First off, I have to credit the fab guys at ErgoPouch for the tickets. I won them from a Facebook competition and was beyond excited.
The truth is, I’d been begging The Man for ages to go. Ever-the-practical one, he’d already begun googling car parking spaces and train fares to work out our best route – needless to say we were ecstatic to save on the entry fee to buy more bits. I insisted on getting there when the doors opened which meant leaving the house at 7.30am (getting Dex up at 6am!) – so we left the house looking a bit hagged but very excited.
We weren’t at all disappointed. I turned into one of those cringey tour-guide-types pointing out every brand I knew. Craig persevered with me though and lasted until 5pm (with a quick beer break which was more than deserved). So here’s our pick of the show!
Morrck: Their blankets were my favourite of the show. We fell in love with the colours and quality and thought they were a steal at the show price. I stupidly left the stall to ‘think’ about it, and completely forgot to go back and grab one. Since the show, I’ve been digging around a little at home and found that their prices are still very respectable with blankets at just £19.95. Big thumbs up from us, and firmly on the Christmas list!
Pumpkin Patch: I don’t even need to comment on how great these guys are. I was seriously impressed with them at the show too. Offering a staggering 50% off label prices, we bagged two winter hats and a pair of warm and cosy yoga trousers for just £11.
Interestingly, I mentioned the brand to my sister-in-law-to-be yesterday and her response was “Oh I know. They’re designer aren’t they? So really expensive?” – well no actually, I’ve always found them to be really reasonably priced. I’d recommend signing up to Patch eClub to get the latest promotions straight to your inbox.
By Carla: This has to go down as my steal of the show. I hadn’t heard of By Carla before the show which is perhaps unsurprising as they don’t sell direct and partner with regional stockists. Our nearest one is in Slough which isn’t somewhere we’d ever think of visiting. Never-the-less I got an absolute bargain super fluffy white rug for just £17. This sets off Dexter’s room perfectly and will be used for countless photographs to come.
Brush-Baby: I’m not going to comment too much here as I’m impressed enough to dedicate a whole blog post to the brand. I met the gorgeous Lulu (the brands inventor’s daughter) and she gave me a seriously detailed sales pitch that was enough to convince me to buy the Tooth Brush / Teether. Dexter has taken to this like a storm – keep checking back to my blog for a detailed run through of some of the other products available and their benefits. Until then, here is Dexie gumming his to death!
VeraTemp: I felt so incredibly sorry for this lonely looking stall. The sales guy looked completely overwhelmed by the hoards of pregnant ladies and strollers. I saw him give someone a quick demo and couldn’t resist seeing the product close-up. The product is genius and a must-have item for any parent in my eyes. It’s a point-and-record non-contact thermometer.
As Dexter was ill at 6 weeks, I remember desperately struggling with a conventional under-the-armpit thermometer to get his temperature. Dexter got stressed easily and it was virtually impossible to get an accurate reading. This product allows you to take a sleeping childs temperature with zero danger of waking them up or distressing them. There’s also a colour changing display that indicates when the child is too hot. I’ve already asked for this for Christmas.
mOmma: Genius. A fork that doesn’t touch the floor. At £1.50 (BabyShow special price) we just had to buy it. It’s weighted on the non-fork end, and rounded so it naturally stays upright. Dex hasn’t moved onto forks yet so we haven’t had a chance to test it but I can imagine it’ll be roadtested to the max in a few months time. You can grab one for yourself here at Amazon for £1,99.
Yoomi: I’m guessing Yoomi aren’t such newbies on the baby scene now as they’ve had endless great press. Their self warming bottle technology is such a great idea for breastfeeding mum’s as it achieves breast milk temperature in just 60 seconds. Dexie has been bottle-fed from 6 weeks and actually prefers his milk slightly cold but I can see how brilliant the technology is behind this brand. I guess my reservation is that the bottle warmer can only sit within the Yoomi bottle but hey, they have to make money somehow.
Rather surprisingly, the bigger hit in our house has been the Yoomi Lambi. We received this cute microwavable soft lamb toy from the BabyShow for free as per a promo I spotted on a blog, but you can get it from the online Yoomi shop for £8.99. It’s adorable! You simply pop in the microwave for 2 minutes and it’s a soft warm snuggly toy for children. It’s also lightly infused with lavender to promote sleep. This works a treat in Dexie’s cot (as he’s too little to actually snuggle with teddy). We just tuck him in and pop it out of arms reach and Dexter seems to like it.
Merino Kids: Who doesn’t like Merino Kids sleepwear. It’s ridiculously soft and the muted colours scream luxury. We had a long chat with a salesperson who was keen to tell me that the brand aspired to be “every parent’s No 1 sleep-choice brand”. As much as I can appreciate why their breathable fabric is amazing for delicate skin, I think this will be an uphill struggle considering the celebrity price tag. Never-the-less they are seriously stylish and gorgeous. Dexter has entered to be their next face of 2013 so who knows, he might be swaddled up in Merino as soon as next year!
