We’ve seen quite a few sketchy carriers come through meetings lately, so I feel the need to speak on this topic. I don’t buy carriers made by random work at home moms. There, I said it. Now, it isn’t that I don’t support WAHMs. I do. I buy clothing, cloth diapers, toys, nursing pads, all sort of things from random WAHMs. But not carriers. I wouldn’t buy a car seat that my aunt’s neighbor made and I’m not going to buy a baby carrier from her either. Unlike a cute appliqued T or a clutch ball, this is something that affects the safety of my baby. That isn’t someplace that I’m going to mess around. I don’t sew enough to know what sort of safety considerations I’m looking for (post on that, from someone who does sew well enough to know the difference, coming soon). I’ve seen enough poorly made carriers to know that they can be quite unsafe if the maker doesn’t know what they are doing. Liability insurance is pretty cost prohibitive for someone selling a few carriers a month, or a year. If something happens and my baby is catastrophically injured, there will be no recourse. I still love supporting WAHMs, I just choose to buy from one I know makes a quality product, like Bamberoo, Olives and Applesauce or Comfy Joey, just to name a few. A surprising number of quality, top name carriers are made or sold by WAHMs or mamas who started out and home, then expanded.
Another factor to consider is resale. If you buy a quality carrier from a reputable seller and take good care of it, you can get much of your money back when you’re done using it. If you are patient, not picky and keep a good eye out, you can find great gently used carriers for a steal. If you buy a nice carrier used, you can resell it for very close to what you paid. If you buy something that your cousin’s best friend made, maybe you’ll get something back out of it. Maybe it will be falling apart in 2 months. You just don’t know. It makes me really sad to have someone come in with a carrier that they spent a decent sum on that just isn’t worth it. Don’t let this be you.
There’s some good info on DIY carrier making and safety here. If you need a recommendation on where to buy a carrier, we’re here to help. If you have a carrier that you aren’t sure is safe, we’re happy to look it over, let you know what we think and show you how to safety test it.