Baby K'tan Carrier review
In a nutshell
A hybrid wrap/carrier, that has 6 positions and can be used from birth up to 3 years
What we tested
- Comfort for baby
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
- Comfort for you
3.0A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
- Ease of use
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Stylish design, soft cotton fabric, six seating options for different ages, very simple to use
- Heavy babies aren’t so well-supported, they also sit quite low which could hurt the wearer’s back
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Key features of the Baby K'tan Carrier:
- Age suitability: Birth (when baby can hold head unsupported) to 15kg (3 years)
- Positions: Newborn Kangaroo (from 8lb to 2-3 months old), Hug (2+ months), Adventure (5+ months), Explore (5+ months) and Hip (sitting unassisted)
- Fastening system: Fabric
- Cost: £49.99
The Baby K’tan was founded in 2007 by two sets of parents with special needs children who decided to invent their perfect carrier. Over the years, it has won several awards. As well as the ORIGINAL carrier, there are the ACTIVE, BREEZE and ORGANIC versions.
It is marketed as ‘the wrap without all the wrapping’, as it looks like a wrap but has just the right amount of fabric so it’s ready to wear.
The double loop design is patented and unique to the Baby K’tan carrier. This means there is no wrapping involved or excess fabric, which is great for mums with little time on their hands who just want to throw a carrier on and go.
It also allows babies to be carried in six different ways depending on their age and stage, including forward facing and with feet in or out.
The semi-comparable sling-style Boba Wrap is just £30, but tying the excess fabric into a big knot at your hip makes it less effortless and elegant. The more expensive Izmi baby carrier (£75) looks soft and comfortable with the added support of adjustable straps to ‘hoick’ the baby up and in!
I am a first-time mum to a six month old baby boy weighing around 18 lb.
I tested this carrier in my home using all five of the six carrier positions; the hip position requires babies to be sitting up unassisted. I am suffering with a whiplash injury from last year so my back may be more sensitive than others’.
How many seating options does it have?
The Baby K’Tan carrier has are six seating positions, all shown on step-by-step instructions that come in the box. These are: Newborn Kangaroo (from 8lb to 2-3 months old), Hug (2+ months), Adventure (5+ months), Explore (5+ months) and Hip (sitting unassisted).
Is the Baby K’tan carrier ergonomic?
Yes, The International Hip Dysplasia Institute deems the K’tan ‘hip healthy’ for babies, and they can sit in the ‘M’ position in the Hug and Adventure positions.
The six positions are all designed to be ergonomic, spreading the weight equally across baby’s shoulders and back.
I personally found that since my baby is 18 lb, he sat very low in the carrier. Maybe the fit would have been more snug if I had sized down again to XS (I already sized down to S as I’m in between an S and an M).
I found that the material was tight at the back of my babies knees, however, because he was weighing it down so much.
Does it follow the TICKS guidelines?
I based this on the Adventure and Explore positions since those seem to be the most appropriate for a six month old baby.
Tight – Not as tight as I’d like. My baby was able to lean back even though the material was uncomfortably tight behind his knees in Adventure position
In view - Yes, I could always see my baby because his face and head were always outside of the fabric.
Close enough to kiss - Yes, in the Adventure position he was close enough but in the Explore he wasn’t.
Keep chin off chest - Yes, his chin was off my chest in both the Adventure and Explore positions.
Supports baby’s back - Yes, his back was supported well.
How easy is it to put on and take off?
It’s really simple to put on as it goes on like a t-shirt. Then all you need to do is position your baby inside one of the loops and secure your baby by following the instructions for each of the six positions. Removing it is just as simple, though I’d recommend sitting down to put it on and take it off.
Can you put it on and take it off by yourself?
I managed to master all six of the seating positions on my own, despite the fact that my baby is quite heavy and often very wriggly!
I sat down and followed the instructions carefully, making sure I understood them before I attempted to put my baby into the carrier. I then made sure he was secure before standing up. I wouldn’t have attempted to put him in standing up, which is something to bear in mind if you are using the carrier out and about.
To take my baby out again, I needed to sit down to make sure I didn’t drop him.