Ruby and Ginger: These guys are the proud innovators behind the Nappy Purse. They secured funding from Ireland’s Dragon’s Den and countless celebrity’s are stepping out with their product on their arm. The Nappy Purse is sleek, stylish and practical (how rehearsed do I sound?? But I actually mean every word). So often I find myself taking a huge changebag to Tesco’s or friends houses when I just don’t need to. This cute little bag contains a baby wipe case and enough space for several nappies, plus a handy pouch for your mobile or lipstick. I’m expecting a review product shortly so will be writing a detailed review in the next few weeks. Until then, here’s Zoe Ball modelling hers!
Faye & Lou: Definitely the most colourful stall of the lot.Their rainbow muslins are such a simple idea and are hugely popular. They’re quickly turning into an iconic brand where mums-in-the-know will give each other the secret nod whenever they see a bright green muslin.
Stokke: I don’t need to say too much about Stokke. I’ve been secretly coveting a Stokke Tripp Trapp for ages and it was great to see the product up close and personal. Even better was to have my Craig there with me so he got to fall in love with it too. This will no doubt be a secondhand eBay purchase for us but who cares – this product could last for years! The Tripp Trapp is now celebrating its 40th birthday and still looks better than ever if you ask me.
Best Eco / Green Products:
DermaH20 WaterWipes: YESSSSSS. Finally a baby wipe that doesn’t bring Dexter’s face out in a rash. These are the world’s purest and mildest baby wipes containing only 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract. I can’t rave enough about these. Of course they’re perfect for babies prone to nappy rash or with sensitive skin, but they’re also great for quick top and tailing throughout the day. Every parent-to-be should have these in their hospital bags, and the homeopathic crowd won’t be disappointed either. Top marks.
gNappies: I completely understand that the battle of the cloth / reusable nappy brands is at fever pitch right now. Wading in with my two-pennies is bound to prompt a backlash as I appreciate some will claim to be more eco-friendly than others. However, I was most impressed by gNappies and ever so tempted to switch from disposables. They’re stylish, well designed, and part-disposable so you won’t find yourself hand deep in poo.
Most impressive was the elasticated cuffs around the legs to allow freedom of movement, and the fact you adjust the waistband of the nappy at the back (rather than the front /sides). I could already see that all the little marks Dexter usually gets around his tummy and upper leg wouldn’t be a problem with these. The designs were also pretty gorgeous and I could see myself taking pic after pic of a semi naked Dexter looking as cool as ever.
The problem I have with them, and all part-disposable brands is the cost of the inserts. I must reiterate, it’s the inserts and not the actual cloth part. In all truthfulness, I’d pay £50 for a good quality cloth component that would be comfortable for Dexter and this would still work out cheaper than disposables. Nope, my issue is the cost of the disposable strips that sit within the cloth part. I just can’t fathom why these work out to be so expensive. At £10 for 40 – this is more than we pay for Pampers, and not so easily available. As the insert uses less than half the material of a full disposable, why is this? Come on gNappies – I soooo want to be converted but you just need to go that one step further and slash the price. I just feel there should be a reward for going-green and the very act of doing so should be made more cost-effective for parents.
I must admit, this is the sort of brand you want to trial to see how you get on, rather than invest in it and find yourself slipping back to a disposable lifestyle. I’d definitely like to give it a go- not least for the awesome photographs! In all seriousness maybe all the pros would outweigh my minor itsy bitsy con – who knows…
Educational / Traditional brands:
Pixie and Punk: I first stumbled on Tagore’s unique take on clothes via Casabu (the deal site was partnering with P&P at the time). His little t-shirts have pockets with miniature teddies and come in a mini cotton bag. I remember thinking it was a cute idea and making a note to visit his website. I had no idea he did books until I bumped into him at the BabyShow.
The concept is interesting. He combines a traditional story with photographs rather than illustrations. When I was little I remember my favourite books being the factual ones; ones about wildlife, or how-to-draw – they made me feel like an adult and didn’t patronise me. As we chatted about the brand, Tagore said that he felt his books aid a child’s development as she / he are encouraged to associate words with actual objects, animals and people, rather than cartoons. I personally think it goes even further than this – seeing animals as nature intended gets them into conservation, seeing vegetable’s photographed brilliantly and beautifully could help them make real healthy food choices… there’s a compelling argument here.
The brand is still young and I got the sense there was much more to come from Tagore – so I’ll be keeping my ear close to the ground.
Marks & Spencers: Good ole Marks. They get best-in-show from me for featuring their latest collections and offering us all 20% off ticket prices. We got some really lovely bits for Dexie including a lovely blue snowsuit and some warm reversible jogging bottoms. This will be Dexie’s first ever winter so we’ve really stocked up on jumpers and onesies to keep him lovely and snug. No other brand seems to offer such superior quality when it comes to children’s clothes – yet they so often don’t get any recognition. I literally wanted everything I saw!
All in all – our experience was brilliant. It was great to see all the brands I know so much about, but have never physically touched before. Sorry this post has worked out to be so link heavy but sharing is caring and all that!
So have I missed any out? What were your highlights?