Diary Date Alert – BabyExpo, the UK’s No.1 Baby Show and Family Fun Day is coming to Berkshire this Autumn!

What’s On 4, the organisers of the highly successful regional babyshow and family fun day ‘BabyExpo’, are delighted to announce the launch of a brand new show in Berkshire with Headline Sponsors Swimkidz and Bright Horizons and national media supporter babyworld.co.uk.

The event will take place in Reading on Saturday November 29 2014 and visitors will be able to look forward to the ‘BabyExpo blend’ of UK-wide exhibitors showcasing a wealth of products and services from pre-conception to primary; big brands; sampling opportunities; prizes; famous parenting experts; packed entertainment programme; ‘meet the midwives’; ‘Innovation Alley’; The Natural Parenting Zone; The Flexible Working Zone and so much more.

A wealth of exhibitors from as far as Essex and Worcestershire are now signed up showcasing a huge variety of baby products and services from fairy doors and handmade bedding to birth practitioners and swimming lessons.

surrey opening

 

Stars from children’s television along with Humphrey from Humphrey’s Corner and queues of parents at Surrey BabyExpo in 2013.

There are special early-bird packages now available for exhibitors attending this fantastic new show and visitors will be able to get their hands on FREE early bird tickets in the months of June and July just by visiting www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk/visiting/tickets! There will also be JoJo Maman Bebe goody bags for the 1st 500 visitors!

The main stage will welcome a host of fun activities and award-winning classes for little ones as well as advice, support and information for all parents-to-be, mums and dads and carers. Guest speakers will include Xaviera Plas Plooij from worldwide best-seller ‘The Wonder Weeks’ and there will be a wealth of show deals, offers and promotions on the day with one very lucky visitor winning a fabulous Babyzen YOYO 0+ buggy!

BabyExpo was born in 2007 in Brighton and organisers have hosted multiple shows in Sussex, Surrey and Milton Keynes. Organiser Clare Wingfield explains what prompted the expansion to Berkshire

‘We felt Berkshire with its high birth rates, family-friendly reputation and highly-populated urban areas was crying out for an established, high-quality BabyShow and family event. The local support has been amazing and we just can’t wait! The late November timing also offers a fabulous shopping opportunity with some delightful and inspiring Christmas gifts for little ones and mummies alike!

We are also very excited to find such a great venue. The Rivermead Leisure Complex hosts some of the UK’s major shows as well as National sporting events and concerts. Well known to local parents and the wider community its central and spacious with ground floor exhibition areas – so great for buggy access – with easy parking and modern facilities it easily meets the needs of our 100+ exhibitors and thousands of visitors.’

What’s On 4 Communications Director and BabyExpo founder Suzanne Borrell adds

‘We are delighted that Berkshire will play host to the 1st BabyExpo event to be produced and managed by one of our new franchisees Clare! This is a real ‘flagship’ show therefore and it’s already great to see that the BabyExpo South-East team will deliver an event to be proud of’

BabyExpo Berkshire and a MASSIVE welcome to Clare!

“Super-Mum”preneur Clare Wingfield is “One to Watch” as the UK’s first ‘What’s On 4 Juniors’ regional franchisee takes on the coveted South East!

Mumpreneur Clare Wingfield is the newest member to join the multi-award winning ‘What’s On 4’ international team as she takes on the What’s On 4 ‘Junior’ activity websites & BabyExpo Baby Show events in the coveted South East Region – www.whatson4littleone.co.uk, www.whatson4schoolkids.co.uk, www.whatson4kidsparties.co.uk and www.babyexpobabyshows.co.uk

Having spent two years in New York after a glittering career in the City, Clare returned to leafy Surrey with husband Andrew and daughters Leah and Natalie. Super-Mum Clare designed and built her new home recently and is now ready for her next challenge, soaring ahead with What’s On 4.

Clare says “With my youngest now at nursery it’s time for me to take on a new challenge! Having a young family is a perfect excuse to get out, explore new places and meet new people, especially when you have just arrived in an area – but you have to know where to go and what’s on offer and that’s why I’m really excited to be running the What’s On 4 websites and BabyExpo Baby Show Events in my area”

Clare’s 1st show will be BabyExpo Berkshire on 29 of Nov!

