The Baby Show
By RACHEL COLLISON
Who better to take to The Baby Show than my daughter, obviously, and my Mummy? I’m not normally one for exhibitions. I don’t like shopping at the best of times, particularly in a massive centre with presumably pushy sales people offering you ‘show-only’ deals to thousands of people. That is, I don’t like it except when I’m with my mum.
My mum is a business woman and I have learned so much from her. We both share a love of fantastic customer service and we both love talking to people and discovering new things. Some may say we were the perfect double act to review The Baby Show in Olympia, 2014’s final instalment of this national exhibition.
The day did not start smoothly, with baby in tow I needed to navigate feeding, getting through London, parking and meeting mother early as planned. I parked in Westfield, got lost, became harassed and was late feeding little one (LO). When we arrived we headed straight to the main stage. I glanced around at the other audience members/mums and breathed a sigh of relief. I was in good company here. They all know what life as a new mum is like.
We listened to a lively debate with the ‘Mother knows best panel’ consisting of journalist Bryony Gordon, Parenting author and expert in children’s nutrition Annabel Karmel, MP Jo Swinson and founder of DaddyNatal Dean Beaumont. Madeformums.com’s Director, Susie Boone hosted. Topics discussed ranged from; Including Dads in modern parenting, Breastfeeding to Working Mums and Weaning & Nutrition. I could have stayed in the audience all day with the line-up featuring experts and fashion shows but I also wanted to get around the stands.
At first the bigger stands and brands caught my eye, namely Mamas & Papas, who I love. They were launching their brand-new buggy; the Armadilllo Flip – what a name! They claim you can fold/ unfold it in seconds with just one hand. There was even a challenge to see who could unfold it quickest.
Well, I don’t mind telling you that I can’t resist a ‘Challenge’ and after a few practices I folded it in 3.5 seconds. That alone makes this a dream buggy. Moreover it can be used from birth right through. It’s a whole travel system. It has small wheels, is slim line and light enough to go anywhere. It folds so compactly you will no longer have a buggy jamming up your hallway, making it perfect for city life. It also comes in three colours. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I was the fastest person to unfold the pram that day (get in).
Having won my tickets via a Twitter competition run by The Gro Company I wanted to pop and say thank you. They too were launching a new product called the gro-hush. A portable white-noise baby calmer. It plays soothing sounds which should keep babies calm, relaxed and happy. You simply hold it over your baby’s ear at home or out and about. Having just adopted a Ewan the Dream Sheep into our family, I will see if that works before trying the gro-hush. I certainly love the idea.
We already have the gro-egg thermometer complete with Orla the Owl shell and I was keen to purchase a first grobag sleeping bag for LO as we aim to move her into her nursery. I selected one with the travel feature so that if we happened to be at friends or family she can have a sleep and then be transferred into buggy or car seat while still sleeping (fingers crossed).
A product I had to check out since starting regular bath times with LO was the ‘Cuddle Dry’ bath towel. Not sure whether this was just another baby product, so I asked for a demo. Turns out this innovative product helps make bath-time stress-free. Pre-baby, I would not have understood this oxymoron! But believe me, getting a post-bath baby dry, changed and feeding can be one of the most stressful two minutes of your life. The apron-style keeps your hands free for lifting and keeps you dry. The material is unbleached cotton and natural bamboo fibre, silky soft, highly absorbent, fast drying AND has natural antibiotic properties – I was sold.
There was an abundance of smaller stands with new ideas and products I had never-heard-of-before such as teething jewellery. At first glance I thought a bit gimmicky, however I have had to stop wearing necklaces so LO doesn’t head-but/grab/eat them. MummaBubba has a selection of babysafe jewellery made with food safe silicone. All big and bold colours, which means they brighten up any outfit, and I have taken to wearing black leggings and a black top. Could be just what a time poor mummy needs. Throw on a piece of silicone with a bit of lippy and voila.
Another entrepreneur who caught my eye was holistic health and beauty expert Reena Parmar. Her Simply Organic Hampers (SOH) are just what they say on the tin. She has made it simple for new mums to try out organic products to suit their needs. Oh, and the hampers are shaped like a pram and would make gorgeous baby shower or new baby gifts.
The Baby Show is on three times a year and I would highly recommend going if you are pregnant or have a baby. You can make great savings and have face-to-face time with experts in a welcoming environment. The next one is at ExCel London 20-22nd February 2015.
Having now put both my purchases to good use (Cuddledry & Grobag) I can let you know that there are no tears after bath and LO settles happily down in her own room at bedtime (most nights).
Early Bird Ticket, £11.00 The Baby Show: www.thebabyshow.co.uk; Armadillo Flip, £399 MAMAS & PAPAS: www.mamasandpapas.com; The Original Cuddledry® Baby Bath Towel oatmeal/white, £29.99 Cuddledry: www.cuddledry.com; Gro-hush, £34.99 The Gro Company: www.gro.co.uk; Tulip Bushfire Red Necklace, £19.00 MummaBubba: www.mummabubba.co.uk; Simply Organic Baby (Small, White) £59.99 Simply Organic Hampers: www.soh.london