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

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

BabyExpo Brighton 2013

Last Sunday was the BabyExpo event in Brighton – and what a day! It all kicked off at 9.30am when the sun shone on Brighton Racecourse. The first 500 people received a goody bag filled with exciting samples. I received an extra special goody bag – but more on that in a future post!

I made my round the various exhibitors – chatting, taking photos and soaking up the happy atmosphere. There were so many gorgeous pregnant ladies waddling around (I don’t know why I didn’t anticipate this!) and by lunchtime I was suffering from serious Bump Envy. I restrained myself though – no random Bump rubbing, I promise!

Sadly, at around 11.30am, the sea mists descended upon the Racecourse, and it all got a bit chilly, but the buzz of the event never lulled.

Here are a few photos from the day:

Crowds at BabyExpo Brighton.

Crowds at BabyExpo Brighton.

Soft play area - can I have a go?

Soft play area – can I have a go?

Lucy Piper kicks the BabyExpo off whilst the crowds enter.

Lucy Piper kicks BabyExpo off while the crowds enter.

Lots of Ella's Kitchen freebies!

Lots of Ella’s Kitchen freebies!

Diddidance having a boogie!

Diddi Dance having a boogie!

LoveYush were at the entrance... slightly chilly by the end of the day. It's a good job they sell scarves!

LoveYush were situated by the entrance… and were slightly chilly by the end of the day. It’s a good job they sell scarves!

Usborne books. So doesn't love them??

Usborne books. Who doesn’t love them??

My Wondercube. I had never heard of this product but it's amazing!

My Wondercube. I had never heard of this product before, but it’s amazing!

I attended the start of the Baby Sensory class.

I attended the start of the Baby Sensory class.

And learnt some news things at the ParentSkool antenatal taster.

And learnt some new things at the ParentSkool antenatal taster.

This has to be my favourite stall of the day. Gabz makes amazing cupcake hats and these very cute woollen pants!

This had to be my favourite stall of the day. Gabz makes amazing cupcake hats and these very cute woollen pants!

Sarah Jane from Cbeebies having fun with an award winning lizard!

Sarah Jane from Cbeebies having fun with an award winning lizard!

At 3pm I headed upstairs to attend the What’s On 4 Junior International Awards. Tears pricked in my eyes when Guy Lewis, from Gymboree Brighton, won a number of awards; the tribute to him was beautiful and ever-so emotional. Overall the awards were incredibly exciting, and an amazing celebration of fabulous people and businesses throughout the UK. Congratulations to all of the winners (and finalists)!

Who was your favourite exhibitor at the BabyExpo event? Did you learn anything? What would you like to see at next years event in Brighton?

Hannah

STOP PRESS – new show announcement

BabyExpo Bounces into Surrey!

What’s On 4 – the organisers of the highly successful regional babyshow brand BabyExpo are delighted to announce the launch of a brand new show in baby-centric Surrey!

The show will take place on November 24 2013 and there are some very special show deals available for a limited amount of time for exhibitors attending the flagship Brighton event and new Surrey Show. Read on for more!

Why Surrey? Surrey has seen a 20% rise in birth rates over the past decade. With a resident population of 1.1 million it is the most densely populated county in the South East region with the largest sub-regional economy and had the highest Gross Disposable Household Income per head in 2010 of all the SE counties.

The organisers have had a Surrey event on the radar for several years but were waiting for a venue large enough to accommodate the show and to meet the needs of such an exciting event.

Event Director Suzanne Borrell says

‘We are delighted that we have now secured a fabulous venue in Surrey Sports Park. This University of Surrey owned multi million pound facility is ideally located close to Guildford town centre, the Royal Surrey County Hospital and the University and is on major bus routes with lots of parking – it offers a wonderful space to showcase our fantastic exhibitors and to welcome thousands of parents from the Region’.

The Park offers 2 inter-linked, highly spacious exhibiting areas on the ground level with easy buggy access and modern facilities and is already well-known to local parents and the wider community.

The show will follow the proven model of the previous highly successful BabyExpo events – welcoming over 100 exhibiting companies, VIP parenting experts, high profile sponsors, a packed entertainment programme and thousands of visitors as the BabyExpo brand continues to expand nationwide.

Need to know information

Show Date – November 24 2013

Venue –  Surrey Sports Park, Guildford, Surrey

Media Partners – ABC Magazine and kids4media.com

Organisers – What’s On 4 Ltd

Cost – £75 per metre to include carpet, shell scheme walls, fascia name, wi-fi and publicity – SPECIAL OFFER FOR BRIGHTON EXHIBITORS – for a limited time, exhibitors who sign up to both shows can get a massive 50% off the m2 rate for Surrey. This will mean exhibitors can get a stand at each event from as little as £112.50 PER SHOW!  Please note this offer is only open until April 17 2013 – to view the floorplan click here.

