On Saturday 23rd February, S and I went to The Baby show in ExCel London. We were accompanied by my sister and her gorgeous boy, M. It was an early start as we wanted to get there for opening so that we had a good choice of parking and to avoid London traffic.
Although we had a pretty good idea what to expect, we weren’t quite expecting the size of the arena once we arrived – we had only ever been to one other baby fair and that was a very VERY small one in Brighton at the racecourse.
I was armed with a printed map of the arena, a list of all the exhibitors and a pen. S and my sister regularly took the piss out of me, however if we hand’t followed the military route I had planned we were bound to have gone in circles and missed something crucial which was easy as all the stalls were bright and very attractive!
By arriving early, it gave us the benefit to travel around half the arena calmly. Suprisingly, there weren’t many people around at 9.30 which gave us a chance to stop and chat to people and the exhibitors, however once 11:00 came there seemed to have been a surge of people arrive – this made the experience a little chaotic and stressful as we were concentrating more on getting through the crowds than actually looking at the stalls. Nevertheless, we still managed to glance occasionally and grab a card/leaflet, however towards the end, whilst fighting through crowds, if we wanted to have a look we simply had to force our way through.
The only negative point of the day was simply that despite having a map, we were never sure of what the stalls did or had (apart from the obvious stalls like “travel potty”). One of the maps had the stalls listed by category, however this didn’t really tell us what was sold. It would have been useful if there were some “Help Points” or various people walking around with “Ask Me” t-shirts where we could go to to ask where we could find certain things. The reason we say this was because my sister wanted a drinks holder for the pram, however we didn’t know where to find one and after visiting Mothercare and the other “Accessory” stalls we gave up. As mentioned, this is my ONLY negative point.
Although I was excited about the event, I was still a little anxious as I was neither with child or pregnant. I was concerned that there would be nothing for us, however I quickly noticed that that didn’t matter as much of the stalls were for babies or pregnancy which meant I was able to plan and look at choices of cots, for example, in the flesh.
You can view our favourite stalls here.
I would say that the fair (this year at least) mainly catered for pregnant ladies and up to the toddler age. Apart from the occasional stall related to clothing or cute items such as canvas printing or the guys from Trunki, there wasn’t much for the older child. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend visiting next time as it was a really enjoyable day. I really enjoyed seeing the new businesses and the new ideas for children. On top of this, I also liked the fact that there were “Show Deals” on the majority of the stalls, some deals knocked off £5 for some products, others as much as 30%.
We didn’t take advantage of the shows/classes that were on offer, however on our next visit we might as it was easy to see how good they were by the crowds they were attracting. If you looked at all the stalls and did all the shows you could easily spend the whole day there.
We’re already planning our next Baby Show which is in October at Kensington Olympia – by then we hope to be pregnant which will make the experience even more exciting. Hopefully, we’ll also meet up with other bloggers too!