While some independent retail stores hire staff with enough knowledge to help you try on a carrier, adjust it for ergonomic fit, and let you wear your baby around the store for a while, it’s still scary to drop a hundred — or more! — bucks on a carrier that might not be your perfect match.
A mom can get carried away (har har) with acquiring slings, wraps and Mei Tais, especially if she is a heavy user (har har, again!). But for those who want to invest only in one functional baby carrier, some serious trial (and error) is the best process for learning.
Enter Babywearing International. This chapter-based organization serves as a resource in a couple hundred cities whose mission is to promote babywearing.
In addition to meetings where you can learn a ton, and try on piles and piles of carriers with help from experts, Babywearing International chapters offer lending libraries and have a local Babywearing Educator.
There are terms of the borrowing agreement, of course. You may need to join the chapter and wait for a period of time during your membership to qualify for using the lending library.
My local chapter covers a huge area (California’s Bay Area) and has subchapters for different cities, each with their own library. Berkeley, CA for example has nearly 100 different carriers that can be checked out. The library of carriers is available in-person at monthly meetings.
Your local chapter may use a website or a Facebook group to share info about meet ups or who to contact. Find a Babywearing International chapter here>