On Sunday 19th of April, I had the great experience of visiting the Bedfordshire Baby Show, at Bedford’s Athletic Stadium. It was the first baby show of its kind for Bedfordshire and everyone was very excited. The Bedfordshire Baby and Toddler Show delivered us with a superb day of shopping, information and entertainment aimed at every early stage of parent hood- from pregnancy, newborns, toddlers and right up to the age of 5 years. All I could see was happy parents and happy stall holders. The hall kept busy all day and the energy in the room was running high.
I was kindly greeted by the door staff and handed a superb goodie bag containing some useful free samples and even a story book for my girls to enjoy. Tickets were just £2.50 in advance (£3.50 on the door, and U16’s Free). It was the cheapest event that I have attended in a long time. The doors opened at 10am and I must admit, I didn’t think that the event would take a full day to explore as it’s a small show of its kind, But I was pleasantly put in my place and we didn’t leave until the very end of the day- my feet hurt! There were over 70 stalls to explore, competitions to enter and lots of cake to eat!
I took baby Ivy with us in the Quinny. I normally baby wear but I was wearing heels and ready for some expert shopping, so the buggy was a much better idea! With superb stalls from the likes of Funky Bear children’s wear, Wise Hippo Birthing, Parentskool, Families Bedfordshire magazine, Krisgar entertainments, and Mrs Gleam’s cleaning products… to name a few! With so many stalls exhibiting, it is hard to list them all, but there really was a stall to cater to everyone’s shopping needs. For parents needing to kit out the nursery or even for parents needing to choose a present for an upcoming birthday, the range of stalls was impressive.
Two-D photography had a pop up studio at the end of the hall offering parents the chance to have some gorgeous photographs taken of their little models (and the chance to win in a competition for your child to be the face of the next baby show). I had some stunning shots of Ivy taken, and when Dan the photographer encouraged me to jump infront of the camera, I kindly rejected his offer. I hate having my photo taken with a passion, but after much begging I let him take a couple of shots. I have seen the images that he has taken and I am so very happy with what he has captured. I actually look OK, his lens didn’t smash, and people didn’t run away from what they saw… so I might just order a print from Two-D 😉 .
The St. John’s Ambulance stand were a big favourite of mine and were speaking in the Demonstration arena about infant first aid, something which I feel very passionate about. They had some great goodie bags to hand out too, including vital information on meningitus and first aid for Eplilepsy, something which many of us wouldn’t feel confident knowing if an emergency arose. The Bedfordshire National Childbirth Trust (NCT) had a great stall discussing all the fantastic work that they do for parents in Bedfordshire including breastfeeding support and at the show, they were talking about their superb sling library- They even had some amazing slings on the stall for parents to try and get a feel for what baby wearing is all about. The NCT hold some fantastic sales regularly, so do check them out and grab a bargain.
Bedfordshire Childrens Centre were on hand promoting the new Five To Thrive initiative (an attachment based approach to positive parenting) and discussing Book Start, giving all children access to free books! Doula UK were represented by a collection of lovely ladies all working as doula’s and hypnobirthing instructors, they were educating ladies on their birthing choices and had a superb selection of items to loot at and discuss, including placenta encapsulation and umbilical cord art by Birth Your Way– something that is a huge personal interest to me. Debbie from Brilliant Nappies, had a great range of disposable nappies and accessories to talk through, for those parents interested in trying cloth for the first time, or us ‘old hands’ wanting to try something new.
The demonstration area offered free taster sessions from many of the exhibitors, with no need to pre-book, just turn up and enjoy! Karma Birth with talking all things yoga, Pinnacle Birth & Parenting were talking about the benefits of hypnobirthing to help parents to be prepar for their birth, Sing & Sign had fun with sign language for babies and Krisgar Entertainments got the party started with music, bubbles and balloons… and magic!
Whilst parents shopped, there was lots to keep kids entertained. Character met and greets with Fireman Sam and Minnie Mouse, happened through out the day, and a great soft-play inflatable pop-up play zone- right in eye shot of the refreshments area, selling drinks and some AMAZING cakes!
All across the event there were chances for parents to try out pushchairs (including the incredible limited edition Van Gogh Bugaboo, 1 of only 200 made! displayed by BabyBee, book themselves onto antenatal classes, photography studio sessions, first aid classes and even book their kid’s birthday party.
Over all, my experience of the Bedfordshire Baby & Toddler show, was nothing but exceptional. Like the huge London Baby Show which I attended earlier this year, the event was full of pleasant surprises that kept me on my feet from opening until close- well, except for the 15 minutes I took out of the day to eat cake.
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