Competition Win: Water Babies Here We Come!

Whilst at the Baby & Toddler show the other week, one stand we made a beeline to was Water Babies. As previously mentioned, introducing Pancake to water as early as possible is one of our main priorities, having both grown up loving the water and becoming specialist scuba divers.

Whilst chatting to the reps at the show, we found out there are classes held on a weekly basis just 2 miles of where we live, so enrolling when the time comes is a no-brainer. Making up part of the Water Babies stand was a Mini stuffed full of balloons, which at the time we didn’t really understand.

Luckily, the Water Babies rep pointed out that they were holding a competition for those visiting the Baby Show – “Guess how many balloons are in the car and win 10 classes”.

Like most at the show, thinking we had little chance of winning considering the amount of attendees, we just stuck the first figure that came out my mouth, the ever faithful 76, and thought nothing else until today.

76, it turns out, was bang on the nose and we were randomly picked as the winner (two people guessed correctly) and called with the good news.

With 10 weeks of swimming courses already boxed off for Pancake starting some time in September, we couldn’t be happier considering it was something we were going to signup to anyway. Maybe we should start entering a few more of these competition things and who know’s what else we’ll end up with 🙂

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Our Baby & Toddler Show induction

This weekend we headed off to the Baby & Toddler Show held at Manchester’s Event City – an interesting experience to say the least and well worth the £7 entry fee.

Baby & Toddler Show highlights

  • Mamas & Papas Armadillo Flip travel system – simply brilliant! One handed operation that a man can do, and a huge storage net underneath.
  • Britax Smile travel system – similar to the Armadillo in functionality, accessories and price.
  • Yoomie self-warming baby bottle – a god send for breast feeding
  • Water Babies classes – as we’re both scuba divers, swimming is a top priority for us for safety as well as recreational purposes.
  • Bean Bag Planet – the fact that one bean bag lasts for 7 years!

Searching eBay

One thing we did notice was that many items were touted as being “suitable for a second child if you have one in the next few years” as they’ll last.

With that in mind I think we’re definitely going to focus a little more on the eBay Baby section after hearing positive reviews from a bunch of friends.

Obviously some things like a mattress is a big no no as it has, on occasion, shown an increased risk of cot death for babies sleeping on a mattress previously used by another baby. However things like a Mamas & Papa Morph carrier can be picked up for ¼ of the price and will no doubt do the job required.

Birmingham Baby Show @NEC

Because we’re not quite ready to start buying, we decided to hold off and go to the next baby show in May held at the Birmingham NEC. Right now there’s a 45% early bird discount meaning it’s £10.50 compared to £20 on the day. We’ll be going but will remember a few valuable lessons learned in Manchester;

Noise

Take water and paracetemol (I’d be tempted with ear plugs too!).

Times

Doors opened at 10am and we arrived at 11:30am to find it was busy, very busy. After spending an hour mooching we headed off for a break and grabbed a pub lunch with a friend. Returning at 3pm we found the show extremely quiet meaning no queues and no problem finding people to ask for advice unlike earlier in the day.

Beware New Parents

We came across a fair number of people who seem to think they were the only ones pregnant. Be expected for people to barge past in order to get to the front of a queue, test drive a pram, pick up a bottle, or feel a bean bag. I was amazed at the “survival of the fittest” instinct I witnessed and soon learned to stand my ground, after all pretty much everyone there was pregnant.

Testing things

Due to the sheer number of people, it’s quite hard to get to grips (literally) with some of the products on show. Before the next one, we’ll be sure to pop into some stores and try out the prams etc where we have more time and space to play around. Then, at the show, we can finalise which one’s we’re going to buy and try and strike a good deal, without the faff of having to wait 10 minutes just to push a pram 5 metres.

Prices

It’s too easy to be overcome by the amount of cute baby things, and I’d imagine far to easy to leave with a huge credit card bill too. Do your home work first.

Price exactly what it is you’re after online, see what deals are available and then compare the “show prices” and see if the reductions are really that attractive. We’ll still haggle even if it’s just for some extra free stuff. As can be seen below, on the last day of a show, some companies reduce their prices even further.

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“The Fudge Factory” here we come!

It’s still very early days, but desperate to start a little planning and allow ourselves to get a little excited, we’ve grabbed two tickets to head over to Manchester to the Baby & Toddler Show.

Once I booked the tickets I did start having second thoughts. What had I done? Booked two tickets to a “show” that was not only going to be rammed, but rammed with people with bumps and hormones. Not sure it was my wisest moment but at least it will give us a chance to get ideas on a whole range of things.

We’re bad parents-to-be

We may be frowned upon by some, called bad parents by others but out of all the exhibitors I have to admit to looking forward to visiting The Fudge Factory the most 🙂

Prams, car seats, nappies, cots, bedding, baby cognitive toys etc all play an important part for sure, and for some it may even excite, however if we’re to be honest it was The Fudge Factory that we both initially noticed on the exhibitor list.

Once we’re stuffed full of fudge I’m sure we’ll then head off into the crowds looking at what the latest “must have essentials” are, and the prices associated with said necessities. We’ve already had the discussion that for some stuff, we’re more than happy to buy second hand or get last years models at reduced prices if we ever find any returns/factory outlet shops, but that’s for another post/day.

So back to the show… No idea what to expect, however I remember when I was a kid going to boat shows in Manchester. No idea why as we struggled to buy and inflatable dinghy, but still I remember getting excited walking round viewing everything on offer, dreaming about the future and grabbing every single pen I could get my hands on 🙂

I will be a little more restrained this time!

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