This post contains affiliate links. See the bottom of each blog post for full details.
Our review of the NEC Birmingham Baby Show
This Baby Show destination review post contains affiliate links, please see the bottom of the post for the full disclosure.
Made For Mums Baby Show
Click a link if you want to jump straight to a certain section:
- Our day at the baby show
- Family friendly facilities
- Next made for mums baby show
- First time visiting a baby show? Here’s a round up of what to expect
- Live on stage with made for mums
- Guest speakers and experts
- Product reviews and round up of the exhibitors A-Z
- Plan your journey to the baby show
- Photo gallery of the past baby shows
- The Baby Show addresses
- Our other blog posts
Our day at The Baby Show
Following our pre-show blog post, we finally got to visit the Made For Mums Baby Show at the NEC, Birmingham. We had such fun and can’t wait to tell you all about it in this Baby Show destination review.
Paraphrased from The Baby Show website: The Baby Show is the UK’s leading pregnancy & parenting event series, taking place annually in three locations and attracting a combined audience of almost 70,000 visitors. It offers a unique family-friendly shopping and advice experience, the show features 1000s of products and 100s of brands and the opportunity to hear from and meet some of the UK’s top parenting experts. From pushchairs to nursery ideas, maternity fashion to healthcare, their experts are on hand to help you make the right choice for your growing family.
It was refreshing to see that a Baby Show also catered well for the visiting children as well as parents. This might sound strange, but I have been to a few shows where I think the idea was to leave the children at home, or it was for expectant parents only, which can feel a bit insensitive and discriminatory.
Whereas, the Baby Show wasn’t just for expectant parents, but for people who already have children. There was a fantastic range of complimentary facilities on offer.
Tommee Tippee feeding area
- quiet area for breastfeeding if required (the whole show was, of course, breastfeeding friendly)
- comfy gliding nursing chairs
- complimentary breast pads
- bottle warmers
- perfect prep machines
- complimentary baby food from Babease
Lidl Lupilu and Stokke baby changing area with Tommee Tippee
- Clean, safe, warm environment
- Complimentary Lidl nappies
- Complimentary Lidl wipes
- Stokke changing tables and mats
- Tommee Tippee Sangenic nappy bins
Playtime with Munchkin and Bear
We enjoyed their beautiful and practical play mats designed by mums who didn’t want their homes to look like a creche! Their play mats are padded, nontoxic, wipe clean, waterproof, reversible and durable. See our product review here.
Joie central cafe
Take a break and try out their new range of highchairs.
- Specialist breastfeeding drop-ins
- Breastfeeding specialist on hand
- combination feeding support
- For expectant, new or experienced parents
The kids corner
This was a great, safe, fun and engaging place for little ones to play while we had a rest. See our review here.
Next Made For Mums Baby Show
If you like the sound of the show, you can visit the next baby shows at Olympia, London from 18th – 20th October 2019 and ExCel, London from 28th February – 1st March 2020.
https://www.thebabyshow.co.uk/olympia See here to find out what will be happening.
https://www.thebabyshow.co.uk/excel See here for what they got up to from 1st – 3rd March 2019 at the most recent event.
First time visiting a baby show? – Here’s a round up of what to expect:
Having so many brands all under one roof really made parent shopping so much easier. We could see and feel everything and felt really in control that we were buying good quality items. Everything was such good value, as there were so many unique to the baby show discounts. Check out our pre-show destination review for a round up of the discounts from the NEC Baby Show, to get an idea of what to expect at the ExCel and Olympia Baby Shows.
Another bonus was having all the experts under one roof. We were able to chat to each stall holder about their items, rather than just looking at them on a computer screen. And we really enjoyed watching the expert speakers on the Made For Mums’ stage.
Tickets and bespoke ticket packages
As well as the normal tickets and unlimited weekend tickets, there were also amazing ticket packages in collaboration with some top brands attending the show, including Tommee Tippee, NCT, Made For Mums, Gro Company, Shnuggle and Emma’s Diary. So, look out for these when you book the ExCel or Olympia Baby Show.
Made For Mums’ buggy testing track
This area was so useful. It allowed us to test different style pushchairs on different terrains. We could see if the basket was big enough for us, if the wheels would suit our city lifestyle as well as granny’s country terrain, if the pram suited my height and Geoff’s and most importantly, whether Rafe was comfortable in it – or Ava when she evicts Rafe when she has tired legs. As most prams are bought online these days, it was so refreshing to be able to try different brands in different situations.
Daisy first aid demonstrations
As well as being a guest speaker at the baby show, Jenni Dunman and her team gave FREE first aid demonstrations. These demonstrations are invaluable, as I found out when Ava was younger. She started choking on a piece of popcorn. Thankfully, I had been on a baby and toddler first aid course and knew exactly what to do. After seconds (it felt a lot longer), Ava was perfectly OK and asking for more popcorn and could I rewind the part of the film she had missed!
One of the best things about baby shows is just how generous they are. Most stalls give something away for free, from sweets, to competition entries, discounts and goody bags. Here’s a picture of lots of the goodies we received, from nappies, baby food, and vitamins to toiletries, bottles and clothing.
Live on stage with Made For Mums
We had such a great experience watching all of the experts speak on stage. There was such an amazing line up of speakers covering topics such as, sleep, birth, breast and bottle feeding, weaning, health and well-being. Celebrity parents also shared their real-life experiences of being parents.
