Thoughts on becoming a dad for the second time

Jozi Dad on Baby Expo

BarneyThis week was The Baby Expo in Jozi. Baby expo is an exposition of all manner of goods and services aimed at parents of kids aged unborn to 6. Or “hell” for short: Imagine any busy expo you may have been to before – like the car show, or the bike show or the boat and dive show or the sexpo or the outdoor expo or the photography show. Subtract all fun. Add loud endless Barney the Dinosaur songs. Now you’re at Baby Expo.

Okay, maybe I’m being a little unfair. It was my very first baby expo, and realistically I can see that it won’t be my last, so maybe I’ll get used to it. Or maybe I should try really hard to get used to it….

So here’s a go at a more positive version of a baby expo report back:

  • The expo runs for four days (Thursday to Sunday). If you can get the time off work, try and go on the Thursday or the Friday when it’s much, much quieter. This is important advice. You will thank me.
  • Go with a definite goal in mind. This is not the boat show or the car show where you would quite comfortably spend the entire day looking at super cars or luxury yachts, yet leave happily without having bought a single Aston Martin nor a 70 foot yacht. This is an expo of hungry, skilful retailers and marketers. Selling every possible kiddie related thing you can think of under the sun, and many more that you wouldn’t ever have thought of, all the way from pregnancy to pre-school.
  • We went to look at prams. Correction, we went to look at “baby travel systems”. This is the name given to the bundle of products incorporating a pram, carry cot, car seat and push chair. And in some cases a travel feeding chair and serious fashion accessory too.
  • To be fair, an expo is great for comparing ‘all the options’ – especially some of the niche brands that you won’t find at the local Baby City. The expo has it all under one roof and the specials will blow you away – 20% or more off the normal price (but only during baby expo!), a bargain hunter’s dream!
  • The flip side of course, is that because you are getting such a great deal, you may end up “buying-up”. In car terms, “buying-up” means going in to buy a Fiat, and leaving with a Ferrari (because it’s just such a good deal – look how much we are saving!). And let me tell you, there is a wide selection of “super car prams”.
Stokke cropped

Stokke Pram – one of the SUPER CAR Prams

  • And I can’t even blame the buying up on my wife. I was just as ‘sucked in’ to the designer ranges of Mima, Stokke and Quinny prams as Wendy was. I hadn’t heard of these brands before Friday – but let me tell you they are super-prams, and are just as good looking as super cars. Our favourite was definitely the Mima Xari, the “Bang and Olufsen” of Prams – the best of function and form. But expect to pay super-car prices compared to mainstream prams. The Mima sales lady said she would hold the expo price for us for a couple of weeks –very different to some of the other brand sales people who warned that they had limited stock and suggested we “order immediately so we don’t miss out.”

The Mima Xari – our favourite. Extravagant, yes, But isn’t it pretty?

  • In the end we held ourselves back on the day, and decided to wait a while before committing (after all, Zee is only arriving at the end of May). Having now done more research and after reading a lot of online pram reviews, we’re still leaning towards the Mima Xari and are waiting for the lady from Mima to call us back and finalise the price and colours.
  • Sound warning: The Baby Expo runs a Barney the Dinosaur show repeatedly throughout the day to keep the toddlers entertained. Unfortunately it is not in a sound proofed area, so Barney songs blast through the venue endlessly. Even hours after we left the expo, I had Barney songs running through my head. I suggest ear plugs or an ipod with something loud.
  • The food on offer was the typical “health-nut” expo fare (burgers, hot dogs, shwarmas, doughnuts, chip n dip). But unlike the car show, there was no beer!!!

So in summary, the Baby Expo is good for seeing the latest greatest, comparing brands and for getting a good deal on something you needed anyway. But be aware of the symptoms of PBSD (Post Barney Stress Disorder).

