Baby K’Tan Original Baby Carrier Review
• Safely secures baby to your chest without any worry about straps or buckles loosening
• Designed to grow with your child from newborn to toddler (up to 35 lbs.)
• Slips on like a T-shirt and feels as comfy as one
• K’Tan sizing goes by your dress/jacket size, so if you plan to share, your partner probably has to buy a second carrier
The K’Tan is, by far, the best baby carrier I’ve ever used. It’s safe, versatile and comfortable for both baby and Mom, and you get the closeness of a wrap without all the hassle of wrapping. I never leave home without it!
When it comes to baby carriers, parents are always instructed to look out for ones that could displace baby’s hips or constrain baby’s legs—not to mention create a strain on our backs too. With the Baby K’tan, however, I can honestly say that those concerns have never been on my mind. More like a combination of a wrap and a sling, the Baby K’tan offers the best safety and comfort features of both. Plus, it’s extremely lightweight like a T-shirt, which lets air circulate and prevents you and your child from sharing sweat on those hot summer days. The unique double-loop design allows you to secure it on your body without any buckles, snaps, strings, zippers or other Fort Knox–type contraptions to mess with—in other words, you get the benefits of a wrap without all the crazy wrapping.
When I first got the K’tan, I was thrilled with how light and compact it was. The support sash that ties around the waist even doubles as a carry case. How smart is that? At the same time, its small size made me nervous: How could so little material possibly support my baby safely? Once I worked up the courage to try it, I discovered the carrier has one-way stretch that helps create a safe, snug fit, and there’s also an adjustable band in the back that gives additional support. From there I was off and running, or should I say, walking fast because I can do that now, and many other things, when I’m using the K’Tan.
I tried about a dozen other carriers after having my first child, Khloe, two years ago, but it was only with my second, Nikki—who is 3 months old —that I finally felt like I got it right. The two months before I had the K’tan were hard; it was a struggle trying to entertain Khloe and play with her outside like I used to. Now with the K’tan, I’m able to wear Nikki and actually climb on the jungle gym with Khloe so I can keep her safe. I feel like a whole new mother knowing that I don’t have to shortchange my oldest child, and Khloe likes the idea of having her baby sister hang out with us and join in on her fun. I’m also able to accomplish household chores more efficiently because I don’t have to wait until nap time or until I can find something to hold Nikki’s interest.
The K’tan can hold a child from newborn to 35 pounds—that adds up to years of use—and the 100 percent natural cotton fabric is super comfortable for both baby and the wearer. I regularly use the K’Tan to take Nikki on walks, carry her while doing chores around the house, and even use it while lifting my older daughter in and out of swings at the playground. I rarely need to adjust my baby’s position or provide extra support with my hands, and I’ve never experienced any discomfort or noticed Nikki getting uncomfortable. The K’tan is designed to distribute baby’s weight evenly across your back and shoulders, regardless of which position you use, which makes it more comfortable to keep baby in the wrap for longer periods of time. In fact, I find that I now rely on the stroller less. And of course it uses ergonomic positioning that’s safe and healthy for baby’s development.
One thing to know is that since it’s meant to fit snug like a T-shirt, you purchase the K’tan based on your dress size (or jacket size for guys). That means if you plan to share it with your partner, unless you’re the exact same size, which isn’t likely, you’ll need to purchase two different carriers. There’s also the chance that as you lose the baby weight and your body changes, you’ll need to get a new size. The site has a sizing tool here to help you determine which size to buy based on your height and pre-pregnancy weight.
The K’tan is designed with usability in mind. Simply place it over your head like a necklace, put one arm through each loop, then choose one of the six different carrying positions (Kangaroo, Hug, Adventure, Explore, Hip or Two-Hip) and you’re ready to go. The instruction manual provides step-by-step instructions for each position, along with when it’s safe to try a new one based on baby’s weight and developmental milestones, or you can watch helpful videos for each position, like the one below, on the Baby K’tan website.
I have the plain black K’tan, but the carrier also comes in sage green, heather gray, denim and eggplant as well as several fun prints (prints are $10 more). You can even have baby’s name embroidered on it in the color and font of your choice. I use the Baby K’tan Original but they also have a few other options, including a mesh version called the Breeze with even more air circulation, and the Active (both $10 more), which is made of hi-tech performance fabric and blocks up to 90 percent of UV rays, so ideal for outdoor activities. After daily use, the K’tan has yet to show any sign of wear and tear, and even on days when Nikki does some spitting up—or Mommy drops ice cream on the fabric—I can just throw it in the washing machine with regular clothes, and it comes out as good as new. It may just feel a little snug the first time after washing but it should stretch back into shape.
I can honestly say the K’tan has been a wonderful addition to my family; it’s like I have an extra set of arms now. I feel better knowing I can still get things done, and better as a mother knowing I can give my toddler the attention she needs while also giving my newborn constant love in the kangaroo position. I recommend the K’tan to all my mom friends, and even moms-to-be who I don’t personally know! Whether you’re a first-time mom or a parenting pro, you will not regret adding the K’tan to your daily life, and neither will your child. It’s really the only baby carrier you’ll ever need and want to use, and it has changed parenting as I know it for the better.
Karen Neville is a proud SAHM of two bubbly girls, Khloe and Nikoleta (“Nikki”). Originally from Pittsburgh, she moved to New Jersey to finish her BA at Pace University and currently resides in West New York, NJ with her husband, daughters…and the family cat.