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What a nightmare! I have tried quite a few slings carriers with 3 children and with the rave reviews I really thought this sounded amazing!
I certainly would not recommend this to anyone - it is such a fiddle trying to put it all together - trust me I tried very hard!
The sling is lovely and soft and felt very comfortable (almost soft cushion like rather than any stiff fabric involved - this is because it relies on how tight you fasten the straps)- mine was a beautiful purple cordrouy (I do love the colours of these!) with a main head piece and fathoms of straps. You do get instructions but these are very hard to follow (I'm normally fine with following instructions) and there is a lot of fiddling to get a perfect fit.
I sold mine within a week of buying it as I just couldn't get on with it.
Plus points? - The best thing about this is the colours that you can get (raspberry pink, purple etc)and the closeness, comfort and it does look attractive and different.
On the down side? Flimsy and very very tricky - not what you need when tiny screaming babies are involved!
A very disappointing 2 stars for this one I am afraid !
This is an excellenet carrier. It's got plenty of support for the baby. You can see in the picture that the legs are supported properly (not dangling loose like some other main brand carriers).The parent also enjoys lots of comfort. We used ours from about birth to 12 months - though you can (if you want) use it for longer.It's good for both parents as the size adapts to fit you (no fiddly buckles/clips to adjust every time you swap). It's also good for dads as it offers the benefits of a traditional wrap-around sling, but still looks simple and stylish.Some people are concerned about the tying design. It's true that it's not as simple as others, but you quickly get used to it and tie the carrier quickly and easily and the comfort you get makes up for the time getting used to it.
I know that a lot of people rave about the Wilkinet baby carrier and in theory I do think it's a great idea, as your baby is snuggled right up to you when he/she is a newborn and when they get a bit older (and heavier) their weight is supposed to be drawn into your body, rather than away, making carrying less of a strain. In practice, however I'm afraid I just didn't really get on with it.
Basically, the Wilkinet baby carrier boasts that it doesn't have any clips to struggle with, un-pop, loosen etc. while you are out and about. What it doesn't say is that instead it has two impossibly long straps to contend with and it is very tricky to put the baby carrier on by yourself, especially when your baby is on your front. I found it awkward as the straps were so long and with my son on my front I couldn't really see what I was doing.
Basically, the carrier has four positions:
1. Baby facing in on your front. This position is from newborn until about 3 or 4 months when your baby begins to gain neck control.
2. Baby on your chest but facing out - this is from approx 4 - 6 months.
3. Baby on your hip, one your baby has good head and neck control (although I never actually tried this position)
4. Baby on your back from approx 5 or 6 months until toddler
With positions 1 and 2 I almost always needed help putting the carrier on. Position 4 was better, I could actually do this by myself, but it was still awkward and it was frustrating the number of times the straps would drop on the floor or flop into mud!
My son was born in February of this year and I found that the carrier was great for cold winters days as my body heat kept him nice and warm and sung, but as soon as the weather began to get a bit warmer he often got too warm and sometimes very sweaty pressed against me so tightly.
I also found that once in position, frustratingly, the carrier did tend to slip (one of the things the manufacturer professes it absolutely does not do!), and I found myself having to hike it up a lot of the time. I am not an odd shape or excessively tall or short. I am 5 foot 4 inches and a size 10, and followed the instructions to the letter, so there is no real reason for this happening.
- Baby is well supported and is kept warm and snugly in the winter
- Is very easily stored as can be folded up very compactly
- Easily cleaned
- Very lightweight
- Not easy to put on and get off
- The two long straps can be a real pain
- You and your baby can get really hot in warmer weather
- As with lots of baby carriers it is largely only available on line so you cannot try before you buy.
- I found that it did not stay in place and I kept having to adjust it
(all my reviews appear on Ciao under the same name of Ashwick)
Im a big fan of slings and baby carriers in general, of which there are an enormous variety now available, particularly over the Internet (rather a smaller range can be found on the high street). Not only are slings good ones, at least convenient and comfortable for mums (and dads) in many situations, but the majority of babies love to be carried and really benefit from the close physical contact. My little girl is a sociable little thing and loves the chat and interaction which she gets from other people (shop assistants, passers-by etc) when carried in the sling, as opposed to being lower down in the buggy where she is usually ignored by most people!
Im currently the owner of four different types of sling, including one Wilkinet (and am trying very hard to dissuade myself from buying a fifth!) in which to carry my five-month-old baby. Owning four might sound a little demented to some, but I do find different ones to be suitable for different situations for instance, longer walks vs popping to the shops vs wearing around the house.
