The K’Tan carrier is a popular and great option for caregivers with new babies. With fabric similar to a stretchy wrap, but without the length, it is frequently a prefered option for many new caregivers. While the basic infant carry is similar to pocket wrap cross carry (PWCC) and it may be helpful for educators to think about it like a pretied PWCC, there are some important differences.
The K’Tan has two parts. The first part is two big loops of fabric connected by one very small loop. The second part is the sash, which is a short length of fabric that tapers at the ends.
As educators, one of the greatest concerns with a K’Tan is sizing. K’Tans are not adjustable so it is very important to ensure correct sizing. A general rule of thumb is to go with the size one would wear in a snug fitting t-shirt. If between sizes, try the smaller size as it consists of stretchy fabric and this carrier needs to fit a bit snug.
The carry I am going to go over today is called the Hug Hold in the K’Tan instructions. I will begin with the instructions that K’Tan provides and then will discuss a variation that people who are already familiar with PWCC might prefer.
The Hug Hold
Begin by finding the two parts. The carrier itself and the sash. (Please note the bag it comes in, is the sash, do not discard of this bag as it is an essential part of the carrier!)
– Separate the two loops and put an arm through a loop on each side so it forms a cross on your front and back.
– Bring the top loop (or cross pass) down to your waist and leave it there.
– Bring baby to the burp position on the shoulder opposite the carrier.
– While supporting baby, reach under the cross and guide one of baby’s legs through that loop and gently bring baby to a centered position on your chest.
– Spread the fabric of this loop from one of baby’s knee pits to the other knee pit to get them into the “M” Position. Also spread the fabric across their back from shoulder to shoulder.
-While supporting baby in that first pass, gather the second loop and bring it over baby’s leg and over your shoulder.
– Like the first loop, spread this loop from knee to knee and shoulder to shoulder on baby.
*Tip: Make sure the loop did not get twisted in the process and is gathered evenly on the caregiver’s shoulder.
– Support baby with one hand and reach behind you with the opposite hand. Grasp the little loop in the center of the two big loops and draw it down your back to distribute the loops comfortably across the shoulders and not riding up on the wearer’s neck.
You are now ready for the second piece of the carrier, the sash.
– Hold it up with the center of the panel centered on baby’s back, ensure the top is at the baby’s neckline.
– Gather each side, draw it snug across baby’s back, making sure baby is pressed close to your body and in a supported position.
– Tie in back with a strong square knot. (or if you are like me and hate knots in your back you can bring it back around and tie under baby’s bottom)
– Do a final safety check that baby’s spine is supported, the sash goes to the top of baby’s neck, there is two fingers worth of space between chin and chest, there is no fabric in baby’s face and baby is centered in the “M” position.
– Like a stretchy wrap, you can gently tuck the back of baby’s head into a loop for added head support.
– Do a final check for the caregiver and make sure the fabric is gathered on the shoulders, not twisted or riding up on the neck. You can use a shoulder flip to help draw the fabric from the wearer’s neck or from baby’s face if that is desired.
This may be easier for those who have used a traditional stretchy wrap before and are familiar with the Pocket Wrap Cross Carry.
Begin the same way as the first example. Except do not bring one of the loops down to your waist, leave them both on your shoulders.
– Find the loop that goes under the the other and place the baby in the burp position on the opposite shoulder.
– Guide baby’s leg under and through this lower loop and center baby in your chest.
– Spread this loop on baby from knee to knee and shoulder to shoulder.
The K’Tan is a great option for those caregivers who want the comfort of a stretchy wrap, but struggle with the length of one. It is a popular option for warmer climates and summer babies, where the fabric of a stretchy wrap may be a deterrent. It can help an educator to think about the mechanics of the K’Tan as they would a stretchy wrap once it has been tied into place, keeping in mind that sizing is essential. So the next time you see one, pick it up and give it some love! They are a wonderful and cozy carrier!