BUMPS, babies and bargains were all on show as The Baby Show came to Birmingham. Observer editor and dad to be Rob George and his wife joined the thousands looking for the perfect gifts for their new arrivals.
‘THE BEST baby products and brands, a fabulous line-up of guest speakers and heaps of family fun all in one place’ screams the introduction to the official show guide for the popular Baby Show.
False advertising? Nope. No matter if it’s your first or fifth baby, any expectant parent should visit the Baby Show.
When you first find out you are going to be parent, one of the many things which will daunt you is the sheer amount you have to buy for your new bundle of joy.
So what do the organisers of the Baby Show do? Try and get every baby product manufacturer under roof to make the shopping just a little easier.
There was even a race-track in the centre of the hall for you to ‘road test’ a particular range of pushchairs and travel systems.
All of the big names were in attendance from Tommee Tipee, Cosatto, Britax and Fisher Price to baby care giants Mothercare and Babies R’Us.
There were offers aplenty on all of the stands at prices to suit all pockets – it would not have surprised me if some parents got everything they needed on the day.
For those who truly shopped until they dropped there was even a shop and drop and collect by car service for those bigger purchases.
Guest speakers including Professor Robert Winston, Jo Tantum and Clare Byam-Cook were among those taking to the stage to share their wisdom during the weekend.
A particular highlight though were the classes run by The Natal Family, a family run company helping both mums and dads to be on the journey to parenthood.
My wife enjoyed a relaxing MummyNatal class which focuses on empowering mums-to-be to have the labour and birth they want.
Meanwhile I experienced a DaddyNatal class in the safe hands of Dean Beaumont, father of three and the first male antenatal teacher in the UK.
It was refreshing to be in a room full of dads to be, all of us nervous but instantly reassured by both Dean’s own experience and his relaxed style which involves his audience immediately.
Following the class, I spoke to Dean and asked why he was inspired to start a class made exclusively for dads to be.
“With the birth of my first son Oren, I had done traditional antenatal classes and we went through the birth. It wasn’t a particularly traumatic birth but I came out of it feeling guilty.” he said.
“That then affected the bonding with my son, I then looked at what I had I missed, what had I done wrong and came to the conclusion I hadn’t done anything wrong.
“There was just nothing out there to prepare me, from there I went off, did my diploma, did my research and then we started and formed DaddyNatal.”
“Society has changed and because of this dads have been thrust into the birthing environment but without anyone supporting us to be there.
Dean said any dad to be should firstly be prepared and understand what will happen during the labour and birth.
“Secondly, it’s always about being honest, sometimes as dads if we are criticised we can withdraw, there is no room for withdrawing, we have got to step up, not in a manly way but be prepared to admit if we are unsure or uncertain and look for help.
“Thirdly, at the end of the day just remember we are all on a learning curve but its about our family, forget other people lets focus on what is right for you as a family and make your decisions based on that but always make an informed decision.”
Visit www.thenatalfamily.co.uk for more information about MummyNatal and DaddyNatal.
The team on the BabyNatal stand at the NEC. (s)
Mums and tots were at the Baby Show in Birmingham. (s)