5 Things to Consider When Choosing YOUR Perfect Carrier

by Michal Chesal, President of Baby K’tan | www.babyktan.com

Before I developed the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier, I was faced with so few options on the market for baby carriers. Today, the options are almost limitless. With such a wide variety of carriers on the market, including wraps, structured carriers, unstructured or Asian-style carriers such as the Mei Tai, slings and pouches, it is easy to get overwhelmed.

At Baby K’tan, we are dedicated to safe baby wearing and truly believe in the benefits of doing so since our company was founded on those very ideals. In hopes of helping you find the best carrier for you and your baby, we’ve developed a few attributes to consider.

Benefits
We believe that wearing your baby safely and properly will always have benefits associated with it. Studies show that babies whose mothers’ wear them in slings are calmer and cry less. Carrying your newborn in a carrier can serve as a natural transition from the quiet womb into the world. Being close to your baby has also proven to help them regulate their body temperature, enhance their visual and auditory alertness as well as promote healthy speech development.

Material
One of the first things you will notice about a carrier is the type of material it is made with. Some carriers on the market consist of many different types of fabric including cotton and polyester. Others are 100% cotton. And most recently, many carrier brands are offering organic versions of their carriers. When looking at the material, you should consider your geographical location. In cooler climates, you may want a carrier with a softer, warm fabric like thick cotton, whereas in hotter weather, you may want to choose a carrier that is lightweight and made with thinner layers of fabric such as mesh or gauze.

Easy to Use
Buying a carrier that you will enjoy using is a vital part of wearing your baby. The truth is, if you purchase a carrier that you won’t take the time to figure out, you will end up storing it in your coat closet. Many retail locations have a carrier expert that can show you how to use the carrier before you purchase it. Some online retailers like Diapers.com also feature Instruction videos as well as Consumer Review Videos on their website to help give you the low-down from a real parent’s perspective. It is always important to read through the entire instruction manual to be sure you are using your carrier safely. Remember, it may take a few tries until you are able to get your carrier on without looking in a mirror!

Style
There are so many different types of carriers on the market today including structured carriers, backpacks, slings, wraps, Mei Tai style carriers and even “ready-to-wear” wraps. When choosing a baby carrier, you should consider when and where you will be using it to care for your little one. For example, if you live in a city where you do a lot of walking, you will want a carrier that is lightweight, comfortable and can fold up easily for quick storage. Or, if you will use your carrier mainly for running errands, you will want to make sure that the carrier you choose will be easy to pop on in the parking lot. If you are hiking or doing a lot of outdoors activities and your baby is a bit older, a framed backpack might be a good choice for you.

Versatility
Newborn babies have very different characteristics and needs than those of 9 month olds. When choosing a carrier, consider the changes that your baby will go through during the primary baby wearing stages. At first, your baby will want to be close and tight to you. They might enjoy being swaddled on your body in a wrap style carrier. Then, when he or she is a little older, they may want to stretch their arms and see the world! Try to choose a carrier that will grow with you and your baby. A carrier that has multiple wearing positions will allow you to choose the best position based on the age of your baby.

As you explore the many options available for baby carriers, these tips will help you find the right carrier for you and your baby. Remember, not every carrier is right for everyone. Consider your needs and expectations for wearing your baby and consult experts at your local retailer as well as online to help you make your decision. Your local baby wearing group may also have a lending library that will allow you to try out a few different carriers before you buy your own. Also, be sure to check the store or retailer’s return policy.

These tips should get you on your way to safe and healthy babywearing with your precious baby.

 

Halloween Flash Giveaway!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL OF OUR LITTLE BABY K’TAN MONSTERS OUT THERE!

In celebration of this spooky day, we’ll be “treating” you with an awesome FLASH GIVEAWAY! This is no “trick!” ;)

Enter below for a chance to win a Baby K’tan Baby Carrier in Basic Black! To enter, comment below & tell us your Halloween costume idea.

Giveaway ends today at 5:00 PM EST, so don’t miss it! Complete terms & Conditions are at http://www.babyktan.com/terms.html

Is Babywearing Right For You?