Topics at the Baby Show NEC Birmingham
- Baby first aid
- Buggy buying guide
- Fashion and innovation show
- breastfeeding – how it works and what if it goes wrong
- Common childbirth concerns and how to solve them
- Becoming a dad: Expectations Vs. reality
- How to wean masterclass
- Sleeping soundly: How to get the best from your baby’s sleep
- Postnatal fitness: What they don’t normally tell you
- How to approach birth with positivity and confidence
- Your highly evolved baby and sleep
- Breastfeeding: Everything you need to know
- Nourishing your mind and body in motherhood
- Postnatal fitness: What they don’t normally tell you
- What your body needs to get physically ready for birth and for postpartum recovery
- Question and answer sessions
Guest speakers and experts:
Rachel Fitz-Desorgher, baby development expert and parenting mentor
I have been lucky enough to chat to Rachel a couple of times. Her career path and personal life is fascinating. We’ve also kindly been gifted Rachel’s book ‘ Your baby: Skin to Skin. You can see Rachel at the next Baby Show.
Rachel was a midwife for 30 years having had the dream to be one since age 4, and has built her business on the love of supporting parents and their babies ever since. Rachel’s mum was one of the first NCT teachers in the 50s, so her love comes from her childhood too. Rachel is an infant feeding consultant, and loves supporting mothers in their birth prep, as she believes the better prepared someone is for birth, the easier it will be. She also champions hypno birthing.
Rachel does a Facebook Live for Mother and Baby magazine every 3rd Monday of the month, which receives over 3000 followers. It is a safe place for parents to talk and ask questions about whatever they need to, without the fear of being judged. Each question and answer session has a topic, but Rachel says that all sessions eventually come back round to sleep – a main focus of her book and talks, including the talk at The Baby Show. This is also true of the ‘agony aunt’ column she writes for Mother and Baby.
Rachel’s current business venture is supporting corporate, high powered career women, who are used to being in control and organised. She supports their transition to becoming mothers and all the uncertainties and unpredictabilities that brings. She gives them 24/7 access to her via text, phone calls and video calls and no query is off limits, judged or unanswerable. And, once again, sleep is a main topic (and poo!)
The premise behind Rachel’s book, ‘Your Baby Skin to Skin’, is that babies are highly evolved beings that are very good at being babies. Basically, they are born with the same survival instincts as the cave dwellers. They may need to feed for hours on end, or be cuddled all day, or not want to go to anyone else to be soothed, all of which are not because bad parents are making bad choices, but because, for them to feel safe, their inbuilt survival mechanisms are telling them that is what they need to do to keep safe. This book, therefore, supports parents from birth to 1 year, on how to support their baby’s instincts, and how to accept that your baby can’t baby wrong, and so to let go of the anxiety of trying to teach a newborn the basics of life, when they know exactly what they are doing already.
Anya Hayes, Author, pilates and mindfulness coach
We were kindly gifted Anya’s book ‘The Supermum Myth’. It is so easy to get caught up in trying to be an Instagram mum. Looking at families over social media, and seeing their perfect lives, perfect children, perfect homes, and believing that they are like that in real life too. When you take a time out from the current Instagram picture you are trying to stage and look at what the camera can’t see – a laundry pile, a chocolate spread covered child, a dust covered TV, an un-hoovered rug…and a whole heap of love and happiness. Just as ‘The Supermum Myth’ book helps us, it is vital we turn around any negative thoughts, and stop comparing ourselves with others, trying to be an unrealistic version of ourselves.
Al Ferguson, founder of The Dadsnet
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Al speak, but I have been in contact for this blog. There are so many mum blogs out there, supporting and linking mums, so it’s great to see a place that brings together a community of dads offering support, encouragement and connections with like-minded dads. Geoff often feels silly if he has a dad question that I can’t answer as a mum, but realises there is noone to ask. Dadsnet is the perfect place to find answers.
Clare Byam-Cook, breastfeeding specialist
Clare is a trained nurse and midwife, and breastfeeding specialist. She visits mothers in their own home or welcomes them to hers. Most mothers only need 1 session, as Clare’s advice usually fixes any issues straight away. Clare doesn’t advertise, but is referred through word of mouth from GP’s and other health professionals, and from previous clients, including many celebrities.
Clare has also written articles and has been a guest expert in many top baby magazines, websites and TV and radio shows. She is a regular speaker at The Baby Show.
Clare has written breast and bottle feeding advice books, as well as a DVD. Each go into advice on good/bad latch, winding, colic and how to tell if the baby is getting enough milk. In some respects, her advice differs from the norm and has caught some bad press, but she was fed up of parents being given unhelpful advice, or being told their child had an issue, like tongue tie, when simple changes were all that was needed. The reality is 50% of mothers give up breastfeeding within 6 weeks because they find it too painful or difficult, and Clare wants to show those mothers how her different latching technique can usually make breastfeeding easier and pain-free. Clare does not agree with the nose-to-nipple theory, and instead teaches mouth-to-nipple, as well as showing mothers how to make their breast smaller rather than expecting the baby to open their mouth wider. Also, she believes that sometimes breastfeeding just doesn’t work as nature doesn’t always get it right – and that’s ok. Check out her talk at The Baby Show for a different take on breastfeeding.
