1. Try out all of the gear. Looking to buy a stroller or a car seat or both? These are the biggest purchases you likely will be making, and you really want to make sure that you buy the stroller that suits your lifestyle best. If you TTC you will want something lightweight. Plan on having a second baby soon? You might want to check out a double or convertible stroller. Drive everywhere? You will want something that works with your car seat. The Baby Show has professionals on hand with a huge selection of products, and they will answer all of your questions without pressure to buy. If you decide to pick up some gear, most vendors have show specials, which is great too.
2. See above. SHOW SPECIALS. Babies are $$$ and every little bit helps.
3. Ollie Jones! My little girl wears almost exclusively Ollie Jones now, and we were first introduced to them at the Baby Show! Designed and Handsewn in Toronto, Ollie Jones uses Organic cotton fabrics and adorable prints. They have great show specials, so make sure you check out their booth and pick up some headbands for spring. And if you fall head over heels, we have Ollie Jones on the shop.
4. Want to try out cloth diapers? Babywearing? If you live in the ‘burbs, you might not find all of the goodies you want at your local big box store. The Baby Show has experts to show you how to use wraps to carry your baby, what coats to wear while carrying, how to get started with cloth diapers and more. Even if you are only moderately interested, it is worth checking out the demos from the makers themselves. Nothing beats a hands-on demo from the people that manufacture the product and work with it day-to-day.
5. There is coffee and food on the premises. I know this might not seem like a big deal, but I visited this show with a 4 month old and hit the coffee stand hard. The pregnant visitors will enjoy food samples. FOOD SAMPLES. Bad Monkey Popcorn will be handing out samples. This is more than enough reason to visit.
6. The Dear-Born Baby Baby Shower. 50 Pregnant women get treated like VIPs and are showered with food (FOOD) and goodies. One lucky mom gets a $3000 prize. Sure beats a diaper cake IMO.
7. Try out a Prenatal Yoga Class! I did prenatal yoga throughout my pregnancy and it helped me tremendously. Pregnant yoga is not nearly as grueling as some other styles, and the instructor helps keep you focused on keeping the baby safe. It is wonderful to stretch all those tired muscles, prepare for labour and relax your mind. Think you can’t handle yoga pregnant? I did a half moon at 38 weeks – you can handle anything, I swear. Plus, participate and you can walk away with a Gaiam yoga mat and block so you can work on those poses at home.
8. The Sutherland-Chan school of massage therapy is on hand to help work out those tired muscles. Carrying a babe in utero, or in carrier, all of it is hard work and can be tough on your body. Sign up for a time slot, hand babe to dad and take some time out to really let go. Swollen feet? Cranky wrists? Tight ligaments? Get a massage! Bonus: It is FREE.
9. The Healthy Moms Zone features exhibitors with a focus on health and wellness and natural/organic/eco-friendly products and services specifically for moms and babies. Here you can chat with midwives, lactation consultants, naturopathic doctors, sleep consultants, doulas and fitness experts and more, and sign up for their discount card that offers GTA-wide deals on everything mom & baby (We are a part of the program! So if you sign up for the card, you get a discount on our shop too.)
10. Speak to the People from Wee-Sleep. When I was first-time pregnant, I really thought I knew what tired meant. I now get to look back on that and laugh. Sleep deprivation is real. Some people (not me) have dream babies that allow them to enjoy restorative stretches of sleep. Some people (like me) have to call Wee-Sleep after 10 months of what seems like torture. Getting a couple helpful tips before baby arrives might just make all of the difference, and these ladies know what they are doing. Plus knowing that you have someone to help if you need it, might get you through one of those long and bleary-eyed nights.
The Baby Show Toronto (Fall) is October 1st and 2nd 2016 at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place Toronto.
For more information visit: www.thebabyshows.com/toronto