~About the Wilkinet~
These have been on the go for a long time I first used one 16 years ago, when my son was a baby! At that time there were a lot less available than nowadays, the Internet was in its infancy, and I remember sending off for my Wilkinet from an ad in the back pages of Mother & Baby magazine!
The Wilkinet is a baby carrier with straps, which can be used in various positions facing in on the front, facing out on the front, on the hip or on the back. The different positions are suitable for babies of different ages. It has no clips or buckles just long straps which are to be tied in certain ways depending on the position used. The Wilkinet was designed and first made by a woman called Sally Wilkins hence, one presumes, the name in the early 1980s, initially as a way of meeting her own familys needs.
The Wilkinet is well padded and comfortable to wear for longish periods, as the babys weight is more evenly distributed than with some other types of carrier and is held against you rather than pulling away from you. The wide shoulder straps are more comfortable than others I have tried. My baby always seems to be happy in it her favoured position at present is to be carried on my front, facing out, so she can see whats going on around her and indeed there is rarely a peep out of her when carried in this position!
Younger babies are well supported by the cushioned head, leg and back supports the head support can then be tucked away for older babies who are able to hold up their heads well.
The Wilkinet website features recommendations from parents, press and professionals, including osteopaths and physiotherapists.
The versatility of the Wilkinet its ability to be used in different positions is a definite advantage, although I have yet to try the back carry.
Some reviewers have expressed that they found the carrier difficult or even impossible to put on. Im a little surprised by this although the long straps are initially a bit off-putting, once you get the hang of it it really isnt that hard, although it is a bit fiddly compared to many other makes (see below for more on this). Full instructions are supplied, and you can also watch an instructional video on the website explaining how to wear the sling.
Although the Wilkinet is not hard to put on, it does take a little more time than some other types, and it does help if you have room to work in. This makes it harder to use in, for example, a situation where you are travelling by car and wanting to put the sling on when you get to your destination (e.g. for shopping, or a country walk). It can certainly be done, but it is a little more awkward (and you can feel conspicuous standing in a car park with straps flying in all directions, and a squirmy baby to contend with!). A pouch-style sling such as the Hotsling (which you simply put over your head and one shoulder and pop the baby straight in) can in my experience - be easier on these occasions.
The Wilkinet is not, as far as I know, available on the high street anywhere, and can only be purchased direct from the company or via other websites selling baby carriers, e.g. www.littlepossums.co.uk or www.bigmamaslings.co.uk. This makes it difficult to try before you buy, unless you are able to borrow one from a friend. I do think this is a significant disadvantage (though the same applies to many other brands), as not all baby carriers will suit everyone, and its important to find one which is comfortable for you.
As stated, the Wilkinet is available direct from the manufacturers at www.wilkinet.co.uk or from other sites which sell slings. (Or, of course, from eBay!!) It is available in a range of colours and fabrics including organic fairtrade cotton - and can also be purchased with extra-long straps to fit parents who are a bit larger than average!
Prices are not that cheap, ranging between about £40-£50 depending on the fabric chosen. However the sling is very hard-wearing, can be used from birth to toddler age, and would probably last for more than one child.
All colours and fabrics are machine washable at 40ºC.
Clearly, it will not suit everybody but if youre interested in wearing your baby, and particularly if youve found BabyBjorn type carriers to be less than comfortable, the Wilkinet is definitely worth a try!
