Friday, December 28, 2012

*Review* Baby K'tan

First off, let me start this by saying that I have been in the works with Baby K'tan for a while regarding a review. I pitched the idea to them for a review and a possible giveaway. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to offer the giveaway, but I am happy to be able to review this wonderful carrier. I did NOT get it for free. I was in communication with a wonderful woman named Reina from the company. She was soooo pleasant to work with. So helpful, and so patient through my many questions. She did not get rude once when I was skeptical about sizing. Pre-Gianna, I was tiny. As you can see in my pics, I'm not that tiny any more. I have put on more weight than I would like to admit, but she worked with me and helped me to figure out the correct size. They go by your prepregnancy size, so mine is an extra small, even though I was convinced that I would need a bigger size. I left it entirely up to Reina, and she was correct. She did send a return label, just in case, but I am happy to say I didn't need to return it.

The way Reina treated me was not like just another customer. She took the time to explain things to me, to chat with me, to make me feel like a friend. She didn't go more than a few days without sending me a message to let me know that she was looking forward to reading my review, to ask how it was going, to see if I had any questions, or anything at all. She is FANTASTIC. Reina is one of the reasons why I enjoy my K'tan so much. The personal service was the best part.

The Baby K'tan is a cross between a wrap and a structured carrier. There are no buckles to fiddle with, no long ends to drag on the floor. It is essentially 2 big loops held together by a smaller loop, with a sash for added support.  (photo from Baby K'tan)
November 20, 2012-
I received my Baby K'tan today! I heard the FedEx truck pull up, and I ran out to meet him. Poor guy hardly knew what was coming! As soon as I brought it in, I played around with it. I carried Gianna's ugly baby doll in it. I didn't want to try it out with her right away until I was confident that I had it on right. After a day of playing around, I was ready to try. I read the instructions over and over and over again, and first tried the facing out position. I couldn't get her to cooperate with me, so we gave up. I faced her towards me, and she instantly relaxed. We loved it! I did not use the sash for this picture. The sash MUST be used for this carry, however. As I was only trying it out and playing around, I did not use it.

Bright and early, still in our jammies. Gianna instantly relaxed once she was in it properly. Because there is a significant difference between her and the baby doll, I was a little leery of how it would feel on my back. I can say that I was comfortable and it did not hurt my back like other carriers did. I am hoping to gain a little more confidence before venturing out with it. So far, 2 days in and I'm loving it. Just wish I was able to put it on as easily as the YouTube video makes it look!

November 29-
The Christmas parade was today, and I was excited to use the Baby K'tan to enjoy the parade. Unfortunately, Gianna fell asleep in the car on the way to the parade, and we just put the car seat in the stroller for the beginning. After about 15 minutes, she woke up, and wanted out. I immediately popped her in the carrier, facing out, and we watched. A friend of mine snapped this picture of us. Gianna is not too fond of this carry. I'm not sure why, but I'm thinking it might be because her arms aren't free. They were sort of pinned to the sides, and she couldn't bring them together to clap easily. The sash must be used in this carry as well.

I have used it a few more times since these dates, and still find it sort of hard to put her in correctly. It may have something to do with her age, because at 16 months old, she doesn't really want to be held much. She much prefers to walk around and play. I have had great success with a friends little one. At about 4 months old, she doesn't fight me too much winky She enjoyed being in it much more than Gianna did. Also, because tags and labels bother me more than the average individual, I find that I, personally, am not comfortable putting G in it until I have the Baby K'tan logo in the perfect spot. If the logo is so much as an inch off to the side, or even upside down, I have to take it off and fix it until it is perfect. This is user hang-ups, though. Nothing that would deter me from reaching for it. When I plan on using it while we're out, since it's winter in good ol' NY, I put it on before putting my sweater and/or coat on. This way it's ready to go when we get to our destination. 

•Comfort: I give it 4.5 stars out of 5
        There are no uncomfortable buckles to dig into my back, sides, belly, arms, etc. I absolutely love this about the Baby K'tan. I don't have to twist and turn and pull and push on parts to keep it from digging into me, or catching on skin and/or clothing. I took off half a star because I feel that it's easier on the body for a smaller baby. My 24 pound daughter causes a slight amount of stress on my shoulders when she's wiggling around and fighting me. It's much less stress than my Boba 3G.

•Ease of use: I'd say 4 out of 5
         It's definitely much easier than the Boba Wrap I owned. There were no long pieces to wrap around and around and around. No long pieces that might touch the ground. No real complicated wrapping instructions. However, if your child is not willing to cooperate with you, it can make it a little difficult. Some carries require the carrier to be made into a pouch for smaller babies, and it was a bit tricky for me to keep it in a pouch shape by myself. It was much easier when I had my husband help me by either holding the shape of the pouch, or placing our friends baby in it. The directions were clear, but trying to focus on those while chasing my toddler around was a bit difficult for me.

•Sizing: 4.5 out of 5
         I absolutely LOVE the fact that I don't have to pull on anything to make it tighter, then loosen it because I over tightened it by mistake. This is the perfect size, every time. When it starts to loosen up, it's simple to bring it back to it's original tightness- just wash and dry it. Which is a great way to kill 2 birds with one stone, so to speak. You wash it often enough so that it doesn't get dirty. The issue I have with sizing is that if you and your partner are different sizes, you may need to purchase two carriers. My husband has not tried this carrier yet, so I'm unable to say if he can comfortably wear it. He's taller and more solid than I am, so I'm not so sure this would fit him right. I'm hoping to find out soon.

•Cleaning: 5 out of 5
          This is the easiest carrier to clean, ever. Stick it in the washer on cold, and tumble dry on low. Easy!! No spot cleaning with special soap. No worrying if all the soap is out of the carrier. No worrying if you didn't dilute it properly. I use Tide if I wash it with my cloth diapers, or whatever detergent I have if I wash it with my clothes or by itself. 

•Portability: 5 out of 5
          The sash is actually the carrying case! If you turn the pouch inside out, the sides of the sash fit right in, as well as the carrier. It takes up little room in the diaper bag, and is a breeze to undo when it's time to use it. 

•Overall: Definitely give this a 4.5 out of 5. I much prefer it over my Boba 3G. The fact that it can be machine washed is awesome. The customer service is so personal. The fit is perfect. The only major complaint I have is that it isn't a one-size-fits-all. That would totally seal the deal, and make this a 5 star product.

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