Jozi Dad on Baby Expo
This 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 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).
This article was first posted on www.mommymatters.co.za