Monday 12 September 2011

Baby Show Manchester Review

I have never been to a baby show before, I really wanted to go when I was pregnant but just couldn’t make the show in London, was just too far to travel and hospital appointments got in the way too. I really couldn’t decide whether to go to the Manchester baby show or not, with it being 170 miles from where we live I thought it would be too much hassle especially with Tristan and I wasn’t sure if it would even be worth it. I looked online a lot for other people’s experiences to help me decide if I should go or not….and I hope what I write will hopefully help someone else know what to experience for further shows. 

I was luck enough to win a pair of tickets, which made my mind up for me. As we were travelling quite a distance we decided to combine the trip with a visit to my boyfriend's family, we had a lovely few days spent with them and then on the way home we visited the show.
So on Saturday 3rd of September we set off from Leeds to our first ever baby show in Manchester and we had a really good time. With the help of our SatNav we found our way into Manchester smoothly and parked in the NCP by the show. I put Tristan in my Moby sling and off we went.

Inside the show it was bright and light and even though I had thought I would get all hot and bothered there I felt nice and cool. When we were there it wasn’t too busy and it felt spacious and it didn’t feel crowded. It was a tad smaller than what I expected but was enough stands for me with it being my first time.

My son is now 5 months old so we have the ‘essential baby equipment’ but I was looking for other items. One of the reasons I wanted to go was to get ideas and hopefully buy things for Tristan’s first Christmas, I also hoped to get a baby walker and a few little items too. As well as buying specific things I was on the look out for any great offers and freebies too. 

MAM had 3 for £10 ‘pick n mix’ on soothers and teethers, their amazing twister teether for the bargain price of £1.50, and their new MAM perfect that comes in a sterilising box for £5. Also they were giving away MAM self sterilising bottles for free is you had printed off a voucher from (these were limited to 600 a day but I was lucky enough to get one even though I didn’t get to them till late in the afternoon). When I first popped over to see MAM they had sold out of the twister teethers (no surprise at such a great price) but had quickly restocked when I came back. I am a huge MAM fan and they were lovely and helpful on the stand. I bought the MAM perfect, twister teether, 3 items from the ‘pick n mix’ and got the free bottle.

I got the Prima baby goody bag for a bargain £2. They also had some great subscription offers with a free gift available.

I noticed the Lansinoh Stand had good promotions, but didn’t need anything as I already have a breast pump and fully stocked with breast pads; though I was tempted with the pads as they were £4 instead of the usual price of £5.50.

Marks and Spencers and Mothercare had 10% off everything. 

Superdrug had 25% off and if you signed up to their new Superdrug Beautycard you received a free show gift. They also had a nail bar and expert eye brow threading team if you fancied a bit of pampering.

Bambino Mio had 10% off. Forgot to pop back on the way out and buy some of their MioFresh :-(

Tots Bots had discounts on all nappies and wraps including their new rainbow range. They had their gold ticket promotion too. I was so tempted to buy some nappies but decided to be wise and use my money on items I definitely needed instead of getting extra nappies when I have plenty already. They were lovely and friendly on the stand, and it was great to meet them as I already love Tots Bots.

I noticed but didn’t buy as it’s still a while yet until I have a need for one but The Cheeky Rascals Stand had a My Carry Potty with potty training book for the bargain price of £20, giving you a saving of £9.99 as the potty is normally £24.99 and book £5.

Lifftsling had Sophie the Giraffe for £10.

Nuby had any 2 items/teethers for £5. We bought 2 teethers and were given 2 feeding spoons for free. 

Raise a Bookworm were giving 25% off if you bought 2 flashcard inspired language learning DVDs or 10% off their Learn to Read English DVD. I found the concept of their DVDs really interesting and I would have definitely bought one if there had been a Welsh one available as Tristan is half Welsh on my side of the family and I would like to encourage the Welsh.

Forever Friends Naturals were giving a saving of over £5 with their gift set priced at £20. They were also giving a fabulous 35% discount if you bought all 5 Forever Friends Naturals Bath and Body products for just £15, saving you £8. They were very friendly and I love their products and had to buy a few things.

If you signed up to Ella’s Kitchen you got a free pouch of baby food, you could pick what one to have yourself. They were very helpful and gave advice about the different stages of food they do.

I thought the Cosatto stand was very attractive, colourful and bright. The team were very friendly and jolly. Would have loved to buy one of their highchairs as I think they are so funky and attractive….shame I am too poor at the moment :-( They were doing an amazing giveaway to win a Cosatto roomset plus nursery makeover, worth over £1000. Cosatto were also doing a freebie giveaway promotion on twitter. Through the day they were tweeting ‘magic words’ and the first few people to say the magic words to them got a goody bag. As soon as I saw the tweet I ordered (or so my other half says) my other half to go get my bag :-) 

Everyday Maternity were doing a free goody bag if you went to their stand and said ‘Free Boob Nursing Bag’ but with all the excitement I forgot all about this.

