The big selling point of the Baby K’tan is that you get a wrap-style carrier (like the Moby) without having to do all the complicated wrapping. As I said in my Moby review, I don’t think the Moby is all that hard to learn, but some people do get really frustrated with it, and some people are too intimidated to try it at all. When I’m wearing my Moby in public, a lot of people love it, but they ask if it “comes like that” or if I have to tie it like that, and I have to say that I have to tie it like that. The thing with the Baby K’tan is that it pretty much comes like that!
The Baby K’tan is two large loops of soft, stretchy fabric attached with a smaller loop, plus some carries require the included sash.
When I first read that I needed to use a sash, I thought the sash was missing from my box. I was kind of skimming the instructions, and thought, “Sash? What sash?” A closer examination of the contents of the package revealed that the bag the Baby K’tan comes in transforms into a sash with a pocket, which is cleverness I really appreciate. You can carry your Baby K’tan around in its bag, and then when you’re wearing it, there’s a pocket to stick your phone in (or whatever). The Baby K’tan comes with a matching little hat, too, so all-in-all it’s quite the winner in the super-cute category!
The basic Baby K’tan is about $55. You can get the Breeze, which is part breathable mesh for around $60. This is a great price range for a carrier. Check out Amazon for reviews and a selection of Baby K’tan carriers.
Comfort is my top concern with any carrier, and three aspects of comfort come to mind.
- Construction – does the carrier dig into me anywhere? In this regard, the Baby K’tan is completely pleasant. There are no buckles, straps, rings, or ties to dig into you.
- Distribution of weight – does the weight of the baby hurt my shoulders or back? Here, nothing really competes with the Moby, where the fabric can be spread out wide across your whole back. The Baby K’tan is a little less even, since the loops are attached to one another at your back, pulling them in a bit. That being said, wearing the K’tan was still more comfortable for me than any other style of carrier, such as a mei tai, ring sling, or soft structured carriers.
- Temperature – am I burning up? The Baby K’tan is a slightly thinner fabric than the Moby, and there’s definitely less of it, so the Baby K’tan is lighter and cooler to wear and would be much more pleasant in the heat of summer.
- Washing: The Baby K’tan is easy to wash, since it’s all cotton fabric. There are no creases to try to clean out or parts you can’t put in the washing machine. Unlike the Moby, parts of the Baby K’tan won’t be dragging the ground, so it will stay much cleaner. On the other hand, you may want to wash and dry it frequently to help it keep a snug fit.
- Sizing: The Baby K’tan can fit people of most sizes. It’s not adjustable, though, so you have to order the right size for you. This part is extremely important and is probably the hardest part about successfully wearing a Baby K’tan. They recommend getting the size of your fitted T-shirt size. When I did that, my Baby K’tan was still a bit big for me. When in doubt, get a smaller size, and don’t be shy about exchanging it if you get the wrong size.
If you want to try a wrap but are worried about how hard it looks or you want to give a gift to someone who’s skeptical of baby wearing, the Baby K’tan is a great choice. When I got the box in the mail, I took a glance at the included instructions and had Dylan riding in it in literally seconds. It is completely easy to put on. There’s no complicated tying, looping, or wrapping, and the few simple instructions were very clear.
You can use a Baby K’tan with newborns and older babies, in front and side positions. The box had a picture of a back carry, but that’s no longer recommended for safety reasons. They also include instructions for a front forward facing position, but this puts the baby in the dreaded “crotch dangler” position, and I don’t recommend it. I like Dylan facing me, in either a back or front carry. At first I didn’t try the side carry since I like the Maya Wrap for side carries. But, I decided to give it a try so I could give a more complete review, and I actually love it more than the Maya Wrap! It’s easier to put on and the fabric is nicer around my shoulder and against my neck.
I wasn’t able to try the Baby K’tan with a newborn, but I think I can say that I might like it even better than the Moby in the early days. The Moby can seem like an awful lot of wrap for a tiny baby, where the Baby K’tan seems much more compatible with carrying a little one. The ease of putting it on and the lighter weight fabric seem to make it a great option for small babies.
Sizing is the most important aspect of getting a Baby K’tan. Be sure to read their sizing info here. For reference, I wear a size 20 or 22 so I got an XL. It’s a bit big, though, and I wish I’d gotten a Large. I have huge boobs, which may be what throws off my sizing. If I didn’t have 42G boobs, maybe I’d wear a 16 or 18 shirt/dress, which would put me in range of a Large Baby K’tan. You can wash your Baby K’tan to tighten it up a bit, but if it doesn’t fit well out of the box, return it for another size. When you put your baby in it, it should feel very snug, because the fabric is going to loosen up as you wear it. The looser it is, the harder it will be on your body to carry the weight and the less safe it becomes for your baby.
My Baby K’tan isn’t going to replace my Moby as my general powerhouse carrier, but I’ve been wearing the Moby for years and am not at all bothered by having to wrap it. Surprisingly, Baby K’tan is going to replace using my Maya Wrap for side carries!
Remember that the best thing about the Baby K’tan is that you don’t have to adjust it, and the worst thing about it is that you can’t adjust it. Two people of different sizes (like Joshua and me) can’t share the same carrier.
If I were looking for a wrap for a parent of a newborn who might be a bit nervous about getting into baby wearing, the Baby K’tan would be high on my list of recommendations or first in my mind as a good gift. It’s a quality product that delivers on the promise of making wrapping your baby extremely easy.[color-box]60 Days to Positive Parenting is my crash course for parents ready to make an immediate and lasting change to a joyful, cooperative, respectful relationship with your kids. Learn more here about doing the work to become a positive parent.[/color-box]