One of our first official baby jobs after our 20 week scan was to attend the Mamas and Papas Parents To Be event, which I’d booked us on to a few weeks ago, being sure to book us on as late as possible once we knew all was A-OK.
We booked us on to the Trafford Centre event in Manchester, not the closest to us but the best place to make a day of it, and took my Mum with us. Now we’re at the halfway stage and are starting to take things seriously it’s nice to get my Mum involved so she can experience it with us. She has two granddaughters by my brother, but he lives an hour away and I know that it will be a different and much more involved experience for her now that her only daughter is having a baby, every girl needs her Mum and I want her to feel involved and part of this amazing time (my Dad too of course, and the in-laws, but my Mum is number one in my eyes right now).
Despite only having booked myself and the husband on the event, the girl on the door at Mamas and Papas was nothing but welcoming and let us all in, offering us some refreshments and a goodie bag on the way in (including a little teddy, discounts if you spend on the day, a £10 voucher and some preggo vitamins).
It was a two hour event, running 10-12, but getting there at 10 before any of the shops in the Trafford Centre opened made it more manageable and less crowded. There were plenty of helpful staff hanging around to chat and answer any questions, which is always useful for clueless ‘rents-to-be like us.
After lingering around the bedding for a while I spotted a few blankets that would be perfect for our nursery – not that it’s done yet, it’s the nursery in my mind at this point but they would honestly be pretty spot on!
There were three demonstration areas set up and talks were ran by trained staff regularly, so you could see as much or as little as you liked without rushing around, all very relaxed. We didn’t sit in on the pram talk as it’s something we’ve looked into extensively (the husband is like a dog with a bone with this one, maybe because it’s the closest thing to a car?), but did sit in on the car seat talk where they demonstrated one of the Cybex car seats and explained the safety features and a few things to consider for ease of use. The only problem I found was that I was near to the back of the seating area and the ladies presenting didn’t have the loudest voices – you could tell they were nervous which is completely understandable, but it was a real strain to hear them at times. I got the gist though so it wasn’t too much of an issue!
One of the most valuable parts of the event for us was the demonstration by St Johns Ambulance, who showed us what to do if our baby stopped breathing or was choking, both horrific thoughts but very real dangers. With a number of dummies to practice on and ask any questions we had, it was a really useful 15 minutes and it was a reminder that aside from all of the fun shopping and cute baby excitement, we are going to have a child and we’re responsible for their safety, and I would have had no idea where to either start if I came across either of these situations in real life. It was an eye opener for me, and I’ll be looking for a baby first aid course to complete before Baby Lynch arrives.
St Johns Ambulance run a three hour baby first aid course, the closest to me is over 50 miles away so I’ll be looking elsewhere, but if you’re in the market you can find the info here.
We browsed a few more products, looking specifically at the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Essentials Kit (any reviews on this are welcome!), and I fell completely in love with this infant positioning cushion – obviously not a newborn necessity but I feel like need this in my life. This is one of those situations where the image is selling the dream, how cute are her little feet in that romper on that rug! I can’t even…
So all in all it was a useful event, if for no other reason than I know what to do in a choking situation, other than panic. If you’re just starting out in this whole parent to be thing, and need a gentle push in the right direction, or at least a little info we never knew we needed, book on to one of these events and kick start your
shopping spree countdown to baby’s arrival!
Find out the next event nearest to you on the Mamas and Papas website.