Product Type: PHP kids equipment
Newest Review: ... of the reviews on here it is a very useful breastfeeding tool. It did help relieve the pressure on my wrist but, there are a few issues. F... more
This Widgey Will Cost You Some Wedge
PHP Widgey Nursing Pillow
Member Name: Hishyeness
PHP Widgey Nursing Pillow
Date: 02/12/09, updated on 02/12/09 (303 review reads)
Advantages: Provides firm support for feeding baby. Multiple uses.
Disadvantages: The crescent shape which hugs the body is too tight for some
When my son was born, he arrived a few weeks early. My wife was also recovering from her C-section, so it looked like mother and child would be staying in for a few nights. Given his birth had taken us by surprise, we weren't really ready for him, so I was immediately despatched to Mothercare for some essentials (or at least what, in my better half's considered opinion, qualified as "essentials").
I was given a list, and being of a bloke persuasion, I spent half an hour aimlessly wandering around the shop and finding most of what I needed quite by accident. However, the last item on the list had me flummoxed. Giving in to the inevitable, I accepted the eighth or ninth offer of help from the bemused staff and, pointing to the list, asked the nice young lady "What on earth is a Widgey?!" She smiled and then slowly pointed to an object which lay nestled on a bottom shelf not three feet from where I was standing. Feeling appreciative and sheepish in equal measure, I thanked her profusely and had a closer look.
WHAT ON EARTH IS A WIDGEY?
A Widgey is primarily a nursing pillow. It is C-shaped, like a crescent moon, which allows the pillow to wrap around the body, supporting the baby, to help the mother with breast-feeding, or either parent while bottle-feeding. As such, it seemed especially useful to my wife, whose C-section scar made holding the baby unsupported for any length of time uncomfortable.
The product is made by a UK company called PHP (Perfectly Happy People) who claim it has four uses: (a) as a support pillow during pregnancy (to wedge under the tummy or between the knees or ankles) or as a back support; (b) as a nursing pillow; (c) to nestle your baby within (from 10 weeks) while it is placed on a flat surface; and (d) to seat your baby in once they have learned to sit upright (and provide a soft landing if they topple over).
The pillow is quite firm and comes with a removable, 100% washable cotton cover. It is packaged in a shaped clear zipped plastic cover and retails for £24.99 at Mothercare. Our pillow cover features cartoon cows on it, but you can also get other designs separately (see their web-site at www.widgey.com for details). Amazon are currently selling a variety of both covers and pillows for around £9 and £23 respectively.
DOES IT WORK?
Our Widgey has seen extensive use in three of the four modes described (we obviously bought it too late to use during my wife's pregnancy). It works well as a nursing pillow with one big proviso - if you are even slightly bigger than average, the pillow is very hard to comfortably get around your waist. I would say it would fit most women of average size, but a bloke with a waist larger than a 36 (i.e. - me) is going to struggle. I can't tell you my wife's size (she'd kill me!) but she is slightly larger than average and it barely fits her.
However, both sets of our parents are smaller than us and find it quite useful to use when bottle feeding Baby H on regular visits. The firmness of the pillow gives excellent support, and given our son's propensity to "return" his milk at least once during a feed, the durable washable cover - which comes off quite easily (the zip is situated unobtrusively across the bottom surface of the crescent) - is a god-send. We use a cold wash cycle when laundering it and then dry it on the radiator and so far there is no sign of shrinkage or fading. It does need a little arm strength to get the cover back on, but in my view, most people would manage it OK.
We are also now using it to support baby on our bed or the sofa. He nestles quite snugly in it and there is no risk of him rolling over by accident (we never leave him alone in any case). In addition, his cousin, who is two months older, gets use out of it on his visits as he is now sitting up and so we place it on the floor with him in it. Even our four-year old has got in on the act and occasionally nicks it to lie on top of while watching TV.
The Widgey is quite a versatile product and has seen more or less constant use in various ways since we bought it. Despite the fact that it doesn't fit me around the waist, I still use it while bottle-feeding Baby H as it provides a firm support - although not nearly as securely as if it fit properly.
I suppose PHP needed to find a size that struck the right balance between the four uses it is intended for, as if they made it any wider, it would not suit later stages of baby's development. To me, that's the key to this product. As a stand-alone nursing pillow, I think £24.99 is too expensive - but provided you are able to take advantage of the pillow at each stage, its multiple uses actually represent pretty good value for money.
The "build" quality (stitching, fabric, zipper and durability) is excellent and commensurate with the price point, and for a majority of people it will be a very useful product to have. As such, I would recommend it as good purchase, but not the "essential" one my wife insisted it was at the time.
© Hishyeness 2009
Summary: A "nice to have" rather than "must have".