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