Strengths: Very versatile, baby loves it, secure, comfy
Weaknesses: Thick side straps obstruct baby's view when very young, Takes a couple of goes to get the hang of putting it on. Not fast to take off.
Overall: Like other carriers, a great way of having baby next to you ut leaving you 'hands-free' to put on the washer, walk around or eat!
The flexibility of the Wilkinet comes at the cost of being a bit fiddly when compared to clip-in slings. The wilki wraps around your body and ties in numerous position options. Quick to get the hang of putting it on, gettiing it off quickly is another matter: it's definitely more cumbersome to remove than clip carriers, which can be annoying if your baby is crying to get out.
Overall I'd strongly recommend this product - so far it makes a huge difference to my day and the amount I can get done.
Strengths: Ease of use and small size, easy to pack away and carry with you. Clear display and good volume control. Great on-tap reassurance that your baby's doing ok and very useful to see how stressful situations for you affect your baby's heartrate.
Weaknesses: Display can be a bit erratic, jumping about with the heartrate but this is lessened if you keep the detector still. Being very pernickerty, it can be a bit difficult to switch off.
Overall: I should say from the start that this was passed on to me from a friend, so I didn't part with £150 for it. But knowing what I do know about the product I think I would definitely consider it.
This has been a huge benefit for both me and my husband. It's particularly good when you have a rough period around the end of your first and into your second trimester, as when you're feeling really bad you can reassure yourself that the baby is ok, and remind yourself that you feel so sick because you're making an entire other person inside and it's worth it.
It's so simple and quick to use that I've managed to use it when prostrate on the bed feeling as sick as a parrot, and withing seconds you hear the familiar noise of your baby's manic heart activity.
I also love the fact that your partner can share in the reality of the baby even before you have your scans and before he can start to feel the baby kick. It really helps bring it home to them that you're tired and pukey for a reason.
In my circumstances I was thousands of miles from my doctor for 6 weeks and the doppler really helped me not to worry. We even shared the heartbeat over a Skype connection online with my brother who was several thousand miles away!
Strengths: Easy to use, relatively straightforward to read, trustworthy, clear instructions.
Overall: Pee on it, wait four minutes and check for a line. It's that easy. It's not always a very definite line, but that depends on your HCG levels.
I tried 2 other kinds of test and this was the one I felt most confident with. It's expensive, so I wouldn't use it speculatively, I only went out and bought one when I already had a faint line with a cheapo test.
Strengths: Easy to use, stores last temp until next use, bleeper alerts when temp is successfully taken, very fast to use. Turns itself off after being inactive for 10 mins to save batteries. Battery life seems good, not needed new ones in 7 months.
Weaknesses: Would benefit from a backdrop light so that you can see the screen in the dark.
Overall: Can't complain about this thermometer really. It does what it's supposed to and seems to work well, once I got the hang of it it was easy to see retrospectively when I'd ovulated by keeping track of the temps.
It comes in a protective box, which is good for travel. Compared to the mercurial thermometers this is a sinch to use, I had a mercurial one and gave up nearly immediately because shaking it down was such a pain and I found it less easy to read. You also have to wait around without moving with the thermometer in your mouth for 5 mins and have to switch the light on to time it, bit of a nuisance if you temp early.
This thermometer gives you a reading in about 5 seconds, and bleeps, so there's no doubt when it's successfully recorded.
If I had to change anything next time I'd get one with a backlit display for use in the dark as with this one when I was bleary-eyed in the morning it wasn't always clear for me from the bleep whether I had switched it on or off. So a couple of times I was waiting for a successfully taken temperature bleep futilely.
Weaknesses: Not that easy to use, you need to wait for a while for the temperature to be readable. The readings are only given in plusses and minusses, not absolutes. You have to read the temperature and make a note of it as you record it, it's not saved for next time. You need to shake the thermomenter down between readings and you can't do this before you take your temperature as it will affect the reading. It's delicate and you really don't want to break it.
Overall: I don't think this is a bad thermometer, it's just not a thermometer that I could get on with, way too much hassle. I tried it for a couple of days and really found it a nuisance to wait the right time for a reading when I was half asleep. I got a digital one shortly afterwards and it's a breeze in comparison. You simply turn it on stick it in your mouth and wait for the bleeps. You don't need to time anything of make an immediate note of the reading.
I can't say that this is a bad version of what it is, but I'd recommend to anyone considering it that they got a digital thermometer instead. The only argument against a digital is the environmental cost of the batteries, but they're tiny and mine still haven't run out. I'd look at cyclotest's digital offerings and not waste money on this one.
I can't slate it in the ratings because it did what it claimed to, but would advise you to not bother with it.
Strengths: Well-written, useful examples, complex issues explained relatively clearly. Information can be used for both trying to conceive and avoiding conception. Explains very well how women have their own individual cycles and why ovulation may sometimes be delayed. Helps you to become more familiar with your own body and cycles.
Weaknesses: Some repetition.
Overall: This is an excellent and highly useful book. After somewhat sketchy sex education and rigid biology lessons it's very reassuring to have the scope of female variations outlined as well as reasons for how and why cycles can vary. At school the words 'cervical mucus' never passed a teacher's lips!
I'd really recommend this for anyone who is thinking about using natural contraception as well as trying for a baby. If I'd known how relatively straight forward and reliable it can be I think I would have come off the pill far earlier.
The book is also quite wittily written. I think I read the whole thing in two or three sessions and I often refer back to it now. A fantastic buy.