The other day, upon seeing me "window shopping" for carriers on Facebook, Daniel asks me, "Hey, don't you have enough carriers?"
Bless him, he did not expect the almighty stink-eye he was given in response.
A lot of people will look at mine, and other babywearing enthusiasts', carrier collection (the one in the picture above is not even my whole collection...and I have a few more coming soon) and think it is a bit excessive. And that's okay, because it probably is. And the truth is, if all we wanted was to just carry our babies, and be utilitarian about babywearing, then yeah we've got "enough" carriers (and I think the vast majority of babywearers are like this!). But it's totally okay for some of us to have more than "enough". Babywearing doesn't just have to mean having just one carrier during your child's early years. And here's why:
- It Makes Parenting More Fun
Parenting can be a drag. If you can't admit that, you're lying to yourself and you're being a bit of a dick for making the rest of us look like dicks. Babywearing is a fun hobby that is both a coping mechanism and a great parenting tool. There are so many ways babywearing is fun, but among them are these: the great community of parents that you befriend over this very niche hobby, the joy of entering (and especially winning!) a draw to purchase or a giveaway for carriers, and - just like any collector - the joy of collecting the carriers you desire (especially if it they are hard to find! Anyone who plays Pokemon Go should be able to relate to this).
- It Is A Fashion Accessory
I love how my carriers accent my outfits. Sometimes I even love having my carriers be the focal point of my outfits. I just love how babywearing adds something extra to what I'm wearing! But just like how I can't spend years wearing the same t-shirt daily (we're not all Steve Jobs, y'know), I want variety in my carriers so I can have variety in my fashion ensembles. If someone can have more than one handbag, one t-shirt, or one pair of shoes, why can't babywearers have more than one carrier?
- It Is A Temporary Thing
Most of us stop actively babywearing by the time baby can walk. That's about a year of constant babywearing, followed by (if you're lucky) another 2-3 years of less frequent babywearing. It is such a short time to enjoy this amazing thing, so it makes sense to want to make the most out of this period. This isn't just something I know in theory - I very much lived this. After I stopped babywearing Afraz, I coveted so many carriers even though I didn't have a baby to actively wear. So once I had Adam, I knew the types of carriers I want to try, and I've been doing my best to collect them so I can use them for just the next couple of years.
- Different Carriers = Different Qualities
Not all carriers are made equal. Different brands, different types, different fabrics - all these variations are out there for us to try! And why shouldn't we? A silk blouse is different from a crisp cotton shirt. It's okay to have both, because each one feels and looks different, and serves a different function. It's the same with carriers - different sizes, shapes, and types have different qualities that you might need on one occasion but not another. So a variety of carriers keeps you covered! I've got carriers for hot days VS cold days, babywearing for short outings VS babywearing all day, fancy carriers VS casual carriers, carriers that take a while to put on VS carriers that are quick to put on. I could go on and on and on!
- Carriers Have Resale Value
This is something non-babywearers don't understand. On Facebook alone, babywearers number in the tens (and maybe hundreds!) of thousands. That's a huge community of people around the world who frequently buy, sell, and trade carriers. Most of us are able to recoup at least 80% of our total investment on any given carrier. Sometimes you might even get 100% of the cost back, seriously! So while collecting carriers can seem expensive at the outset (I'm not ashamed to admit I have carriers that cost more than some designer handbags), in the end I'll be able to get some - if not all - that money back.
So if you're worried about a babywearer in your life who is seemingly never satisfied with their stash of carriers, keep the above in mind. You have nothing to worry about - it's perfectly normal! And lucky you, because buying a gift for said person would be a breeze. All you'd need to ask instead of "Hey, don't you have enough carriers?", is "Hey, are there any carriers you're looking to buy?". Your query will get a much warmer reception than what poor Daniel got, I promise.
(P.S: Daniel, if you're reading this, I really want to get this carrier. Ok thanks, love you, bye!)