To conclude, I have to comment on two, quite fundamental, matters (which have already been mentioned in our two previous stories choosing a wrap or a carrier).
Firstly, do not completely and literally believe what the manufacturers say on labels or their websites. The recommended age / size / measurements are largely very exaggerated numbers (for the sake of more successful sale, of course). In this case, experience is the best teacher – ask your fellow-wearers, read reviews (not only here on this blog, you can find numerous reviews on babywearing groups on Facebook, in your regional babywearing group or in “Nosíme děti”, i.e. “We wear our babies” or “Moderní nosičky”, i.e. Modern wearers, for example), try and test the carrier yourself, compare it to other available carriers, and only after then create your own opinion and decide. It may also be good for you to consider whether a 6-months difference in the length of usability really plays a key role – in the category of older children, I mean – that is 2 and half years or 3 years of age. Are the measurements of the carriers really that different or did the manufacturers just guesstimate? What is the real difference in the height of a two-and-half-year-old and a three-year-old (a well-grown 2-year-old can be as tall as smaller three-year-old)? Will my wearie be willing to be worn at the age of 2 and half or 3 years?
Secondly, keep your eyes wide open when buying your carrier, especially when you buy a second-hand piece. Of course, the safest thing to do would be buying the carrier in verified e-shop, specialising in babywearing. On contrary, beware of giant wholesalers (like the one with the annoying green alien) – they very often offer many good as well as many really bad non-ergonomic carriers! Similarly, smaller e-shops with goods for children (not specializing in babywearing) may also be a misstep. Discount web portals should be avoided completely – there are often imitations of poor quality offered. And, of course, avoid Aliexpress as well – the cheap fakes of Manduca and ErgoBaby are nowadays almost indistinguishable from the originals, using materials of poor quality and potentially harmful to your baby’s health.
Second-hand carriers should be bought only on verified second-hand marketplaces in babywearing Facebook groups. I would be very cautious about websites like letgo, bazos or vinted, as well as on traditional “web portals for mums”. Inadequately low price and the popular phrase “inappropriate gift” should be a warning sign to you – it has the stench of swindle! Frequently, the sellers offer the real ergonomic carriers, but there are also many of those which do not really fulfill the criteria of babywearing ergonomics at all. There is a lost of appropriate and inappropriate carriers in the Facebook group Nosíme děti (i.e. We wear our babies) – if you do not find your carrier there, it does not really have to mean that it is inappropriate; it could be a brand not-yet-tested by the admins of the group (this applies particularly to foreign manufacturers and new products).
That’s all I wanted to tell you about carriers (for now) 😀 Who got through to this spot – I have an important message for you: there is nothing like the ideal carrier as there is nothing like the ideal wrap. Do not spend too much time choosing – take the one closest to the ideal so that you and your baby can enjoy the splendour of babywearing as soon as possible!