Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Baby K'Tan Review
Well Babywearing mamas and daddies...there is a new kid on the block! Do you love wrap style carriers for your little ones but hate all the wrapping and dealing with those LOOOOOOOONG pieces of fabric? The Baby K'Tan carrier may be the perfect solution for you! The Baby K'Tan carrier is a wrap style carrier, but they have taken the wrapping part out! Instead it is a sized carrier that fits and feels like a wrap!
"A wrap without all the wrapping..." (perfect quote from the Baby K'Tan website!)
With Miss A, I used a Moby wrap and loved it, but my husband was "afraid" of it and would only use it if I was there to wrap it onto him. He always looked at how comfy Miss A and I were and envied it, but he just could not catch on to wrapping the Moby. I personally had no trouble with wrapping the Moby, but it feels like it takes an eternity to get it on when you have a screaming baby! Both of these issues are nonexistent with the Baby K'tan! It truly is Daddy friendly (for most) and it is a snap to get on quickly (without the snaps of course!)!
Because the K'Tan does not need to be wrapped, it is sized (sm, med, lg, xl). Baby K'Tan has a great sizing chart and guide points here. According to the size guide, I should be well within the XL size. However, on the first use I noticed that my K'Tan was just too big. :( Baby K'Tan was amazing and sent me a smaller one for review. They are always available to ask questions about sizing and they are great about returns. They also recommended to me to wash my K'Tan as it may shrink a little. Keep this in mind if you are ordering smaller. They do recommend (and so do I now) that if you are on the bubble between sizes to go with the smaller size! But know that your carrier will stretch with use and may shrink with washing!
The Baby K'Tan is made of 100% cotton knit fabric that has a nice comfy stretch to it! It is a VERY comfy fabric for mom and for baby! Nice and soft to the touch, stretchy for comfort, and not too heavy so you don't overheat! It is also machine washable and dryable! A huge plus with baby items!!!
The K'Tan is made up of two large loops of fabric connected by a smaller loop of fabric. There is also a detached sash that is used as added security for certain carries and doubles as a pouch to store your carrier in. When you first pull the K'Tan out of the box, it really does look like some crazy puzzle! I honestly looked at it like "WHAT?!" I thought that I could take it out of the box and figure it out on my own...HA...I had to go get the instructions! But one time looking through the directions and I understood completely! You put the carrier on over your head and arms through the loops, then drop one of the shoulder straps to your waist to put your child into the position of your choice and then bring the strap back up. It is actually MUCH easier to get baby in and out of this carrier because you can drop that entire strap giving you the room to easily get baby in and out. After baby is in, depending on the carry you use, you tie the additional sash on for security. It might take you a time or two to catch on, but once you do, it is a cinch to get on!
One of my favorite features of the K'Tan is the Back Support Band. The Back Support Band is the smaller loop that connects the two larger loops of the carrier. The awesome part of this Band is that you simply give it a tug down when you first put the carrier on (and any time you need an adjustment) to raise the carrier and the baby up onto your chest and into the correct position. With other carriers, as the child settles in and the carrier sags, you have no way to get them back up into proper position unless you take them out and adjust the carrier completely. With the K'tan you just reach back and pull down on that Band, raising the carrier onto your chest! Love it! I would notice my back starting to ache while wearing Baby J in this carrier, but would also notice that he was sitting a little low on me. So I would simultaneously push up on him and pull down on that Band raising him back up into proper position and taking the strain off my back. This is something that cannot be done with the Moby.
Another feature that I love about this carrier are the wide stretchy straps. They are amazingly comfortable and distribute weight extremely well making this carrier extremely comfortable!!! Also, because of the design of the carrier, it is quite simple to keep the straps fanned completely out over your shoulders, unlike other carriers that are difficult to get complete coverage and keep from twisting.
All in all, this is a fabulous carrier! It is perfect for that itty bitty newborn stage and it fits up to 35 pounds. Miss A has gotten out of the habit of being worn, and would not let me try her in it. Baby J however LOVES the K'Tan. He gets fussy every evening but putting him in the K'Tan calms him right down and makes our evenings go a lot smoother! The Baby K'Tan has been a MIRACLE for us!!!
Moby Wraps retail for $45+ and are One-Size fits all but can be difficult and time consuming to wrap. Baby K'Tan carriers retail for $50+ and are sized to fit the person with less steps to get it on (although you and hubs might be a different size and won't be able to use the same K'Tan). Price wise, they are quite comparable, it just depends on what carrier fits your lifestyle better! I do find my Moby just a hair more comfortable, but when Baby J is fussing like crazy and we need to get into a carrier quickly, I grab the K'Tan. There is just no price tag on time!
What Does Daddy Say?
My Husband also gave the Baby K'Tan a try! With Miss A, we only had a Moby and an Ergo, so those are the only two carriers that he has used and they are the ones that he speaks of in his review. He had trouble getting the K'Tan on and he could not find a comfortable carry for him and baby J. Some carriers just do not work for some people. He really wanted to like it because he is so afraid of the Moby, but just could not get comfortable in it. Here is what he had to say. My additions are in italics.
I do not frequently use baby carriers on a regular basis, but I have had the opportunity to try several different carriers. Some carriers seem to be "ready to go" (but are bulky and expensive) and others take you through numerous hurdles and steps just to get it on your body. This carrier was in between those extremes. It is very light and compact, but for someone like me (who still has to occasionally go online for instructions on how to tie a tie) it was not easy to get it around my body correctly for the baby at first; despite the colorful pictures and descriptive steps included with the carrier. Honestly, without my wife to assist me, I likely would have not been able to do it. However, with practice I think I could do it on my own. My wife once showed me a carrier that had so many steps to wrap around your body that I laughed and said I would never use it (the Moby).
In regards to comfort, the fabric was soft and the fit around my body was very comfortable. With the baby in the carrier it certainly made it easier to do things around the house with the baby but with prolonged use I could feel the center of my back aching from the tension. In the carrier's defense, I may have not had it on completely correctly, but I also think that it does not offer as much support as some of the bulky carriers that have the weight of the baby distributed on the waist. (he tried a few times and just could not get comfy)
My overall impressions were that for a lightweight fabric carrier that you can put in a travel bag this is a great alternative to many on the market; however, if I was planning a hike up a mountain or a full day at an amusement park I would rather go with one of those expensive, bulky, noncompact, but idiot proof to use carriers that provide the weight around the waist like a good hiking pack does. (Ergo) If you can afford it, I would probably suggest getting both depending on planned use.
Posted by Laura D. at 9:27 AM