China Orphanage – Baby K’tan

ktan lineupWe are so unbelievably proud to share the correspondence we received below along with the incredible pictures they chose to share with us. The story brought tears to our eyes, and we are so grateful that we were able to help, even in a small way. These are really the stories that matter!

Baby K’tan outfitted Cindy Baker-fox (RN, BSN, IBCLC) with Baby K’tan Baby Carriers to bring with her on her medical mission to orphanages in China. We were thrilled and honored to be able to partner with Cindy.

Here is what Cindy had to say about her trip:

“I’m so sorry that it has taken me such a long time to get back to you about the carriers you donated for my China medical mission trip in August. The 4 carriers that you sent me where donated to our first orphanage. The orphanage had 13 infants and several more toddlers. The infant room was staffed with only 2 caregivers, which required each nanny, as they are referred to, with the care and responsibility of 6-7 infants each shift. Most of the baby’s were left lying in their beds with propped bottles, due to the lack of personnel to care for them. Our focus during this trip was to provide medical exams on each baby, and screen them for medical issues that needed specialty care. We saw approximately 50 children ranging in age from 15 days old to 11 years. Each child received a brief exam while others required more in-depth care. As the only Pediatric RN on our team of 4, it was my responsibly to assess their growth and nutrition. Malnutrition was the primary medical problem that we noted and addressed. The degree of malnutrition was something that we do not see in this country. It was heart breaking. After spending several days teaching the caregivers about proper formula preparation and intake requirements, I knew that I had to teach the staff a different way of interacting with the babies, in an attempt to help them thrive. The carriers could not have been more appropriate for these staff members. They had little to no time to hold the baby’s and they definitely did not have time to carry them around. Their interactions were primarily with diaper changes and some feedings. The caregivers did, however, love their babies but did not have the time or resources to hold and love on these little ones. On our last day at this orphanage, I presented the staff with the 4 carriers. I was able to show one of the nannies how to put it on and properly use. She was hooked. She found a carrier for the other nanny and our translator. The four of us took turns carrying around the different babies as they awoke and fussed. Everyone was thrilled, especially the babies. A few of the babies were unsure of themselves as they were not accustomed to being held much less carried. We had such a wonderful time loving on these little ones. The director of the orphanage was so grateful for your selfless donation to his little unknown orphanage. He was touched that so many strangers from another country cared about his children. If I accomplished only one thing on this trip, it was to show the orphanage staff that loving these little abandoned babies was essential to their survival, and the donated carriers gave them an opportunity to do just that. They all thanked you. I thank you! Attached are the pictures we took as we were putting on and carrying around the babies. Feel free to use them as you see fit.

Teaching an orphanage nurse how to use the Baby K'tan

Teaching an orphanage caregiver how to use the Baby K’tan

Our second orphanage was a large orphanage in a different province. I have chosen not to reveal the name, or location, of this orphanage due to the conditions we found. This orphanage will eventually house up to 600 children, ranging from newborn on up. It was new to New Horizons for Children, the Boston based organization that I went with. No one had any idea what we would find. Even though this orphanage was in a more affluent part of the country, many of the children were not in good condition. Most of the infants and children were handicapped or gravely ill. As a part of the culture of this orphanage, the nannies and caregivers did not hold the babies. Again there were only 2 caregivers for 12-16 infants. Bottles were propped and baby’s were left to lie in they cribs for several hours at a time. Many had bedsores and demonstrated signs of chronic malnutrition. I spent much of my time assessing the nutritional status of many of the infants and teaching basic infant and nursing care. They had a few nurses on staff, yet their skill levels were much lower that that of any level of nurses in the US. I spent a good deal of time role modeling and teaching things like swaddling, bathing and feeding a small premature infant that they had. I was able to have the caregivers and nurses practice holding babies and comforting them. I wished I had had more carriers for this site, but I’m not sure they would have been as receptive to the concept at that time, due to the severe conditions we found and the multiple problems that we had to address. Since our departure, the orphanage  director has requested that our team return and assist them in additional changes that are needed. As a result, part of the team is returning to this orphanage later this month. I will not be accompanying them this time. The director of the China program at Wide Horizons, would like to bring a few carriers with her and teach the staff how to use them. Most of the infants that we encountered are not adoptable, which is one of the services provided by this agency. Consequently, these infants and children will spend most of their lives lying in a crib or a bed. Anything that I can do to alter that for even one child, I would like to do. I would like to request a few more used carriers, if they are available. If not, what would be the cost to purchase 2 such carriers. I would like to send them off to the director asap. The director believes that the staff is ready to learn how to hold and bond with these infants. Please consider this matter. Thank you so very much for what you did for us and a few abandoned baby’s in China. The attached pictures have been cleared for you to use on Facebook or in what ever capacity that you choose. Please let me know if there is anything else that you might need.”

Sincerely, Cindy Baker-fox, RN, BSN, IBCLC

China Orphanage

Baby K’tan Partners with Operation Shower

Baby K’tan, LLC partners with Operation Shower for Baby Shower Honoring Military Families.

Expectant military moms were celebrated with the baby shower they deserve over the weekend in Doral, FL hosted by Operation Shower, a non-profit organization that recognizes and honors the unseen sacrifices of military families by producing and coordinating baby showers for expecting military personnel and their families.

On Sunday, 25 new and expecting military moms each received a Baby K’tan Baby Carrier and other baby gifts donated by local and national organizations as part of Operation Shower’s “Birds of a Feather” Baby Shower during The World Golf Championships at the Trump National Doral.

