Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Baby Show at EventCity, Manchester 2012

As we had a great time at The Baby Show in Manchester last year and managed to pick up a few bargains I was excited when I was given the chance to go yet again this year and I hoped that we would come home with some bargains and toddler products ready for Christmas presents for little man. 

This year The Baby Show in Manchester was being held at Event City near The Trafford Centre.  Even though we enjoyed the show last year I was a tad disappointed by the size of the show compared to how big I’ve heard the other shows are, so I was hoping as the show was being held in a new venue this year that it might be a bigger event than last year.

The Baby Show headline sponsors MadeForMums and Fisher Price were prominent at the show.  MadeForMums.com’s sister title Practical Parenting had an amazing subscription deal on offer at the show where you could get a 12 month subscription (RRP £35.88) to the magazine plus one of four free Tommee Tippee gifts worth up to £30 for the brilliant price of £20, meaning people could save up to £45.88!  Again this year Fisher Price had a fabulous ‘win all this’ competition which I would have loved to have won.  Also The Baby Show’s crèche was sponsored by Fisher Price with the crèche filled with Fisher Price toys suitable from newborn to toddler, to preschool and beyond.  The crèche looked bright and brilliant, perfect for little ones to have lots of fun in.

Other facilities at The Baby Show included a baby feeding and breastfeeding area.  At the baby feeding area there was Plum Baby food for little ones to sample, a kitchen filled with microwaves, bottle warmers, bibs and spoons for all of your feeding needs, a private breastfeeding area with relaxing chairs so that mums could breastfeed in comfort and there was even an area for dads to feed their little ones too.  As well as having the Fisher Price crèche for little ones to play in, the show also had an ELC play area with a variety of ELC baby and toddler toys for babies and toddlers to play with.  Within the ELC play area there was also comfy seats for parents to sit on and rest their weary feet for a little while whilst their little ones enjoyed playing with the fabulous array of toys.  Little man loved playing with the toys here and rocked out on an upright keyboard.

Again this year The Baby Show were providing home delivery service or free collect by car and shopping drop off which is great as it saves you have to carry around lots of shopping whilst you continue to enjoy the show.  I liked how donations were accepted at the collection desk for The Baby Show official charity WellChild.  The Albelli Photo Books Central Café was located in the middle of the show for people to sit and have a drink and snack, refuelling ready for more shopping at the show; with all customers at the café received a £15 gift voucher to buy your first photo book with Albelli.  There were Albelli photo books in the café and they looked very high quality.  In my opinion the café was a tad overpriced for what you got.  It was very busy there when we stopped for a drink and we had to wait quite a while to get a seat, eventually getting a seat on one of the comfy sofas.  There were Stokke Tripp Trapp chairs available to use at the café but unfortunately they were all in use when we were there which was a real shame as we need a new highchair and I’ve been considering the Tripp Trapp as I love the look of the chair and think it’s great that it can be used from baby to adult.

There was an official baby changing room with nappies, wipes, baby change tables and nappy bins available to use. For the baby change facilities The Baby Show had teamed up with Nappies 2 Go to provide free Pampers nappies.  I was very impressed that they had joined forces with Nappies 2 Go as they are a company who provide Pampers nappies and then collect the dirty nappies to 100% recycle them, with 95% of the nappy waste being turned into recyclable materials such as cardboard and plastic roof tiles.  Even though I am a passionate cloth nappy user I am impressed with Nappies 2 Go and I like that by using their service disposable nappies are recycled rather than stuck on landfill which is kinder to the environment.


I loved that this year there was The Baby Show Stage with entertainment, fashion shows, advice and guest speakers starring on the stage throughout the day.  Also Fisher Price were giving people the chance to win a Fisher Price product twice a day on the stage.  Little man loved the show performed by the Baby Ballet, Song and Dance Academy on the stage and he got very excited watching Twinkle Bear sing and dance.  Guest speakers included Geraldine Miskin from Breastfeeding Experience Limited who provided practical advice about how to breastfeed calm and comfortably, Dominique Tillen from Brush Baby who gave advice on how to care for baby’s teeth and gums, Angela St Clair from the British Red Cross who gave a talk about how to save your baby or child’s life; and Annabel Karmel renowned author of baby and children’s food books who provided advice on nutrition during pregnancy and discussed the myths and truths of feeding babies.


As a huge cloth nappy fan I was really pleased to see so many cloth nappy stalls at the show.  One of my favourite cloth nappy brands, Tots Bots, were there and their team looked lovely all dressed in beautiful green dresses with the gorgeous green emphasising the eco-friendliness of cloth nappies.  They had big discounts on birth to potty kits and everyone who bought a rainbow nappy was given the chance to win some goodies.  I’ve never tried a Baba+Boo nappy so it was great to see them in person and I loved their bright, gorgeous nappies.  They were giving people great show offers and had goody bags too.  I loved the Mummy Survival kit from the goody bag; I thought it was very clever, unique and hilarious.  As well as selling cloth nappies, Baba+Boo were also selling baby shoes and bandana bibs.


Bambino Mio were also at the show with some great discounts available; 20% off their part-time kits and a brilliant 32% off their full-time kits.  I was pleased to see Ones&Twos at show, having heard about their nappies but not tried one it was great to have a demo and a chat with them about their nappies.  I was impressed to see Rockin’ Green products available at the Ones&Twos stand, since reviewing Rockin’ Green’s detergent I am a huge fan and haven’t seen it anywhere to buy except online.  Another cloth nappy brand that I’ve never tried was Bambooty, their stand looked beautiful filled with gorgeous fluff and after seeing them at the show I will definitely be purchasing one of their nappies in the future to try.  Also at the show was Fluffy Tails who stock a variety of cloth nappy brands.