Versha Patel, creator of birth and beyond fitness
I had the pleasure of meeting Versha after her talk and finding out about her philosophy to support women in pregnancy and beyond, really channeling what our bodies need. At the time of writing, Versha was creating an online transformation programme for new mums to reclaim their body, become strong in their body and mind and to get in the shape of their lives. All so they can love the way they feel in their bodies, eliminate any self-esteem or body image issues, creating pride and confidence in themselves that shines through in their authenticity and compassion for self.
Versha has a Birth and Beyond Fitness blog that supports women in their Pregnancies and beyond. It states that pregnancy is 9 months of your body preparing and developing baby and can be seen as the warm up for labour, and labour is the warm up and preparation for birth! So, using this 9 months to really prepare for the delivery of your baby through keeping active and exercising is a great idea. Versha explains that being active and fit in your pregnancy increases your likelihood of maintaining some level of exercise and fitness as a new mum. Which is a time when looking after YOUR body is less of a priority for many woman, which then can become their internal narrative for many years throughout motherhood. Creating small amounts of time for yourself as a new mother is healthy to get back on the road of being healthy and strong. She also plans to write a book that explores and expands on these ideas, and follows alongside the new mum journey to health and well-being, with spiritual influence, to help mums feel grounded and begin to create the best version of themselves.
Other great speakers, many of whom will be at the next Baby Show, included:
Matt Coyne, writing and creator of Man Vs. Baby
Matt Coyne joined Al ferguson and Ben Anderson on stage, to represent the dads. Man Vs Baby was one of the first “parenting” books I bought when I had Ava. I use quotation marks around parenting, as advice is not what you read the book for, rather to realise that there’s someone else out there going through the same as you, and with a crazy toddler to boot.
Ben Anderson, creator of The Diary of a Dad
Ben makes a great team with his wife, and their social media presance grows daily. Ben’s truth about his daily dadding is really refreshing and it’s great to see that real life is not Instagram ready.
Louise Pentland, Parent vlogger, author and mumfluencer
We were lucky that Louise was an expert speaker on the Sunday that we attended the show. She was hilarious, and told it how it is. My favourite bit being her saying ‘fanny’, and clarifying that if you can’t say fanny at a baby show, then when can you. Amazing!
Also speaking at the NEC Baby show was Charlotte Stirling-Reed, nutrition consultant; Lucy Shrimpton, AKA The Sleep Nanny, sleep consultant; Milli Hill, Birth expert; Dr. Joanna Helcké, pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert; Michaela Thomas, Clinical psychologist and couples therapist; Sara Campin, founder of Nourish and personal development coach; Sioned Hilton, lactation consultant; Lesley Gilchrist, midwife and birth trauma expert and Jenni Dunman, founder of Daisy First Aid.
Made For Mums live on Stage at Olympia Baby Show
There will be some great speakers at the Olympia Baby Show, including Andrea Grace (sleep expert), Annabel Karmel (weaning expert), Bonnie Takhar (founder and CEO of LetsBab), Casey Batchelor (TV personality and Yoga Blitz creator), Dr. Robert Titzer (infant learning), Dr. Will Dooley (obstetrics and gynaecology doctor, co-founder of Happy Parents, Happy Baby), Gemma Metcalfe-Beckers (Founder of Mutha.Hood), Giovanna Fletcher (author, influencer, presenter), Jessica Jones (blogger, motivational speaker, podcast presenter), Kemi Johnson (KG Hypnobirthing trainer and teacher), Laura Williams (founder of The Modern Nursery), Stacey Soloman (TV personality) and Vanessa Christie (lactation consultant).
Product reviews and round up of the exhibitors A-Z
One of the great things about baby shows is that brands love to launch their brand new products as they get to advertise them to their target audience (that’s you!), demonstrate how they work and let parents try the product for themselves. They all have exclusive show offers and competitions too, so you can grab a bargain. There were so many products for us to try and we were very lucky to be gifted some amazing products for the children and to make parenting easier. Below is a list of all the brands at the NEC Birmingham Baby Show, as well as a round up of some of their products.
The Amawrap carrier is a 100% natural cotton wrap, ideal for newborns. It is a certified “Hip-Healthy”, soft and supportive. Babies love to be on their parent’s chests, hearing their heartbeat and breathing. In fact, they thrive from the contact. Made in the UK from sustainable products, its the most natural way to keep baby close and get on with your day. Alongside their core colours, they have recently started a unique line of prints to keep their products on trend.
Aqua wipes are made from plastic-based materials and as a result are having a damaging effect on our environment. Aqua Wipes are 100 per cent biodegradable and contain 99.6 per cent purified water with an organic Aloe Vera extract formulation. They are also used by special care baby units, neonatal and maternity departments across the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) as they are specifically created for a newborn baby’s delicate skin. They are also registered with the Vegan Society.
Importantly, they are also completely plastic free and made from a sustainable material, which will completely break down when disposed of correctly.
ARK have developed a safe and protective shield from the elements using technical fabric inspired by the space industry as an easy solution for daytime sleep, dimming the lights, blocking heat build-up, UV rays and insects. ARK have also developed a child-centered travel system that supports the first 1000 days of life called the Best Start Pushchair. It’s made from only natural fabrics that are chemical free, breathable, antibacterial and hypoallergenic. It also provides a regulated climate with patent-pending airflow ventilation system, combined with temperature indicator and real sheep wool layering. (Paraphrased from press release).
