I grew up in South Africa and it was normal to see the African ladies baby wearing their own babies as well as the children they were charged with looking after during the day. This was normal and honestly I never looked twice or thought about it until a year ago. I met a lovely lady who loves to wear her babies and honestly she got me addicted to cloth nappies! But that’s a whole other story. She came to visit me when I was in Waikato hospital and she was wearing her then 4 month old in a wrap.
This got me curious and I asked her about it, and she pointed me to a few places on Facebook, Woven, and a baby wearing group in Hamilton, Waikato Baby Carriers. I loved the thought of wearing a wrap and I bought one through Trade Me and I never quite got the hang of it, plus it takes lots and lots of practice plus patience. Two things I don’t have, patience to practice!
I then got my hands on an Organic Ring Sling and once I was shown how to use it, we were on our baby wearing journey! I loved having him up close to me, and Logan definitely enjoyed being carried. Especially when I couldn’t settle him in the early days and I’d put him in the ring sling and take a walk around the block, when I came back he’d be fast asleep! I wanted to test out other carrying options, especially something that my husband could use with his bad back. I went to a meeting at Waikato Baby Carriers and became a yearly member, which also meant I could hire one item a month without a charge, or pay $10 a month per hire. The first I hired was a Manduca, and I loved having Logan in it. Though it did feel awkward on my shoulders. It was great for getting things done around the house. Especially baking and cooking dinner every night. It worked great but I wanted something else.
The next carrier I hired was a Hoppedz Tie, a wrap conversion Mei Tai and I was in love. It was the most comfortable carrier I had every tried and it made baby feel weightless, even now when he’s 8.5kgs. This got me hunting for a Mei Tai and I discovered one at The Sleep Store. This particular carrier has been worth it’s weight in gold. Days at the race track, or out shopping and needing him to take a nap. All I do is, pop him in with his pacifier and off to nap land he goes! I chose this particular one because the blue is absolutely brilliant and well I have a son, so it all kind of goes hand in hand. The Sleep Store had a sale when I bought it, and I am glad I did.
The biggest advice I can give is, keep looking. There are deals everywhere and second hand carriers are great, the fabric is already broken in. If you can’t afford to spend $150 – $300 outright, lay-by options are available or find a local library and join. Hire them! You can have your pick every month.