Updated: Sep 6, 2021
If you’re about to say ‘hello baby fair season’ and spend a day or two visiting various fairs and expos in Adelaide, read this article first so you’ll be well prepared to come away with some valuable insights and not be “sold” anything you don’t need.
The following suggestions and observations are based on my 25+ years as a midwife (and mother) and my time spent running stalls (and visiting stalls) at various baby and parenting fairs.
First question: Do you need to be saying ‘hello baby fair season’ at all?
The “baby sector” often focusses on all the stuff we need for baby but it’s good to remember that babies genuinely need very little.
When it all boils down to it, the basic things babies need are:
We know that just by being responsive to your baby’s needs, by being the person they are connected to, you’re doing the most important thing you can for your baby’s neurological development, their brain development.
Your baby will notice and focus upon you, and your responses to them, and everything else will be secondary to them.
You will be their world.
And the good news is that you don’t have to be an excellent parent, you only have to be a ‘good enough’ parent to be fabulous in the eyes of your little one. (And yes, there is lots of research to back this up!)
With that benchmark established, let’s think about some things to help prepare for a parenting fair.
You do you!
What prompts many parents-to-be say ‘hello baby fair season’, is all their questions, doubts and fears.
What do I get? What do I need? What do I want? I’ve never done this before, I haven’t met this baby yet, how do I know what we need?
OK… re-read the opening to this article, take a deep breathe, and then continue.
A good place to start your parenting journey might be to ask friends or family what they found useful.
Ask them for their favourite brands, gadgets, time-saving devices, hacks, life-savers, product features and even their preferred service providers. Ask them for the things they had but never used, as well!
Real world insights from people you know and trust are worth their weight in gold.
Local Facebook mum’s groups can be another place to poll different products you’re interested in but always keep in mind that it needs to work for you and your circumstances.
After all, you’ll be parenting at your best when you do you!
Of course, another fun place to gather information is at a parenting or baby fair, so let’s start planning for that.
Before the Fair
It can be overwhelming when you say, ‘hello baby fair season’, the first time around. So, here’s a tip. Volunteer to go with a friend who is already pregnant, that way you can support them without feeling like you are the focus of ‘sales’ people.
You’ll then be better positioned to gather info without time pressures, feeling super tired or uncomfortable, or becoming overwhelmed.
Adjusting to being pregnant or a new parent is a big transition, so another tactic is to enlist the company of a partner, family member or friend on the day, to make it fun and help maintain perspective!
You can also make every stall visit count, by doing some research before you go.
Go to the fair’s website or social media accounts to see what vendors might be most relevant to your needs. You might find some products or ideas that you hadn’t considered or didn't even know existed!
If you know you’re going to have limited time on the day, checking what stands you definitely want to visit means that you can make a beeline directly to them.
You’ll also have a good idea about stands you want to avoid.
And as with any other fair or expo, try to set a budget beforehand by considering an allowance for indulgences as well as needs.
During the Fair
Above all else, enjoy yourself!
Go with an open mind. With your research done and a “hit list” prepared, you’ll now have the space to visit businesses you’re unsure of – just to see if you discover something of unexpected value.
As long as you’re handy with the unsubscribe button, there’s little harm in entering all the competitions, and taking all the flyers. And while you’re at it, ask if there’s a fair promotion, current special, or loyalty program.
A clever question to ask vendors is, ‘What’s your favourite product?’, or ‘What’s your best-selling item?’ If what they say matches your needs, you’ll know you are getting close to the mark.
If the business is a service provider you’re unfamiliar with, ask them how it works, or how it might benefit you.
And here’s an insider’s tip: If you can’t find what you’re looking for - ask. Many of the vendors know and support each other, so we can help you find what you’re looking for if we can.
While it’s true you’ll be focused on “baby”, consider investing in something just for you or for your health. A small indulgence like a fragrant candle can lift your mood during a challenging day.
However, bigger items like antenatal education, in-home midwifery care options, or meal delivery services, can make a significant difference to physical, emotional
and mental health.
Don’t forget that Baby needs you to get what you need, so that they can get what they need!
Finally, when you get tired, take a break! Find a quiet corner to refuel and rehydrate. Remember this when you are a new parent as well, its OK to take a break. You'll be better able to respond to babe when you listen to your body's demands as well.
After the Fair
Take a breath! You will have earned it.
In the aftermath of baby fair season, flick back through the flyers and business cards for a closer look.
Then, if you’ve still got some things on your wish-list or questions you need answered, reach out for clarification. You never know, you might find the business may offer free shipping or have an introductory promo you can use.
Here’s another idea to consider, especially if you want to support local small businesses and would love to use their product or service but it’s outside your budget. Consider asking your BFFs to put the word out so that friends and family can join together and surprise you at your baby shower or after Baby is born.
Let’s say ‘Hello baby fair season’ with confidence!
If you’re new to parenting fairs, I’d love to chat with you face-to-face.
I’d love to say hello and have a chat.
Doors are open from 10am until 3pm, and it’s free entry. Register for your free ticket online and check-in early to make sure you receive your FREE BAOBAG upon entry. Its filled with useful products to nurture women through pregnancy, birth and beyond.
As an extra bonus, all day car parking is available for only $4.