We were invited to the launch of Bababing’s new pushchair, Raffi. It had already earned bonus points with us as its name is nearly the same as Rafe’s, but seeing it added far more. The Raffi carrycot and seat have 3 positions, including relux support, as well as climate system for airflow, car seat adapters compatible with major brands, parent and world facing positions, full suspension front and back, large shopping basket with pockets for adapters and rain cover, and a 2 year manufacturing guarantee. And the best part, for when you’re wrestling the baby with one had but still need to collapse your buggy – one handed collapse mechanism, including with seat unit attached!
Babyzen UK are working with Transport for London and Mothercare on a sponsorship for the “Baby on Board” badge. These badges are free, and are available at London Mothercare as well as throughout the TfL network and on Mothercare’s website.
The partnership encourages parents to embrace the ease of travel with children on the TfL network. The badge encourages others to offer pregnant women a seat whatever their stage of pregnancy. BABYZEN are also the brand behind the innotive YOYO+, a unique foldable stroller that helps parents to continue active lifestyles without the worry of travel limitations.
Bizzi Growin launched their POD Travel changing bag. The unique fold out crib section is quick and easy to use, perfect for overnight travel. No need for bulky, heavy travel cots, just grab the bag and go. (Paraphrased from press release).
Bluebell is a smart monitor for baby and parent. It’s made up of three products, including a parent wearable advice in the form of a wristband, a baby monitor, which can be attached to a baby’s clothes or sleepsuit, and smart hub. Bluebell will be taking pre-orders at the show. They have an incredible battery life, it silently monitors breathing, sleep, rolling on tummy and skin temperature and sends alerts about these to the Parent wristband and Mobile app. The Parent wristband tracks sleep, steps and mood to look after parent’s wellbeing. The Smart hub plays lullabies and has a soft night light to promote sleep – these can be controlled from your Mobile app. (Paraphrased from press release).
I had the great pleasure of meeting Jess and Kayur at the Baby Show. They kindly gifted Rafe a space themed t-shirt with the cutest bow tie. Look how adorable he looks! Bowtees creates t-shirts (and baby grows) with bow ties for adults as well as children. The bow tie is attached using magnets, meaning the clothes are easy wash and the bow tie can be swapped for another design. Rafe’s t-shirt is such great quality, and given how much food and dirt gets thrown at it, it has to be. I love how cute he looks, and it is an easy look to dress up or down dependent on the situation.
BUSY BEES NURSERIES
The first Busy Bees nursery – The Rocklands in Lichfield – was opened in 1983, by three couples who were dissatisfied with the childcare options available to them. Today, Busy Bees is the UK’s leading provider of quality childcare, looking after more than 50,000 children across the UK and Ireland. With an aim to give every child the best start in life, Busy Bees is committed to providing quality care and service.
Car Shades launched their rear passenger door sets, providing great protection and full window coverage, without the need for ‘sucker’ cups. (Paraphrased from press release).
Chicco launched their Trio Best Friend, a smart and easy to use travel system. It offers a smooth drive, forward and rearward facing in one simple move, and can be folder with one hand. As a car seat, it is easily installed and can be adapted easily into a lightweight and functional carrycot. (Paraphrased from press release)
We were given some Child’s Farm moisturiser, bubble bath and hair and body wash in handy travel size bottles. I’m really careful with what I put on Rafe’s skin as it is really sensitive, and Child’s Farm is meant for exactly this! I use it in both kids as it works well for babies and toddlers, and it smells delicious. I can’t stop smelling Rafe’s hair!
Jared was such a nice guy to chat with, and all of the projects and partnerships they have planned for the future sound really exciting. Check out their website for all the great items you can have personalised, such as dog items, household and stationary. They also work with brands to have branded items personalised, such as football clubs, Warner Bros, Disney, Marvel and Cadbury.
I always love trying new products, so when we received a goody bag of Dalin toiletries, I was very excited! They smell great and are sensitive on the kid’s skin. We received super soft cotton buds, with safety stopper, baby shampoo with tear free formula, which is also pH balanced for sensitive skin. We also got deep moisturising baby oil, purified water and cotton baby wipes and sensitive skin baby powder. Ava received strawberry foam soap to make hand washing while potty training more fun, and a microphone shaped bottle of hair and body wash, which is easily the best thing as who doesn’t like singing in the shower!
Rafe was kindly gifted two 2 in 1 transition bottles from Dr. Brown’s PR company, Bertelli Communications. They easily convert from a milk teat, to a sippy spout. The spouts are 100% silicone and gentle on little mouths. They are easy clean and dishwasher safe. We changed the teats to sippy cup spouts straight away, and Rafe really took to them. He finds it easy to hold, and to drink from. They are large bottles so are good for travelling as they hold 270ml.
FUNKY GIRAFFE BIBS
We were excited to be able to choose 5 bibs for Rafe, to complete a product review. The prints are just gorgeous and really bright and fun. They have a really soft backing, so are comfortable and delicate on Rafe’s skin. They are easy wash, which is great for baby led weaning messes. They are also quite thick, so dribbles tend to get soaked up and the bib remains dry against Rafe’s skin.
We were also gifted a waterproof full sleeve bib, with a catching pocket. This was also meant for Rafe but Ava liked it, so adopted it as her own. It also works well for painting and other messy crafts.
