Quick! If you’re at a loss of what to do this weekend, I can recommend The Baby Show as a weirdly good day out (not something I ever thought I’d say!). I was invited by Johnson’s Baby to enjoy the exhibition at the NEC Birmingham on Friday 19th May, and really enjoyed myself. After spending a Sunday earlier in the year at the Caravan and Camping Show and being a long time lover of the BBC Good Food Show, it seems I’ve become rather fond of a big buying fayre. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, or maybe it’s because I don’t get much chance to get out shopping these days, but either way… having all those major baby related brands under one roof, with the luxury of a mass baby changing area, feeding station and quiet breastfeeding room was a bit of a treat.
Pickle and I visited with our friends Baby O and her Mommy, and with a bit of planning, we decided to take one pushchair and both of our baby carriers and then take it in turns to push/carry. This meant we had all the benefits of babycarrying, as well a handy vehicle to put our bags on and load up with any purchases. It was a bit embarrassing as the last time I used the pram was out on a run and the wheels were ridiculously muddy… We left a mud version of a Hansel & Gretel trail wherever we went. It definitely made me notice how many stands had white carpet!
The Baby Show Highlights
For me, the facilities were the main highlights of the show. Aldi Mamia had created a whole baby-changing room, complete with complimentary nappies and wipes which was right next door to a feeding station equipped with a variety of snacks, pouches and milk warming devices, and behind that was a little curtained off area with the comfiest of rocking chairs providing a calm area for nursing (or indeed, bottle feeding!). We’d already fed Pickle and Baby O their main lunch so we picked them a fruit pouch each as a little mid-afternoon snack.
Even though I’m all set for car seats with Pickle, I really enjoyed looking around the variety of seats at the show. And we met some of the friendliest sales advisors whilst doing this! If you’re looking to buy a big ticket price item like a car seat or a travel system or baby furniture, the show is a great place to not only see lots of different options under one roof, but also take advantage of big discounts. Baby O’s Mommy ordered the car seat she’d had her eye on for a while and managed to knock a whopping £50 off the price (the Joie Spin 360*, in case you’re interested!).
We also made use of the opportunity to have a one-on-one session with a sleep expert, Chireal Shallow – founder of Baby Sleep Clinic and author of Gentle Sleep Solution*. Both Baby O’s Mommy and I were a bit skeptical going in, expecting to hear the usual ‘you’ve-made-a-rod-for-your-own-back’ spiel most breastfeeding/co-sleeping mamas contend with but we were SO pleasantly surprised when she supported our night-feeding habits, and gave us some very gentle, soothing ways to help get our babies to drift off without the help of the boob and without any controlled crying. I can definitely recommend having a chat to her if you can.
The Baby Show is also offering one-to-one advice sessions with a breastfeeding expert and a midwive so whether you’re little one is already here or not, there are people you can talk to to help go through any burning questions or worries.
The ladies on the Johnson’s Baby stand were really welcoming and helpful too. They had a skincare expert on hand and a health visitor to answer all my questions about Pickle’s skin. Thankfully, Pickle’s skin isn’t too sensitive but it does have a tendency to become quite dry, especially after swimming. Giving him a good wash down and using baby moisturiser straight away can help combat the drying effects of the chlorine. Although we did come away with some little samples of Johnson’s to try, I particularly liked that their advice was purely advice – not a sales pitch.
Because this world isn’t like they say it is in the movies, it’s better.I also added a bit of advice to their top parenting tips board – I almost wish I was going back on Sunday to see how the wall develops and see what other parents write on there! The Johnson’s Baby stand is F77, so if you’re heading to the show, do pop along and say hello.
A Blogger Hello
It was also lovely to meet Lucy from Real Mum Reviews, whose daughter is the most content and happy baby I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with, and say a quick hello to Emma, Mrs Shilts. Pickle was having a snooze whilst in his carrier, so I managed to enjoy a spot of lunch and a cup of tea hands-free and without having to juggle a squirming one year old which was a real treat! And then I managed to steal someone’s umbrella, thinking either Lucy or Emma had left it behind. Whoops. I did later return it to the cafe. Annoyingly, I was so wrapped up in the events of the show that I totally missed getting to see Caroline from Mrs Magovern too, which was a real shame. I really need to be a better ‘blogger’ at these things and pay more attention to my phone. I’m off to the Blog On conference on Sunday though, so I’m looking forward to a good old blogger social, as well as hopefully learning a thing or two.
If you’re off to the Baby Show this weekend, have fun! Enjoy it – especially if you’re heading there as an expectant parent for the first time. Drop me a cheeky tweet on Twitter and let me know what you enjoyed the most.
Disclaimer: I was given two free tickets to the Baby Show from Johnson’s Baby but that hasn’t affected my opinions on the show. This post also includes Amazon Affiliate links which doesn’t affect the price you pay, but gives me a small financial reward if you do purchase.