Contact: superninjamommy [at] gmail [dot] com

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baby Wraps and Mental Illness. (or, why babywearing cannot work for me.)

My brain is not well.

Maybe not my brain; maybe my mind. But either way, it's not well.

I can tell you this with absolute certainty, because, while I am functioning normally and able to take care of the things that need taking care of, I am also having those circular, obsessive thoughts that just make me want to pull my hair out.

Right now, the obsession is a woven baby wrap.

I need one. I must have one. Monkey will not let me put him down - when I do, he screams himself hoarse. I have a stretchy wrap, but there are two problems with it. One, it's ugly. Two, it's too stretchy and he sinks down and I almost drop him. I tried a ring sling, but I can't make that work. I can't get him in and out of it, and he arches his back and he hates it. And also, the rings dig into me and hurt. A front carrier, like a Snugli or Bjorn or whatever, is horribly, hideously, painfully uncomfortable. I must have a woven baby wrap.

I need to make one, rather than buy one, because finances are very tight. But I have never actually seen or touched one, so I'm not 100% certain on what kind of fabric to buy.

I have spent the last two hours on the computer, looking at babywearing websites, trying to figure out what to do. I have gotten nowhere. Everything I find is conflicting. Some say "get the lightweight fabric, it's easier to use," while others say "you need heavy fabric, the lightweight stuff makes pressure points."

This might sound petty, but I'm having this difficulty mainly because I want something pretty.

Isn't that stupid? I feel stupid for desiring something attractive. I'm accustomed to ugly things - secondhand garments and worn, stained clothes - because I like them, or because they're cheap.

I feel like an idiot for wanting something pretty.

I don't want some crummy white gauzey stuff. I don't want something that looks like a sheet.

What I want, is fabric that doesn't look homemade.

I am ashamed that I have to do everything homemade. It's fun to do homemade when you're doing it because you want to. It's not so fun to do homemade because you have no other choice.

I want fabric that's really gorgeous in a funky, hippie sort of way, like maybe a stripe, but dyed in a way to look natural. Or maybe a tie-dye, but again, natural looking. By natural I mean, bright colors that look like natural dye, not synthetic dye.

I can't find it. Even the plain-jane colors are very expensive, considering how much I need.

I thought about buying white or natural and then dyeing it myself.

Then I looked into how much the dye costs. Scratch that idea off the list.

Okay but then let's say I can find the perfect color. It will be too expensive. Everything is too expensive when you have no extra money.

Let's say I had all the money in the world. Let's just pretend I had $200. $200, right now, is a lot of money for me. It is also enough money to buy any of the wraps I am interested in.

I don't know which one I would buy. How could I possibly choose a color I like? What if I chose blue stripes, but then one day I decided to wear a pink shirt. I couldn't use that wrap with that pink shirt because it would look stupid. I could choose one with all different colors, I guess. But even then, there's great variation in those colors. Some are brighter, some are duller. What if I chose a tie-dye? I couldn't wear my tie-dye shirt with it, could I? Because that would look redundant, and probably the dyes wouldn't match.

I couldn't possibly choose based on color.

Let's say I'm rich and color-blind. Let's just say. No, wait. Let's instead say I am rich and all wraps only come in one color, chartreuse.

How can I choose? Some are heavier material. Some are thinner. Some are longer, some are shorter. Some have little pockets sewn in for, I don't know, like your cell phone or something. Some have fringe. Some have a cutesy design to show you where the middle is. Most have a fancy label to show the world that you are rich.

How could I choose from all of that? I could go for a thinner one, sure, and then hate myself for the rest of my life because it's got pressure points and I don't use it, and what a waste of money. I could go for a heavier one, and then have a bitch of a time trying to use the thing, and hate myself forever because it's too hot in the summer, and what a waste of money.
I could get one with a pocket, and never use it. Or, I could get one without a pocket, and hate myself everytime I want to put something in a pocket. What if I got one with a blue ribbon indicating the center, and then I saw one later that had a little frog decal or something? I would be so mad that I got that blue ribbon instead of the frog. I would want to puke every time I saw that stupid blue ribbon after that, and I wouldn't use it, and I would hate myself forever for wasting all that money.

Do you see what I'm trying to say here? I couldn't buy one, even if I had a million dollars.

So here we go. Back to the DIY idea. This is sounding like a better idea all the time. I could do a DIY, if The Hub picked out the fabric for me. Now let me just google around for a pattern or something - oh! Here we go, a forum talking about the pros and cons of patterns and -

Oh. Oh no. Someone has said she like her DIY okay, until she tried one of the high end, premade carriers, and now she would never use a DIY again because that fabric is just not the quality of the fabric the manufacturers can get, and the expensive wrap she bought is so much more comfortable.


I couldn't possibly do a DIY now.

My brain hurts.

And my arms hurt, from carrying around a chunky baby all day, and my stomach hurts because I forgot to eat dinner, and my back hurts from I don't know what.

I can tell you exactly how all of this will pan out.

I won't get a woven wrap. I will spend the next couple months worrying about this, obsessing about it and thinking about it, and then it will be summer and I'll just put the kid in the stroller and call it good.

