Why should I wear my baby?
We have carried our little ones for 9mo. before they were born, so it is only natural that they yearn to be close to us and carried when they come out of the womb. You absolutely cannot spoil a baby by carrying them, no matter what anyone says. It is impossible! Their whole being yearns to be held, to be close to us and that is a wonderful thing!
There are so many benefits of babywearing, to both mom and baby. It lets you care for baby while still having your hands free, helps with bonding, keeps baby warm and safe, allows them to experience the world from a different vantage point, and the touch stimulates them mentally and physically.
Here is a place to go for more info.
How do I know what front/back carrier to choose?
This is a good question, and I don't think it is one that can be answered for you. You have to decide what you are looking for in terms of what the carrier does, how easy it is to use, how structured or unstructured it is, the colors and fabrics available, etc. How is it worn? How is it used? For what age baby? What type of reviews does it get? Does it fit a wide range of people (like you and your spouse)? How versatile is it? Some of these things may be more important to you then others. You have to figure out what your preferences are then find the carrier that best fits them. I would hope that no 2 carriers are identical, but you will find carriers amongst the different groups (structured, unstructured, Asian style etc.) to be very similar in use. The differences lie in construction, fabrics, size etc. and even subtle differences can affect how well it works for you.
How does the Kozy compare to a more structured carrier?
In truth the only similarities are the fact that most of these carriers allow you to carry baby on your front and back. The difference lies mostly in design, versatility etc. Structured carriers tend to have more "bells and whistles". They are typically more padded and have some sort of buckles or clips that are used to put them on. This is great for some people who are looking for that type of carrier. The only downside is that they tend to be less adjustable and don't fit as wide a range of people. And many of the more popular structured carriers found in stores are only comfortable for very small babies, and have a narrow crotch leaving baby to dangle.
The Kozy is an Asian style carrier. It is a rectangle of fabric with 4 straps coming off the corners. There is a light padding in the shoulder area of the top straps. I tried to add just enough to make it comfy but not add so much that it would be bulky. My goal was to keep it simple as I believe that is the beauty of this style of carrier. Because there are no buckles, it simply ties on. This allows it to be extremely adjustable as to how you wear your baby (positions) and the wide range of body types and sizes it works well for. If it doesn't work in one way, simply tie it another way. If you, or baby, don't like one position, there are others you can choose. It doesn't have the extras that the other carriers have (like plush padding, buckles etc.) but some don't mind or even prefer this. The Kozy folds down very small to fit in your bag and can even be worn sans baby.
Some people like the structured carrier cause they prefer clips to ties. Many like the look of the structured carrier. They don't fit as wide a range of people, and they are not as small and easy to carry in your bag, but they do have added perks like plush padding that some prefer. They are not as adjustable and you can't wear them in as many ways, but some like the fact that they can fix the straps to the right length back carry, and not have to readjust them each time they put it on. Some, especially those with the wider seat, are perfect for those who want a comfy back carry and extra padding but don't need the variation that the Kozy offers.
I think it boils down to mostly personal preference, fabric choices, over all "look". The learning curve for all of them seems to be very similar.
Is the Kozy hard to use?
The Kozy is very easy to use. Most people get the hang of it immediately, for some it takes a little longer. You might find it easier to use if you are already used to using slings. If the Kozy is your first sling or carrier you may need a bit more practice with it before you get the hang of it. The fact that there are no buckles and clips adds to its simplicity and ease of use.
Can I wear the straps crossed on the chest or backpack style?
Yep, you have the option of crossing the straps on the chest or wearing the back pack (rucksack) style when you are wearing baby on your back. Some people prefer one way over the other as each will carry baby weight differently. Just experiment to see what works best for you.
Is it comfortable?
Absolutely! Personally I find them very comfortable, as do most others I have talked with. I have a curved spine and 2 pinched nerves in my back. By the time my little one was 4-5 mo. the ring sling wasn't cutting it anymore and I needed something different. After making my first Kozy and using it for months, I had no more back pain.
Why is it so comfy? It is just in the design, the wide, lightly padded straps and the fact that you tie them on to get the perfect "fit". You have 6 different ways to tie the straps with back carry and have 2 different types of back carry you can do, plus front carry, plus hip . . . there are just so many options to getting it "right" for you that it is hard for it not to be comfy! If someone is having problems with it not being comfy then usually it has to do with positioning. Either the baby is too low, the straps are too loose so they are pulling on the shoulders. With a few tips and a bit more practice they nearly always get a good comfy carry. For most though, it is comfy from the first try.