I was lucky enough to be given a wilkinet sling by a friend when I was pregnant with my first son (now 6) I loved it, and more to the point so did he! So why is the wilkinet different to other slings available from the high street? The Wilkinet sling, unlike other slings fully supports a baby?s hips and distributes their weight evenly. The baby sits in the sling as opposed to hanging as with so many slings. The Wilkinet is suitable for babies from around 5 lbs-30 lbs (2-12 kg) .My son was born prematurely (see my op on born too soon) and hated his pram, however he would fall asleep easily when I put him in the Wilkinet! I used my Wilkinet until he was 15 months old as he was small and light. Without my Wilkinet I would have found doing any tasks difficult as he cried constantly( a common theme with premies )! unless he was in the sling. It is important to wear the wilkinet correctly to ensure both your baby and your back are properly supported. The wilkinet sling takes a little practice to get used to putting on, but then is really easy! To put the sling on with the baby facing you, I found it easiest to place the sling on the bed with my baby on it, then lift sling and baby up so that the baby?s head is as high as possible, wrap one strap over your shoulder and hold baby and strap whilst repeating with the other strap, then thread the straps through the holes that look like baby leg holes and tie tightly in the front. It is really important to get the baby as high up as possible to avoid strain on your back. I know this sounds really complicated but believe me its easy with a little practice! I have seen parents with their baby?s legs through the strap holes, this defeats the object! The Wilkinet has clear instructions provided, which are really easy to follow. The Wilkinet can also be worn in other carrying positions, although I only used it with my son facing me. It is possible to have the baby facing looking outwar
ds, supported on your hip or on your back facing either in or out. The sling has a detachable, soft head support for tiny babies. The sling is very well padded and is really comfortable to wear. I particularly liked the wide shoulder straps, which don?t cut into your shoulders. The long straps make this sling very easy to adjust important if like me you are not tall but your partner is! The Wilkinet is widely available from both the Internet and by mail order. The N.C.T sell the wilkinet for around £35 (dependant on the colour and fabric you choose) and it comes with their recommendation. The Wilkinet is available in a choice of several colours and 2 fabrics, either 100 % soft cotton or pinstripe drill. I was given the pinstripe drill in a blue and white stripe. The sling has machine washed well and line dries quickly. When I had my second son I started using the wilkinet again, but due to a severe back problem I was unable to continue. However for the short time I used it he too loved being in it. I really regret that I was not able to carry him close to me as his brother had been. I was lucky to have been given my wilkinet by a friend, but had I not been so lucky I would have definitely bought one as I think they are well worth the money. It is so much easier to carry a baby in a busy shopping centre than to try to Manoeuvre a pram or buggy!
I was lucky enough to have a friend who offered me the use of her "Wilkinet" while I was pregnant with my first child. It sounded quite a strange contraption, but I was delighted to discover it was a baby carrier. I felt this would be one of the vital item of baby equipment, living on the 8th floor of a block of flats with a lift that was not always reliable. Also I could never imagine how mothers managed a buggy and a baby on and off buses - and the thought of manouvering shopping bags in addition to this all seemed impossible! My experience was not completely as expected. Yes it did allow much freedom of carrying babe around, plus shopping bags - I felt a lot less trapped than with a buggy. Plus I didn't have to rely on the nice bus driver to hold the baby while i got everything else on board! It was also wonderful for my son once old enough as he could face forward - which he really enjoyed. The down side for me was the straps. Admittedly it may have helped if I had sent for the instructions as it said on the label - or if helpful friend was able to remember how to wear it (which unfortunately she couldn't fully!). But I was determined to work it out for myself. I did manage to get 2 carrying positions worked out - and was able to take it on and off with baby fitted on my self. I do wish I had worked out how to carry him on my back. But those straps did make it very time consuming - and fiddley. It was fine for walks outside in the countryside, or on the beach where buggy wheels can prohibit where you go. It was far from fine going shopping in town. Once wrapped up against the elements I found I had to remove the baby and Wilkinet each time I entered a shop as I over heated, as did my son. I then had to remove items of clothing and put it all back on again. I then had to do the reverse before going outside to the next shop. Then repeat the process once in the next shop. If you are like me and visit many
shops in one afternoon you can imagine how many times I repeated this process. Sometimes I just decided to cut the whole trip short and go home early. I am now pregnant with baby number 2 and am desperately trying to find a carrier that will allow me to get it on and off easily and will also allow me to breastfeed with it on. The Wilkinet unfortunately does not allow either of these things. Luckily I didn't have to pay anything out to find this out.
after the first 2 weeks, my daughter refused to be pushed aroud in her pram, perhaps she was bored staring at the sky.. I had been using a NoJo sling, but found this fitted badly and again the staring at the sky problem. I sent for a Wilkinet and found it solved a lot of problems. I have to walk my dog every day as he won't do without a 1 or 2 hr romp, and carrying my baby in the Wilkinet was really easy, easier than walking round when pregnant in some ways! I carried her until she was 5 months, and then slowly took her in a pushchair, taking the Wilkinet with me, and putting her in it after some time, increasing the time she was in the buggy every day until she would do the whole walk in the pushchair. She's now 8 months and I can still carry her easily, which I do if she is having a fretful day. It calms her instantly. I did have a problem with her slipping until I was able to carry her outward facing. I couldn't pull the straps tight enough although everyone else who used it could, we eventually figured it is cause I am quite short and relatively slim in the ribs, and the baby is slim too. I would recommend thinking twice if you are petite and want to use in the first 3 months, but after that, with outward facing it is fine. The carrier comes with good instructions, and there is a video online to show you how to tie it too. I also have a rain cover, but that is only practical when front carrying, inward facing. However, I did need it, as buttoning up my coat didn't seem very safe! The other thing I would mention is that a lot of babies, including my own, seem to make a lot of fuss when being put into the carrier, but calm down as soon as you start moving, so just grit your teeth and try it! Incidentally, I now get a very similar inward facing carry with an old sari tied around me a certain way, much cheaper, and more comfy, and fits better for me too!