I had the pleasure of being introduced to Gaia Baby’s products. All of their products are made with responsibly sourced materials and offer superior longevity. Which, considering each product fulfills many needs to help save time and money, this is essential. The two products that I find are the best invention and ridiculously helpful and parent friendly, are the Serena Complete Sleep and the Serena Complete Co-Sleep. The Serena Complete Sleep starts as a newborn cot, then switches to a baby cot, then toddler bed and then first bed. The Serena Complete Co-sleep is the same, but before newborn, the cot splits in half and sits on top of one another to create a co-sleeper in line with the adult bed mattress, so clever!
This great company is supporting pregnant and breastfeeding women by creating different teas for each of their needs. The teas are caffeine free and are both delicious and supportive of your pregnant body and growing baby. We were gifted ‘Morning Rescue’, with lemongrass, verbena, ginger root and mint, to support morning sickness; ‘Get Up and Glow’, a blend of tropical fruit, grapes, hibiscus and rose hip, with anti-oxidant properties to give pregnant women a much needed energy boost; and ‘Night Owl’, a well-balanced blend of chamomile, rooibos, limeflowers, Valerian and lavender, to aid sleep during pregnancy. They also have a tea called ‘The Final Push’, for 32 weeks pregnant onward, to help prepare for birth.
ITSY BITSY IMPRINTS
We were given several mess free print taking kits that allowed us to take Rafe’s and Ava’s hand and footprints to make special memories. They were so easy to use, and as the name suggests, they are mess free. Once you have taken the prints in the comfort of your own home, then you send them off and they can be turned into beautiful jewellery. I can’t wait to do the next step and get my children’s prints memorialised and show you all here.
Rafe was kindly gifted Kendamil blueberry porridge and it is delicious. I’m pretty sure for every spoonful I give him, I have 2! Their cereals have been developed using only the finest oats, rice, wheat, maize, millet, barley, spelt, rye and fruit. They provide the ideal balance of taste, texture and nutrition for all stages of weaning.
I was so impressed by Kerikit’s “changing” bags. I use quotation marks as they are so much more than changing bags. Kerikit say that they understand we live multiple lives and so their bags transform to match any need. Their website says, whether we are stay at home mums, work from home, commute to work, travel to work or for pleasure, or perhaps a little bit of everything, their #MumBossMe range suits all needs. The collection includes totes, backpacks, clutches and weekend bags, with matching accessories such as purses, cashmere wraps, card holders, travel wallets and key chains. As well as matching baby accessories, such as waterproof changing mat and buggy clips. The collection is made from soft, durable leather, hard-wearing nylon or vegan leather, so you can choose a finish that matches your wardrobe, lifestyle and wallet.
Just head over to their website and shop their products in the mum, me or boss sections. Once you’ve made your selection, head to their kit builder and add the accessories you want. For example, I’ve just clicked the mum section and chosen the Amber Antique Rose Leather Backpack, as I find backpacks so useful and hands free. I then got given the option to add a personalised monogram to a matching luggage tag or warrior tassel. After that, the kit builder allows me to add other accessories, such as card holders or make up bags. Most accessories clip to or fit inside a specific pocket. to keep a streamlined, well organised look. I have major bag envy!
LILITH LOVES HENRY
Such beautiful products, with a back story to match. Two mums meeting by chance, and creating a business with wonderful, baby safe products, meeting the needs of babies everywhere. Meeting Rafe, straight away they could see he was teething and struggling with it, so they kindly gifted him a rabbit teether with silicone ears and a wooden ring. He loves it. He can hold it easily and sooth is sore teeth on the ears. Their many other products include teething jewellery for babies and parents, amber jewellery, teething rings, teething clips and teething mittens.
LILY & RIBBON
Meeting Tanya, the owner of Lily & Ribbon, was an absolute pleasure. Her passion for practical and beautiful maternity wear is very clear. When Tanya’s children were younger she realised that there was a huge gap in the market for stylish maternity wear, and an even bigger gap for maternity wear that could continue to be used as breast feeding wear, while hiding our mum tums. Tanya designed maternity wear with hidden zips and flaps, that doesn’t look like maternity wear!
I was gifted this beautiful nursing top; I feel stylish in it and yet it is still practical to feed Rafe. There is a hidden side zip on both sides to easily feed Rafe, while being discreet when needed. Even when Rafe no longer needs breast feeding, the jumper just looks like a normal jumper, which is a breath of fresh air compared to other maternity wear that is wasted as soon as you give birth. The material is thin enough to be worn in Spring and Autumn, and can be easily worn over a top in winter. The top is high quality, with a strong, thick hem, neck line and cuffs, and a beautiful star pattern.
I was also gifted nighttime reusable breast pads – I will spare you the picture in use! They are award winning and it is clear why. They are ultra absorbent and ergonomic whilst fitting perfectly. The day time ones are really discreet under clothing, and the night time ones are such a good shape that they move with you in the night. Lily and Ribbon also walked the show’s catwalk, and their items really shined.
I absolutely love the prints that I was kindly gifted by Keira. I’m all about geometric prints, so these fit perfectly in our home. I want to create a picture wall of art as well as family photos, and these will be a gorgeous addition. They are great quality, and don’t just feel like I could have just printed them off myself, like I have felt in the past with other prints. There are a great range to choose from, including geometric hearts, pineapples, hummingbirds and clouds, on black, and white backgrounds. Mama Designs also sell some beautiful baby items such as cellular blankets, quilted play mats and sleeping bags.
