When I bought my first sling, I only needed the one. Then I needed a more comfortable one. Then the baby got a little bigger and there was another one. Then I realized I could sew them. Then I decided that I needed to learn how to wrap. Then I needed something with more support than a SPOC. Soon, I needed more support than the non-GSW I had, then more support than the cotton wrap I had. Got anything more supportive?
In the course of my BWing development, I’ve made a few blunders, bought a few things ill-advisedly and generally accumulated too much stuff. Admittedly, FSOT is handy for sending things on, but don’t let the enthusiasts fool you- buying something just because you’re told it will “hold its value” is not a good idea. Some things do resell quicker than others, but you’ll nearly always make some sort of a loss. In a falling market you may make a considerable loss on an expensive sling. And then there’s postage. Let’s not talk about postage across the Pacific!
Eventually, I landed upon the idea of a stash strategy. I have a strategy- a vision of the stash I want and need. I stick to that strategy and, no matter how tempting, I don’t buy anything that doesn’t conform to the strategy. In the long run, I’ll save money, closet space and hours in wasted time and fluids drooling in FSOT listings.
My particular strategy is simple: anything that comes into the house must be usable for both my toddler (almost three), infant (nearly six months) and any other newborns that may arrive (unexpectedly). I don’t do much in the way of handwashing, so the carriers ought to be fairly hardy. I don’t like to treat wraps gently or worry about them, so they can’t be so expensive that I won’t be able to shrug it off when the kids make a stain. That’s my strategy. Simple enough!
When nesting, for example, I didn’t set out to buy gorgeous carriers, soft and suitable for a newborn. To me, they weren’t worth the investment since it would only be for a few months. I did have a couple of wraps already in the stash I’d been holding onto that were suitable for the baby but not the toddler- but they were rehomed very quickly since invariably the toddler wanted whatever wrap the baby was in. There was no point having carriers I didn’t/couldn’t use.
Some people have a stash strategy that balances hard-nosed common sense with a desire to try different things. Others plan their strategy around the ages and stages of their children- soft, stretchy wrap for the newborn period, heavy duty mei tai for the toddler/older baby stage. Others choose according to their own wardrobe or what visually suit themselves or their children. To some people the gender of their children and the colour of their carriers matter, to others not. There are no hard and fast rules except one: it’s your stash so you decide.
Next time you find your keyboard suspiciously wet while checking out FSOT, close your mouth and think. Try and decide how this carrier may fit into the stash that you have and the stash that you want. If you have a stash strategy already in mind, then you’ll find it easier to bring carriers home that you’ll use and love.
What’s your stash strategy? Do you have one? Leave a comment and let us all in on it!