I stumbled across an advert for the Wilkinet baby sling while reading a magazine when I was pregnant with my second child, it appealed to me as it was advertising the fact that it had been made by a mother after trying shop bought slings.This sling turned out to be a wonderful buy as after my first child I had tried a shop bought sling and did not find it very comfortable and rather difficult to put on. There is a range of colours to choose from and the straps that go across your shoulders are so comfy they have been padded for this reason. It is extremely easy to put on alone as the ties are across your front and the baby doesn't hang on its own weight therefore supporting the baby more than the average sling. The only drawback is the fact that it is only available by mailorder and therefore you need to find an advert to get the address but otherwise I feel it is a very good buy.
I've read the other opinions on this and it looks like I'm going to take the down side on this one. I too got the Wilkinet second hand from my step mother in law who absolutely loved it. Maybe it's because I'm really small (size 6) but I just can't believe that I had so much trouble with it. I found it very comfortable when I first put it on (with help of course, because I just never could get it on myself), but then within about 10 minutes of walking around, my daughter would just start slipping down and I'd be pushing up her feet with my legs. It was just horrible! I found it very hard to get her into and out of it without her waking up, and just overall of no real use to me.
I bought this sling second hand for a fiver for my first baby. I think they are about £29.99 to buy new, still good value. My son was 11lb 6oz and by the time I recovered from the C Section I found he was to heavy for me to carry much in any type of sling. I used it if I had to catch the bus so I had my hands free to carry the buggy but that was as much as I could manage. My husband loved carrying him in it. As it is plain navy it looked ok on a guy. Only problem was that the straps were just too short to tie securely. (He does have a 48/50 chest). As the straps are all fabric I made an adjustment. I made a loop on each strap and he could use a rucksack type strap between them, I could still tie them properly Don't worry they will fit 99% of people fine. There are various options for ways to wear it depending on age. As soon as both my son and daughter could support their heads they loved facing forwards. Unlike other carriers I have tried it holds the baby very close to you and you don't feel you have to put your hand under their bottoms. The carrier is recomended by physios because of the position that the baby is in when facing you. They are in a sittng position with their legs wrapped around your sides. Some carriers tend to put all the weight on the babies crotch. Older children can be carried on you back in a piggy back type position. It is definatly worth sending for the instruction leaflet if you get yours second hand. Details are on the care label on how to get them.
I borrowed the Wilkinet from my sister in law with both my babies, and have to say I found it a very comfortable sling indeed. The long straps were rather formidable and I had to send for the instruction leaflet before I could work out how to use it, but once you have done it once, it's simple. What I really love is that it is infinitely adjustable. Because there are no fixed length straps, this is the ideal sling if you and your partner are of different builds (like us). This sling fits a size 12 short woman (me) as well as a 46" chested well built man (the other half), and is comfortable for us both. You can use this sling for a newborn and an older baby, and it can be used facing inwards, facing out (once they have head control), on your back for an older child and on your hip as well. It is completely machine washable - always a bonus, and comes in a lovely range of colours. Wilkinet are happy to supply replacement instructions, and the fact that they offer this service (see the label of any Wilkinet for the address) is testiment to how many of these get passed on second hand because they just last and last. I haven't included details of the price below as I was lucky enough to be able to borrow one.
This popular carrier has been around for over 25 years. They are made in the UK and the quality is fantastic. Many families use them for several babies, and then pass them on to friends who do the same! The Wilkinet Baby Carrier is a well-padded fabric carrier with a unique wraparound method of tying. It provides excellent support for both mother and baby and can be used for carrying 5lb newborn babies up to heavy toddlers, although we have found it is most useful in the first year. There are four different carrying positions to suit the age of your baby.