For more information call Mel on Direct Line: 0121 288 0102, mobile 07730 094670 or email mel@whatson4.co.uk

See more here –  www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk and here – www.surreysportspark.co.uk

BIG Babyexpo welcome to Water Babies – our final headline sponsor for June!

Happy New Year!

We are delighted that along with the fabulous Gymboree, Sing & Sign and Busy Bees our final headline sponsor for Expo Brighton 2013 is Water Babies!

 

Water Babies runs fun, innovative baby swimming classes across Sussex.  Our fully qualified instructors are world class and could have trained as private pilots – three times over – in the time it takes them to qualify with us.  With a multi-award winning programme which teaches vital water confidence and safety skills from birth, our overall aim is to teach you to teach your baby to swim. So we’ll always explain why we’re doing everything, as well as carefully demonstrate exactly what to do.

Through carefully structured training, babies can be taught life saving skills such as turning onto their backs or, following a sudden submersion, swimming to the nearest solid object. They grow familiar with what it feels like to fall into water, so that should they ever accidentally fall in they are far less likely to panic and drown. And our results speak for themselves.  In the last three years alone, at least ten of our tiny clients have saved their own lives as a result of the skills they learnt at Water Babies – and five of them were just two years old at the time.

Water Babies classes run 7 days a week across Sussex and the surrounding area.  For further details please call 01273 552454, email bubbles@waterbabies.co.uk or visit www.waterbabies.co.uk .

BabyExpo Updates!

BabyExpo – The South Coast’s Biggest and Brightest BabyShow and Family Day will return to Brighton on Sunday 30 June at Brighton Racecourse and Conference Centre with Headline Sponsors Sing & Sign, Gymboree and  Busy Bees Childcare and very special guest Humphrey from Humphrey’s Corner!  Baby-planners, parents-to-be and young families from throughout the Region and beyond can look forward to an informative and fun-filled day with expert pregnancy and parenting advice, a fabulous entertainment line-up, 100’s of fantastic show deals and promotions, £1000’s of baby show prizes, face painters, play-zones, petting zoos and much more. The event will also host the National What’s On 4 Junior Awards with Konfidence and What’s On 4 Me LIVE!  Not to be missed will be the mumandworking flexible working zone with The Mumpreneurs Networking Club, Innovation Alley, The Pregnant In Brighton Pavilion and The Natural Parenting Zone.
Media partners include ABC Magazine and kids4media.com and the event will support Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice and National Childbirth Trust. For more see www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk

Images courtesy of the lovely guys at two-d studios – www.remembernow.co.uk

Your baby’s visual system develops rapidly from birth

Cartoonarts offers an array of Cartoon Inspired Fine Art and freelance services and has been developed by Artist Claire Kiernan over the last 7 years. Claire has since broadened her portfolio to include a wide range of quirky and characterful artwork, pet commissions, children’s books, nursery pieces and much more. She tells us more about her journey with her craft in this guest post:

It is a known fact that in addition to looking at themselves, infants are attracted to high contrast visuals, bold images, colourful objects, and faces. The same holds true for toddlers, who also are drawn to looking at animals, shiny objects, and familiar items that are part of their world. Therefore, when we decorate our little one’s spaces with cute new furnishings and decoration, it is so important to add an abundance of colour and visual stimulants to the nursery or playrooms… Artwork from Cartoonarts (stand 118) is known for its boldness and array of bright colours and quirky characters..

My work is enjoyed by all the family (after all, I have painted many bespoke nursery pieces as well as catering for ‘big kids’ and adult collectors too!). I love seeing and hearing new reactions to my work and ideas. Adults can reflect on and talk about what they like to look at whereas babies tell us through body language: a visual fixation, a smile, or reaching for an image or object. And for the verbal toddler, interacting with an adult in naming some of my images and describing different characteristics in different pieces lays the groundwork for visual, cognitive, and language development.

I remember growing up as a child, having this framed picture on the same wall in our house for many years.. It was a landscape with a woman standing in a field with a basket of flowers.. I didn’t particularly love the image in this picture but growing up with it gave me a sense of comfort, and now I still have that warm memory to recall on. I adore the idea that a child or family will treasure a piece of my artwork and for it to become part of their home for it to then become part of their memory.

I have collectors quite a few ‘fans’ in the short time I have been painting and illustrating.. I sell a huge number of pet commissions (more than likely because a pet is the heart of a home and loving family) which again is amazing to think they will hang proud in someone’s home, for years even after their pet has gone.. One of my recent customers was very happy!

“I was absolutely delighted with the pictures of Darcy. Claire really captured his mischievous nature in two beautiful prints which I know will make the perfect gift. It was wonderful to find an affordable but perfect way to get Darcy in print! Thank you so much.”

My work and style is extremely unique and I aim to continue my career as an artist for as long as I can still hold a paintbrush!

here we go……

baby show venue
baby show venue

BabyExpoUK are delighted to announce the launch of a new
2 day Baby Show to take place this September 29 & 30 at thecentre:mk Milton Keynes!

