How to Use a Baby K’tan Carrier

Do you have a baby K’tan carrier that you’d like to learn to use? It looks super simple on the box, like you can just pop it on and it will magically be perfect. It is pretty easy to use, but just like all baby carriers, it can take a little practice to get just right.  This post will give you everything you need to use your K’tan carrier correctly.  It includes tutorials, a fit check, and troubleshooting tips.

Tutorials

If you’re waiting for baby to arrive, try on the carrier with a doll, stuffed animal, or even a bag of rice.   If your baby is already here, try the carrier at a time when you are both rested and in a good mood. First thing in the morning or just after a nap tend to be good times to try out a new carrier.

This video shows how to put a Newborn in a Baby K’Tan Carrier. The video has captions if you click on the CC button.

If you prefer learning by reading,  I have a Photo-Tutorial, here.

Sizing

The K’Tan Carrier is a sized carrier. This means that the carrier only works well if it is the right size for you. Getting the sizing right can be tricky! I find that most people buy a K’tan that is too big for them.

If you look at the sizing chart and feel that you are between sizes, go with the smaller size.  Sized carriers are not like shoes, where you could buy a slightly larger size and just grow into it or wear thicker socks.  If you buy a carrier that is too big, you will not be able to use it.

Because the carrier is sized, this also means that it’s not easy to share between two caregivers that are different sizes. If you are caring for a baby with someone who is a different size than you, you will both need your own K’tan carrier.

Does your K’Tan Carrier Fit?

Now you’re probably wondering, how do I tell if my K’tan fits? The best way is to just put baby in it. When your baby is in the K’Tan Carrier your baby should feel very snug, almost as if they are inside of a tight t-shirt with you.

Signs that your carrier fits you:

  • Your baby’s head is high on your chest just below your collarbone.  You can easily kiss the top of baby’s head. Baby doesn’t have to be so close to your neck that you can’t look down, but you should be able to kiss or sniff the top of their sweet little head fairly easily.
  • The carrier feels snug, like a tight t-shirt.
  • When you walk, your baby feels supported and moves with your body.

Signs your K’tan carrier is too big:  

  • Your baby’s head is low on your chest, below your chest, or too far away for you to kiss their head.
  • When you walk, your baby feels like they are bouncing or swaying in the carrier.
  • You need to keep a hand on your baby to keep them from falling or to support them better.
  • When you bend at the hip slightly (supporting baby with one hand), the baby moves away from your body.

On the baby K’tan website, it says to discontinue use if your carrier is too big. It is a fall hazard to use a too-big carrier. If your carrier is too big, do not use it.  Contact the company and exchange for the correct size.

Signs your Carrier is too small:  

  • It feels like there isn’t any room to put the baby in, even after you stretch the fabric.
  • When you put baby in a too-small carrier, they’re positioned really high on your chest, so high that you can’t quite bend your chin to look down at them.  When you walk around for a moment, this doesn’t improve.

I’ve talked a lot about too-big carriers. This is because 99% of the time when someone is having trouble with their K’tan carrier, it’s because it is too big!  It is SO RARE that I meet someone who has a K’tan carrier that is too small. In fact, I can only think of this happening one time and I have helped a LOT of people with K’tan carriers.

What a Good Fit Looks Like

This image shows a K’Tan Carrier that fits well. Notice that the baby is high on my chest, with his head on the flat part of my chest, just below the collarbone. He is very snug and well supported. If I were to bend slightly at the hip (keeping a hand on him), he would stay snugly against my chest.

K'Tan Carrier with a Newborn.
This image shows a K’tan Carrier with a one month old (12 pound) newborn.

What do I do if my carrier doesn’t fit?  

Do not use your carrier if it doesn’t fit.  Contact the company.  They are great about exchanging carriers for the correct size. They want your baby to be safe and well supported too.

Quick Troubleshooting Tips

Which Hold Do You Do?

K’tan includes a few different holds in their directions.  I find that most newborns (and older babies too) do best in the “hug hold” shown in the video above.

Contact a babywearing group or educator for a fit check if you are wearing a baby born prematurely or under eight pounds

If your baby is below 8 pounds or was born pre-maturely, I would recommend consulting with a babywearing educator to get help with positioning your baby in your K’tan carrier and to check that your carrier fits you properly.

Pull the Loop Down in the Back

For your comfort, take a moment before you put the baby in to pull the loop in the back down. Pulling this loop down makes the weight load more evenly on your back. When the loop rides up on your back, it can get uncomfortable!

Pull Down on the Small Loop
The image shows a mom pulling down on the small loop on the back of the K’Tan Carrier

Be Sure to Spread out the Shoulder

Taking a moment to spread out the fabric over your shoulder will make you more comfortable.

Spread out the Shoulder of the K'tan Carrier
This image shows how to spread out the shoulder of the K’tan Carrier.

Understand Optimal Positioning

Read about newborn positioning while babywearing. Your baby should be positioned high on your chest with knees higher than bottom and tucked close to their body. Baby’s pelvis should be tucked so that their spine is curved like the letter J.

Use the Sash

Use the sash! It adds a lot of comfort for the wearer and prevents the baby from leaning. Place the sash high up on baby’s back so that it supports baby through the spine and shoulders.

Putting on the Sash of the K'tan Carrier
The image shows the baby in the K’tan Carrier. The mom is holding the Sash of the carrier over baby’s back and is about to tie it on.

I hope you are able to get comfortable with your K’Tan carrier! It’s a quick and easy carrier to use. Like all skills, babywearing with a K’tan Carrier takes a bit of practice. Give it a try and leave a comment if you have any questions. 🙂 Happy Babywearing!

Further Reading

Babywearing Safety
Positioning your Newborn
K’Tan Photo-Tutorial