Can I put baby on my back by myself?
Yep! You can put baby on your back by yourself, and most do. In fact from the beginning I have always put baby on my back by myself. I have put little ones from one week old to 4 years old on my back with no help. You will see in the instructions that there are a few different ways you can do it. For some it takes a while to work up their nerve, for others they just pop baby back there first try. Those who have trouble getting baby on their backs alone always succeed with more practice. Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy and becomes like second nature.
Can I nurse my baby in the Kozy?
YES absolutely you can!! I have nursed a 2 yr old in the front carry in the grocery story many times. I have also nursed a one month old infant hands free while shopping!! It was simple and easy. You simply untie the shoulder straps and lower baby down to breast level (or you may be able to lift your breast up to baby). I think it works so well cause it doesn't pin baby's head to your chest, but by loosening the straps you can easily make more room for baby to nurse. I have heard from many, many moms who say the Kozy is their favorite carrier for nursing discreetly.
Can I wear my baby front facing out?
Yep, you sure can. Though I will admit the Kozy is not designed for this carry (and it is really not the best way to carry our little ones), so if you are looking for a carrier to ONLY do front facing out you may want to look for something else (my recommendation would be a wrap). But the fact that it is so versatile means that you can do front facing out if you want, either leaving baby's legs out or putting them in the carrier froggy style. For more info check out the instructions page.
How versatile is the Kozy? Does it fit different sizes of people?
Yes. The fact that it is just a rectangle with straps means that you tie it to fit. So a smaller person will use less of the straps, a larger person will use more. The standard sized straps easily fit a women's size 20. If you think that you or your spouse will need longer straps simply ask for them. The body of the Kozy doesn't change in size, only the straps. It will also easily fit a very small person. You can see on the info page a child wearing a baby on her back in a regular sized Kozy.
What are the benefits of getting a Pocket Kozy?
I often get asked this question. The Kozy pocket is large, and it has elastic in the top so you can fit many items inside. Some people love the pocket on their Kozy, others find they don't really need it. I think it is nice when I will be out for a while, wearing baby on my front, and I don't want to carry a bag. I have put diapers, wipes, and even a change of pants in the Kozy pocket. If you are wearing baby on your back access to the pocket is harder, but I will have a friend or older child get things out of the pocket for me. I have even heard from moms who use their pocket to hold their Kozy straps, or fold the entire body inside. A printed pocket on a solid color carrier is a beautiful contrast. If you find that you don't like to carry a bog, or want toys, burp cloths etc. easily accessible when carrying your baby, then you might really like a pocket on your Kozy.
Can the Kozy be used with a newborn?
Yes, and actually to my surprise, it works rather well for infants in the front or back carry position. I knew when I first made them that they could be used with infants, but I wasn't sure how well they would work. After hearing from several people using them with their newborns I realized that they can work pretty well for infants. Then when my little one was born I was able to try it first hand and I found it to work with him from birth (7lb 12oz). I put him on my back in the high back carry at 1 wk and found that to work well too. At 1mo. when he was 10 lbs I was nursing him in the Kozy hands free while shopping. A one shoulder sling or a wrap are wonderfully ideal for use with an infant, but the Kozy works well too.
How long can I wear my child in the Kozy?
How long can you carry your child? As long as your Kozy is still in good shape it should carry your child as long as you can regardless of their size or weight.
How old does baby have to be for the back carry?
Technically, you can do the back carry with a newborn. It is a bit tricky to get them back there and as with all newborns and back carries (like with a wrap) you need to exercise extreme caution when putting them on your back, but it can be done and quite well. I have done it since my little one was 1 wk old (high back carry). As for the standard back carry, I started using that when my little guy was 2mo old. I simply kept his legs tucked inside like the newborn carry. Ideally though, people start using the back carry when baby is old enough to spread their legs around mom and has relatively good head support, usually around 4mo but it varies from baby to baby. When trying back carry for the first time (whether with newborn or older baby) I recommend using a mirror and either standing next to the sofa or sitting on the soft. Check out my instruction page for more info.
How much head support does the Kozy provide?
The Kozy has a curved top that is very lightly padded. This does not pin baby's head to your body so that it gives the child some freedom to move their arms and head. However, if baby is positioned deep in the carrier, the curve will hold their head and keep it from flopping around. You can fold it down if you don't need it. Many parents, including myself, wear their children in the Kozy during their naps, simply cause it allows them to relax and go to sleep, and it holds their sleeping head.
