If you missed the Baby Show at Olympia last month, don’t worry, I’ve rounded up some of the best baby brands there, ready to share with you the finds I came across.
If you did miss the show, and don’t want to wait until it comes back around, why not try visiting the new Baby to Toddler show in Excel next month. I’m giving away two pairs of tickets to lucky In The Playroom readers, so follow the link to find out more about the show and get your chance to enter! The Baby to Toddler show is suited for parents of babies and toddlers aged 0-4 years, but as a pregnant mum expecting in a few weeks, the Baby Show at Olympia had all the brands that I needed to browse.
Since I went along to the show as a blogger, I had the chance to meet up with a few brands to find out more about their products in depth, and I also got the chance to look around and do some of my own personal shopping too of course!
The Gro Company, most well known for their baby Grobag sleeping bags, have recently launched a new collection designed by Orla Kiely, with more designs coming out gradually over the Spring Summer season too. I love how stylish this range is with it’s bold repeated patterns (my favourite is the apple design), and as with all of the Gro Company products, safety is at the forefront of the design. The Gro Company work closely with the Lullaby Trust to promote safer sleep for babies.
I remember using The Gro Company sleeping bags with my eldest, as I always felt reassured that they’re the original and most trusted brand for this product. Even 8 years later, I do find myself drawn to a lot of the brands that I’ve used and trusted the first time around, so it was great to see that The Gro Company are still going stronger than ever, and to see what’s new with them.
The Orla Kiely designs are available exclusively at Mothercare and the Gro Store, and of course were available to buy at The Baby Show too.
They also now have Gro Snugs, which are specially design swaddle sleeping bags for the youngest babies, which look really useful for the early days, and the Gro Hush with comforting sounds for baby, which looks really handy too.
After checking out what The Gro Company had to offer, we popped along to Stokke who were holding a tea party to celebrate 10,000,000 of their Tripp Trapp high chairs being produced since their launch in 1972. To celebrate , they’re launching a Limited Edition Anniversary Collection in matte Oak wood, with sophisticated hardware details.
The key to Tripp Trapp’s success is the timeless, quality design and that it grows with the child, enabling them to sit together with the rest of the family around the table to take part in conversations and activities. The chair is adjustable, allowing freedom of movement with both depth- and height adjustable seat- and footplates. When adjusted correctly, your child is ensured a correct seating position at any age.
I’ve never tried a Tripp Trapp high chair with my older children, but it’s definitely something I will consider this time around – especially as they look so practical, not just in terms of the adjustability but also for cleaning. I like a minimalist highchair without too many nooks and crannies for food crumbs to get into, and I’m going to need one that will look stylish in enough in our kitchen since I’ve just spent lots having it all re-fitted and modernised!
Another Stokke product that had caught my eye online before heading to The Baby Show, is the Flexi Bath. I headed over to the Stokke stand to see it in person and chat to the Stokke person there about it.
The handy thing about this bath is that it folds up flat for storage, so you don’t need to store a bulky baby bath. It also looks quite stylish so it would work as toy storage once baby has grown big enough to go into the normal bath tub (although apparently toddlers can fit into the Flexi bath until age 2 if need be – which surprised me!)
Another major brand at the Baby Show was Chicco, who have such a huge range of baby products. You could probably kit out your baby with everything they need, just from the Chicco stand!
One of the products I was most interested in checking out was the Chicco Next2Me crib, as I’ve heard so many recommendations for these side-sleeping cribs and it’s something I hadn’t come across when I had my older children a few years ago. Chicco Next2Me is designed to allow parents to sleep next to their baby without the dangers of co-sleeping. It attaches to the parents’ bed to combine the best of both worlds, and it looks like this would come in so handy when you’re breastfeeding throughout the night.
There are new colours coming out for 2017 too, Chicco has expanded the colour range of their award-winning Next2Me side-sleeping crib to include two new colours. 2017 will see the introduction of the Sky and Princess options, which will join the already existing Dove Grey, Fuschia and Circles colourways.
I’m quite tempted by the Princess one for my baby princess who’s due next month.
