My daughter is currently 10 months old and while she is walking fairly consistently, I’m not comfortable letting her free to run around outside. I love baby wearing because it eliminates the need for a stroller and keeps my hands free. Because let’s face it… babies nap better and longer when they’re closer to a parent. Before I know it, I won’t be able to carry her around so I’m enjoying it now!
Baby K’tan recently sent us one of their amazing carriers to review*. While we reviewed quite a few baby wearing carriers, Baby K’tan wasn’t on our list simply because we hadn’t had the opportunity to try it! Retailing at $49.95, I couldn’t justify buying one when no one I know had tried it. Yes, we moms rely on word-of-mouth referrals.
So even though this carrier is fairly new on the market, it has quickly become one of my favorites. In fact, as I’m typing up this review, my daughter is currently asleep comfortably in the Baby K’tan. When I pop her in, she’s asleep within minutes! The closeness and snuggle factor this wrap provides is very comforting for baby and comfortable for me. Want one? Enter our Giveaway below!
5 Reasons Why we Love the Baby K’Tan Carrier
- It’s versatile! You can wear baby so many ways from 8-35 pounds. Wear your newborn (or TWINS!) up to toddler in a cradle carry, hip carry, facing you, facing away from you, on your back, etc! I was especially thrilled by the FORWARD FACING option. I refused to carry my children forward facing in any other carrier because I felt uncomfortable having them dangle by their crotch and putting the weight on their spines. With the Baby K’Tan, the baby is supported by the fabric in a seated position so the weight is on their bottoms and not their crotches. The carrier itself doesn’t look like it would support baby because it’s so soft, but the fabric is not as stretchy as the Moby Wrap.
- It’s compact and not bulky. As much as I LOVE the Ergo Baby, the carrier itself is very bulky. Working at home with a sleeping baby asleep in the Baby K’tan is comfortable and it moves with you as many wraps do. I can sit at the table or on the couch working without feeling like the carrier rises up on my body. So this carrier feels just like a wrap, without all the wrapping! I can even comfortably carry a diaper bag or purse without it sliding off my shoulders. SCORE!
- It’s quite supportive. When the straps are correctly crossed at the center of your body, the weight of baby is evenly distributed across your back and shoulders (when baby is in the front). The carrier holds baby very tight against your body for support. I don’t know if I would want to carry a 35 pound child in the wrap though.
- It’s convenient to carry. The wrap folds up and fits into a little pouch built into the carrier. This keeps the carrier clean and packed up nicely to store and carry with you. The second piece that wraps around baby and body reverses and everything is stuffed into the little pocket with a draw string.
- It’s machine washable! As a mom, I refuse to utilize anything often if it cannot be thrown into the wash!
Check out the video below comparing the Baby K’Tan to a traditional wrap style baby carrier!
- These carriers are sized (i.e. XS, S, M, L). So if you and your partner are different sizes, you would have to get two different sizes. For example, I wear an XS but my husband would need a L.
- It’s not adjustable so it didn’t look like it will fit at first. Plus, because of the design, the carrier must fit tightly against your body. This may be uncomfortable for some people, especially if you are in between sizes because when choosing the right size, you must go down a size if you are on the fence.
- It is a unique design and can be challenging to learn how to use correctly. Like any carrier, it took me several days of practicing before I felt comfortable attempting to pop my daughter in in public. The carrier does come with an instruction manual that I studied and followed the provided steps, but Youtube also has several videos to help you learn how to use the carrier correctly. I have yet to master the back carry with the Baby K’tan.
- The standard Baby K’tan comes in 5 colors: Heather Grey, Eggplant, Basic Black, Warm Cocoa Brown, Sage Green.
- Baby K’tan also has an Organic and “BREEZE” option. We chose to review the Eggplant Baby K’tan carrier. On hot Sacramento days like today, I carry my daughter in just a diaper and with no zippers or buckles, I don’t have to worry about her sensitive skin. But in addition to a few organic options, Baby K’tan also has a BREEZE carrier that is made of a soft and breathable mesh fabric that will keep you and your baby cool on hot summer days.
