I’ve always loved shopping. Over the years, I’ve become pretty good at it. I know what shops to go to depending on whether I’m dressing for a glam party or I’m trying to find something to show off on holiday / keep me warm in winter. But I have to say, I’m not that confident about shopping for my impending new arrival.
With my little one due mid-April, I told myself I’d start buying things in January. The new year came and I started to research cots, prams and other baby essentials and I got totally confused. I want the best for my baby and everything seemed to have different features that sounded good in principle – but what did it mean in real-life? Just as I was preparing to visit a department store to see everything and test it out, I got an invite to The Baby Show. I visited one at London’s Excel centre but they are held in various parts of the country throughout the year (details available on the baby show website). It was a lifesaver!
There’s a lot more to see than what you’d find in department stores with all the brands bringing products from different ranges. Shops only tend to stock one product by each brand due to limited space, so you get to see – and try – a lot more than you would by visiting a department store or specialist baby shop. Also, some exhibitors are up and coming brands that are yet to be stocked on the high street so you get to explore products that are brand new and that not many other people know about.
When visiting the show, you need to pick up a map when you enter as there’s so much to see and watch (from the world’s first ever stroller fashion show by iCandy to talks from baby and parenting experts). I was there to shop and I started with the most essentials for my baby – ie prams, cots and chairs.
After spending an hour visiting different pram and stroller stands and testing how they folded up and down, I came to the iCandy area. As you can see from the photo above, I loved the designs and the colours of the prams and strollers from the first moment I saw them. And not only do they look great, but I found out that the prams have height adjusters so that you can raise the baby up to the same level as you when you eat out in a restaurant. As someone who eats out quite a lot, I found this particularly useful.
After seeing how compact it folds up and how it can be stored self-standing while folded, I knew it was the one for me. My bundle of joy now has his first pair of wheels – the new iCandy Peach model – and is ready to start life, VIP style. I’ll be doing another blog post when the little man arrives, reviewing how I’m getting on with it.
With an endorphin buzz after finding something I loved, I decided to have a look for chairs. I want somewhere safe to place the baby occasionally while I’m making a cup of tea (or maybe writing a blog post). Ideally, it would be comfortable for the baby but it would fit into the design of our home. I found just that in the Nuna leaf.
You can buy an electronic device for the base, which blows wind up to the foot of the chair to make it sway. It takes a baby from birth to 60kg (ie adult weight) so both I and baby could get a lot of use out of this.
I didn’t manage to get a cot as I felt I should ask the opinion of my fiancé before buying such a big item for our home. But I noticed that Mothercare and Mamas and Papas both have some suitable options and as of this week, both have stores in the Westfield London shopping centre. That’s next on our To Do list.
I ended the day getting some inspiration from the ultimate mumpreneur Annabel Karmel. Annabel’s had four kids and still found the time to write 39 recipe books and produce a range of kids food stocked in supermarkets around the UK. I’ll be publishing a full interview soon – full of tips for women who want to combine careers and motherhood (like me!) She’s also a lot of fun and we climbed into a high chair together – thank goodness she’s small.
And tweet me @lbabyvisblog or tag me in an Instagram post (babyvipsblog) if you have any suggestions about other baby products that I need to give my newborn the best start in life.