Sounds good to me.

But then - what am I going to do in the meantime? I need to do something. I won't allow my baby to cry it out - don't even suggest it - so I can't put him down, but my other kids need me to be able to serve them dinner or wipe their faces or any of the other zillion things I need to do without a baby in my arms.

So it looks like I need a wrap.

Which brings me back to the very beginning. Ugly fabric, not enough money, can't choose, blah blah blah.

I hate myself.


bubbledumpster said...

I've spent a lot of time researching fabrics for wraps, because I have fuzzy plans of starting a business and selling them one day.

MobyWraps are made out of cotton interlock, which you can buy by the yard here:

maybe you could start with the simple white and then when it gets dirty or messy, you can dye it.

also, check out the section on simple piece of cloth carriers.

and has a whole forum devoted to diy!

good luck!

Breeze said...

STOP. Ok...just being silly here but how tiring all those thoughts are. I used meditation when I got that way..your post sounds like me a while ago...mind calming really helped. Hypnosis might too... NiNo..(nine in nine out, the babywearing group) If there is a chapter in your area they likely have a large collection of babywearing items and you can try them all out...doesn't cost anything and can help you decide!

Good luck!

Jenny said...

I got my Storchenwiege because we found it on clearance for $52. We were saving all our money to pay our midwives because our stupid insurance wouldn't cover a homebirth, so the ONLY reason I got that wrap was because it was so cheap. My husband wasn't even totally on board with buying it, but I told him "you don't understand, we are getting it!" It's the red, orange and yellow striped one which I never would've chosen, but it was the only one they had on sale. It doesn't always match what I'm wearing and it doesn't have anything marking the middle. None of that matters, because it works.

I personally wouldn't try to make one because around here, I don't think I could find the right fabric. The Storch is thick and supportive, but soft. I don't think I've seen anything like it at the fabric store. Have you looked on eBay,, Amazon, etc? If you kept your eye out for a deal around $80, you would probably only have a handful of choices--which in this case might be a good thing :-)

Also, I don't think you mentioned if your stretchy wrap was a Moby or one you made. If you haven't tried the Moby you might be surprised at how supportive it is. We use a Moby too, and it works well, but not as well as the Storch wrap. The Moby Wrap is much more affordable at $40, as you probably know.

Good luck finding one!

Lisa said...

Oh man... it's almost Christmas! Surely someone in your family (your Mom or Dad?) would be willing to buy you a wrap, especially since it seems like you really need one! I don't know anything about them, honestly, I used a baby Bjorn with my kiddos, whenever we went to the zoo or whatever, and otherwise, I used a swing and a paci if I needed to put them down for 10 minutes, and they turned out fine. "Crying it out" alone in their bed at night at a year old is not the same as setting a newborn baby down in safe spot for a few minutes to go to the bathroom or serve dinner! Don't be so hard on yourself!

Susie said...

Hmm, unless you're being ironic, wraps won't work, but that doesn't mean babywearing won't work. In this circumstance I'd suggest making a faux Ball Baby Overall mei tai using the directions here: It requires two yards of fabric and is typically made with a print canvas, but denim would work. This is one of the simplest mei tais to make and is very comfortable because of the design.

FYI, NineInNineOut folded a couple of years ago, so that idea is a non-starter, but there are still many many local babywearing groups. Most of them are listed on Babywearing International Inc., has a partial listing of groups in its International Babywearing Week pages ( because some groups register as Official Celebrating Organizations.

Jen said...

Try an Ergo. Yeah they are $90 bucks (ouch) but they totally rock. Nothing supports better. I have a little one sho hates to be put down and he's 30 pounds. All the weight is distributed on your hips, not your shoulders like the Bjorn and unlike the Moby, it won't stretch and get too loose. (I've tried both!) yes, you can find heavy fabric but because you need so many yards, making your own doesn't work so well. not cost effective. I've tried that too. Have you ever tried an Ergo? I didn't believe it til I did. They are magic.

Super Ninja Mommy said...

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

I really don't want a knit fabric like a Moby. Ean is already around 13 pounds, and everything I've read says that with knits, once the baby is around 15 pounds they start stretching out too much.

I can't use a Mei Tai or an Ergo because Ean is just too small. I mean, he's big, but he's not even 3 weeks old yet and has no head control. I need something that can support his head.

I looked at the lending library locally but they don't have anything in my size. :( I'm a big gal, and the wraps they have are all the small lengths. I know I need at least 5m, if not more. I know this because I have a couple DIY wraps, and the 4.6 is way, way, WAY too short, and the 5 is long enough but way too stretchy. So for a fabric with no stetch I think I would need more than 5 yards.

My budget is around $10, so yeah. Looks like I'm SOL.

Rambling Rachel said...

If you get a Storchenwiege, I'll be REAL jealous.

But if I were nice, I would buy you this one.

I have a CatbirdBaby and it's AWESOME. And that lady believes in pretty.

Leigh Anne said...

Good luck- I've used the Hugamonkey slings with both of my kids. I'm not sure if that's what you mean by stretchy, but they're cheap, shipping's cheap and they make some cute ones. Plus they have great customer service and Youtube videos on how to wear it...