Running a sling library is brilliant. I see people from every walk of life and I love it. I have seen parents and even grandparents, who have visited because they want a specific carrier for a specific short term purpose – a holiday, wedding, baptism etc. Others come because they want to get their hands back, be able to walk dog without dragging a buggy across fields and are therefore looking to try before they buy. Every library user varies in their reason for coming.
Many who want to use a sling or carrier in the long term then go on to buy their own and this is where the slings I stock in the library, and that are popular in For Sale or Trade Markets, prove their worth. As unlike the mass produced high streets carriers, these, even pre loved, tend to keep their value well, and limited edition exclusive brands, can even go up in value. Parents do not mind spending money, if they feel, that even after using it they can still get back a large portion of the price they paid. It makes buying their first sling less daunting. There are vibrant FSOT markets on both the forum and elsewhere and these allow parents to buy, sell and trade their carriers. I joke to library users that I take no responsibility for any sling addictions that they develop as slinging can be addictive and I frequently spot names I recognise from the library popping up.
My personal stash has a variety of standard lines and limited edition wraps. I have earned the money to buy them, I enjoy them, my boys have enjoyed them and I feel no guilt in spending money I have saved. I have a couple of wraps that have increased in value since I brought them, I have others which haven’t. I don’t go into buying them to make a profit. I buy them as they mean something to me. But equally I have standard lines, which like Nicola in her post here, I love as much. It is usually possible to buy slings for less preloved but it isn’t always the case and I don’t want people to assume new means expensive. With new companies coming into the sling scene regularly it is always possible to get a good deal. I’m excitedly waiting for the postman to deliver my new wrap, a Little Frog ‘Sunny Agate’ which at less than £50 brand new is definitely in the accessible price bracket.
I can still remember the excitement of receiving my first brand new wrap and stalking the DPD man till it arrived. Being a new wrap it meant I needed to do the work of breaking it in. Buying preloved someone else has done this for you. But ‘breaking a wrap in’ is not as scary as it sounds and helps to soften it up and make it easier to wrap with. So remember, if looking to buy a new wrap don’t exclude the prospect of buying brand new, especially if it is a standard line, you might surprise yourself. I recently saw one preloved wrap sell for more than it cost (including postage) to buy it new from a vendor. Also it is important to remember that your local sling library may have good connections with retailers and vendors and be able to offer you discount codes, or help towards earning credit for your library. Many retailers are also WAHMS, so even more reason to consider buying from them too.
Breaking in a wrap does not need to be a scary process and there are a couple of tricks you can use to help the process.
1) Sit on it or sleep with it.
2) Braid or plait it
3) Run it through banisters or sling rings
4) USE IT!
Then the rewards of softening up your new purchase are all yours. And in my opinion are worth more than the wrap itself, especially if it means the sling comes with sleepy dust. But whatever sling you choose to buy, where ever you choose to buy it from, enjoy it, have fun with it and enjoy the fact you have your hands free.