REVIEW – The Baby Show @ Excel

Last week we attended the first day of the Baby Show at London’s Excel Centre. We had attended the one last year in Olympia whilst I was pregnant, so I was looking forward to this show because not only was I not whale like and pregnant, but it is also closer to our house in South East London.

12776785_10156495435945580_1246695581_oAmy, Eden and I left the house bright and early and took the Emirates Airline Cable Car over to the Excel Centre. We hadn’t ever used the cable car and it was great fun, but it definitely proved to me that there’s not much to see from that part of town. Good way to travel though, and I would recommend it to anyone in the area if you’re going to the Excel Centre. Plus it wasn’t as busy as the DLR with its myriad of pushchairs. We queued for about twenty minutes in total and then the hop over the Thames took maybe ten minutes at the most. Eden slept the whole way in her Lillebaby carrier. It was a lovely sunny day, so perfect weather for the cable cars.

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We soon arrived at the Excel centre and headed to the ticket office to get our tickets, which
was easy enough. The show had already been open for around an hour, so between that and going on a weekday, I think we missed the worst of the queues and such and were able to wander right in. I picked up my Prima Baby goody bag – they do a deal where if you buy three magazines for five pounds, you get a goody bag “free”. It had all sorts of little bits in, including a sippy cup, an anti colic bottle by NUK, some sudocreme care and protect and lots of other little bits and bobs. I find it a great way to sample things and it was more than worth the money along with the three magazines.

12755064_10156495435825580_640567429_oRealising it was about time for Eden’s feed, we made a beeline for the Tommee Tippee Feeding area. Now, one of the things I ADORE about the Baby Show is that they provide a Perfect Prep machine. We have one at home and being able to make her formula in exactly the same way whilst out and about was awesome, and it was spotlessly clean too. They also supplied various types of fruit mush for those a little older than Eden and Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs as well. There was also a private feeding area for those families who wished to feed in private. It was quite crowded but we found a seat easily – I can’t imagine it would have been so easy on the weekend show days, though.

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Feed and burping done and dusted, we headed for a wander around the show. I thought
this one wasn’t as big as the show at Olympia was, and it certainly wasn’t as crowded, which was awesome when we were trying to manoeuvre a pushchair as well.  We had left our usual pushchair at home and Eden was taking her first ride in our Cosatto Supa Stroller. She absolutely adored being facing outwards and being able to sit up and look around and had a great time interacting with people. Plus the stroller is so lovely and manoeuvrable that it made getting around that much easier. On the subject of Cosatto, we swung by their stand and had a look nosey at their new “Wonder” travel system, which has to rank amongst some of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. In love! Bit of a Cosatto fan over here, as you can probably tell!

12772911_10156495436330580_2113893637_oAnyway, moving on we headed to the Bumpkins photo stall. Bumpkins are a photo studio based in West London, and they  were doing two free sample prints on the day. They took a lovely picture of Eden and a great picture of the three of us. We booked their special show offer for a photo shoot and look forward to going to their studio in July when Eden is seven months old. We missed out on newborn pictures thanks to an unreliable photographer (not from this company) so it will be nice to get pictures of the three of us. They also managed to catch some awesome cheeky faces from little miss, so for that I am grateful. I very much look forward to our shoot in July.

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Noticing that little miss was looking uncomfortable, we headed to the changing area, sponsored by Mamia, which is Aldi’s brand of baby products. We’ve used some of their nappies in the past so were more than happy to save using one of our own and use their free samples. Each changing station also had wipes in both normal and sensitive. Eden was welcomed and we were asked what size our “little princess” was and we were then escorted to a changing station. Once we had finished the change, Tommee Tippee had supplied their disposal systems to get rid of the many dirty nappies. Again it was spotlessly clean and had facilities for parents to wash their hands as well as hand sanitisers and all the nappies and wipes that you could possibly need.

12773463_10156495436190580_1592859077_oFully clean and comfy, we headed out of the hall for lunch. Excel has many food choices and we found ourselves at Square Pie – you can’t beat a good pie and mash! It is of course more expensive than their high street stores, such is the way with a captive audience, but it wasn’t prohibitively expensive. It cost us about eighteen pounds for pie and mash twice and a couple of drinks, so not too bad. Whilst we had lunch, Eden took time for a nap. I love that the Cosatto Supa Stroller fully reclines into a flat position, making it nice and easy for Eden to get cosy and have a nap. It was a little cold, though, so we did have to wrap her up tight for her nap.

 

Nap completed and bellies full, we headed back into the show for our free Red Cross First 12755129_10156495436255580_1009838753_oAid Workshop. It was only a tester course where they covered choking, burns and febrile convulsions but it was super interesting and useful. I did have an irritating woman behind me who would talk through things and then ask a question that the instructor had answered whilst she was talking, but she was only a small distraction. Eden snoozed through the majority of it. I loved the videos that the Red Cross are showing at the moment as part of their “First Aid Wrapped Up” campaign. Rapping kids are always fun, even if they are rapping about seizures… I thought the taster course was fab and would consider booking onto a full course at some point to polish up my first aid skills as it’s been three years now since I qualified in first aid.

