9 February 2013

UK Baby & Toddler Show

Over the last month or so, signs have been popping up around Liverpool advertising the UK Baby & Toddler Show. I really enjoyed The Baby Show, until I discovered it's links with DSEi, the world's largest arms fair. So I hoped the UK Baby & Toddler Show might be a guilt-free alternative.

I spotted half price discount tickets on both Living Social and Groupon, but after contacting the show on Twitter, they were kind enough to send me a couple of complimentary tickets. Rather than bore Mr Goldfish by dragging him around, I decided to invite a friend who's also looking to start a family.
Our first surprise was when the tickets arrived! Those who ordered their tickets early were also sent a Vital Baby Bottle, an Ella's Kitchen fruit pouch, and a vintage scarf. It was an unexpected surprise, that sparked our enthusiasm for the day.
The event was held at the Liverpool Echo Arena, which is conveniently near Liverpool One and the Albert Docks, we arrived early just as the doors were opening. There were some interesting differences, while other shows seemed to focus of baby products, the UK Baby and Toddler Show seem to be a source of local information. A quick scan of the schedule revealed several seminars we were interested in.
The first speakers were from the Liverpool and Wirral Sling Library. They offer practical advice about baby wearing and suggestions about individual slings. The library also lets you borrow slings for a couple of weeks so you can try them out. For products that are often difficult to find in stores, this is a brilliant service. I'd visited their website before attending the show, but I always feel a bit of anxiety about seeking advice from people I don't know. Through both the seminar and visiting their booth, I came away more confident that I could contact them in the future.
There were also seminars by the Liverpool Women's Hospital on Active Birth and the Wirral Women and Children's Hospital about Water Births. While both talks were short, both speakers were positive and friendly - which made it easy to ask questions.
Of course there were also shopping opportunities. There were stands where you could try out different pushchairs, browse reusable nappies, baby blankets and cushions. I was pleased to see stalls bursting with bright vibrant patterns, like the Peekaboo Shop pictured below. I'm so tired of cream and pale pastels!
Over all it wasn't quite what I expected, but I was very impressed that there was over an hour's worth of seminars we were interested in and plenty of local information.