Absolutely! The Baby Show is the largest baby, pregnancy and parenting event in the UK and an absolute must for first-time parents. This post covers the top reasons to go, which day to attend, and helpful tips for making the most out of your visit.
About The Baby Show
The Baby Show is essentially a huge exhibition featuring all the best baby brands, products, experts and most importantly, discounts! It looks like this:
The exhibit takes place 3 times a year in 3 different locations. I recently attended the March Baby Show at London’s Excel centre, which returns to London Olympia in October. However, the next Baby Show will be in Birmingham in May.
For first-time parents, it is a unique introduction to the baby market, saving you a lot of time and money. Because no matter how much research you do online, there really is no substitute for seeing and testing the products in person.
While you could do the same in a department store, you’d be relying on a single general sales assistant rather than individual representatives of each brand to demonstrate and explain their products.
In addition to the big name brands, the Baby Show is also a great place to discover leading independent brands and start-ups, such as the Rockit Baby Rocker, or award-winning Snugglebundl baby wrap as seen on Dragon’s Den.
When buying for your baby, there are so many different products to choose from! It can at times feel overwhelming. At the Baby Show, you’ll quickly learn to differentiate your cots from your cot beds and your prams from your strollers.
As well as understand the pros and cons between competing brands such as iCandy’s vs Bugaboos or between Shnuggle and Moby baby baths. (FYI we went with the Bugaboo Fox and Shnuggle!) Think of it as a crash course in the baby market.
Reasons to Attend the Baby Show
- Discounts and deals that add up to significant savings
- Get a lot of shopping done in one place and one go
- All large purchases can be delivered to your home
- See a large variety of brands and products on offer in person
- Buggy Testing Track to help you choose the right buggy
- Watch product demonstrations, try and test before you buy
- Talk to knowledgeable sales reps and other parents
- Guest and expert panel discussions and presentations
- An opportunity to learn Baby First Aid with the Red Cross
- Discover new small and independent brands not on the high street
Top Tips Before You Go
- Research products and prices in advance to be ready to buy
- Ask for today’s deals and extra bulk-buy discounts
- Check the live stage daily schedule ahead of time
- Go early and plan to attend for the full day from 9.30 to 17.30
- Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you going
- Wear super comfy shoes and take a couple of rests
- Go with an open mind and consider other brands you may not have heard of
Which Day to Attend
Each Baby Show is held over 3 consecutive days from Friday to Sunday. However, there are a couple of pros and cons to consider when choosing which day to attend.
Least busy – Most choice – Lowest discounts
Due to work and school commitments, Fridays are most often the least busy days to attend. However, it’s also the first day for brands exhibiting, which means many will be more conservative and less negotiable on price at the beginning of the Show than towards the end.
On the other hand, a key advantage of attending on a Friday is that for those brands that offer extra discounts on display items, you’ll get first dibs!
Very busy – Good choice – Average discounts
I chose to come on a Saturday and although it was definitely busy, it felt perfectly manageable and not too overcrowded. A couple of things I noticed was that it’s a lot quieter in the morning than in the afternoon, as a lot of people spend the morning browsing and the afternoon shopping.
This means that after lunchtime, things start to get a little more hectic as we all raced to place our orders. By now, most of the best display items had already been taken, although there was still some choice left. For example, we managed to nab a very popular display Babyzen YOYO in black and grey for 20% off.
Very busy – Least choice – Highest discounts
Sunday’s are often another very busy day for the Baby Show. This is also the ‘last chance’ for a lot of brands to sell the stock they’ve come with. Therefore, as many brands look to hit ambitious sales targets, the negotiating power is in your hands to drive a hard bargain.
This is definitely the best opportunity to nab the biggest discounts on display items, but with the least choice as you’re left with what didn’t sell on previous days. If you’re not the pickiest buyer and price is a high priority, then I strongly suggest attending a Sunday.
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Disclaimer: I was the lucky winner of 2 complimentary tickets to the Baby Show at London’s Excel centre thanks to winning a competition by the NCT, however as always, all views and opinions are my own.