If you would like to follow Clare’s footsteps and run our What’s On 4 Junior businesses in YOUR region then please email marilyn@whatson4.co.uk for more information.

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sooo what’s next?

We are updating our plans for the next Expo and our events programme for 2014! You can visit our website to sign up for the newsletter but in the meantime how about making someone’s year and nominate them for a National What’s On 4 Junior Award! Just see www.whaton4littleones.co.uk/awards.asp

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BabyExpo Surrey is THIS weekend!

Gosh! Doesn’t time fly? I can’t believe that the Surrey Expo is this weekend! It seems like only yesterday I was writing about the Brighton Expo and waiting with anticipation for the day to arrive!

So, why should you come to Surrey Expo?

Other than the fact it’s going to be a wonderful day?

Well, we have over 200 stands of exhibitors selling a range of pregnancy and baby-related products for you to peruse and purchase. Exhibitors will be promoting a number of different offers on their stands, as well as numerous competitions and giveaways! You can find out who’s exhibiting by visiting our Exhibitor List.

The fabulous Sid Sloane will be there, entertaining your little ones, as well as a number of other exciting classes and entertainers on the main stage. There are also sample classes available, a Kids Fun Zone and Humphrey’s Corner. There’s a full line-up available on our website.

Soft play area - can I have a go?

There’s a goody bag! I love a goody bag, and there’s one available for the first 500 people to walk through the Surrey Expo door! Doors open at 10am for ticket holders and 10:15am for everyone else.

Tickets are only £3! What a bargain for such a fun day of shopping and entertainment. You can still buy your tickets here!

We’re looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford.

Hannah

Introducing: TinyTalk Baby Signing

This week we’d love to introduce you to Lyndsay from TinyTalk Baby Signing in Surrey! Lyndsay will be exhibiting on stand 125 at the Surrey Expo on Sunday 24th November.

Lyndsay is a mum of 2 and runs the TinyTalk Baby Signing Classes in Guildford. Passionate about teaching little ones to communicate before they can talk, she loves her ‘job’ and feels privileged to be able to help parents & babies understand each other.

TT Signing Class 1

I took over the Guildford franchise of TinyTalk in 2009 after attending classes with my daughter.

I decided to teach TinyTalk as I felt it would fit in better with my new found family life and I think that signing with your children is an invaluable tool to have in your equipment for parenting!

Four years into teaching (and another child!), I currently teach 5 classes a week; 3 baby classes and 2 toddler classes across Guildford, Godalming and Cobham.  I added the toddler classes to my repertoire just over a year ago as I really wanted to be able to continue helping little one along their learning journeys.  At the same time I also trained to be able to provide baby signing training to nurseries and childcare professionals to enable them to use baby signing with the little ones in their care.

I still smile every single time that I hear that a little one has done their first sign.  It still continues to amaze that baby signing really works and children as young as 12 weeks can tell you when they want milk!!

TinyTalk is an international franchise which I am proud to be a part of.  We are an amazing bunch of woman passionate about what we do!

TT Signing Class 2

TinyTalk will be exhibiting on stand 125 (where they will be running a free prize draw) and will also be holding a demo class on the main stage at 12:45pm. 

Baby, it’s cold outside

The Surrey Expo is just over two weeks away (!!!) and with some of our visitors expecting Winter babies I thought I’d compile a list of must-have items for your new bundle of love.

warm

Image source

My daughter arrived five days before Christmas last year and these are all things I found useful.

A Snowsuit
Very important for keeping your baby warm when it’s bitterly cold outside. Make sure you buy one with inbuilt mittens and a hood for total protection from the cold.

2.5+ tog sleeping bag
My daughter was too small to fit into one of these to begin with, but they usually start from 7.5lb. Sleeping bags are quite literally lifesavers and far safer, and more convenient, than blankets.

A room thermometer
Chances are your monitors have one of these on anyway, but they are imperative for making sure your bedroom, or their Nursery, is warm enough/ isn’t too warm.