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8 comments on “Jozi Dad on Baby Expo

  1. Nadia
    December 7, 2012

    So what was it about the Mima Xari that you liked so much, the prettiness or did it offer other things as well? I’m besotted with the Stokke, although I am not sure (read: I know it’s not) the price is justified

    • jozidaddyblogger
      December 8, 2012

      Hi Nadia, for us the Xari and the Stokke were very close – similar price and very similar features. They both work with the same Be Safe car seat, and offer similar height / baby interaction benefits. Where the Xari won for us was 1. on attractiveness (design, materials etc) 2. when we tried folding and reassembling the pram – my wife got the Xari mechanism immediately, but struggled with the Stokke (although I think it would get easier with practice) and 3. lastly on the sales person – the Xari lady said she would hold the expo price until Christmas, would come and deliver the pram to our house, and would give us time to find out if we having a boy or girl to choose pram colour. But the Stokke sales person was pushy, told us they had limited colors and stock and had to buy immediately to get the expo price. The only down side of the Xari is I don’t know anyone who is actually using them as they are new in SA (where we know people who are using and are happy with Stokke). But online reviews from overseas are v similar for Stokke and Mima Xari. So Xari wins for us. But it definitely is a luxury item, and difficult to justify the extra cost over normal prams. But think of it as an Aston Martin vs. a BMW – both do similar things – but an Aston will turn heads 🙂 thanks for reading my blog

      • Nadia
        December 9, 2012

        I totally hear where you are coming from, a pushy salesperson can turn me completely off a product! Those are fair justifications, although in my head an Aston Martin *does* provide more due to the luxury, performance and after sales care. Do you think these prams/strollers do as well, or in this case is it just a matter of branding and looks? 😉 I

        ask because I really do love the more expensive “exclusive” strollers but I am finding it hard to justify the price difference. My mother made a very good point: the extra thousands of rands you’d save getting a different stroller could go into an education fund for the baby. That is the only reason I don’t yet own the Stokke! 🙂 Although I suppose if money isn’t an issue then I would say go for it!!

        Btw I was advised that if the stroller gets good reviews overseas it’ll probably be great here! We don’t walk as much here as they do overseas, so if a stroller is given good reviews in Europe you’re unlikely to have any problems in Jozi 🙂

      • jozidaddyblogger
        December 9, 2012

        Hi Nadia, I think Xari materials and build quality def seem superior to the standard prams, and more robust (bigger wheels etc) but there are cheaper prams that got as good ratings overseas too – so truth is that it’s mostly looks. The other big difference is that baby can sit higher in the Xari and Stokke – so supposedly better baby-parent interaction

        But to help you justify it, consider how pushing a thing of beauty will elevate your state of mental and physical well being and general happiness, and the impact of this on baby’s life – baby will clearly be happier, more confident, and obviously be a greater success in life cos s/he started out in a good looking pram. LOL!! 😉 enjoy choosing!

        (when is your baby due? My wife expecting end May, so we have some time still)

      • Nadia
        December 9, 2012

        Hahahaha! Brilliant justification!! You actually hit the nail on the head with why I like the Stokke, the adjustable height to me is something important, and I like that it can be a feeding chair while out for meals. I agree the quality is better, but how *much* better? What are the other brands you have considered (of the cheaper variety)

        I am due mid march so I do need to start deciding soon!! We’re having a boy but I do want to keep the stroller for a second child (hopefully one day down the line) so also leaning towards things that aren’t gender-specific! I’m finding this decision particularly hard!!

      • jozidaddyblogger
        March 6, 2013

        So What pram did you decide on in the end. We went for the Mima and it is great. We unpacked it, assembled it, drove it around thehouse a few times, then packed it back up in its box cos my wife is only due end May. Exciting times! Have you had your little one yet, or still waiting?

  2. Pingback: Hello Again | jozidad

  3. Nadia
    April 18, 2013

    Sorry for the late response, I actually had my son the day before you posted the reply 🙂

    I got the Stokke in the end and I absolutely love it! After using it I actually do think the price difference is justified and it is definitely my favourite purchase! We use it daily-I would recommend it to anyone!

    Hope the pregnancy is going well, you’re nearly there! 🙂

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This entry was posted on December 4, 2012 by in Baby Goods, Dad, Guy talk, New Dad, Parenting, Pregnancy and tagged , , , , , .

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