It’s the morning after and I’m aching all over, my husbands wallet hurts, and so do my feet.
No! I wasn’t on some crazy night out in London (A matter of years ago I may well have been) but yesterday we were rocking out at the London Baby Show.
Somehow I managed to be on my feet all day long and not give birth to a baby during the show. Although personally I can’t help but think, if I did drop at the show what an amazing story that would make!
The Baby Show has 3 weekends of shows throughout the year, the first being London ExCel which was this past weekend (20-22nd of February) then there are 2 more shows, the NEC Birmingham 15th- 17th of May and then finally Olympia London on 23rd – 25th of October.
Myself, Jay and kiddies set off on Sunday morning and the roads were nice and quiet, it was an easy hour long drive to the London ExCel situated right on the Thames in the Docklands area of the city. The journey was surprisingly pleasant despite knowing that we would be driving into London. We are actually lucky enough to know the roads surrounding the ExCel well, as we have family members attend the University of East London right next door. Parking was simple (despite a bit of a queue for the pay and display box) but the parking was nice and close to the front doors of the ExCel.
Once arriving at The Baby Show, we were kindly welcomed by the ticket staff who showed us in and supplied us with a map of the event. A map is a must, because the arena is just so big with so many stalls to see and it can be quite easy to get lost in the shear size of it all! Nothing to worry about though as everything was well sign-posted and easy to find, from the toilets to baby change to the nearest coffee pit stop.
Walking around the event we didn’t feel ‘cramped’ at all. Lots of walkway space has been created between rows to make room for the huge volume of buggies and families to walk with ease. I didn’t feel like I was tripping over people or running into small children with my pram, and I didn’t get all hot and flustered. I felt that I could always get to the stalls to see what I wanted to with ease. It felt fantastic! In the past at various events, I have struggled with stalls being cramped together and I often felt that the day was wasted as I couldn’t see much, but what a totally different story at The Baby Show. Considering that crowds, kids and myself don’t mix well I was kept very happy indeed 🙂
The Baby Show has so much on offer for families daily needs. Tommee Tippee host the amazing feeding areas, Mamia have a safe clean changing area, Joie provide the Central Café and there is even a baby zone crèche available if you feel like 10 minutes to yourself to do more shopping or even a sit down with a cuppa!
The Tommee Tippee feeding areas had a fab range of seats and tables, bottle warmers, microwaves and even free baby food, weaning spoons and bibs for your little one’s pleasure! They also have a separate private breastfeeding area too for mum and baby to relax in, if both feel the need for a little extra special slice of peace and quiet. Both areas were very clean and bins could easily be found in the main dining areas that were regularly emptied too. I was so happily surprised to see no trash on the floor throughout the whole arena! Normally with crowds you expect to see some litter but the carpets were clean and clear… good job!
I was as equally impressed with the Mamia nappy changing area. We were welcomed by some nappy changing pro’s who handed us a big bunch of Mamia nappies in our required size, all for free of course! The area was so clean and hygienic with lots of wipes, sealed nappy bins, and beautiful Stokke changing units for us to use… as well as sinks to wash our hands! Olive was very happy with her very posh bum change.
There were so many stalls that I just HAD to visit. I popped along to say “Hi” to my favourite charity Count The Kicks. They had a tombola in full swing with some great prizes up for grabs. You can pop by their stall and get yourself a very useful Kick Counter to help you monitor your baby’s daily movements. I then had to wave at the Bum Genius staff (Hi Debbie, I did wave but you were busy!) who were doing an amazing job teaching parents about the wonders of using cloth nappies- Something that we LOVE in our house! And on the same lines of cloth nappies, I went to grab (and cuddle) the amazing team from Cheeky Wipes. These lovely ladies make and sell washable baby wipes and even cloth sanitary protection and family cloth too. I first met the Cheeky Wipes team 2 years ago at the ExCel Baby Show who supplied me with my first ever cloth wipes kit… I have been addicted ever since and my cloth sash just keeps growing and growing.
I then headed off to the Tommee Tippee arena where I had a lovely chat about the new range of products that they have launched in the last few weeks. There will be a few more blog posts about the new range coming up over the next few days. Tommee Tippee have me very excited about what we have to offer, so keep eyes peeled! The lovely folks at Tommee Tippe had an amazing and fun adventure area too for little Pirates and Princesses to check out. My girls loved doing some drawing, posing for photos with the seaside themed toys and then acting like real princesses in the pop up castle! Well done ladies, I still have 2 very happy kiddies from visiting your stall.
I popped over to Hotmilk the nursing and maternity lingerie specialists for a fitting and my understanding hubby treated me to 3 new nursing bras… Something I desperately needed! The stand had a professional and comfortable fitting service and a beautiful display of bras and knickers all on special offers. Afterall when money is being saved, treating yourself feels so much better!
There are great demonstrations to be found throughout the show on nearly every buggy system that you can name and every piece of nursery furniture that you shall ever need! From the superb Quinny and Maxi Cosi, Stokke, Icandy, Bugaboo, Cossatto, UPPAbaby and Mammas and Pappas. Just a few of the brands delivering us thousands of products from hundreds of stalls. I had the amazing opportunity to have a chat with the Quinny team and road test the new Quinny Moodd! A full write up of this experience coming very soon on the blog, and will be a post that cannot be missed! The range of buggy systems on show across the event was huge and quite frankly mind-blowing! Luckily there are so many professionals working hard to help you decide what pram is right for you and your family. The buggy stalls were also showcasing some of their prams on the stage with interesting talks and demonstrations for us all to enjoy.
There were also pop up shops (Think HUGE here please, these shops were just as big as some static shops themselves) from MotherCare, Babies R Us, Emmas Diary and Avent, not forgetting a chance to subscribe to the wonderful Prima Baby & Pregnancy magazine and grab yourself a goodie bag and free gift!
On the Main Stage hosted by Made For Mums we were all treated to fashion shows, demonstrations and talks from some VIPs! With the likes of Annabel Karmel (yummy food pro), Jo Tantum (useful sleep pro), Geraldine Miskin (breastfeeding pro) and even THE Michelle Heaton (pop star, actress and Active Pregnancy pro!), there really was something for everyone.
I have literally just touched the tip of the iceberg with this blog post. There were just hundreds of exhibitors and thousands upon thousands of products for you to chat about, try and buy with lots of tempting special offers and discounts thrown in too. Unfortunately I was only there for one day. I now feel like I needed a whole weekend to explore the event and chat to everyone. The Baby Show is a definite needed day out for any parent, whether you are expecting your first baby or your fourth. Take the kids, in-laws or just yourself, there is so much to keep you all busy…. just wear comfortable shoes!! Oh and have fun!! Even if you are days away from giving birth like I was 😉
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