Is the Baby K’tan lightweight?
Yes, the carrier is very light, because it’s simply two large loops of cotton connected by a smaller one and a cotton band for extra support.
It’s also extremely compact, as it folds into roughly the size of a t-shirt. You can also store it in the sash which doubles up as a little drawstring pouch.
Does one size fit all?
The Baby K’tan comes in sizes XS, S, M, L and XL. Their website features a sizing calculator so you can work out which size you need, with the advice that you should size down. I’m a size 10, and the recommended S size was a little big for me, so I would recommend sizing down.
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Is it easy to clean the Baby K’Tan carrier?
Yes, it can be washed in the machine or by hand at 30 degrees.
Is it comfortable for your little one?
Yes, my son seemed comfortable in the Explore position where he was sitting/lying as if in a hammock, but the ‘M’ positions (Hug and Adventure) were a little tight under his legs so I wasn’t able to keep him in the carrier for too long before he started getting uncomfortable.
Is it comfortable for you?
Not really, my son sits very low in the carrier whichever position I use, which puts a strain on my lower back.
How does it compare to other carriers you have used?
The only other carrier I have used was a Mothercare 4-way baby carrier which I didn’t feel offered much support or comfort for my baby and so I never used it outside of the house.
The K’tan gives me peace of mind that my baby will be supported and comfortable in the soft cotton material. The Mothercare 4-way carrier was confusing with a lot of different straps and buckles, whereas the K’tan is simple to put on, position your baby and take off again.
What do you think of the design?
The monochrome dandelion print is really minimalist and stylish, and I like that it’s entirely made from 100% natural cotton with no buckles or straps.
Would you recommend this carrier to someone with a child of a particular age?
I would recommend this to mums with babies weighing less than 18 lb (8 kg). As a newborn weighing 9 lb (4kg), my baby would have loved the closeness and I would have liked the opportunity to do a few jobs around the house or breastfeed him ‘hands-free’.
At 18 lb, he feels very heavy for it and since he sits so low down in it, I’d be much more comfortable carrying him or using a more supportive baby carrier.
What’s in the box?
Is the Baby K’Tan carrier good value for money?
The Baby K’tan retails for £50. Considering the stylishness, good quality and ease of use, I think this is a fair price as long as you use it right from when your baby is 8 lb to get maximum wear from it.
For babies around the 18 lb mark or above, I’d have to say it’s not comfortable for baby or wearer in my experience.
You don’t need to buy any additional extras with this carrier, and the sash doubles up as a pouch to store or carry it in.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the item?
Babies who are around 18 lb or more might not seem as though they are fully supported, particularly if they lean back or move around. Using the Baby K’tan may also may hurt your back since they sit lower down than the photos suggest. I would recommend sizing down for as snug a fit as possible.
Who would the product be most useful for?
This product would most suit mums and dads who would like to baby wear around the house, or perhaps go for short walks outside without the need for a pushchair.
I would also say this would be most useful for parents with younger babies since my 18 lb baby seemed low down and not as well supported as I would have liked.
Has the Baby K'tan won any awards?
The Baby K’tan carrier won first place in the 2017 Baby and Children’s Product News Reader’s Choice Awards in the Best Baby Sling category, as well as first place in the 2017 Loved By Parents Awards for Best Baby Wrap.
I like the minimalist design and soft feel of the cotton material. It’s so simple to use, with six easy carrying positions and no need to learn intricate wrapping methods.
For small babies, this would make an ideal baby wearing sling for around the home or for short walks. For larger babies (over 15 lb), I would probably opt for something else.
The material seems strong and durable and I’m sure it would stand the test of time even with frequent use.
I like the concept of a ready to wear sling made from 100% soft cotton, and I like the simplicity of using it. Unfortunately, I don’t think it offered the support my 18 lb baby requires and being quite small-framed myself, it hurt my back after a few minutes’ wear due to how low down he was sitting in it. For this reason, I would recommend this to parents with younger and lighter babies.
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|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
|Child weight||2kg to 15kg|
|Washing instructions||Machine washable|
|Carrying positions||Front and hip – 5|