Medela unveiled its brand new, research based, 100% BPA free design, Flex Technology breast pump. It is the first breast pump that is shaped around you by adapting to the mums’ natural breast shape and is available in 4 sizes. It is also clinically proven to get 11% more milk. The new Medela Flex is a unique oval-shaped breast shield that can be rotated 360% allowing mums to find the right position to suit their individual shape when expressing. It is available in Swing Flex and Swing Maxi Flex. I was lucky enough to have a demonstration at the show, and they really are wonderful. I am passed expressing now, but I would have loved to have tried this when I was, as it can be really uncomfortable trying to find a good fit with a breast pump that doesn’t want to let you.
MERCEDES BENZ HARTAN
The new Mercedes-Benz-Hartan Avantgarde stroller has a carrycot with a high ergonomic position when attached to the stroller, allowing easy interaction with your baby and helps to avoid traffic pollution. (Paraphrased from press release).
New, eco-friendly products – their new Baby Bottle Cleaner is a 100% biodegradable, plant based cleaner designed to ensure thorough cleaning of baby’s feeding equipment before sterilising. It is dermatologically tested and formulated for sensitive skin, making it kinds to hands, and it is 100% effective on removing milk residue. (Paraphrased from press release).
MUM & YOU
New Eco-nappies now feature Smart Tube technology, improving fit and avoiding bulkiness, giving you 12 hours of overnight peace of mind!
New baby wipes are still biodegradable and compostable, but now boast 99.5% natural ingredients. The plant fibres and over 98% water mean they’re kind to both the planet and your baby’s delicate skin. (Paraphrased from press release).
MUMMY AND LITTLE ME
If you are in the market for a new changing bag and are unsure on what style you would prefer, their website is very easy use, with all of the bags in price order, and you can choose brand, style and colour to suit. So whether you need a backpack, messenger or handbag style, leather, nylon or faux leather, there is lots of choice for you to look through.
MUNCHKIN & BEAR
We were kindly gifted a padded play mat for our playroom and I am a little jealous that the kids get it all to themselves. These play mats come in stunning, muted colours with aesthetically pleasing designs, so appear more like a stylish rug, which is great for us, as our playroom is in the corner of our livingroom. They can also be reversed if you fancy a colour change. They’re great for when you have a messy toddler and baby as they are wipeclean and waterproof.
We were gifted a genius product to support our trips out and about. These ‘clean and dirty’ bags are great for putting dirty clothes in when a change of clothes is needed – which is quite often with my 2! They are also waterproof, which is handy as Ava is potty training. These bags, along with all of the other products, such as their beautiful nappy wallets, are handmade, and beautifully so.
NIBBLING TEETHING JEWELLERY AND ACCESSORIES
Royal Range of textured teething toys made from BPA Free non-toxic silicone which are soft enough to relive teething pain and just the right size for little hands. These versatile teething toys can attach on a buggy with the handy cord that has a breakaway clasp for added versatility. Parents can also wear the cute teethers around their neck as a pendant, providing their little one with a teething buddy as they nurse or sit on their lap. The medical silicone is robust and can be used at bath time, taken to the beach and washed in the dishwasher or popped in the steriliser. (Paraphrased from press release)
We were kindly gifted Nuby’s new line of table wear for Rafe and their Trendz picnic range for Ava.
Rafe has recently turned 1, how is that even possible??! Our weaning journey hasn’t been too bad – although I’m not sure I can call it a journey, as we did start slowly, like you’re meant to, but Rafe just wanted to eat full meals straight away. He’s a good eater, but messy, so so messy! The cats love him! Our gifted set of space themed items from Nuby really helped. The rocket bowl sticks to Rafe’s highchair, so no chucking the whole thing on the floor. The spoons are easy grip, have a teething side, and have anti choke barriers at both ends, which also work well at stopping food slipping down the spoon.
We also received a space themed flask to keep food and liquid hot or cold. This is great for days out, especially when your baby isn’t quite old enough for full meals at restaurants, so bringing your own is far more economical. It comes with a spoon, so things can be eaten straight from the flask, so washing up is saved too.
Rafe was also given a space themed food mat, which has separated sections to keep food serarate and easier for Rafe to pick up and eat.
Rafe’s favourite item is the dinosaur themed easy grip beaker. It has two handles, allowing Rafe to hold it himself, easily, and a non drip sippy spout. It’s easy to wash, as it is a simple design, and proving strong, which is essential with the amount of times Rafe chucks it on the floor. I can leave the beaker in Rafe’s reach, and he happily fetches it whenever he wants a drink.
Ava was kindly sent the Trendz picnic set in the Treats print. She absolutely loves it and walks round the house putting random things in the various pockets. If we’ve lost our car keys, we know where to look!
The large lunch bag opens to reveal a very large backpack hidden inside for easy storage. The lunch bag is insulated and is easy clean inside and out. It also clips to the front of the backpack, for easy travel.
As well as being easy fold for easy storage, the backpack has a very large main compartment with additional storage sections and a zipped front pocket. The 2 side pockets are great for water bottles. The bag is easy clean and bright, so Ava can be seen where ever we are.
In addition, she was also gifted the double lunch bag with carry handle. It has 2 insulated compartments that keep snacks and drinks cool for up to 5 hours.
We were gifted a knot braid pillow for Rafe’s room. We chose the mint green pillow, and it looks beautiful. The pillow is soft and durable, and Rafe loves cuddling up to it. The pillows also come in blue, grey, pink, white and mixed colours, to suit any decor and gender. You can get the large one, like ours, or smaller ones to suit your room. All items are handmade, and lovingly so. Remember that they are for decoration only and not to be used in the cot while the baby is sleeping.
