October 6, 2010

Handmade Alternatives: Slings and Carriers

The list of items you need to buy for your baby is seemingly endless. As soon as I became pregnant, I was bombarded with ideas of things I must-have, will-need, or can't-live-without!! If you're like me, you can't buy anything without seriously over-analyzing the choice, and comparison shopping until the laptop battery dies. Or if you are already a mom with the knowlegde of what works best, you are always searching for the perfect version of your favorite item to give your future-mom friends.

Your local Babies'R'Us, Target or baby boutique is filled to the brim with the items on your shopping list. But…if you are the kind of woman that feels up to shopping outside the box, Etsy gives you a great opportunity to patronize small business owners, shop locally, find something original and show off an awesome handmade version of an otherwise mass produced, made in China item.

While I was on my epic search for a diaper bag, I ended up with an Etsy product that I LOVE, and my many previous experiences with Etsy sellers keep me coming back for more. Once I read the laundry list of baby items to search for, I knew I would be spending several hours (a day?) scouring Etsy's shops until everything was checked off. The results are a series of posts sharing the fruits of all my VERY hard work with you, with alternatives to popular slings and wraps kicking things off.

So if you were looking at a something like a Moby Wrap (pictured below left), sold here for $39.99 from Babies'R'Us, or a ring sling like the MayaWrap (pictured below right) from $59.58 on Amazon.com….

Mobywrap Mayawrap

….then consider alternatives like these from Etsy sellers:

The Kenzie Wrap by loveyduds for $45 has the wrap around feature of a Moby Wrap or a Sleepy Wrap, and comes in many pretty and funky prints.

Wraploveyduds 

BabyEtte's Brown with Gold Thread Baby Wrap for $48 is more understanded than a funky print, but the metallic fabric makes it a less boring than a plain jersey or linen fabric.

Wrapbabyette 

For $95 the Prestige Ring Sling by SnuggyBaby is bright and pretty and adjustable to accomodate differnt sized parents and a growing baby.

Slingsnuggybaby 

The Yoko Ring Sling for $45 by Alliecraft's is elegant and bold, but affordable.

Slingalliecraft 

Remember as you search Etsy for these items (and more), that one of the biggest benefits of buying handmade is that most sellers are happy to work with you to customize your purchase, making it the product you need with the design you want…an item that's truly one of a kind.

Stay tuned for a post on handmade alternatives for shopping cart covers!

-Lane

ps.  The CPSC has issued warnings about carrying babies in sling-style carriers.  They recommend exercising special caution when carrying babies younger than 4 months in sling-style carriers, and to avoid sling-styles when the babies have a cold.  Click here for CPSC's diagrams on how to properly wear your baby in a sling-style carrier.

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35weeks Contributing author Lane is an intentionally unemployed social worker who is currently growing a human, following her husband's dream, trying to stay relevant, and practicing her mothering skills on two rescued dogs, Enid and Falcor.  Check out her fabulous blog, the Overseas Trapeze.

 

11 Comments
  • Emily
    October 6, 2010

    I loved my moby when Bunny was a newborn and for the next one I’ll add a ring sling. I love that loveydud and the snuggybaby!
    Now that he’s older we’re a beco/woven wrap family…although I did just buy a pouch, so we’ll see how we like it.
    two things to keep in mind:
    1) “visible and kissable” is a nice rule of thumb for baby wearing safety.
    and
    2) real men wear their babies.
    great post!

  • Lane
    October 7, 2010

    AWESOME tips Emily, thanks for sharing! My husband got his own carrier, because apparently he doesn’t like my style! I’m just glad he is showing such enthusiasm!

  • Abby
    October 7, 2010

    Oooh, the one by BabyEtte is lovely. Which one did you end up going for?
    p.s. I love the picture of Dave and Falcor on your blog x

  • Shana
    October 7, 2010

    I agree – the BabyEtte is my hands-down fav. LOVE the fabric!!

  • Rachel O.
    October 7, 2010

    I am always so confused when shopping on Etsy… can you write up a guide on how to best use their website?

  • nell
    October 8, 2010

    L~ used Etsy for H’s xmas stocking. Found a person that would make a Scandinavian print with his name on it for $20. Now I can’t stop, etsy is like crack.

  • EmmaKate
    October 9, 2010

    I’ve gotta say, they are beautiful! I really like the black and white and red one. I have an employer who made a really lovely sling style carrier for her 3rd, worked out great while she was little. But once she was about 4mo and there were two others under 4 to keep track of, I had to get an Ergo! both for my physical reliefe and also after test driving one at a local toy/clothing store. I shelled out a pretty penny for it, but now 3 years later i got more than my moneys worth. They have some really flashy looking one’s now too.

  • Shana
    October 10, 2010

    Rachel O – I’m with you, chicky! I have a total love/hate relationship with Etsy. I either totally SCORE or drive myself crazy searching. Lane — I think you are the expert on this topic, LOL…is an Etsy primer in the future?
    Nell – please share your Etsy crack link. I need another stocking!
    EmmaKate – I eventually ended up with an Ergo, also! Unfortunately, mine now has some strange, unidentified stain that totally grosses me out. So I might get another…or a Boba. Anyone know about these??

  • nell
    October 11, 2010

    S- the seller I used was http://www.etsy.com/shop/shriderb?ref=seller_info

  • Shana
    October 12, 2010

    Oooo…thanks, Nell! And did you see that she’ll do a pack of 4? Perfect!

  • Baby Carrier
    April 12, 2012

    @ Nell, I have to agree with you, I really love the black, white, and red one. I think I’ve found the perfect baby carrier for my baby girl, my friend told me about this company called BoboaFamily…has anyone heard of it?
    I want to hear any reviews before I buy one.

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