The Baby and Toddler Show for Traders, Olympia, 2011.

It was a last minute decision to go to this, and one I’m glad we did – it’s step-free for the majority of the journey which is a bonus. So H and I descended on Olympia, and I started to scan the room for names of businesses I recognised…

First up was Cheeky Wipes – we’d bought a kit for H from the Baby and Toddler Show, I’d seen a demonstration at an earlier one but left it, but I knew I wanted to get some – it’s such a good idea and fitted in with my idea of us using reusable things as much as possible. Our old wipes were the first lot made, and to see how much Cheeky Wipes have changed is great – the tubs you put your wipes and water in are much easier, plus have water levels marked (I could never get it right in our tubs!)- and now have easier lids to deal with – though this is set to change again earlier next year. The tubs will also be stackable, as well as toddler-proof. After chatting with Helen about things we’d done where I felt we’d done it wrong (putting too many wipes into the containers), I came away looking forward to seeing the new wipes – ohh and there’ll be some pink and blue ones too! More news when we have it…

Next to Cheeky Wipes was a stall Naturally Cool Kids, who I’d never heard of – but do five really simple products, and they’re all really good – plus they’re all natural and not tested on animals. After a good chat we came away with a sample of their menthol cool stick (which we’ve rubbed on H’s feet, then covered with socks and it’s worked a treat, stopping her from coughing all night) – they’ve got a nice cream which works as a barrier for dribbles and chapped noses too – I like. I will be buying from there soon…!

Hippychick had a stand, and it was full of all their great things – I love what they do, and am often taking up their Facebook offers – I didn’t get to chat to anyone really though I do want to get H one of their all in one waterproofs – a friend found one in TK Maxx once, so I’m hoping one day they’ll be discounted there again soon…

Excitingly, Baba Me, who are based in Belfast had a stand – and had a really prominent Bum Genius display. Our first reusable nappies were Bum Genius, and I’ve always been pleased with them – though we tend to use disposables more these days, unfortunately. What caught my eye was they’re about to launch (well, in January 2012) some reusable toilet training pants – with elasticated sides (in a different colour), and three different sizes (three sets of poppers/buttons – I can’t remember which), as well as three liners – so you can use the same set of pants three times. I’m liking this a lot… that could potentially be a pair of them (six liners in total) for H for nursery, for example as and when we do potty training – the liners are designed so your little one can feel they’re wet, but are designed to be removed and replaced with another liner, without getting rid of the outer. I approve!

We were pushed for time, so headed upstairs – where I saw a stand for Baby Swap Or Shop which is an excellent site and idea, but they were busy.

We skipped the buggy section, due to lack of time, but saw the Strider Rider stand – and finally got to see one of the bikes properly – oh they’re good – and really nice and sturdy too. The Strider UK people have just been in the US checking out some new bikes that are to be added to the range in the near future – don’t forget, if you were thinking about buying one, then there’s a Mum Friendly discount – check our discounts tab.

We had a brief stop at the BuggyTug stand, where the strap which they’ve had a while is getting an update – there’s now three in one, The TugTrio – and all for £9.99. You get a wrist strap which can be attached to a buggy – great for wandering toddlers who aren’t keen on backpacks but like to help push – the Buggy Tug, which connects the parent to the pram, and a Teddy Tug which connects a favourite teddy or toy to the pram.

We found the BundleBean stand – and introduced ourselves – the BundleBean is great – H even announced “that’s mine!” when she saw it – and an excerpt of my review on The Baby Website is now on their stand display! The BundleBean is something I wish I’d had a long time ago, and was perfect for the day we were out – Olympia was really warm, outside was chilly, and I had a toddler who needed a nap – and it did the trick in keeping her warm (but she got too excited about the train to actually have that nap) – check out BundleBean – they’re in lots of stores up and down the country, I’ll try not to gush too much, it’s an excellent idea.

After BundleBean, next door was the Hamster Pannier Buggy Bags stand – I’ve always been intrigued by them as it’s a good idea – plus they give your buggy more stability (something I need when I do the shopping…), and seeing them in person, they make so much sense – and are really easy to put onto the buggy and take off. I wish I could have stayed there for longer, but we had to get back.

On our way out we walked past the gorgeous designs on the Ruby and GINGER stand, and chatted with the lovely ladies there – some really neat small changing bags as well as a cover for car seats – and gorgeous fabrics too.. another one we’ll be splashing out on at some point. There was a gorgeous tabard too which I wanted to get for H right there and then…

Our last stop was at Music For Baby – they make CD’s and they’re distributed the regular way, as well as being available digitally – including Spotify. There’s various versions of nursery rhymes done in different genres – their most current one being jazz versions of the songs. It’s done really well too – one that I like the sound of and will have a proper listen to is lots of percussion – the CD’s are all made with preschoolers in mind – and most of all, fun! The people involved have a good musical background too – they know what they’re doing, they’re really friendly and nice, and with the music on Spotify you can try before you buy – what’s to lose?

We were waiting at Clapham Junction and I got chatting to another mum who had been at the show. Ends up she’s a director for the company Olive & Moss – and they do some gorgeous baby and toddler clothes – plus they illustrate books and cards – it’s all really really lovely stuff.

I’ve managed to get tickets for The Baby Show this weekend, so I’m going to have a good nosey around, see what other goodies I can find… I suspect I may end up a bit skint…

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