An assortment of clothing
The key to dressing a baby in winter is layers. You don’t want your baby to be cold, but equally you don’t want them to be too hot. Bodysuits (long or short sleeved), t-shirts (long sleeved), socks, booties, jumpers etc

Blankets or cosytoes for the pram
Just like clothes, layers are key for keeping warm in the pram or pushchair. Remember that your baby is generally quite stationary in the pram so they won’t be as warm as you whilst you push them up the hill!

You’ll be able to find everything to keep your baby warm at the Surrey Expo on Sunday 24th November 2013 at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford. Tickets are just £3 and available to buy here.
Hannah

Introducing: Surrey Nannies

We have the fabulous Freya and Surrey Nannies on the blog today!

Surrey Square original

Surrey Nannies provide busy families with highest quality childcare solutions. Whether full-time or part-time, temporary, after-school or ad hoc, Surrey Nannies will help every family find a reliable, flexible, trustworthy Nanny or Au Pair. Surrey Nannies is part of the British Nannies group of accredited, highly recommended childcare recruitment agencies.

The childcare market can seem very confusing with so many alternatives to consider, but, for busy working parents, once you find the right care option for your family, it’s a blessing! Understanding what your options are, where to look, how to fund it and how to manage it once it’s in place are all fundamental in helping you take the stress out of childcare. Many parents recommend speaking to a professional agency who can provide advice, support and recommendations – as well as the ideal childcare solution, tailored just for you!

Surrey Nannies was the second childcare recruitment agency in the British Nannies group founded by Freya Goodier. Freya is a single mother of two, led a successful corporate business in the communications and media sector and sincerely valued the support and assistance of Nannies and Au Pairs over the years who remain to this day close family friends.

When Freya was let down by a nanny service a seed was sown. Freya set out to create her own professional nanny agency so she could ensure families could rely on her company. Surrey Nannies guarantees qualified, reliable Nannies for busy families. The service is highly flexible and each contract is tailored to suit both parties. Nannies can be employed full time, part time, to cover a limited period, even to travel with a family if desired. What they all have in common is their qualifications and outstanding reliability to ensure happy children – and parents.

Freya and her team ensure that quality is at the heart of everything they do. Every Nanny or Au Pair is interviewed by one of the team, and references and qualifications are rigorously vetted.

With a very busy daily schedule, Surrey Nannies has over a thousand registered childcarers and has built links across the industry, both within the UK and internationally. Working closely with accrediting organisations and trade associations, Freya is striving to raise awareness of the significant benefits of at-home childcare solutions so that many more parents across the country and abroad can benefit from stress-free childcare in the same way she did.

Surrey Nannies

Surrey Nannies will be exhibiting at Stand 73 at the Surrey Expo on Sunday 24th November 2013.

You can find Surrey Nannies here on Facebook and Twitter.

Getting through the Newborn Haze

Newborn

For the first 6-12 weeks of Parenthood you may feel like you are stumbling through the wilderness, into the unknown abyss and down a rabbit hole. Things you thought you once knew, you question. Self-preservation becomes a thing of the past, along with dinner and cleaning oneself. It’s best to be prepared for this; for the euphoric highs but also for the hormonal lows.

The first nappy change

Probably the most terrifying test post-giving birth, especially if the Midwife is watching you. Even if you’ve changed hundreds of nappies previously (either in practice or for another baby) there is nothing quite like putting the first nappy on your new baby. You will find yourself doubting whether you’ve done it correctly, you may hesitate when faced with the task… or you may have completely the wrong size nappy in your hospital bag (this happened to us).

Food and drink

After spending hours in labour, chances are you won’t feel massively hungry and you may find this feeling continues for a few days. It is so important to try to eat something as (if you choose to breastfeed) your milk supply is affected by how much you take in. Not only that, but you will bleed a lot for the first 6-12 weeks after giving birth, and you will need to keep your iron and energy levels up to prevent dizzy spells.

Same with water; you will lose a lot of fluid in the first week. You need to keep hydrated for milk supply and well-being.

