The Baby K’tan Baby Carrier is a soft hybrid carrier that offers the ideal blend of a sling and wrap. Its innovative double-loop design allows mom or dad to wear baby in multiple positions, without any complicated wrapping or buckling! It is lightweight and compact, yet ergonomically designed to distribute baby’s weight across both shoulders. Retail value: $49.95. www.babyktan.com
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, it’s difficult for me to carry my babies unless I am wearing them. I have always been envious of those moms who snuggled with their babies in a simple wrap carrier, but wrapping and tying them one handed never seemed doable. I even tried a few slings, but have yet to find a comfortable option. Hence, I’ve always felt limited to soft structured carriers (SSC) like the Boba and Ergo.
I was introduced to the Baby K’tan while shopping at my local baby boutique, A Nurturing Moment. The owner, Glenni, is familiar with my need for adaptability and encouraged me to try the Baby K’tan with her weighted display doll to see if it might be an acceptable adaptable option.
After playing around with the doll in a few different carries, I decided the K’tan might be worthy of further review.
Little did I know, it would become one of my daily essentials!
My son is a snuggler and demands human contact most of the day and night. I love this about him…it’s so nice to feel needed. However, it means that blogging and keeping up with housework must often take a backseat.
I tried wearing him in one of my SSC’s around the house and it worked well, but it was difficult to get the timing right. It’s a bit cumbersome to wear a SSC all day while baby is playing or eating just to be able to quickly pop him in it when he starts to get fussy or show feeding cues. I found that if I waited until he was ready to be held before I put the carrier on, I’d just forgo the whole thing and end up sitting with him and my Boppy.
My Baby K’tan solved all of those issues. I can toss my K’tan around my neck at a moments notice. I’ve even worn it across my chest in preparation to grab baby and go when he starts working up a fuss. It’s about like wearing a scarf, lightweight and soft.
My son may still fuss a bit while getting situated, but no more waiting on mommy to get settled with my Boppy…oh, and my iPad…and I’ll need a water…and maybe a snack…and, crap, I better go pee first because he may sleep for hours.
The K’tan allows me to stay mobile and hands free while my son nurses and naps to his heart’s content.
So here’s the breakdown…
Ease of use:
There is a learning curve. The Baby K’tan consists of two large loops of fabric connected by a small loop and a separate sash. This can be a bit daunting for a mom who is new to babywearing. Luckily, Baby K’tan offers a free step by step guide with pictures and easy to follow instructions for each of the 6 positions. There are also how-to videos on the Baby K’tan YouTube channel, as well as, my adaptive videos below to help you get started.
The K’tan is super comfy. No buckles, no straps, and balanced weight distribution across your shoulders and back. For me and my 19 lb tank of a son, this is not my all day carrier. My back starts getting fatigued after a few hours even while sitting. However, if I had found this option when he was a newborn, I could see myself easily wearing him for full day outings. Also, as you’ll see below, I am able to comfortably and safely carry my 32 lb three and a half year old with my K’tan in the hip position. This can come in handy when we are out and about, as I can carry one and push the other in the stroller.
A quick adaptive note, a good stroller can offer a bit extra balance and support while baby wearing on the go. I’ll discuss this at length another day, but thought I’d mention it here as well.
I love, love, love this carrier for baby comfort. Baby is able to move and stretch against the fabric while still staying safe and cozy next to you.
My son has eczema that often flares behind his knees and this is the ONLY carrier we’ve tried that does not cause pressure and rub spots where his legs rest and meet the fabric.
(I’m actually writing this section while nursing) We love breastfeeding in our Baby K’tan. The stretchy fabric snuggles him close and is lightweight and cool enough for baby to stay comfy. Initially, I was concerned that my Baby K’tan was going to carry him too high to comfortably nurse, but once he settled into the hug position breastfeeding was a breeze. I am able to nurse sitting or standing. Due to my right sided weakness, I could never dream of nursing standing without a carrier.
If modesty is your concern, nursing in public in your Baby K’tan can be very discrete…as you may note in one of the videos below.
Sizeability: You must buy the size that fits you so it can be difficult to share with another caregiver. On the flip side, this is the trade off for no straps or buckles…and sometimes it’s nice to have something in the house that you don’t have to share. 😉
Weight Distribution: I must watch my posture in this carrier. Unlike an SSG which places some of baby’s weight on your hips, the K’tan (and any other wrap or sling carrier) distributes baby’s weight throughout your shoulders and back. For this reason, my K’tan has become my at home and quick in and out errands carrier. It is ideal for doctor’s visits, managing baby between the car and shopping cart, and nursing in public.
Hug Position: My favorite for my little one. Ideal for breastfeeding.
Two-Hip Position: Good for shifting baby’s weight when fatigue is an issue.
Adventure Position: We’ve attempted this hold a few times, but my son is not a fan of facing out. Babywearers should use caution when wearing a baby forward facing because it can cause extra stress to the back and shoulders due to the way the baby’s weight is distributed and carried vs. the way it’s distributed when baby is snuggled close and “wrapped around” facing your body. It’s also important to remember to support the baby’s legs and hips when forward facing. Fortunately, the K’tan allows for this needed support by enabling the wearer to widen the base of the carrier/ fabric so that it cradles the child and gives full support to his hips and spine. See Owner’s Manual p.9
Explore Position: I prefer this position to the Adventure position, but my son is almost too large at 19lbs to pull it off.
The Adventure and Explore positions may be ideal for wheelchair users that need extra security holding their little one while using hands to ambulate their chair.
Hip Position: Great for hauling a larger child. I also use this position with my son for a quick assist, but it’s not entirely hands free and thus not ideal for this one-handed wearer.
Is it wrong to want another baby just so I can try the Newborn Kangaroo Position? 😉
With so many position options this carrier is ideal for adapting to the caregiver’s individual babywearing needs.
Baby K’tan helped me be gain independence through adaptive babywearing and I hope it will do the same for you!
In honor of Independence Day, I am offering one lucky winner a free Baby K’tan in your choice of size and color. The contest begins at midnight tonight (6/20/13) and will run through July 5th. Please share this post and submit your entries above. Good Luck!
Adaptive Baby Wearing
This part applies to all carriers…whatever works for you:
My tip for any mom with limited mobility or just new to baby wearing: Find a place to sit. It is 10x easier and safer getting a baby or toddler in carrier while seated. At home, I prefer the couch for extra wiggle room. When out and about, I get baby situated in the carrier while sitting in the car or on a park bench.
To unload your baby: Simply sit and lay baby in your lap or bend over a chair, car seat and gently lay baby down and slide him out of the carrier. Once baby is situated in his next destination (car seat, floor, Dad’s arms) take the carrier off.
As with all things adaptive, do whatever works for you. Every body is different. Find what adaptations work best for you and your baby. My goal is to demonstrate the adaptive possibilities of the carrier, the rest is up to you!
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. I purchased a Baby K’tan carrier at a discount for the purpose of this review. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are 100% my own.
I only review products that I’ve found to be adaptable through personal experience or that I have researched and tried for the purpose of adaptive review.
Amazon links are affiliate links.