:
1) Pouch slings
Constructed of a large circle of fabric that is curved into a pouch, pouch slings hold the baby in a deep pouch in the front of the wearer, with one part of the sling draped over the wearer’s shoulder.
2) Ring slings
This ring sling looks similar to a woven wrap, except the long piece of fabric is held together by two metal rings.
The material is looped across the wearer’s body and threaded between two rings, which rest just below the shoulder.
The baby is then placed in the pouch of fabric on the front of the wearer’s body. After the baby is situated, you can adjust the ring and fabric to secure the baby to the wearer.
Baby Wearing on a Budget
Now that you have an idea of the type of baby carriers available, it’s time to do some research!
Figuring out which carrier will work for you takes a little bit of trial and error.
And since carriers aren’t a small investment, it’s a good idea to take a few factors into consideration before you make your purchase.
While price is a big factor to think about when picking a baby carrier, it shouldn’t be your only consideration.
Looking at the price tag of a carrier or wrap may be the first step in deciding if that type of carrier or brand is right for you, but it’s also a good idea to consider other factors, as well.
2) Comfort and fit
Since you’ll be using the carrier frequently, you need to make sure it’s comfortable for both you and your baby.
There’s nothing worse than spending money on a carrier or wrap only to find out that you hate wearing it!
Before you make your purchase, consider testing out the product in the store with your baby to ensure it works for you.
If you aren’t able to try the carrier on at the store, don’t worry!
Try one of these methods for testing out the product before you buy:
- Ask a friend. Call your friends to see if any of them have the carrier at home so you can test it out. Or head to social media to ask your online friends if any of them can let you try out their carriers before you make a purchase.
- Join a babywearing group. Check online to see if there’s a babywearing group in your area, then sign up to join. You can find babywearing groups by searching on Google or Facebook for “babywearing group” + your town or city. When you find a babywearing group, ask the moms in the group about their favorite carriers and see if any of them will let you try their carrier or wrap out before you buy.
3) Product reviews
After narrowing down your choices based on fit and price, head online to do some research.
Find out what other moms are saying about the brands and styles you’re interested in.
And if you see that the reviews aren’t great, look into other recommendations based on the style of carrier to see if there are other options to choose from.
Where to Buy Cheap Baby Carriers
Now that you’ve done your research and you’re ready to buy, it’s time to start shopping!
But if you’re not sure where to look to find a good deal on a carrier or wrap, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Check out these places to find a cheap baby carrier or wrap:
1) Consignment shops
When looking for discount baby gear, checking your local consignment shop is a great idea.
You can purchase a used carrier at a discount price, allowing you to get a name brand item for a fraction of the retail price.
2) Online marketplaces
Checking out online markets like Facebook Marketplace for local purchases or eBay is another great way to get baby gear, like carriers and wraps.
But before making a purchase, it’s a good idea to vet the seller to ensure the items they’re selling are safe to use.
Always check seller reviews and ask questions if you’re in doubt about anything.
Finding custom made wraps and slings on Etsy is a great way to get a good deal on a cute carrier.
And you’ll be supporting a small business or work-from-home mom when you make your purchase!
Just like any other online purchase, always check the reviews of the seller to ensure you’re getting a great product.
And don’t forget to ask questions about the type of fabric they use to ensure they meet safety standards.
4) Make your own
If you’re handy with a sewing machine, making your own wrap or sling could be an option.
But before you start sewing, make sure to do your research!
To ensure the safety of your baby, slings and wraps must be made with high-quality fabric and should only done by experienced baby wearers.
If you’ve never used a sling or wrap before, it’s a good idea to invest your money in purchasing one to get the hang of it before you attempt making your own.
5) Watch for sales
While purchasing used baby gear is a great way to save money, if you have your heart set on buying a new carrier, don’t worry.
Keeping an eye out for sales at stores like Target can help you save money on a name-brand carrier.
Watch the weekly sales at your favorite baby gear store and make note of the prices, then keep an eye out for a lower price on the brand and style of carrier you’re searching for.
With the Honey Extension, you can use check the price history (up to 120 days) at many retailers to see if you are getting a good deal. You can also use Honey’s price drop feature so when there is a price drop, Honey will automatically send you an email to let you know about it.
Cheap Baby Carriers
While scouring the internet and your local shops for a great deal on a baby carrier may be one option for saving money on baby wearing, it’s not the only one!
Amazon is home to a variety of great budget-friendly baby carriers, too.
When you’re on the hunt for a cheap baby carrier, take a look at these options for babywearing on a budget:
Boppy ComfyFit Hybrid Baby Carrier
Constructed of soft, breathable fabric the Boppy ComfyFit Hybrid Baby Carrier is perfect for use in any weather.
And since the fabric is UPF 50+, your baby will be protected from the sun as you wear them, too.
