The ☀️ is shining in this beautiful venue on Day #3 of @thebabyshow – who’s coming today? Lots of exciting events coming up today on the stage including @scummymummies chat with @nspcc_official supporter @drranj at 4pm #nspcc #cbeebies #scummymummies #drranj #thebabyshow #babyshow #olympia #london #parents #parentstobe #mums #dads #baby #child
My husband and I, and another couple we’re friends with who are expecting, attended The Baby Show at the London Olympia on Sunday. The Baby Show runs three times a year–twice in London and once in Birmingham. It runs from a Friday to Sunday.
I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about attending a big expo for baby things. In all honesty, I was assuming it’d be worse than it was. I had this nightmare idea of kids speeding around on scooters and my ankles being hit by pushchairs as parents aimlessly wander from stall to stall. I also hated the idea of paying money to ‘browse’. I’m nearly seven months pregnant and my mind is very imaginative these days.
However, all my anxiety induced anticipations were proven wrong.
Speaking to our waiter in Pizza Express after we finished at The Baby Show, it sounds like Saturday was horrendously busy. He said he was told the expo was extremely crowded. He said to imagine the restaurant then filling up with cranky, hungry, tired pregnant women. We were there for a couple of hours and my feet were aching and swollen, so I could imagine. From the sound of things, attending on the Sunday was clearly the better day to attend. Friday might not have been so bad, but there are several reasons why Sunday worked out particularly well for us.
To start, many stalls had freebie items: from bottles to soothers, prenatal vitamins to bump photos. We made a point of browsing around and collecting as many of the freebie items as possible. When doing this it was difficult to NOT notice all the products on offer. A lot of items could be bartered for less (depending on the stall). I’m not sure if this is how it is every day, or if Sunday was an exception. Our friends ended up getting the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine for £50 which is a steal! Another great deal was the Tommee Tippee nappy disposal bin. It was on sale for £10. The cheapest I’ve ever seen it was for £12 on Amazon and that was only offered to Prime members. As neither my husband or myself are Prime members, we purchased ours for £25 the week before from a well known high street shop. We bought the £10 one at the expo and needless to say, we’ll be returning the £25 one back to the shop.
MAM also had great deals on many of their products as well. They were handing out a free self-sterilising bottle and soother to each family. We picked those up and then went straight over to a wall that had various products listed as 3 for £10. Having stalked MAM’s products religiously since getting pregnant (I heard so many great things from parents and from reading reviews), I knew their prices well and knew this was a great deal if the right products were picked.
We bought a cot mobile from another stall but didn’t really get any sort of amazing deal on it. In fact, as of today, the same cot mobile is on offer for the price we bought it at The Baby Show.
My general advice: if you’re going to The Baby Show to shop, then shop smart.
In the end, we had a great experience. We saw products I know we’ll be buying in the future–iCandy MiChair, anyone? The big and important essential items we need for our little one were purchased before attending so it was really just looking at various accessories or extras for our little girl. It’s pretty much now down to things I’ll need for labour and after.
There was also a free baby first aid course on offer throughout the day. I wanted to do this mini course but I got too distracted and then by the time I remembered, I was too exhausted and ready to sit down. I wish we would’ve taken advantage of this so this is one of the regrets I have after leaving. I’m hoping something similar will be offered in our local area in the near future so this guilt goes away!
Other things worth mentioning:
- I think if I were to have attended The Baby Show early on in pregnancy, I might have been overwhelmed by all the products. I’m someone who likes to read reviews, studies and statistics. However, going there with an open-mind to see some of the products that are out there would be fun but it’d be easy to forget a lot. My advice: pick up leaflets left out next to products you’re interested in and taking photos will help jog the memory later on.
- Never spend full price on tickets. There are always discount codes for the cost of the tickets. I believe I got a 40% off discount from Mother and Baby’s website. This discount looked like it could be used with the Tommee Tippee packages–or at least applied to the tickets included in the packages. As I only had a brief look at this, don’t quote me on it. Also, if you want one of the Tommee Tippee packages, I think they sold out roughly three weeks before the expo we attended–so plan ahead if you’re keen on one.
- I also wish some of the popular changing bag brands had stalls there. It’s an item my husband and I have yet to purchase so maybe that’s why I noticed there didn’t seem to be any. If some were being sold at the stalls that were there, a lot must’ve been picked over or the selection was limited. As this is pretty much the only important item we still need, this may be why I was particularly disappointed I didn’t see more.
- It’s worth knowing that driving there is an option. They have a collection point at the back for people with cars to pick up their shopping from. If there are bigger items you can take home with you on the day, this would be a great thing to take advantage of.
- Oh! For those with children, there is also a FREE creche! This might be why there weren’t really children running around like I had feared. This, in my opinion, might’ve made all the difference in the kind of experience we had.
Overall, our experience was great and I’d likely go again in the future armed with the knowledge I have now. I’d probably go with a list of things I know we still need or would like, map out a route and just tackle the expo in a more efficient way.
With that being said, browsing was nice too. As a mom-to-be it was so surreal walking around and thinking we’re doing all this planning and preparation for a person we haven’t met yet but are so in love with. We had a fun time at the expo and are very much looking forward to meeting our little one.