Day three

I wasn’t prepared for the dreaded “day three”, also known as the day your milk comes in. You will be incredibly hormonal on this day; reaching the heady heights of happiness swiftly followed by a host of tears and gloom. You are not alone and it will pass. I promise!

Have a bath or shower daily

Try to have a daily bath or shower. Chances are you will be pooped, wee’d or sicked on a number of times within a 24 hour period; this combined with leaky boobs and general unwashed-ness will make you feel thoroughly rotten. Hand the baby over to your partner, a family member or a friend and try to relax for a bit.

The Newborn Haze isn’t forever, and it’s a haze for a reason; you won’t remember much of it once you come out the other side! Take lots of photos of your cute bundle of pudge to look back on and exclaim: “He/she was NEVER that tiny!”

Hannah

Sponsor our Breast Feeding Area!

We are looking for a sponsor for our Breast Feeding area at the Surrey Expo on Sunday 24th November at the Surrey Sports Park, Guildford.

breast feeding area

The Breast Feeding area is a welcoming, secluded sanctuary for mums and babies needing to stop, relax and chow down during their time at BabyExpo. It’s a lovely environment for mums to meet other mums and talk in a comfortable, friendly setting.

Pregnant ladies are also very welcome to rest their weary feet after a morning of shopping!

If you are interested in sponsoring our Breast Feeding area please contact suzanne@whatson4.co.uk for more details.

Your Newborn (and New Mummy) Essentials List

During pregnancy, and as new parents, we are bombarded lists of “must buy” products for our new bundles of joy. I’ve got to admit that there have been a fair few products we’ve bought and never used, and products I wish we’d bought before my daughter arrived!

I’ve compiled a short list of what I’d consider essential for your Newborn’s arrival. I’ve left out obvious things such as the pram, the car seat and the cot!

For the new Mummy

Nipple cream. When you first start breastfeeding it may be a little sore. It’s definitely worth having some of this around for your nipples! Anything with lanolin is fabulous.

Hand cream. You will be washing your hands far more frequently now you’re changing nappies. I’d certainly recommend getting a good, soothing hand cream for those cracked hands.

Breast pads. Definitely needed if you’re breastfeeding to cover any leakage issues!

Maternity pads. The downside of childbirth is that you will bleed for the next 2-12 weeks postpartum. Maternity pads are an essential. Buy lots.

Comfy postpartum clothes. You’ll want to feel as comfortable as possible the first few weeks post-birth.

Well-fitting maternity bras. For obvious reasons!

Night bras. I still wear mine at night now – almost 10 months later. Your boobs change a lot, and sometimes a bit of support is required! Also useful when breastfeeding as you can use breast pads in them at night.

Crowds at BabyExpo Brighton.

Crowds at BabyExpo Brighton.

For your Newborn

A thermometer. We started off with an oral thermometer for our daughter, but I’d definitely recommend an infrared one for a number of reasons. Firstly they are far more accurate, secondly you don’t need to hold your baby still and finally, if your baby is sleeping, then you don’t have to wake them up to take their temperature. You can also use it for checking the temperature of the bath, and if you’re not breastfeeding (or you’re warming up breast milk,) then you can use this to check the bottle temperature.

A baby bath. We found our baby bath so useful from when our daughter was teeny up until around 6 months. I’d recommend buying one with a seat to save your back!

A sling or carrier. Remember, your baby has been snuggled up inside you for the past 9 months. The big wide world is, well, big and wide and rather scary! Slings and carriers are wonderful for keeping your baby close and cuddled up next to you. Also fantastic when you’re on the go and you’d rather not use your pram. Oh and fabulously useful if your baby suffers from colic as it keeps them upright.

A decent supply of muslin squares. You will be needing these for post feed spit-up. Have a plentiful supply, as you’ll go through them quickly.

Lots of seasonally appropriate clothes. As with the muslin squares, you’ll be going through outfits very quickly, so make sure you have enough! For all those winter babies due this year – don’t forget to buy a super cute snowsuit!

Baby Snowsuit

Baby Expo is back on Sunday 24th November 2013 at the Surrey Sports Park.

Don’t forget to check out the Exhibitor list for the Surrey Baby Expo event to plan which stands you’re going to visit!

Hannah