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This week is international babywearing week, and we are loving every minute of it! Although it is already Friday, and the week is nearing its end, we still have plenty of babywearing talk left in us :) . We wanted to point out a few of the great benefits of babywearing and remind parents (mom and dad alike) why their little babes just love to be cuddled so close!

Check out these awesome babywearing facts:

babywearing promotes healthy mental and physically development
Wearing your child in a wrap, sling or carrier will result in beneficial, permanent brain changes, enhancing baby’s IQ, in addition to long term benefits of good health, psychological security and independence

carried babies cry less
Research shows that babies who are carried (either in parents’ arms or in a wrap or carrier) cry LESS. In cultures where babies are carried almost continuously, babies cry much less than those in non-carrying cultures.

babywearing helps you bond with your baby
Babies who are worn in a baby carrier, sling or wrap are significantly more likely to demonstrate a strong and secure attachment to their mothers, according to a study done at Columbia University. Babies who are not held need more verbal interaction and eye contact, just to be reassured that you’re there. Carrying your baby is a great way to connect with him or her (and provide stimulation too). Additionally, your baby is “right there” to enjoy whenever you feel like snuggling or kissing!

babywearing enables caregiver to have hands free
Babywearing enables caregivers to to keep baby close and safe while still having both hands free. Caregivers have the freedom to care for other children and tend to everyday tasks while carrying their baby close to their heart.

babywearing helps prevent “flat-head” syndrome
Studies have shown that nearly 1 in 2 babies in North America will suffer from positional plagiocephaly, or “flat head syndrome” (6). This is believed to be the result of over-using devices such as car seats, swings and bouncy seats, as well as the “Back to Sleep” program which was implemented in the early 90′s. By regularly carrying your baby in a baby carrier, wrap or sling you will avoid the constant pressure that is placed on the back of your baby’s head in these devices, and you will be promoting a healthy and natural head development!

babywearing counts as tummy-time!
Tummy-time is important for your baby’s physical as well as emotional and intellectual development. It helps them learn to hold their head up, grasp at items to help develop motor skills, and observe the world around them (9). But you may have noticed that even though it’s good for your baby, he may not be a huge fan of tummy-time. It’s a serious workout! Wearing your baby in the Baby K’tan or other carriers and wraps will allow your baby to exercise his neck, head and back muscles. You can also hang a small toy from the side of the carrier to help your little one develop his motor skills. But best of all, you’ll find that your baby gets this “babywearing tummy-time” regularly, and you don’t have to schedule it into your day!

In honor of this week, we have donated a whole bunch of Baby K’tan Baby Carriers for giveaways throughout the country! Be sure to take part and don’t miss your chance to win! Here are a few giveaways:
www.naturalmothermagazine.com
www.greenchildmagazine.com
www.thewisebaby.com

Baby K’tan was also featured along with a whole bunch of other awesome carriers, wraps and slings in this month’s issue of Green Child Magazine! Read it here.

And to end with something furn for you to do, take this Babywearing Quiz, created by our friends over at Onya Baby and published in this month’s Green Child Magazine:
Babywearing Quiz

Babywearing in Alaska

Wow. We got some amazing Alaska glacier photos from fan Anne Hope – wearing her Baby K’tan on what looks like a beautiful vacation!

“Baby K’tan has been fabulous this summer for our June baby. We have to make the most of the short summers here in AK and it helped us to not miss a thing – baby was comfy, close, warm, and happy! These pics are from a trip to Juneau in August, by the Mendenhall Glacier. I love that the carrier is compact and easy- baby even loved it on the plane from Anchorage to Juneau!! Thanks so much for making this product:)”
-Anne
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Flash Giveaway!

Enter to win a “Keep Calm” infant t-shirt! They’re oh so cute and come in various colors and sizes. To enter, comment on the facebook post below & tell us why you babywearing!

Ends 9/20 at 11:59 PM EST. Complete terms & Conditions at www.babyktan.com/terms.

Breeze Carrier Review

We love scanning the internet for stuff… especially stuff about Baby K’tan! We find the most amazing posts and reviews, and we just love seeing what people have to say about our double-loop design carrier.