12755259_10156495435850580_1645583754_oWhilst at the show we also picked up a lovely fox beanbag from Tutti Bambini, took advantage of Mothercare’s 20% off offer and bought some clothes from the Baby K range and picked up some bibs (15 for £20!) from Funky Giraffe Bibs. Funky Giraffe are our absolute favourite type of bib as they are such bright, funky colours and they do a great job of saving clothes from dribble as well. We picked up some of them at the previous baby show as well and had no qualms about adding to our collection this time. We’re very quickly learning that you can never have enough bibs! We also swang by to see the lovely ladies at the Cuddledry stall and bought Eden her very first Cuddledry towel and wash cloths which I will be reviewing separately.

Another visit to the feeding area for Eden’s bottle and a moment for Amy to climb into a 12751731_10156495435905580_1615052062_ogiant high chair at the Annabel Karmel stand and it was time to head home with sore feet and arms filled with bags. I found this show to be more spaced out and accessible than the Olympia show, but I didn’t find that we got as many freebies or there were as many show offers available. I did find that I viewed the show totally differently than I had when I was pregnant as I now had more of an idea of what babies actually need and what is just nice to have. We came across the “Fill and Squeeze” system, which I think we will be purchasing when Eden is old enough for mush – it looked so handy! Eden definitely had a lovely day out, socialising with anyone who would look at her and handing out smiles like they were going out of fashion!

We definitely will be headed to the next baby show. They’re just such a great way to find out what’s on the market at the moment and chat to suppliers as well as to see what other mums and experts are classing as essentials.

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The websites for some of the companies mentioned are below.

CuddleDry Towels     Funky Giraffe Bibs   Tutti Bambini    Fill N Squeeze   Cosatto

Annabel Karmel      Mothercare     Red Cross First Aid Courses   Bumpkins Photographers

You can find information on upcoming Baby Shows here 

Disclaimer

We were not provided with any tickets or incentive for the purpose of a review. All opinions are our own independent thoughts for which we received no incentive. We are not affiliated with The Baby Show or with any of the brands mentioned as part of this independent review. 

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9 Responses to REVIEW – The Baby Show @ Excel

  1. Jenny says:

    Please, read some more info on perfect prep machines, they really aren’t sure if they are safe as the amount of hot water added isn’t enough to kill all of the bacteria that may be present in the powder and the part that heats the water can go mouldy too.

    • Hi Jenny. Like you, I have read the research available and made the best decision for us. I am of course reading anything new that is published as well and will continue to make decisions for my family. Thanks for the concern, Laura

      • Jenny says:

        I’m glad you’ve read up, I could just never risk using one after reading the bacteria that can be contained in formula and couldn’t rest safe without passing it on.

      • We’ve very much followed Eden’s lead. If she would have had any tummy problems at all I think the PP would be the first thing we would have taken out of the equation to see if it was that. But she’s doing great and we do check it throughly for mould and such. Xx

      • Jenny says:

        The nhs stating that formula can contain potentially fatal bacteria was enough to stop me taking the wait and see approach. They just terrify me, sorry.

  2. Jenny says:

    So I see you’ve deleted one of my replies. I wanted to let you know in case maybe you weren’t aware of the dangers and that doctors and midwives do not recommend them. But, it seems you do know and have decided to be extremely defensive, I just cannot understand that attitude when it comes to welfare of your child. I truly hope Eden continues to thrive

    • I just don’t feel this is up for discussion. I have read (I assume) the same research that you have and know that it is inconclusive at the moment. They are not proven to be unsafe. As a parent it’s up to us to make the decisions that work for us and by balance of risk we decided as a family to use the machine. If other families decide different, that is 100% up to them and is just as valid a decision.
      My Heath visitor had no issue with us using the machine. In face none of the medical professionals it has come up in conversation with have had any objections.
      It’s difficult when people assume you haven’t done research. I’m not stupid. I read up on most things and this is one of those things. And like you I have made an informed decision.
      Can we just leave it there? You do as you wish for your family and I will do the best for mine. Obviously I will be continuing to read the research and risk assess as necessary, but at the moment we are making the right decision for us

    • Charlotte says:

      Sanctimommy alert! Sanctimommy alert!

  3. mummylass says:

    Heck I’ve seen plenty of people making up formula using cold water (that was preciously boiled) and the warming it up in a jug of hot water or a bottle warmer. The PP machine has GOT to be healthier than that! (and that is rife).
    Thanks for the review, interesting to read. I’ve never been to a baby show in all my life haha.

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