We live on a small farm with six horses of our own. I also run Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, a horse rescue that helps abused, abandoned, and starved horses through Texas. We often have between 1-3, sometimes more, horses here for the rescue as well. My wonderful husband took care of the horses for the last few weeks of my pregnancy and the first several weeks after the little one was born, but the horses are ‘my thing’ and I wanted to get out to the barn. Normally I feed in the morning before he left for work and in the evenings once he got home, and he takes care of the little one – it is daddy-daughter time. But sometimes his days run long and occasionally he has to travel. At first, I would take her with me to the barn in her carseat carrier and set her in a wagon. But I eventually realized it would be easier to carry her with me. I didn’t want to use the Ergo carrier because I didn’t like having to readjust it after DH wore it, and I also didn’t want to get it dirty with hay, horse hair, cat hair, and the other barn hazards. So I went looking for a cheaper carrier that I wouldn’t mind getting dirty.
I had received a half off coupon for one item at Baby Depot (which is located at Burlington Coat Factory). You can normally find these coupons online, and they give you 50% off of one item. I went looking for a carrier there and found the Fleurville Soft Stretch Carrier. It was listed for $40, which meant I only paid $20. I figured that if I didn’t like it or if it got ruined in the barn, it was no big deal as it was pretty cheap.
The carrier is two parts. The main part fits over your body kind of like a shirt with two pieces of fabric in front that makes a cross. You slide your baby into it kind of like a front cross carry wrap. The second piece of the carrier is a sash that helps secure the baby in place.
My little one was just a few months old when I started using this, and it fit her well. While the carrier lists multiple positions that are possible, I only carried her facing towards me (again, like she was in a front cross carry wrap). She loved being snuggled up close to me, and I liked having her where I could see her and keep her with me.
The carrier is comfortable, inexpensive, and easy to use. It is also easy to wash (throw it into the washing machine with wrap-safe detergent). The instructions say you can use it with a baby up to 35 pounds, but once she was 15-16 pounds, I felt like the carrier was sagging. She’s a long but thin baby, so she was about six months when I started to feel uncomfortable with her in the carrier.
The carrier held up well to frequent visits to the barn and our nearly daily walks down the road, and I ended up selling it on the Budget Swap on Facebook. I thought it was a great buy for the money and worked perfect for what I needed at the time. It might not stand up well to daily/hard use, though.