I figured baby gear would be easy with my third child. I replaced the batteries in the bouncy seat, wiped down the swing and ordered new tubing for my breast pump. One product, however, had changed substantially in the eight years since I had my first son: the baby carrier.
The fleece sling I relied on those first few months with my first child had since been deemed a suffocation hazard. I was comfortable using a rigid front carrier (the Ergo) with an older, outward-facing infant but wanted something softer for a newborn. The world of baby carriers, wraps, rings, slings and backpacks quickly overwhelmed me. With five and eight year olds to keep up with, I needed a workable carrier more than ever.
The Baby K’Tan Active Baby Carrier promises to be as easy “as 1, 2, 3!” With just a quick review of the instruction manual and online videos, it really was easy to put on. The K’Tan is considered a hybrid between a wrap and a front carrier, with two functional loops that accommodate a variety of baby-carrying positions.
After getting used to the carrier at home, I eagerly brought the K’Tan along on our recent trip from Connecticut to California. The lightweight and compact K’Tan was ideal for travelling through the airport and for short bursts of sightseeing, though I wondered whether the soft carrier would provide enough back support for long-term use or use with a heavier baby.
Lightweight – easy to pack and carry
Soft as a tee shirt – comfortable for mom and baby
Simple to use – no wrapping required
Needs to be sized for user (hard to share with another caretaker)
Unsure of back support for lengthy use and/or comfort with a heavier baby
Appearance & Sizing
K’Tan offers its carrier in a variety of fabrics; from a thick organic cotton to the lightweight performance wicking fabric I tested in the Active model. The Active comes in two bright shades: Coral and Ocean Blue. Both work well for me, but I imagine a gray or black offering might be more desirable for many users.
The styling is cute, youthful and sporty. The Coral carrier, with my cutie-pie peeking out, definitely attracted attention. Seasoned moms commented on how comfortable it looked, versus the stiffer carriers of their day.
The material is super-soft and breathable, like a comfortable sports performance fabric, intended to wick away sweat and protect from most UVA and UVB rays.
Although the K’Tan website has an easy sizing calculator, my measurements fell between a small and medium. I followed the manufacturer’s sizing instructions to size down if between sizes. I experimented a bit with the K’Tan when it arrived. It fit snugly but the stretchy mesh fabric was easy to maneuver with my baby.
Ease of Use
I first test-drove the carrier at the grocery store with my twelve-pound, two-month old daughter. Although the product manual has step-by-step photos and clear instructions, I found I learned best from a quick view of the K’Tan video tutorial.
To use the carrier, you place both loops around your neck like a necklace, then slip one arm through each loop to form an X in the front and back. You then drop the outer loop to your waist and slide the baby in the desired position. You can make a comfort adjustment by pulling on the band where the loops meet on your back.
My baby was very comfortable in the carrier. As long as she was fed and burped first, she snuggled happily close to me and often fell asleep in it. After our maiden voyage, the carrier became my go-to, especially in the early evening hours, when my daughter tended to squawk whenever I put her down. I did find that after twenty to thirty minutes, my back felt a bit sore and tired.
The K’Tan Active retails for $59.95 and can be cutely embroidered with baby’s name.
I loved the appearance, feel and ease of use of the K’Tan Active Carrier. I wouldn’t hesitate to travel with it and use it for shorter outings under thirty minutes. For longer outings or for a heavier child, I would look for a carrier with more back support.
by: Jodie Sadowsky
Disclosure: This complimentary product was received from the manufacturer to be reviewed by Trekaroo. I received no other compensation, and was not required to express any particular point of view.
“Note: This article contains affiliate amazon links.”