Just the other day, we stumbled upon this great YouTube video review of the Baby K’tan Breeze Baby Carrier – our half mesh half cotton carrier; designed to be lighter and cooler for outdoor summer and active use. The Breeze offers all the same positions as the original Baby K’tan, and also does not require any wrapping, buckling or tying.

This reviewer did an awesome job of showing the Breeze carrier and how to put it on!

Awesome Review & Giveaway

We just LOVE this video review of the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier! Kathryn describes the K’tan in awesome detail, from how to put it on to how to easily travel with the carrier neatly stored in your diaper bag or in the bottom of your stroller. We especially like the way that she describes placing baby in the carrier – your little one might fuss a bit, but if you stay cool and collected, you’ll rock it :) . Just keep talking to your little one, and after a few seconds they will sink into the carrier comfortably… and probably fall asleep!

Better yet, she is offering a giveaway as well!

Be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel and follow the easy steps to enter the giveaway. Hurry! It ends 8/31/2013

Our Fans Are What Make Us…

Let’s be honest, we would be nowhere without our loyal customers and fans. The Baby K’tan team and product have seen amazing growth over the last 7 years, and we are confident that we have a great product and believe in our brand, but we know that we owe our fans so much! Our customers are what keep us motivated.

We love hearing what you have to say, positive or negative, because we know it can only help us grow!

Of course, we always LOVE hearing from customers, like Deanna (below), who make us feel so awesome! We are so glad that our Baby K’tan Carrier can help bring parents and little ones closer and that it can help them grow and develop that natural bond. Thanks, Deanna, for sharing this awesome photo and quote!

 "At 14 1/2 months my daughter only weighs about 19lbs so my wrap still comes in very handy when my lil one doesn't feel well or just needs mommy close. I have a busy household with her and 2 dogs so sitting isn't an option very often and with my Baby K'tan I can give my daughter her cuddle time and still get what I need to get done." - Deanna

“At 14 1/2 months my daughter only weighs about 19lbs so my wrap still comes in very handy when my lil one doesn’t feel well or just needs mommy close. I have a busy household with her and 2 dogs so sitting isn’t an option very often and with my Baby K’tan I can give my daughter her cuddle time and still get what I need to get done.” – Deanna

Choosing a Burp Cloth

KtanCloth Burp Cloth As parents, we know that there many things you just want to have for baby and there are other things that you absolutely need. One undisputed necessity is a burp cloth! There’s no telling how many spit ups we’ll encounter on any given day and we all need a great, durable burp cloth in our corner!

Baby product expert Heather Corley shares all the best tips for choosing a burp cloth is this recent article.

  • Bigger Is Better: The new and improved K’tanCloth is a convenient 10” wide by a helpful 30” long for big messes!
  • Material Matters: The K’tanCloth features a breathable mesh with absorbent micro fiber on one side and soft cotton on the other.
  • Mission: Washable: The K’tanCloth is 100% cotton and machine washable.
  • Extra Features: The K’tanCloth can be used as a nursing cover or blankie with its handy Velcro attachment to secure it to a nursing tank, baby carrier or stroller.
  • Price: With 3 distinct uses, The 3-in-1 K’tan Cloth is very affordable at just $12.95 each.

We think the new and improved K’tanCloth meets all of these criteria and more!
Here is a closer look:

The K’tanCloth will be available for sale this summer on www.babyktan.com and various retailers.

Kangaroo Care Awareness Day

Did you know that today is International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day? Practicing Kangaroo Care in the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier can be an amazing experience for both parent and baby!

Kangaroo Care
Kangaroo Care is the practice of holding or wearing a newborn skin-to-skin.

Benefits to baby:
- helps regulate baby’s body temperature
- more rapid brain development
- close hold enhances successful breastfeeding
- decreased crying
- earlier parent-child bonding
- warmth mimics calming environment of the womb

To practice kangaroo care in the Baby K’tan simply remove your shirt and your
infant’s shirt, and place your newborn skin-to-skin in the kangaroo position