How much is too much to spend on a baby carrier? £100? £200? £1,000? £10,000?
I’ve spent a lot on wraps and carriers over the last 5 years. ‘That’ Daniel Craig baby carrier was a Tula Baby Carrier, retailing for £139.90. My most extravagant purchase cost me (gulp) £340. It was a tie-on carrier by US sling creator extraordinaire Obimama, made out of a chopped-up and re-sewn designer woven wrap from a London-based company called Woven Wings. It is a thing of beauty and craftsmanship which I look forward to passing down to my kids and grandkids.
I’m the third owner of this particular baby carrier. It’s ‘full value’ – i.e. the original cost of the wrap, plus the cost of converting and shipping it back and forth to Obimama (in the US), was likely closer to £600. So I tell myself I got a bargain.
When my eldest was born there were relatively few sling companies. Sought after pre-loved (a fancier way of saying second hand) wraps and baby carrier sometimes sold for above their original retail value. If you could ‘score’ a new woven wrap by a designer brand for £400, you might be able to sell it on one of the high-end babywearing groups on Facebook for £600.
But today with so many new brands, styles and designs emerging in recent years, the market is more saturated, slower and not as inflated.
But there are some exceptions. BIG EXCEPTIONS.
So if money was no object, just what COULD you buy?
1. THE OFF-THE-SHELF BABY CARRIER MADE FROM UNICORN* HAIR:
ARTIPOPPE ZEITGEIST ARGUS VICUÑA BABY CARRIER – £6,600 (€7,400)
This baby carrier from Dutch avant-garde babywearing Brand Artipoppe isn’t made from ACTUAL unicorn hair. But it’s about as close as you can get. It’s made of 40% Vicuña wool, the world’s rarest animal fibre. The rest is Japanese silk (20%) and cotton (40%).
Vicuñas are a miniature, pretty and rather less furry cousin of the alpaca, that lives in the high alpine areas of the Andes. Hunted and traded to oblivion, there’s few of these doe-eyed creatures left and they tend to only be shorn once a year at most. Some reports state the wool’s value is ‘like gold.’ Hence the uber-price tag.
Your baby would still spit up on it. Or worse still poop in it. Or, if your babies are like my babies, do both.
I was about to post a link so you could see it for yourself, but the URL no longer seems to work. I’m guessing they sold out!
We LOVE a fashion-forward baby carrier. For the stylish parent without that kind of cash to splash, check out the amazing designs of these Integra Baby Carriers, from £75, and these Beco Gemini carriers from £99.
2. THE FIRST EDITION FOUND AT A CAR BOOT SALE:
ORIGINAL DIDYMOS WOVEN WRAP – SOLD FOR c.£3,000 (BOUGHT FOR c.£5)
I read last month on one of the many babywearing groups on Facebook, about a lady in Germany who has bought an original Didymos woven wrap (a soft fabric sling) at a car boot sale for £5.
Didymos is a much-loved and hugely respected brand, whose founder Erica Hoffman is one of the godmothers of modern babywearing in Europe. So buying a first edition of this sling is a bit like stumbling across a first edition Harry Potter.
This (lucky) lady sold said sling for £3,000. Not a bad return!
Thankfully you don’t need to go ferreting around a muddy field on a Sunday morning – or have a spare £3,000 – to bag yourself a top-quality Didymos woven wrap. We stock a fabulous range of them from £100.
3. THE FIVE-FIGURE CUSTOM-MADE WOVEN WRAPS ON FACEBOOK
MAD HATTER, MEEYOO AND UPPYMAMA – UP TO $20,000 USD
Having asked my fellow babywearing geeks for the most expensive slings they’d ever seen, several names kept coming up: Mad Hatter, Meeyoo and Uppymama
“Uppymama used to regularly sell custom slots (where potential customer bid for a wrap to be woven for then in unique designs and colours) for $10-20k by auction,” said Jill, a long-standing babywearing enthusiast and educator. “Mad Hatter took over the high end after that.”
If you’re in the market for one of these rare wraps, you’ll need to spend a lot of time – and of course money – on Facebook, where The Big Deals are done. Or hop over to our London Boutique, where we have limited edition and pre-loved wraps from £30 to £250.
4. THE LEATHER AND SHEEPSKIN ONE:
PAPOOSE BY BILL AMBERG STUDIOS – £550
You may have seen photos of this leather and sheepskin baby carriers floating around online for some time.
It’s been on the market for some years and I’m led to believe they’ve sold quite a lots of them. Despite numerous design tweaks, it’s still not an ergonomic, comfy baby carrier, as much of baby’s weight hangs off your shoulders.
We’d much rather you got yourself a top of the range, ergonomic and supportive carrier like an Ergobaby.
But if leather’s your thing……
5. THE RARE-BREED TULA WRAP CONVERSIONS:
£2,500 AND ABOVE
Tula Baby is one of the world’s baby-carrier mega-brands, with a truly cult-like following. Like my fancy-pants carrier, some are made from designer woven fabric wraps. Not many, mind you. So when they do come on the market, prices can go WILD. Regularly selling on specialist Facebook groups for £2,000 and above.
I recently chatted to a lady from Malaysia who has just paid around £2,500 for a Tula carrier made from a Mad Hatter woven wrap.
I asked her why:
“Every Mad Hatter wrap is unique. It’s a showcase of the artisan’s talent and creativity. And specifically for Crescent (this particular design), it’s very special for me because it’s my first Mad Hatter Tula Score. Those people in this community will understand. It is really not easy to score a Tula. Let alone a Madhatter. Which makes it close to impossible. But stars aligned for me that day.”
If you want comfort and style without the eye-watering price tag, take a look at our range of Tula Baby Carriers, like the Tula Free To Grow for a more accessible £139.90.
There may be some wildly-priced fantasy slings out there. But luckily you don’t need to splash out vast sums to find a stylish AND comfortable carrier that the whole family will love.
Hop over to our online store, or come and visit the Wear My Baby Boutique to browse our amazing range, with prices starting from just £30. Our team of in-house experts will help you choose the ideal one for you.