The show must go on

Early morning on friday, and I’ve been awake since 5am.

The Maclaren is readied complete with buggy weights, my buggy buddy clip, and a footmuff for extra carrying space; and tickets and lists of ‘must visit’ exhibitors tucked carefully in the hood. The change bag is packed, my oyster card topped up, and we’re all ready to go.

Off to the Baby Show!

The Wee Man goes to nursery on a Friday so its just me and Bubby D who make our way to Earls Court, accompanied by her friend M (who is only a month old and teeny!) and my friend K. Miraculously, both babies sleep the entire way to Earls Court – 1 1/2 hours – and we arrive ready to hit the stands at 10am.

First stop – Close Parent, to grab some of their lovely Pop In nappies for Bubby D, as well as receiving a fab goody bag covered in monkeys hurrah!
Next comes an impulse buy from Trunki, as I notice they have washbags on offer. This will make an ideal stocking filler for the Wee Man, who is currently obsessed with toothbrushes and toothpaste and has nothing to carry them in. The Baby Show at this point is lovely and quiet, and easy to manouvre around.
On to Cheeky Wipes, and I acquire one of their Monkeyfoot wetbags, along with two spare fresh wipes bags to add to my stash (I’m always losing them for some reason). I love our Cheeky Wipes, they’ve saved us a fortune as the Wee Man does like to cover himself in every mess making substance he can find, and they’re great at getting just about anything removed quickly, even dried on porridge and snot! The oils they come with are brilliant too, I really like the smell of them – in fact I could have found the Cheeky Wipes stall at the show blindfolded and just following my nose.
Past Easidream (we already have a lovely Ewan the sleep sheep adorning the crib) and on to 4LittleOnes, who talk me into purchasing their Baby nose-clear and room scent. I’m not sure I exactly like the idea of sucking snot out of my children, but it seems a better option than the sniffing and wailing that accompanies leaving it in place, and I’m reassured when the filter in the Baby nose-clear is pointed out.
Brolly Sheets get added to our purchases next, nice bright red ones that will match the Wee Man’s brightly painted jungle room. These look ideal for solving our current night time problem of the Wee Man pulling down his nappy in the night, resulting in damp sheets and toddler every morning. I’m excited about getting home and trying them out!
The Maclaren is already becoming weighed down and after adding the Baby Directory, a Gurgle goody bag and a pack of vests from Marks and Spencers, Bubby D wakes up and decides its time for a nappy change and a feed.

Locating the Pampers Changing area, we are given a complimentary nappy and directed to a lovely Stokke changing table complete with Fisher Price mobile to entertain Bubby D, and a packet of Water Wipes to make my life easier. The Pampers staff are friendly and helpful, and I only wish every changing experience went that smoothly.

Next we head to the Tommee Tippee feeding area, and I’m pleased to see they have the same comfortable chairs that I took advantage of at the last Baby Show I attended at Earls Court. (The Wee Man had self weaned by the time we went to Excel earlier this year, and I didn’t get the opportunity to check them out again that time). I feel like I could quite happily drop off for a nap for a couple of hours in the lovely squidgy seat, but Bubby D has other ideas and clearly wants to get moving.
M and K finish their feed, and then we are off back round the stands. More bags are added to the buggy as I remember my voucher for a free MAM anti-colic bottle, and take advantage of their half-price on everything offer and stock up on a few bits. Tommee Tippee bibs and a sippy cup are added to the stash, and a £2 copy of Baby London, with another free goody bag.
Just as we reach the ‘Face of the Baby Show’ shooting area, Bubby D decides to drop off for another nap.

Knowing from experience the queue can take some time, I decide to wait in line with M and K nonetheless, and sure enough by the time we reach the front Bubby D has just decided to wake, although she’s not keen on offering any smiles at all. Looks like we wont be winning that competition then…

Moving on, I notice Strider bikes on display and after being told the fantastic show price of £60, I snap one up for the Wee Man’s Christmas present (free delivery too, thankfully, as there is no way I’d fit that on the pushchair). We had been wavering between a balance bike and a scooter, but after seeing the Strider Bike I’m convinced it’s the best option for him as he loves going out on the bike with the Other Half. I should probably point out too that by this point Bubby D was in my Close Caboo carrier and not in the pushchair, which was now being used as a very necessary shopping trolley!

Next to be added to the pile of bags was a Fisher Price Apptivity case (saviour of my iPhone, I’m hoping), followed by some Angelcare refills, nurofen dispensers, Ella’s kitchen samples (likely to be devoured by the Wee Man before Bubby D gets a chance to try them), some Heat in a Click pads for my poor tired knees and back, a Superdrug goody bag, some Dettol samples and a Konfidence warmsuit for Bubby D’s upcoming swimming experiences.

Looking at Chillipeeps’s teats I’m happy to hear they plan to have a toddler version coming out soon – we don’t have any use for a bottle teat but he’s forever poking straws right into cartons and I’d love a gadget that works as an instant straw and seals off the carton too. Fingers crossed for it being out for the next show. MaByland have a great looking stall too, full of things I’d like to buy again if I actually had a need for them…and Gumigem tempted me to add to my nursing necklace collection although I managed to resist as I’d already broken the budget.

Interspersed between all the shopping we caught a bit of Annabel Karmel and Clare Byam Cook, as well as fitting in another feed and change.

Then it was four o’clock, our self imposed show limit (getting back across London on the tube with two pushchairs, fractious babies and piles of shopping would not be fun at all in rush hour) and I made my final stop at My Carry Potty, picking up a lovely yellow version for the Wee Man to use when we’re out and about – well, once he decides to use the potty properly, which is a whole other story…

I’d be heading back for the Saturday and Sunday shows too if it wasn’t for the fact that theyre on the other side of London (and that the Other Half is already going to wince when he sees the credit card bill…). Roll on 2012 – I’m looking forward to the February show in Excel already!

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