FINALLY… ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY!
Thanks to Baby K’tan, we have one carrier to giveaway. The GIVEAWAY starts 5/14/2013. The winner will be selected by random and we will announce the winner on our blog and Facebook page after the deadline of 5/26/2013. The winner will be emailed instructions how to claim their selected size and color of the Baby K’tan carrier.
- Like us on Facebook!
- Like Baby K’Tan on Facebook!
- Leave us a comment on THIS BLOG POST below with the following information: (a) Confirming that you liked Chic Baby AND Baby K’tan on Facebook, (b) Share why you want a Baby K’Tan Carrier, (c) Share something new you learned about the Baby K’Tan in this blog post.
- Make sure you follow our Facebook page as we will be announcing the winner!
We will be contacting the winner at the end of the month! Good luck!
*NOTE: Baby K’Tan sent us a carrier to review and we are not being compensated for this review.
If you have joined us in any of our signing series or classes, you have probably heard us talking about how signing has language development and literacy. Young babies and children can essentially “read” books with us by using signs, which instills an interest in books and reading at an early age. However, did you also know that signs can help children learn to love music?
In our MORE Sign, Say & Play® series, we focus on how signing can help social and emotional development in our babies and children. During our FARM week, we share that your child’s all-time favorite music are songs sung by their favorite people: mom and/or dad (or caregivers).
Music, Signs, and Dinner!
Now that our son is two, it seems as if overnight he has learned to recite and sing along with a few of his highly-requested songs, such as ABCs, Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus, and Old McDonald. While I am a music enthusiast and regularly play music and sing songs to my son, my husband needs a bit more encouragement. Therefore, we got into the habit of showing our son signs to go with some of the songs we sang to make signing songs more fun for both our son and my husband. Usually, our son copies us and signs along as we sing, however within the past few months, we have seen a transformation with his signing, speaking, and demonstration of his growing independence (and opinions).
A few weeks ago, during dinner, our son suddenly requested we sing “Old McDonald.” Since we struggle with his weight gain, we will often play games and entertain him during meals to distract him in hopes he eats more. As we were signing and suggesting animals (e.g. Cow and Duck), suddenly our son stops and says “No… Bah!” as he signed “SHEEP.” (See below for a short clip!) It was then that I realized that not only can toddlers use their signs to help in their language development, but they use their signs to become a partner in music and song!
Children are incredibly smart and understand much more about their environment and the world around them than they can typically verbally communicate. By giving them a chance to share their thoughts and feelings, we not only give them an opportunity to build their self-esteem, but we are also helping them learn!
You don’t have to be the best singer or musician – your child does not care! They love anything you sing to them (or they can sing with you) as long as you are spending time with them. So, the next time your child asks you to sing them another song, embrace their request and sing them a song (or two) and know that every word and tune that comes out of your mouth is a chance to get those wheels turning in their brains and allow you to bond with your child!
Becoming a mom completely changed my life. I know EVERYONE says that, but I mean it. I was on a corporate path in an Educational Sales job fresh out of college, I was having a great time, just bought a house with my sister, and I was in the application process for an MSW. Then there was that positive pregnancy test. Poop.
[Confession: my words were actually "Oh Shit" and little did I know how many times "poop" would come up in a conversation in the near future...]
So yes, two forms of birth control later and my husband (then fiance) and I had some major decisions to make. One of which was: “I am going to keep working.” Having a baby wasn’t going to slow me down! Little did I know that I didn’t have to slow down. I just had to change. Well that took some time to figure out but guess what… I’m still working!
The Mommy Track
Fast forward 9 months and I was a stay at home mom with my son for 8 months until I got stir crazy at home and decided to return to the working world. This went on (and off) for three years or so in non-profit and social services type of work alongside of taking classes with the goal to get my Masters. But sadly, it’s hard to get off the so called “Mommy Track.” So something must have shifted (d’uh) because when it came down to the MASTERS VS BABY debate, baby won. We decided on baby #2.