Can the Kozy be used when pregnant?
Yep. Since it ties on it can adjust to accommodate your growing belly. You can choose to tie the straps over or under your belly. I have talked with many moms who have successfully worn the Kozy when very pregnant, and I have done it as well.
What are the different ways to wear/tie the Kozy?
You can wear your baby in the Kozy on your front facing in or out, on your back low or high, and on your hip. When wearing baby in the standard back carry there are 6 different ways you can tie the straps to get optimum comfort. You can choose to either cross them on your chest or wear them back pack style. With either of these you can choose to tie them either under baby's bum/legs, over baby's bum/legs or behind baby's back. Each of these will distribute the weight somewhere different. You can experiment with different ways to wear and tie the Kozy so you can find what works best for you. Another benefit of this is that you can alternate how you tie it while you are wearing it. This is very helpful when wearing it for longer periods of time if you want to distribute the weight differently for a change. Check out the instructions page for more info on how to tie the Kozy. You can also find pictures of the different carries on the kozy info page
The fabrics are thicker, will they be hot in the summer?
The fabrics are thicker. I chose thicker sturdier fabrics cause I want the Kozy to last a long time, plus I felt that thicker fabrics held baby better and were more comfy. But despite the fact that they are thicker, the body only consists of 2 layers and the very light padding is only in the curved top, not the body. Also, the canvas we use is 100% cotton, as are most of the prints (we try to choose as natural fibers as possible) so it breaths. There is no fabric between you and baby, so it only covers baby's back. The sides of the body are opened to allow for air flow, and you can fold the body of the Kozy to make it smaller in hotter weather so that it doesn't cover as much of your child's body. All of these things work together to help make it cooler.
How about the winter? Can I wear the Kozy over my winter coat?
Yep you can. Because it is infinitely adjustable and simply ties on, you can tie it right over your winter coat *and* get a good fit!! If you choose to wear baby outside of your coat, it is easy to throw a shawl or blanket over baby to keep them warm. You also need to make sure their legs and feet are well covered in cold weather. Most of the time I choose to wear baby under my coat. This is super easy to do in the front carry and you can even do it in the back carry if you have a coat big enough. There are also babywearing ponchos you can buy that are made to accommodate a baby being worn on your front or back and will nicely cover you both. Gypsymama makes a nice one and also has instructions to make your own. Or you can simply wrap a blanket around baby or tuck it in the Kozy to hold it in place.
Do you offer a pattern for sale?
I do not provide my pattern to the public. However there are resources on line for making your own. Check out my links page for more info.
What is your return policy?
Your complete satisfaction is guaranteed. You may return your Kozy (unwashed and in good condition) for any reason within 30 days of receipt for a full refund of purchase price. The tote bag is yours to keep. We warrant the workmanship against defects for six (6) months from the date you receive your Kozy. We will repair or replace at our discretion. This warranty applies to the original owner only and in nontransferable. Should you wish to exchange your Kozy for a different fabric, you may do so within 30 days of receipt. However, you will be responsible to pay for the return shipping of your Kozy and the shipping of your new Kozy.
If you are not able to return your Kozy within the time frame covered by our warranty, we can suggest places to go online to sell them (most Kozys re-sell very well.) We hope that you will really try your Kozy several times first before you decide that it is not the right carrier for you. And I encourage you to contact me (Kelley) for help using your Kozy.
Do you ship to other countries?
Yes! We are located in Virginia in the US and we ship to most other countries by global priority. Check out our Kozy Options page for info on shipping costs.
Do you include instructions with each Kozy?
You will get care instructions with each Kozy. As for how to use your Kozy, we are currently working on our paper instructions, however we have extensive instructions located on this site and a stripped down version available through e-mail in a PDF file (if requested). We hope to have a pdf version of our instructions available from this site in the near future.
What do you recommend for washing my Kozy?
We recommend spot cleaning when practical. However if you need to wash it, that's okay. Machine wash on the cold/gentle cycle and dry on low heat or air dry. To limit the amount of twisting and tangling in the straps, either wash alone or in a garment bag. Black or brown (or any dyed canvas) will tend to fade some over time, so some prefer to spot clean or handwash these Kozys and line dry (out of the sun).
Do you have business cards?
We get asked for business cards daily. We LOVE it when people want to spread the Kozy Love!! So we put cards on the site for those of you who didn't get cards with your Kozy, or if you did get them and ran out. You can print these on business card paper or just plain printer paper!