We’ve had quite a few questions lately about how to make sure the carrier you are buying is a good one. So here are a few tips to help you choose wisely!
- We suggest purchasing carriers manufactured by members of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance; you’ll see a BCIA logo on their site. BCIA members will be up-to-date and compliant with the latest carrier safety regulations and will produce a product that meets testing standards for materials and construction. All carrier sellers from the biggest companies to the smallest WAHM operations on Etsy must be compliant with industry standards when they go into effect in a few months or they will be in violation of the law.
- Product and manufacturer reviews can be found on thebabywearer.com (look for the drop down menu for “vendor and product reviews” under the main header). You are also encouraged to ask for reviews on our Facebook page or in the TBW forums.
- Carriers purchased new should come with a product registration card. If they don’t, that’s a red flag that the maker or seller is not compliant with industry safety standards. Return it!
- When buying used, don’t be afraid to ask questions! It is reasonable to ask the seller where the carrier was purchased, how long they’ve had it, what condition it is in, and so on. Ask for pictures of any flaws if you aren’t able to see the carrier in person.
- Keep an eye out for counterfeit carriers. The most common fakes are Ergos, Becos, and Freehands (also sold under the Minizone label). When buying new, always purchase directly from the manufacturer or from one of their authorized retailers listed on their site. If buying used, ask for proof of purchase from an authorized retailer if you are buying from someone you don’t know. The fakes are getting harder to spot but are definitely not safety tested the way the real ones are. We have also seen a number of co-ops pop up lately offering “replica” carriers at a fraction of the cost of a brand name carrier. In this case, “replica” is just a nice way of saying illegal counterfeit; if the price is too good to be true, it probably is!
- There are a number of DIY carriers or older WAHM carriers on the used market. Many of these are wonderful and perfectly safe. You should, however, ask questions about the carrier’s construction and the materials used. Our DIY guide provides some tips on how to make a safe carrier.
There are literally hundreds of fantastic carriers to choose from at a wide range of prices both new and used. Have fun shopping and remember that we are happy to help find the perfect carrier to fit your budget and wearing needs!