Sunday, August 17, 2014

Babywearing Jackpot

You may think that after having a number of children, I am some sort of baby care expert. While I like to think that I know more than when I started, there is so much more yet for me to learn and discover. 

Last week for our 14 year wedding anniversary (insert happy cheers), my husband and I went on a date that included a few necessary errands, some gelato, and a stop at Zoolikins, a local store I highly recommend. I had just earlier that day found out about a particular type of baby sling/wrap, and wanted to try it out in person at the store. 

The brand of carrier is called Baby K'Tan. I had heard of it before, but did not know anything about it. 

Basically, there are a few different types of baby carriers. The most common type are what are known as "soft structured carriers" (SSC), with their straps and buckles. This includes anything from a Baby Bjorn to an ErgoBaby carrier. Another common type of carriers are slings. They either have rings and are adjustable (known as ring slings), or are custom fit to the wearer in a set size (like Hot Slings). Finally, there are wraps to carry babies in, which are basically just a very long (15+ ft) pieces of fabric that can be tied in a number of ways depending on how you want to hold the baby. 

Personally, I find wraps the most comfortable by far for extended carrying. They keep baby close, and distribute the weight evenly, freeing up both hands/arms. However, the length of the fabric is very cumbersome. If baby is already fussy, s/he will not enjoy being wrapped up (which takes a couple of minutes for a beginner). Also, the wrap has to be re-tied every time after baby is taken out for a diaper change, feeding, etc. Trying to use a wrap in a public spot such as a parking lot without letting the ends touch the ground is near impossible. Removing a sleeping baby from a tight wrap to lay him/her down is tricky. For all these reasons, I have used ring slings almost exclusively for carrying my babies around for nearly 13 years. 

Ring slings are great for discreetly breastfeeding, and carrying a baby securely in a variety of positions. They can be slipped on and off quickly within seconds, don't require complicated wrapping techniques, and are just all around user-friendly. The only downside to them is that most of the weight will be on one shoulder only, which can become uncomfortable with extended carrying. They also do not fully free up both arms, as the arm opposite the supporting shoulder has to kind of keep close to the baby.

Well, the Baby K'Tan basically takes the best aspects of a wrap and a ready-made sling, and combines them into one. I absolutely LOVE it!!! The carrying comfort of a wrap, with the ease and speed of a ring sling. 

If you are one who enjoys carrying your babies close while you homeschool, run errands, do chores, or otherwise go about your day, you may want to give this carrier a try! I have been carrying Boaz more this week than ever before, and enjoy it so much I'm wanting to carry him even if he would be happy to sit in his swing or bouncy chair.

Please be advised that it is best to try these on in person, as sizes are custom-fit to the wearer. According to their sizing chart, I should be using a size "large", but actually fit much better with a "medium." When you put it on, it should feel a little tight. The fabric is knit jersey, and just like a shirt, will stretch with wear until you wash it again. If you are local to the Phoenix area, I highly recommend you buy from Zoolikins. Not only would you be supporting a local, independent business, but they are also exceptionally knowledgeable and super friendly :)

 Face out, known as the "adventure position"

 I posted a second picture just because the little guy is so cute :)

Facing in, blissfully asleep. While it's recommended, I do not use the additional sash, as I find it unnecessary for a secure carry. That makes using this sling even faster, and a bit cooler in the Arizona heat. Obviously, use at your own discretion. 

No affiliate links or commissions, I just love this carrier so much I wanted to share!


  1. Happy anniversary! Your new sling looks very cosy, I have only heard of them by name in the past, this is the first time I've seen a photo of one in action. I have finished my family and have a selection of slings from newborn to toddler size, but I find myself tempted to expand my collection again!

    A word of caution however, I have read from many manufacturers that outward facing carries are not recommended, even if the sling can accommodate them, as they are known to put strain on both mum and baby's backs. Just bear that in mind when wearing Boaz, especially for longer periods.

    He is chubbing up delightfully and has your dimples, what a sweet face! I can see how THM is suiting you too, your expression is more relaxed and energised than your last photos.

  2. I have the same one and I love it! I got the K'tan Breeze as it has a mesh material for half of the loops to keep cooler. My little one is a big fan too!

  3. I've been thinking of getting a K'tan for #5. I love my Moby until the baby is big enough for the Ergo without an insert, however, I loathe getting the Moby on, especially when I'm in a grocery store parking lot. Good to know that it is working for you.

    You look very pretty in these pictures!

  4. Yes... I would like to add to the first comment. You look very relaxed and peaceful in these pictures. Not that you look poorly in previous ones, but these really stood out to me. And YOUNG! You look very, very young. It's always nice to hear, especially if you're working so hard to be healthy, so I thought I would share....

  5. we loved our ktan for our last baby, and now that she is 16 months old I would recommend a bittybean for when they get a bit older. They can be used forward or rear facing up to 40 pounds, and are very lightweight and easy to use.

  6. I very rarely make a comment, but I immediately noticed the texture of your skin has changed. It is smoother and has a healthful glow. Diet really does make a difference.

  7. I just heard of this carrier for the first time last week and have it on my "hope to get list" for Baby :). It was nice to read about it and will have to watch the video.
    Happy Anniversary!

  8. I am a baby wearing mama ( for 16 years ) and LOVE to read reviews so I am glad you shared. :) WE love our ERGO's and our Bitty Bean.

  9. Have you read the book Call the Midwives. Its the memories of a women who served as a midwife in the London Docks post WWII. One of the births she delivered was a premature birth. Back in the 1950's there was little hope that the baby would survive even with hospital intervention. The mother would not let the doctors take the baby to hospital. Instead, she feed the baby a small amount of breast milk every half hour day and night. She carried the baby in a sling that her daughter made. The warmth of the mother kept the baby warm.The sound of the mothers breathing and heart beat soothed the baby. The constant feeding morning and night nourished the baby.

    Your blog post about the sling reminded me of this story. I think you might enjoy the book.

  10. I have used a moby for babies 3, 4 and 5 and love how it wears! I did have a hard time rewrapping it some places like a dirty parking lot especially if it had rained I always wrap at home first but with breastfeeding breaks I do need to rewrap it...I am going to look on craigslist for a good deal on baby k'tan now before baby #6 =)Thanks for your review of the baby carriers and you look beautiful =)

  11. That's really neat I used the Moby with my youngest and yes it is a bit complicated a first but after you get the hang of it they are really comfy. This looks like a better option though. Now that the "baby" of the family is a toddler I'm loving my Ergo knock-off that I got from Amazon for fifteen dollars as opposed to $115.00. I was a bit leery of buying it but thought for fifteen dollars if it's junk or uncomfortable I haven't lost much. It's very sturdy, and the single most comfortable carrier I've ever owned. Even on hikes in the Appalachian mountains in the middle of a muggy Virginia summer it's been remarkably comfortable, and my daughter loves it. I love how much easier it makes shopping, no more struggling to keep her from trying to climb out of the shopping cart.

  12. I love you blog!!! I find you very inspiring and helpful. I though I would share this information I found. It's a no sew method of making this same sling out of t shirts. I love being frugal so I thought you might like this too.


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