I practice babywearing for a variety of reasons. I love the convenience of being able to hold your child while still having your hands free to accomplish other tasks. Laundry, for example, is a chore I often perform with a little one strapped to my back. I love how babywearing helps ease the burden of schlepping a baby around town. If you ever got caught alone with a stroller on a NYC subway, you know just how much of a pain in the ass they can be. Most of all, I love the connection fostered between myself and my kids.
There is another reason to babywear that never occurred to me until I saw an article on my Facebook feed about the popularity of Tula carriers:
Tula carriers, according to The New York Post, have achieved a cult following with some paying thousands of dollars for the privilege of owning one. I did a quick Ebay search, and, sure enough, someone was trying to pawn off her Tula for a stsrting bid of $1200. There is even a special “call” Tula wearers are supposed to shout to one another.
Seriously. There is an actual exchange where one Tula wearer is supposed to shout, “Tula in the wild!” And the other must respond, “Caw! Caw!”
It’s like being in a sorority, except you get none of the booze and parties, and everyone thinks you are an elitist bitch.
Before any of you Tula wearers get your carrier straps in a bunch, let me assure you that I am one of you.
The Ergo I had used with my oldest was babyworn down to its last thread, so I was due for an upgrade. While I loved my Ergo, I read some encouraging things about Tula and thought I’d give it a try. (I also owned a Becco, which are super comfy, but a little heavy for the warmer months.) I was intrigued by their sleek designs and lightweight material. The price — $176 with tax and shipping –did make me cringe a bit, but I thought it was a worthy investment.
And, it was.
I love my Tula. It has served me well as my youngest has gone from infancy to toddlerhood. The fit is comfortable and my back is spared the pain of constantly holding a growing child. As my toddler becomes more mobile, I am using my Tula less and less, but it still serves me well when he needs to be held.
Tula makes a fantastic product, and I would recommend them to anyone in the market for a carrier. The fact that it has a cute design and is also used by Michael Phelps’ baby mama matters little, and should not be a reason to spend a month’s rent for the privilege of owning one. If you think it might be something you’d want to try, there are plenty on Ebay priced at $150 or less, and I bet even more mothers who would sell them to you for much less.
I am not a superior mother because I use a Tula. My flaws as a parent don’t disappear the minute I strap my 22-pound mini Hercules to my chest. I don’t turn my nose up at those who dare to use another carrier, even the much maligned, Baby Bjorn. Screw that. If I see you with a kid, and you are doing your thing, I am going to give you a smile. I don’t care if your kid is in a stroller, a carrier, a sling or a wrap woven from the hair of one hundred virgin horses. Because we are in an exclusive club. It’s called parenthood, and an expensive baby carrier shouldn’t be the barrier to entry.