OWLET BABY CARE
Owlet Baby Care presented the revolutionary Owlet Smart Sock 2 with cutting edge ‘pulse oximetry’ technology that tracks their baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels while baby sleeps. The Smart Sock sends notifications via a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) base station to the parents’ smartphone. If a baby’s heart rate or oxygen levels deviate outside of pre-set levels, parents are notified by the base station and the Owlet app. (Paraphrased from press release).
The poddle pod is perfect for little ones who love to be cuddled to sleep. The pod’s edges pull in to snuggle your baby, giving them the sensation of being held or touched. It is ideal for napping, tummy time, multiples, lounging, photography, infant massage, sponge baths, dressing and travel. There are 2 sizes – 0-6 months and 6-36 months. They are made of breathable material, with removable machine washable covers, providing parents with a safe and comfortable place for their baby. Rafe had a sneaky try at The Baby Show, he loved it, whereas, normally when I put him down, he cries.
We were sent a lovely surprise package of vitamins for the whole family from Vitabiotics (Pregnacare, Wellwoman, Wellman and Wellbaby). These vitamins are designed to work with the body’s natural processes through regular research to ensure the highest standards and keeping up with the latest scientific advancements.
We were kindly gifted Wellbaby multi-vitamin drops for Rafe, Wellbaby multi-vitamin liquid for Ava, Well woman plus multi-nutrient tablets for me, Wellman plus multi-nutrient tablets for Geoff and Wellwoman and Wellman energy effervescent tablets for me and Geoff.
This is easily the product that I would give the ‘genius invention’ title. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beach, I love taking the kids to the beach, but wet sand stuck in every imaginable place is so annoying! Savvi Sand is a tube filled with 100% natural plant and mineral extracts in powder form. The tube has a brush head, where the powder comes out. The powder leaves skin soft and smooth, and completely sand free! It also acts as an insect repellent, and is easy travel with its compact design. I urge you to try Savvi Sand next time you head to the beach, or just playing in the sandpit, it will make your life so much easier, and a lot less sandy!
The Skip Hop modern Easy-Access Changing Backpack provides a wide opening, 4 interior mesh pockets, a waterproof and wipe clean outer, 2 quick access, insulated side bottle pockets, padded changing mat and adjustable cushioned shoulder straps for comfort. (Paraphrased from press release)
We were given a Snugglebundl when Ava was born and it was so helpful. Getting her in and out the car seat without waking her became so much easier as the Snugglebundl surrounded her and kept her head safe, to allow us to lift her still asleep! At the show, the team also demonstrated that you can breastfeed in it, which is great for new mums. The Snugglebundl is a one of those products that unless someone buys you it who has been there, done that, new parents don’t think they need one until the first time they need to lift their baby without waking them. Second time parents, on the other hand, make it their first purchase, so remember to get yours.
STAR & SNUGGLES
We were gifted the cutest star shaped blanket for Rafe. Just look at him! It is so soft and delicate against Rafe’s skin. He feels safe and secure in it as he completely wrapped. The hood section can be put up or down, dependent on weather and baby’s preference. Do they have these in adult size please?
These star shaped fleece baby wraps serve as a replacement for a jacket, shawl, snowsuit or pram blanket when travelling in a car seat. It is easy use from home, to car, to pram, to sling. The Travel Wrap was crash tested in 2018 and meets UN Regulation 129.00 (i-size) for 3 point Baby Car Seats (Paraphrased from website). No need for unsafe, bulky snowsuits in the car seat, and the car seat straps fit against the inside clothes by threading through the holes in the star blanket, so you know they are safely secured. The hole for the crotch strap also served as a good nappy check method. There are also hand cuffs, so baby can play with toys while still keeping warm, or in Rafe’s case, eat, eat and more eating!
Stokke launched the Beat stroller. It is small but mighty; the compact, lightweight, effortlessly nimble stroller, ticks all the boxes. It is perfect for city life designed to be maneuvered, folded and lifted with ease. (paraphrased from Stokke’s press release). We were invited to the launch and got to try out the stroller. It really is lightweight, and I found it really easy to fold up and down. I wanted Rafe to have a cheeky sit in it but he had fallen asleep in the carrier. Boo.
Sweet Dreamers unveiled an upgraded version of the iconic and multi-award winning ‘Ewan the Dream Sheep’ sleep aid last year. The upgraded version has a MoonMode smartCRY sensor that automatically activates when baby stirs and effortlessly resettles little ones. Ewan now comes with a removeable control pod so it can be washed. Like the original and much loved Ewan the Dream Sheep, Ewan Deluxe mimics the comfort of the womb with soft pink glow and selection of soothing sounds, including the actual recording of a heartbeat and womb, as well as a vacuum cleaner, rainfall and a harp melody. (paraphrased from press release).
THE BAMBOO BABY COMPANY
At the heart of The Bamboo Baby Company is the desire to design and manufacture organic, eco-friendly baby products of exceptional quality, all made from bamboo. All of their products are designed with your baby’s health, comfort and happiness in mind, with everything from beautiful solid bamboo furniture to breathable bamboo knitted blankets and silky soft, highly absorbent towels. They are committed to creating organic, sustainable bamboo products for babies all over the world and which are thoughtfully designed for today’s modern parent. Their mission at The Bamboo Baby Company is to create baby products which are better for our health and our home environments and allow us to live more sustainably (paraphrased from their website)
I absolutely loved their blankets, so soft and comforting. I am always careful what I put near Rafe’s skin as it is so sensitive, but the bamboo blankets would suit him perfectly. They come in a gorgeous range of colours and practical sizes, including pram, XL and receiving.