I quit my job for good and jump started Chic Baby teaching Baby Signs® classes and going to school for fun. Fast forward another 9 months and I had my daughter. I continued to teach classes and got quite busy. Fast forward another 9 months and the opportunity to start a Passion Parties business landed in my lap. And here I am.
As I meet more moms like me, I realize that there are so many moms who are rockin’ businesses at home. Many of these moms are successful, confident, and happy. This doesn’t mean that everyone is cut out for it, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy, and it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with working a 9-5 job. This just means that: (1) we all gravitate towards like minds, and (2) there has to be some reason for why so many moms are great at running businesses from home. So I came up with this list…
Why Moms are ROCKIN’ At Home Businesses
- We are RELATIONSHIP BUILDERS.
Women get criticized in the corporate world for being too “hormonal” or “soft” if they stop to strike up a fluffy conversation. Fluffy conversations aren’t bad! They’re a great way to segue into a potential business opportunity. We build relationships with other people because we care and we see the value.
- OWNERSHIP is a powerful tool.
When you are running an at home business, you are everything. This means you have to take ownership over everything. You will get out of your business what you put in, so when you take ownership over your positive and negative experiences of your business and not let them own you, you can go far.
- We COMMUNICATE.
How many men communicate as well as women? I don’t know many. This isn’t an insult to men. This is simply the way men and women are wired differently and this is why moms can rock an at home business. We have to know how to communicate with our spouses, our children, our friends, teachers, and caregivers. Communication is key to the success of any business.
- We are extremely KEEN.
As a parent, you develop a very keen sense of hearing, vision, and smell. This makes you able to multi-task very well. So while multi-tasking may not be the most healthful or effective of strategies, it’s definitely one that you cannot escape. When you work at home, you are constantly doing something else at the same time. For me that’s usually watching the children and listening to a teleclass or breastfeeding my daughter while editing a blog post or writing emails at 3:00am. It’s not easy, but it really is worth it… I promise!
- We are INVESTED.
Our children get us here, our businesses keep us sane and keep us moving forward. Staying at home with our little ones is a huge motivation to keep ourselves invested in our businesses. Women are known to be extremely passionate and this carries through to our investments: OUR CHILDREN. They’re the reason we’re here and the reason we’re staying here. We can’t just pick up and leave, so we will create a job that allows us to stay.
- One Word: NETWORKING.
I scratch your back you scratch mine. This doesn’t mean that we totally use each other, but business success is a two-way street. Because of our moms groups and various social endeavors, we meet new potential clients every day and we can chat them up. And if you look at many at home businesses of direct sales with network marketing, the majority of the owners and clients are women. Why? Because we network! And we’re back full-circle to Relationship Building…
Success Depends on Your Attitude
So for the last 27 years, I thought life was all about finding yourself. Through children, I realized that we create ourselves. And I chose to create my dream job so I can have my dream life. I chose to change my attitude about “losing out on a career” and decided that I would create a career.
Does this sound too good to be true? I promise it isn’t. It is possible! If you think you can, you can! Wanna try it out?
Get Your Own Business Started From Anywhere!
What does it mean? To some, it can be defined as those who share the same blood line. To others, it may simply be sharing a family name. To me, it doesn’t mean either. Family are people I consider trustworthy and reliable and who love, care, and respect me unconditionally. While I know what my definition of family is, over the years, I have realized that it may not only be unique and different from other people around me, but quite different even from those in the same “family.”
Who is my family?
Before I go any further, I would like to share a little bit about my personal life. My nuclear family consists of a special blend of adoptive parents and adoptees. My two sisters and I were adopted when we were infants and therefore consider our adoptive parents, our “parents,” and even more importantly – family. Personally, our family has not only struggled with the issues of adoption – not everyone in the extended family agreed or approved of our adoptions – but we also experienced alienation and discrimination as a result of our interracial family.
A few years ago, my husband and I met, had our first child, and married. None of which would I ever regret, however choosing and marrying someone ultimately means marrying into a “family”.
Personally, this is something I struggle with today. I’m not sure if it my lack of trust of others regarding my adoption or growing up feeling racially distant from those around me, but I do know that it has impacted whether I to open up to others. I realize that my decisions are driven by my past experiences, values, and opinions. I also realize that my decisions may not always be the “right” choices, or decisions accepted by everyone around me.