I spoke to the lovely people at Aquababies as I would love Tristan to go to swimming lessons and even though unfortunately they do not do any classes in my area they gave me a free colourful rubber duck.

The Nurofen stand was giving out free medicine syringes and leaflets about fever and teething.

The Dettol stand gave away a free pack of dettol wipes and money off vouchers.

I loved the look of Cuddledry, in particular the Cuddlesafari however when we first came to the stand they were really busy and when we came back they had sold out of the one I really liked. The Cuddledry people were lovely and they had great offers on, with the Cuddlesafari for £24.99 instead of £29.99.

I was really pleased we got a baby walker from Tutti Bambini, where we also bought a rocking animal my other half came across and had his heart set on. The woman we dealt with was really friendly and so helpful, great customer service.

There were quite a lot of competitions too. One of the big ones was the Cosatto competition, the other great competition I saw was by Fisher Price. They were doing a competition where two lucky winners would win £1000 of Fisher Price nursery items and toys. Fingers crossed I am lucky, would love to win either the Cosatto or Fisher Price competitions….or both ;-) 

During our time in the show Tristan needed a feed so I headed to the feeding area to breastfeed him. A member of staff told me I could enter the private area to breastfeed and they also brought me in a glass of water, made me feel quite pampered. In the area there were about 10 leather chairs and footstalls that rocked. The chairs were very comfy. Even though I am used to breastfeeding in public it was nice to have this quiet area to just sit and relax whilst feeding Tristan without any distractions. As I entered the breastfeeding area I noticed there were numerous microwaves available for heating baby food but as I did not use these facilities I cannot comment about what other feeding facilities they had available and how good or bad these were. 

There was an eating area and food to buy, didn’t see the selection myself as I sat with Tristan. My partner got me a packaged sandwich (I don’t normally enjoy these) but I must say it was tasty and the bread was lovely, soft and fresh and I had a blueberry muffin that was yummy. My partner lives on coffee and he said the coffee there was adequate, which must mean it wasn’t too bad as he can be a coffee snob.

When I was there I used the Pampers Baby Changing Area. It was closed off apart from the entrance and exit for privacy and as I entered I was greeted by a member of staff offering me the use of the free Pampers nappies and asking what size nappy did I need. As I use cloth nappies I didn’t need one. It was clean with plenty of changing units available with changing mats and wipes provided by WaterWipes on every unit. There were also plenty of nappy bins to use in the area. I liked having this area available to just make changing Tristan’s nappy quick and easy.

Loaded up with our shopping and our big purchases we headed over to the Emma’s Diary Shopping Drop-off Collect by car service. It was so quick and easy, just gave some details, handed over our shopping and later on followed some easy to follow directions in our car into the warehouse at the back of the show and picked up our purchases. Shame big shopping centres don’t have this service… was brilliant :-)

Fisher Price had a crèche where you could leave your little ones in the care of trained supervisors whilst you shop. I thought the area looked really fun for little ones and a brilliant idea, the kids can have fun instead of a long time shopping.

I really enjoyed the show but compared to what I have read about the baby shows in Birmingham and London I think the Manchester one is a lot smaller. I have also heard that in other shows there are areas providing free baby food to have there and then, I did not notice this in Manchester which is a shame. I also didn’t see a Pregnacare Juice Bar there, which I have heard about for people going to other shows, which sounds fab but they did have the Emma’s Diary Mums Meeting Point which is a great idea. Also it is a shame that there wasn’t any entertainment, advice on pregnancy and babies in talks or guest speakers there.

It was great to meet and see the people behind the brands, especially those who I am a fan of on facebook. I had a great day at my first baby show and it was lovely to go as a family, my other half had a good time too. I am even considering going to the next show in London. I would recommend the baby show, it was a lovely day out and good to see a variety of products and get a few bargains too.

Visit the Baby Show website for more information about their shows or follow them on twitter @TheBabyShow or on facebook at


  1. Thanks for the mention,and glad you liked the show1

    Sorry you didn't make it over for the goody bag. We had fun asking people to mention Boob Nursing! Its a Swedish brand we sell - but people were a little shy to say it!

  2. Sounds like a good show! I had no idea Forever Friends did baby products, how adorable!!

  3. I went to the Birmingham one, it was ace!

  4. Sounds great.