Their most beautiful product is the solid organic bamboo cot bed. Just running my hands across the bar gave me nursery envy. Everything about it screams baby centred, with its chemical free adhesive and varnish, and air flow design, as well as 3 adjustable heights. It is also parent centred as it has a large storage drawer underneath and a free conversion kit to transform it from cot to bed. The large storage drawer alone solves so many issues – an obvious place to keep spare bedding, or nappies that won’t fit on the shelf. Or just the solution to that annoying gap under other cots that screams to be used for storage but no one has the hindsight to make it so. As it transforms from cot to bed, it makes the transition for children so much easier, as they are in familiar surroundings, and saves money for parents.
THE KIDS CORNER
Meeting Remen and Sunny was a pleasure. Rafe loved playing in the soft play as a break from being the cutest blogger at the show. It was The Kid’s Corners’ first year exhibiting and the response to the softplay was phenomenal. Mums were able to shop and take their time going around the stalls knowing that dad or grandma were watching over the little ones during the show. Neither parents or kids were expecting to have an area like this, so it’s been a lovely bonus and a life saver! You can hire the Soft Play area for any event or occasion, its your very own VIP soft play for the mini VIPs.
THE POD COLLECTION
Gorgeous, sustainable ready-to-wear fashion options that grow with your bump, can be worn post pregnancy and are nursing friendly too. (Paraphrased from press release).
New Tula Coast Explore, providing parents with the ultimate in freedom and flexibility. Lightweight and well-ventilated, it features the same iconic design of the much-loved Tula Explore but with a breathable mesh panel that provides practical ventilation – perfect for the summer months! (Paraphrased form press release)
Although I couldn’t take part in the study they were advertising at the show, as we live too far away, I am taking part in an infant pointing study and a communications study, both online. If follows Rafe’s development, which is really interesting to follow.
The remaining exhibitors A-Z
Abc Design, Art By Law Photography Studio, Asda – Little Angels, Baby Planet, Babybjörn, Babystyle, Bambo Nature, Beaming Baby, Bebylux, Bloom, Boori, Bopeep, Bright Horizons, Bsensible, Bugaboo, Buggybaby, Bumbo, Caboo, Campbells Books, Casada, Cats Protection, Cells4life, Chamomile Baby, Cheeky Wipes, Click Heat, Close Parent, Cosatto, Costco, Crumbs Away, Cuddledry, Cuddles Collection, Cybex, Daisy First Aid, Daisy Melts, Ddrops, Dunham Mccarthy, Easytots, Egg, Elvie, Emma’s Diary, Ergobaby, Ergopouch, Flapjackery, Fletcher And Mils, Freerider, Fur Coat No Nappies, Future Health Biobank, Gousto, Guide Dogs, Harry & Rose, Heart, Gousto, Guide Dogs, Harry & Rose, Heart, Hippychick, House Of Hurrah, Hybrid, Hey Mindy, Icandy, Ickle Bubba, Iconic Kidswear, Invictus Baby, Jané, Joie, Joolz, Lello, Lidl, Lifesearch, Lello, Lidl, Lifesearch, Little Acorns, Little Green Sheep, Little Lucys, Little Poppets & Co, Little Timbers, Little-Knights, Made For Mums, Mam, Mama Mio, Mamas & Papas, Massage The Senses, Maxi-Cosi, Mee-Go, Millie & Ralph, Mima, Mini Royals, Moby, Mothercare, Mountain Buggy, Muslinz, Mutsy, My Buggy Buddy, My Precious Creations, Nct, Naturally Baby, Noordi, Norfolk House Nursery, Nourisil™ Md, Nuna, Obaby, Orkids Boutique, Obaby, Orkids Boutique, Poorlyboo, Posy & Beau, Pourty, Preston Pram Centre, Project Baby, Quinny, Rainbow Designs, Roma, Shnuggle, Silver Cross, Simply Coconuts, Sina Pearl, Sleepyhead, Snüz, Something Special Cheadle, Stuck On You, Teeny Tiny Butterfly. The Daddy Bag, The Gro Company, The Pud Store, Thule, Tommee Tippee®, Too Much Cute, Tumble Tots, Tutti Bambini, Venicci, Venture Photography, Volvo, Vybra Solutions, Waterwipes, Xperience Photography, Z-O-E and Ziggle
Plan your journey to The Baby Show
Check out the website to the show you would like to visit and there will be several travel options, including by road, train and bus and the option of staying over. There is also information regarding disabled facilities, parking options, advanced parking and prices. Booking in advance will save you money and you will receive exclusive food and drink offers.
Photo gallery of past Baby Shows
The Baby Show addresses
Olympia Grand, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX. 18th – 20th October 2019
ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London, E16 1XL. 28th February – 1st March 2020.
NEC, National Exhibition Centre. North Avenue, Marston Green, Birmingham, B40 1NT. 15th – 17th May 2020
Our other blog posts
To read the pre-show NEC blog post, read here:
If you want to read more destination reviews, check my post here:
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