We recently went to The Parent and Baby Show on the 5th of November at Norwich football stadium. I had booked the day off work as Bella really wanted me to come along.
Bella had looked on their Facebook to see what was going on so she could plan out what booths she wanted to see, and the main ones were; the sling library, a baby handprint thing and the baby sensory room.
We got there early (well early for us, we arrived 10 minutes after it opened) as we wanted as many goodie bags as possible (because you know, we all love freebies).
One of our very first stops was the Norfolk Sling Library as we really weren’t getting along with our current one and wanted to try some out before buying one and wasting our money.
Now as Bella was trying different slings on I spotted the creepy baby doll they use and this is my first bit of advice, try and make anything fun. So this doll looked almost real and was weighted inside to feel like an actual baby, so I did the only thing a responsible parent would do…. throw it around and watch people’s faces in shock as they think it’s a real baby, Yes I got told off but yes it was worth it.
This was just the start, here are some of my tips are for surviving baby events!
Stay out the way —
Well Bella found the carrier we liked and we went to another booth but this time it was clothes.
Bella had Primrose strapped to her chest and I’m pushing the empty pram and I’m not sure about anyone else’s wives but mine doesn’t look at clothes like a normal person.
She must walk around the same clothes rack 100 times and over the years I’ve learned to stand out of the way, normally it’s just me and I have loads of room, but this place is full of prams and space is limited.
Looking around I found a couple of husbands all huddled up in a corner waiting for their wives so I gravitated towards them.
Find a place to be out of the way is so important in events like this, sure you get asked to come along for your input but 90% of the time you are the bag mule.
Embarrassment doesn’t last long —
After looking around the ground floor we were told there was much more on the 2nd and 3rd floor, so off we went.
Once outside, we were told there is an elevator that will take us up and we suspected it to be busy as most family’s there had prams, lucky we were second in line.
Unfortunately, there was only 1 elevator, and it was terrible.
It could only fit 2 family’s in and it didn’t go where people wanted to go, so after about 5-10 mins of waiting I said “you know what, she is on your chest, there is nothing in the pram, I’ll carry the pram upstairs and it will be quicker“ smart plan right? Yeah!
We went to the stairs and Bella went first, I picked up the pram and got half way up, and all of a sudden all the bags that we had in there all fell out and all our freebies flew down a flight of stairs. This family behind us helped me pick them up. After this, I tied all the bags down just in case.
Its all about the free chocolates —
Nearly every booth had a little bowl of sweets; hard sweets, chocolate, mints, love hearts and some had fudge (I took advantage of this booth).
Some booths were smart and put their sweets in little bags that also included their business card, now that’s good marketing.
But seriously take all the chocolates and sweets as this is fuel and while Mum is talking to the people you can get rooting for the good stuff.
Pram Driving lessons —
As a new dad I have never really pushed a pram, sure when we go for walks in the park I’ll push it but I have a whole field.
Navigating this huge pram around tiny doorways that have tiny children running around and trying not to run someone over is very hard!
You learn quick but sometimes some toes have to be run over as although you have said “excuse me” 100x or “can I just squeeze past” some just people won’t move.
That being said, most people are very nice and the other dads who are on pram duty know your pain and you all work together.
Don’t be afraid to ask random question —
One trait I have that I’m not sure my wife likes is I ask some random questions that usually catch people off guard.
To start off with they look at you like a crazy person, but they will normally laugh and answer, don’t be afraid to ask as knowing is half the battle and it can cheer up the booth owner.
A newborn attracts people —
I think I heard “oh my god how cute” and “how old?” and of cause “Awwwww” about a thousand times.
First of all, they aren’t talking about you second, give simple answers, you have a lot of booths to see and sometimes it’s just a ploy to get you in.
The toys are not just for baby —
We went to the sensory room as it has loads of benefits to the developing baby and we wanted to try it out before going to the sessions and it was amazing.
Primrose loved the smells, the lights, the teddies and everything in between.
But no matter how much fun the child is having there, is room for the parents to have even more fun. Attack each other with the hand puppets, squeak all the toys and just be a kid again, let’s face it, any room that requires you to take your shoes off must be fun, right?
Make sure your phone has charge —
Before I say anything, don’t be on your phone all the time, pay attention and help the Mum.
I say charge your phone as you will take photos of clothes you like the look off or anything you partner wants.
I used mine when we checked out the sensory room to get pictures of Primrose having fun but most of all I used it when Bella fed her, there was a dedicated breastfeeding area and I know that we all know it’s natural and you can’t see anything but out of being respectful to other mums I stayed out just in case they are uncomfortable, as I remember how uncomfortable Bella felt the first few times feeding in public.
In this downtime, I checked Facebook and played some games and this can drain your battery really quick.
Bring your own food and drink —
This isn’t recommended by the venue organisers as it takes money away from them, but I say it for a reason, we ‘apparently’ we’re only going to be there 2 hours, 4/5 hours later we found a pop up cafe on the 3rd floor and seeing as neither of us had eaten or drunk anything since breakfast, Bella decided to get a cup of tea. Now, how much for this tea? PG tips in a plastic cup with soy milk, not even fancy tea.
The normal 80p for a tea that comes out of a massive pot? No maybe a little more due to the event, £1.20-£1.50 that’s a bit pricey but ok…. nope it was a whopping £2 for a cup of tea.
We decided not to get any food as we were too afraid of the price.
Have fun —
lastly, have fun, sure these baby events are not built for dads in mind and that’s fine, there will be something there for you.
Whether it’s the free chocolate or the sensory room have fun and support your partner.
Also, try and talk to other dads as most of the time they may be in the same boat, it’s a great way to meet local people as it can be hard to make new friends who have children.
Unfortunately, we didn’t as this was our first big outing since Primrose has been born, but we are definitely going to try next time.