Another similar product is the Chicco Lullago, and the new 2 in 1 Lullago Zip which is a compact and foldable travel crib. It looks much better than the usual travel cots, which can be massive and definitely feel large when travelling with a very young baby. We’ll be travelling for a family wedding when our little one is about 6 weeks old, so I was interested to see the options available for this.
They also have very reasonably priced travel systems and pushchairs with new ones launching in 2017 too, including the very compact ‘MiniiMo’ at only 6.2kg weight, and 55×48.5x25cm when folded – and it’s even suitable from birth!
Meanwhile the popular Urban Plus Travel System will be available in a new Legend design, premium cool grey colour way. This option is a complete travel system, including the pushchair with carrycot system, colour pack, Autofix-Fast car seat and adapter, all in one box, giving you everything you need to take your baby on the move
While browsing the Joie stand, I checked out the Joie Every Stage car seat, which is a combined group 0+/1/2/3 car seat, which will last from newborn right up until 12 years old (or whenever your child reaches the height requirement and no longer needs to use a car seat.)
This looks really useful, as we’ve gone through a ridiculous amount of car seats with our kids over the years so having just one good quality seat that can see them through childhood would be a lot more practical. Hopefully I’ll be bringing you a full review of this car seat soon, so look out for that!
Another baby item I was interested in checking out at the show was baby carriers and baby slings. This is an area where I’ve tried lots of products over the years, but am still yet to find my perfect product – so I was interested to hear more about Kiddihug, which is a brand that was new to me.
Kiddihug carriers come with an inbuilt hip seat, designed to make babywearing more comfortable for you, taking the strain off your shoulders and back, and the design also protects your baby’s hips, with their design to support your baby’s thighs rather than let them dangle. This technique reduces the risk of hip dysplasia.
The carriers also have a variety of handy pockets for keys, phones, soothers, snacks and all the essentials you need when out and about, which is really handy as often when you’re out with a buggy then you fit everything in there – something that you might miss when baby wearing, so it’s great that Kiddihug have thought of a way around that.
One of the products I was most keen to pick up at The Baby Show was the Morrck travel wrap. After hearing about how bulky coats and snowsuits can affect car seat safety, I’ve been keen to get an alternative and have looked at a few different wraps that are designed to keep baby warm in the car while still keeping their car seat straps snug around them, as they’re supposed to be. With a December baby, I definitely need something that will be warm and snuggly, but also safe.
Using the travel wrap should also mean that you don’t need to disturb your sleeping baby so much when you bring them into the warm house and have to take their coat and sleepsuit off them, which can tend to wake them up as you take the arms out!
I bought a pink travel wrap, like the one below but with a plain white lining. I can see this being something that gets loads of use. Even in summer, you can use the wrap to line the car seat, without wrapping it tightly around baby.
One of the impulse purchases I made at The Baby Show was a Cheeky Wipes starter kit. I had heard about Cheeky Wipes, and had a few recommendations from cloth nappy using friends, so was interested in finding out more. I actually visited the stand to pick up a couple of items for a blogger friend who couldn’t make it to the show, and while I was there the lady at Cheeky Wipes was happy to walk me through how the system works.
Cheeky Wipes are reusable cloth baby wipes, that you use together with essential oils and water to replace disposable baby wipes – or even just cut down on the amount you use. I don’t see myself cutting out disposable wipes completely, I’d still use them while out and about (although the Cheeky Wipes kit does give you the supplies you need to handle using reusables on the go).
Using Cheeky Wipes compared to disposable will definitely offer a saving long term, and you can feel good about helping the environment too – since every time you use these you’re saving some extra wipes going into the landfill. I do really like the concept of these, so I hope I get on well with them. All of the wipes are nice and soft, so it might be nicer for baby too.
Babies R Us
One of the last stands I checked out was the Babies R Us stand, where I signed up to their Mother and Baby Club. You can sign up online too and when joining, they were offering 20% off all purchases which meant I got some really cheap bargains like a changing mat for under a fiver, and socks for about 50p!
Did you go to The Baby Show? I’d love to hear what bargains you found – let me know in the comments below.
And don’t forget your chance to win tickets to the Baby to Toddler show!
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.