This unique baby carrier is a cross between a wrap and carrier.
It features the comfort and flexibility of a wrap, with the support of a carrier.
Featuring an adjustable waist belt and soft shoulder straps, you’re sure to be comfortable while wearing your baby. And you can’t beat the price, either!
Infantino 4-in-1 Carrier
Featuring four different wearing positions, the Infantino 4-in-1 Carrier will grow with your baby.
The carrier comes with an adjustable ergonomic seat and adjustable shoulder straps and waist belt, making it easy to switch up the size of the carrier as your baby grows.
The carrier can be used with the baby facing in or out, as well as worn on the front or back. And it features two different seat positions to ensure your baby is comfortable as they ride.
Boba Stretch Wrap
Stretchy and soft, the construction of the Boba stretchy wrap is perfect for swaddling your infant while babywearing during the first few months.
And since it’s machine washable, it makes for easy clean-up after all those common infant messes.
Constructed of cotton and spandex, the material is stretchy enough to easily wrap your baby and comfortably carry them throughout the day.
The cotton provides your baby with proper airflow as they’re being carried and the spandex allows the wrap to provide your baby with comfort and security.
And since there’s only one way to tie the Boba, there’s no guesswork involved in putting it on.
Baby Carrier Wrap and Sling
For options when it comes to babywearing, consider purchasing a wrap and sling combo.
This 4-in-1 baby carrier can be used as a woven wrap or a ring sling.
The carrier comes with a soft cotton wrap, two metal rings, and an instruction book to help you use your baby carrier.
The one-size-fits-all wrap is made of over five yards of fabric, which means it’s long enough to fit just about any body size.
And it can be worn in a variety of ways, offering you tons of versatility for your money.
Whether you choose to wear your newborn in the sling or wrap your toddler, you’ll be able to use this combo for a while.
Infantino Cuddle Up Carrier
To keep your baby protected as you’re wearing them, you’ll love this cute fox-themed Infantino Cuddle Up Carrier.
The detachable fox canopy hood provides coverage for your baby’s head when you’re carrying them outside.
And the wide ergonomic seat features knee to knee support for your baby as you’re wearing them.
With the adjustable waist belt and straps, as well as the handy front pouch for your hands, you’ll be comfortable while baby wearing, too!
The carrier can be worn on the front or as a backpack, allowing you to switch up your carrying position as you see fit.
Infantino Knit Carrier
When it comes to budget-friendly baby gear, Infantino is a popular choice.
And like the other Infantino carriers on this list, this knit carrier is a great option for baby wearing on a budget.
The preformed hybrid wrap looks and wears like a traditional wrap without all the hard work! The carrier is made of two fabric straps that go over your shoulders, along with an adjustable waistband for support.
After placing the baby inside, you’ll simply place the baby in the seat on front and wrap them with the attached cotton wrap.
Baby can be worn in the parent facing position, with their head supported by the soft strap or outside the wrap to move more freely.
Mebien Baby Ring Sling
When it comes to budget-friendly baby wearing, ring slings are a great option.
This Mebien baby ring sling is constructed of 100% cotton muslin, ensuring it’s soft and breathable.
And it will become smoother and softer after every wash.
The lightweight material will help you and your baby stay cool each time you wear it, no matter what the weather is.
And the adjustable rings will provide you with plenty of options when it comes to wearing your baby.
Chico UltraSoft Infant Carrier
This basic infant carrier is another great option for budget-friendly babywearing.
The soft, mini-vented lining and mesh side panels will keep your baby cool as they ride.
And the adjustable straps make it easy to transfer the carrier between mom and dad.
You’ll love the machine washable bib to protect you from stains and spit-up. And the handy front storage pockets are a great place to store your keys and snacks.
The 2-in-1 carrier can be worn parent facing or outward facing, giving you options as your baby grows.
This ergonomic carrier is a bit more expensive, but it’s my favorite. I found it the most comfortable for carrying my baby!
I’m not a doctor. After reading about the importance of using a baby carrier that has a supported seated position, this carrier became my #1 choice.
What I like particularly about this carrier is that it can be used with a newborn right away at 7 lbs (no additional infant insert required) up until the baby is 45 lbs. It can be adapted for all carry positions including facing the baby inwards and outwards, carrying on the hip or back.
You can even breastfeed your baby in it. Sometimes I found the carrier easier to use than a stroller when I was out of the house. For example, when I was going to a restaurant with tight spacing or on a plane with a baby.
Related Ideas for Baby Wearing on a Budget:
- Baby Essentials For The First 3 Months You Can’t Forget About
- Baby Travel Products And Tips When Flying On A Plane
- Baby On A Budget Checklist
- Dock A Tot Alternatives (Cheaper!) for Infants and Babies
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