I was soooooo tempted to buy some more fluff and admired so many beautiful nappies but as we are keeping our ‘spare’ money for presents for little man and I do have more than enough nappies I resisted my desires.

It was great to see brands aimed at dads at the show.  The Commando Dad stand really stood out and caught my eye with its emphasis on the ‘military’ theme.  Commando Dad, Neil Sinclair also gave a talk as a guest speaker on The Baby Show stage providing honest insight into life as a new dad on the ‘front line’.  The NatalCompany were hosting classes at the show, offering DaddyNatal, BabyNatal and MummyNatal classes.  For dads they had DaddyNatal antenatal classes for dads-to-be providing information about what dads are meant to do during birth and DaddyNatal New Dads classes.


I love babywearing and it was great to see some a couple of brands who make slings at the show.  I was very impressed with Lifft Baby Slings especially once I learnt that they are the only sling scientifically proven to improve your posture whilst carrying baby and I love that you can discreetly breastfeed with the Lifft baby slings too.  I also loved the Cot 2 Tot slings; they are very soft and look comfortable to carry baby with.  I really like that you can discreetly breastfeed with the Cot 2 Tot slings and that they are suitable for carrying your baby from birth through to toddler.

There were numerous stands that attracted my attention, some brands I had not heard of previously and I was very impressed and intrigued by their products.

* Brush Baby who makes dental-care products for babies, toddlers and young children.  Their products are designed for early years tooth care with products for cleaning baby gums, teething and brushing, and brushing and flossing.  I thought their Chewable Toothbrush was a great invention and I like that the soft brush cleans teeth, massages gums and soothes teething gums.
* Boo Boo who has a range of luxury, natural skincare for mums and babies.  I love that they use the very best, kindest and most natural ingredients in their products.
* Baby Ballet who encourages babies and young children to enjoy music and dance.  They have classes for little boys and girls to enjoy dance.  Little man loves to dance and I would love to send him to a class like this unfortunately Baby Ballet has no classes in my area.
* VeraTemp whose non-contact infrared thermometer is perfect for taking the temperature of your little ones without the trouble of trying to take the temperature of your little one with conventional thermometers.  Lee in particular was very impressed with this technological device and raved about it after being given a demonstration by VeraTemp.
* Snugglebundl who designed the world’s first baby-lifting blanket with multiple issues.  It keeps baby warm, is perfect for discreet breastfeeding and according to Snugglebundl it “helps to keep your baby asleep when lifting, laying down and moving.  Designed to fully support head, neck and spine”.  I love the concept and design of the Snugglebundl blanket, it is a brilliant idea and I can see why it is award winning and I would love to get one when I have another little baby.
* Frame My Name who produce personalised name prints for any name.  I thought the prints were gorgeous with different animals for each letter of the name.  I love that the prints shows the child’s name, the meaning and origin of the name and personalisation such as date of birth, personal message of love etc.
* Splash Handi who have created a unique alternative to traditional burping cloths.  I love the concept and the luxuriously soft fabric used to make the clever Splash Handi.

Also at the show were well known, popular brands and they all have various offers and discounts available.  I loved the gorgeous buggies at the O’Baby stand in particular the Fisher Price Precious Planet buggy.  I also stood mesmerised at the Cosatto stand, lovingly admiring the bright and colourful strollers and highchairs.  Jellyfingers had live flash sale events throughout the day where people could save up to a whopping 75% off essential nursery items.


As we were going to the In The Night Garden Live show we also stopped to talk to the In The Night Garden Live stand and little man had a lovely photograph taken against a colourful In The Night Garden background.  They printed the photograph there and then and as we were going to the show we were given it for free in a lovely In The Night Garden photo card.


Little man also had his photograph taken by Bumpkins for the Face of The Baby Show competition.  When we first arrived we wanted to look around the show first and then just before we had finished browsing little man fell asleep in daddy’s arms so I thought we had missed out on his photograph taken for the competition this year again.  As he was snoozing soundly and we had looked everywhere we decided to leave but then when we got back to the car little man woke up so I ran back in with him.  By the time I had queued to have his photograph taken little man was getting grumpy so we didn’t get the best of photographs but still think the competition entry one is quite cute.  I was offered the chance to buy other prints and there were some very lovely ones but unfortunately as I had run back in without my bag I had no money so had to leave them which was a shame as I have no professional photographs of little man.


We had a nice time at the show and we were impressed by a few brands and products we had never heard of before.  Unfortunately we didn’t get anything for little man for Christmas as we didn’t see anything that we don’t already have aimed at toddlers and I do think the majority of brands and products at the show were aimed at pregnancy, newborns and young babies.  Compared to last year I think at this show there were less samples and freebies available however I do think the same amount of discounts and savings were available.  The highlight for me was The Baby Show Stage with the fashion shows, entertainment and useful advice and practical guidance by expert guest speakers.

I would go to another Baby Show if and when lucky enough to be expecting another baby as I do think it’s a great place to get pregnancy and baby products at discounted prices as well as see and learn about new, innovative products. 

The next Baby Show is at Earls Court in London on the 26th to the 28th of October 2012.

More information about The Baby Show.


* The Baby Show kindly gave us tickets to attend The Baby Show for free, despite this I have written an honest review with my own words and opinions unless stated *

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