“It was our honor to be the exclusive carrier provider for these families – our neighbors here in South Florida,” says Michal Chesal, president of Baby K’tan, LLC. “We are thankful for the opportunity to show our support and appreciation for the military families and the sacrifices and contributions they make every day to proudly serve our country.”

Since being founded in 2007, Operation Shower has honored more than 2500 military families and hosted over 50 showers for all branches on the military including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard.

“Baby K’tan, LLC has partnered with Operation Shower for over 4 years and we are honored to be part of such a worthy cause,” says Chesal.

About Baby K’tan

The Baby K’tan Baby Carrier was developed by two Florida families, each raising a child with special needs. One family has a child with Down syndrome and the other has a child who required heart surgery when he was four weeks old. The parents were inspired to create Baby K’tan when they could not find an existing baby carrier that suited their babies’ needs.

The Baby K’tan team proudly devotes a percentage of its proceeds to the American Heart Association and the National Down Syndrome Society. The Baby K’tan Baby Carrier and accessories are available online and in retail locations across the US and internationally. Find out more at, call 866-YES-KTAN, or e-mail

 Baby K'tan at Operation Shower

Summer Breeze Sale!

20% off Breez Carriers with coupon code "Breeze20"

Unique Features of the
Baby K’tan® Breeze Baby Carrier:

  • 50% mesh 50% cotton construction reduces heat and moisture.
  • Cooler and more breathable during summer & active use.
  • Rotate loops to place mesh in front or back.
  • Available in black and white.
  • 6 easy to use wearing positions from 8-35lb. No wrapping or buckling involved!
  • Innovative double loop design is a cross between a sling, wrap and structured carrier.
  • Slips on like a t-shirt!
  • Back support band allows optimal comfort.
  • Free matching sash included – sash converts to handy storage tote!
  • Second loop provides additional support.

Click HERE to purchase!

Promotion Terms & Conditions:

Discount does not apply to regular cotton or organic. Enter coupon code “Breeze20″ at checkout to apply 20% discount. Valid at and at select participating retailers. Offer valid July 4-13, 2013.

Friends using K’tan Carriers :)

As a small business, we absolutely love it when we see someone on the street wearing a Baby K’tan. It may not seem like much, but it always puts a huge smile on our faces to see that we are actually making a difference. Of course, Michal Chesal, President of Baby K’tan, is always thrilled when she hears from a friend or family member that has spotted one as well. Here is a message she received from an old high school friend just today!

My daughter is expecting her first child in September and she and her husband live in Israel. She was telling me about all the baby gear she’s getting and mentioned Baby K’tan! So I asked her if she picked that one because it’s the brainchild and product of one of my friends from school and her reply was “huh?”

So, I told her all about you and she thought that was cool, but picked the Baby K’tan because of the design and materials and for the fact that in the product picture, the dad was wearing it…..which strongly appealed to my son-in-law!

She ordered one made of mesh and cool, breathable cotton fabric and is completely excited to finally get to use it!

Score one more for Baby K’tan!

Aviva Bursten Cohen

Love it :)

Miami Herald, Mompreneurs

Michal Chesal, President of Baby K’tan, was highlighted in the Miami Herald Business Monday section in their wonderful article about “Mompreneurs.” You know how much we love those business savvy moms! Each of these amazing moms took an idea or concept relating to their own personal lives and situations and they turned their ideas into a successful business model.

The article highlights six moms who created their own businesses from scratch, and we are so proud to have Michal listed among them! All of these stories are wonderful, so we strongly encourage you to click here and read the entire article, but below is the section about Michal Chesal.

After Michal Chesal’s son, Coby, was born with Down syndrome in 1999, she wanted to carry him with a wearable baby carrier. But a physical therapist told her it wouldn’t give Coby, who had poor muscle tone, the right kind of support.

So Chesal, of Hollywood, began playing around with the baby slings on the marketplace, crisscrossing and wearing two of them together. She took the slings to a seamstress to connect them, eventually marketing the wearable baby carriers as Baby K’tan,, a play on words that means “little baby” in Hebrew.

The carriers can be used for kids from birth to 35 pounds. They come in adult sizes and a variety of fabrics, and range from $50 to $60.

Chesal partnered with a family friend, Isaac Wernick, to start the business after Wernick tried the product for his own son.

Chesal and Wernick developed the carrier in an all-cotton fabric with no connectors or snaps. They connected the over-the-shoulder loops with an adjustable back support band and a waist sash.

“No one had a design background, but it was a simple idea,” Chesal said.

For more than a year, the partners ordered samples from factories, rejecting fabric that was too thin or straps that were too wide. A prototype was ready in 2007, and the partners placed an initial order of 200. Since then, they have tinkered with different fabrics and sizing.

The product is now manufactured in China and Guatemala and warehoused in Davie, near the company’s offices.

Chesal and Wernick spent about $50,000 initially on setting up the business, patents, samples, testing, trade shows, marketing and initial inventory. Baby K’tan sells about 110,000 items a year and became profitable in 2011. The partners have five full-time and three part-time employees. The product is sold in 900 U.S. retailers and distributed in 10 countries.

To promote, Chesal partners with other mom entrepreneurs in press releases, advertising campaigns and trade shows. A Brand Ambassador System allows moms who demo the product and distribute brochures at parenting events to earn points toward merchandise.

They also have expanded the line with the K’tan Cloth, which attaches to a baby carrier and can be used as a burp cloth, nursing cover or blankie.

“Follow your heart. If you have an idea and keep putting it off, somebody else is going to come up with that idea,” Chesal said. “If I had to do it over again, I would have started so much earlier.”

Thank you, Miami Herald, for recognizing the creativity and perseverance of these six amazing women!