To visit the new website and watch film testimonials from
last year’s clients see here http://www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk
thecentre:mk offers a fabulous nearly 2000 m2 of ‘blank
canvas’ exhibition space, all on one level, in one, very central high profile
location and exhibitors are already booking fast – Click here for the floorplan
www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk/floorplan
As a shopping centre, the facility is already set up for huge visitor numbers
in terms of parking, restaurant facilities, award-winning baby change/breast
feeding areas, accessibility and superb signage in the surrounding areas and
within. With significant numbers of young families choosing this Region to set
up home, thecentre:mk offers very ‘friendly family facilities’ to include
buggies, rein hire and ID wristbands not to mention ‘Kiddy Cars’ rental! All of
which make an organiser’s life less challenging and enable us to focus on the
content of the event.
There will be no entrance charge for the general public but
there will be a ‘Privilege Shoppers’ opening hour on both days where those VERY
keen visitors can access the event 1st. They will be badged
accordingly so exhibitors can spot them throughout the day.
Price per m2 for this 2 day event is currently
£77 per metre + VAT but this is the Early Bird rate and only valid for a short
while. To take advantage of this special price deal and the very best pitches, exhibitors
should reserve their space now at http://www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk/exhibiting/babyexpo-contract-form-for-exhibitors

Phil Gallagher from CBeebies Mister Maker and diddi dance get Brighton rockin’!

Phil Gallagher from CBeebies Mister Maker and diddi dance get Brighton rockin’!

Diddi dance joined by Mister Maker star Phil Gallagher at the south coasts premiere baby event

On Sunday 13th November 2011, diddi dance owner Anne-Marie Martin, Croydon Franchise owner, Melissa Lodge and Brighton Franchise owner Laura Gardner went to the seaside to perform live on stage with Phil Gallagher, CBeebies creative king, AKA Mister Maker!

A massive crowd of 4500 people from 23 different counties came to the event which diddi dance was very proud to be headline sponsors of.

With everything on offer from pushchairs to nappy cakes, the Brighton baby expo had a huge number of attractions but it was diddi dance that stole the show with the performance of the weekend.

Nearly 100 children joined in as the diddi dance team, Mister Makers Phil Gallagher AND Number Jack 4 wiggled, jiggled and jumped their way through a brilliant diddi dance session. Diddi dance were also on show in a prime location in the main hall. New Mums and Dads flocked to the diddi dance stand to hear the word about diddi dance classes, nurseries and parties in their part of the UK.

Franchise Director, Arabella Gunn was also on hand to talk to a number of visitors who were keen to find out more about setting up their own diddi dance business.

A rip roaring success of a weekend for everyone ended with hundreds of new diddi dancers going home happy, thousands of new mums and dads seeing and experiencing diddi dance for themselves and one CBeebies star having being made an honorary diddi dancer!

 

 

 

Coming out the other side…..

BabyExpo on November 13 was our best yet – highest footfall, greatest number of exhibitors and a really inspiring programme of activities and entertainment – from conception to colic and tons for the kids.

Every year I say I am going to try and streamline the programme & make it more managable & every year I get carried away – this year we had a record 5 ‘extra’ areas ranging from the new Parent’s Pit Stop Zone with Mayo Wynne Baxter to the JUNO Natural Parenting Zone.

We were delighted to welcome the wonderful Phil Gallagher from Cbeebies and Jo Tantum, the UK’s no 1 babysleep expert as well as Headline Sponsors NCT, diddi dance, Early Years Childcare, Sing and Sign and Yummy Mummy Maternity. Thank goodness BabyExpo is now part of the lovely ‘What’s On 4’ family meaning I had fantastic support from business partner Sam, sales manager Mel, Zena, Susanne, a great team of volunteers, various husbands, best friends and older children but still none of us stopped all day!

The event feedback has been amazing but I have to pay tribute to our exhibitors. Not only do they have faith in us and invest in the event in these difficult economic times, but many go out of their way to assist us in the promotion both professionally – emailing their clients and contacts and personally – taking fliers into their children’s nurseries, placing event information on various intranets, putting poster in their local libraries etc.

BABYEXPO is a partnership and we work hand in hand with our clients to achieve its success. We always learn from every event – ironically some of our harshest criticism this year has been that too many people attended – having been at some other events where just a few hundred visitors came we know there are worse problems to have HOWEVER we will work on the layout and stand design to assist this and are already in discussions to this end.

As usual the post-show blues have set in but am already excited about the next show and a new show we will hopefully be announcing in a few weeks! I really hope you will join us! To read some of our feedback click here and to see more from on the day from the BrightonMums click here

Producing successful exhibitions is not rocket science. They are the result of A LOT of very hard work, luck, experience and a fair bit of charm.  The satisfaction however of combining keen buyers with wonderful sellers under one roof for one day and watching 9+ months work come together is enormous.