Going back to the issue at hand, because I experienced not so positive encounters and interactions with extended family in terms of our adoptions, I both value and unfortunately limit those I consider “family.” Coming from a loving and supportive (adoptive) family who have not only invested time and energy in helping me not only work through my personal battle growing up interracially, but also helped me battle the forever issue of adoption (which comes up in conversation much more often than I would like.)
A few months ago, I had an experience that not only forced me to rethink my own family values and beliefs, but also made me seriously doubt the decisions I make for my family. Suddenly, I did not know what I believed in and why I felt so strongly about certain things. While I know most of my decisions are based on my past experiences, I recently learned that the majority of my choices now revolve around my growing child. Some may call me selfish and rude, but during these early and crucial moments in his life, I realize how much every experience defines his personality and his future. Now, currently pregnant with our second child and having a young toddler at home – whom I share the same “blood” and family name with – I am even more conflicted between parenting through my personal experiences, while wanting to give both children opportunities to fully experience the world around them.
What is family?
I may not have any advice to offer, but I can share – that in my opinion – it is most important you feel empowered to make those difficult choices for you and your child. If something does not feel comfortable to you as a parent, then you have every right to avoid that situation. Your child will have many opportunities as he or she gets older to reestablish connections and relationships in the future. Enjoy the few precious moments you have with your baby and make the most of them.
In conclusion, what is family? For some it may be blood, for others it is the name, and a few may even see it as merely a social meaning. In the end, family means nothing while at the same time it means everything. Family is what you define it to be. Write your own story and love YOUR family.
If there’s one thing our families and friends know about Abigail and me, is we love to network and socialize! Whether that means by hosting (or attending) informal playdates, or by meeting up with friends (kid-free) for dinner and drinks. We try very hard to maintain a network of other parents who can not only relate and support each other, but who can understand and appreciate each other.
Unfortunately, throughout the years we have learned how difficult that can be at times. Friends become busy and caught up with their lives, our schedules become too hectic: we cancel playdates, skip our dinner dates with friends, and all of a sudden we have lost touch with some of the most important people in our lives.
During the last two years, I have transitioned from working OUT of the home, to working IN the home. I admit, I do miss the extra income and break from parenting – especially now that my son has entered his toddler years. Everything has become 10x more dramatic and interesting these past few months. However, every time I find myself checking craiglist.org for jobs, I remember why I chose to stay home and teach Baby Signs: I wanted to enjoy watching and learning from my child. The spilled milk and scattered cheerios mean more than “another mess to clean up.” It means, “Mommy, I need some attention!”
In addition, aside from missing the extra income, I have been so surprised to have met wonderful moms (and women) these past few months – both as a mom and Baby Signs instructor. I have learned more from them than I could ever learn working away from the home. I feel much more supported – and honestly more appreciated – than I ever did working in an office. Additionally, I feel that the things I choose to do, whether for them or for the children, aren’t because I want people to praise me or tell me “what a good job I did,” but because I want to spend time with other like-minded people and give myself a mental break.
Being a work at home mom, I can recommend two things:
1. Find a good support network of other parents – or even WAHMs – and put in the EFFORT to maintain strong positive relationships. They will be your life-line when you feel your life is spinning out of control, because I guarantee you – someone has had a similar experience. I can proudly say that many of my “mommy” friends have helped me survive these initial years of parenting where I can admit I knew nothing about.
2. Don’t be afraid to set aside that email (or in my case, blog post) and give your child some attention. When I hear “mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy…” and feel the endless pulling on my arm or leg, I look over at my child and see eager eyes asking for nothing more than love. While it’s tempting to ignore their cries for “one more second,” the times I find myself scooping him up and giving him a snuggle, both of us are happier and calmer. It’s a win-win situation.
As I look around the house tonight, I see dirty socks and PJs lying on the floor and sticky spots of who-knows-what on my couches, it all reminds me that this was the life I chose. This was the path I chose. And I could not – and would not - ask for anything else.