If you’ve been following the Baby Carriers Downunder blog, you may have noticed we don’t write a lot of posts along the lines of “OMG! I so love [insert brand here]”. In fact, we don’t have any posts that sing the praises of a particular brand. It’s not because we don’t want the sponsorship dollars, or because we are all hard-core DIY-only babywearers. It’s because Baby Carriers Downunder is independent. And to quote Stan Lee, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Which is far more relevant than my other favourite thing to tell my kids, “with pants comes dignity”.
Being independent means we can talk about the features that make a carrier fabulous or FAIL, or the ways to use and abuse a particular style of carrier. But because we don’t name brands, we have no financial incentive to promote one carrier over another, nor risk the wrath of a manufacturer for suggesting a variation on their instructions. And we can more easily get Baby Carriers Downunder working with other non-profit parent support organisations, because we’re here to promote ALL forms of babywearing that support healthy babies and parents/carers.
If you’ve been following my posts on this blog for a while, you might also have picked up that I work in the industry. And yet I cannot post about my own business here. So why do I spend time writing for Baby Carriers Downunder? Because every person that is helped along the way to successful babywearing is a good thing, regardless of where they get their gear. I’m an addict that wants to get more users hooked, and I don’t care what dealer they go to.
Babywearing needs to become mainstream, it needs to be normalised, if we are to have a viable long term industry. More importantly, babywearing needs to be normalised so that parents can more easily find and use a tool that makes their job easier. Nothing makes me happier than having someone tell me how much better their baby sleeps, or that they no longer wear baby chuck five times a day, or that they can now get out of the house with their baby, or simply that their back feels good now that they have a good sling and the skills to use it.
If we’re going to normalise babywearing, we need independent blogs and support groups. It’s not hard to tout your own brand all over the interwebz. But we have bigger things to consider here. Things like the concept behind babywearing, safety tips that apply to ALL carriers, and what makes a well-constructed carrier at home or in a commercial factory. People who want to discuss the many brands do so in our Google Group forum. But as bloggers, we realise that what we say carries a different level of credibility, and is rated differently by search engines. We want blog readers to take this material as a starting point in their search for the perfect sling for their needs – not just look up a list of the Top 5 Best Baby Carriers Ever and buy the one that’s in their price range.
So if your comment recommending a brand name carrier disappears from our blog, or we don’t bother publishing your media release about your new baby carrier product, please don’t be offended. We’re just enjoying our babywearing independence in a brand-free zone. And if you’re looking for the Top 5 Best Baby Carriers Ever, here’s the list in my personal order of preference (which will change tomorrow, as I feel about baby carriers the way most women feel about shoes):
- Mei Tai
- Short Wrap
- Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)
- Long Wrap
- Ring Sling
Oh look, useful information without brand names! See, it is possible 🙂 Now go argue the crap out of my top 5 list…