I’ve been going to Toronto’s BabyTime Show for years – since I was pregnant with The K Man. As you can imagine, it’s basically like a crack house for me: gear sprawled across thousands of square feet, every inch of it calling my name.
I’ve always loved the idea of being able to try before you buy, and that’s one of the huge benefits of checking out a show like this. Plus, there’s usually a ton of freebies handed out (I sure was glad Natrel Baboo was there today because I kind of forgot to fill up Miss Q’s sippy cup before we left the house).
We wandered around the show floor for several hours, and whether or not you’re local and planning to head down yourself (it’s on all weekend – November 9 to 11), I thought I’d share with you some of the neat things I spotted today.
There’s nothing I like more than a homegrown Canadian product. Baby Butz bum cream is from Winnipeg and while popular out west, they’re just expanding into Eastern Canada now. In fact, today was the brand’s first day ever in Ontario. While you can only use this cream with disposable diapers or cloth diapers that are lined because of its zinc oxide content, Baby Butz is the only Health Canada-licensed bum cream in the country. It took them three years to get those bragging rights and I’m looking forward to testing it out on Miss Q’s bootie. No perfume, alcohol or chemicals – at all.
One of the first things that caught both Miss Q’s and my attention were the mealtime sets from oogaa. With a focus on enviro-friendly, green materials and products that are the safest possible for your baby, oogaa makes silicone bowls and spoons. Injecting fun with a favourite mealtime activity in mind – “ZOOM!!! Here comes the airplane – open up wide, Billy, and take a big bite!” – the spoons sport either airplane or train designs, and their size make it easy for your toddler or you to hold them. About $6 for a spoon or $16.99 for a couple of spoons and a bowl. I love silicone because it’s easy to wash (hello, dishwasher!) and it never gets funky with mould.
Whether you’re pregnant with your first baby or your fifth (in which case, you’re up for sainthood), I don’t think you ever tire of hearing your baby’s heartbeat in utero. As someone who’s had a few miscarriages, I know I would have loved the FetalBeats fetal heart-rate monitor during both of my pregnancies. I always felt such a huge sigh of relief at every prenatal visit when I’d hear those quick thump-thump-thumps. Being able to listen for my babies’ heartbeats between visits would have saved me a lot of stress. FetalBeats is a gadget that interfaces with an app. But it doesn’t come cheap – it’s $149.99; however, you can get it at the BabyTime Show this weekend for $125 including tax.
Baby clothes just keep getting cooler and cooler. In a sort of H+M-swank-on-its-best-day-meets-Montreal-chic, I didn’t see anything I didn’t covet at the Electrik Kidz booth. In even the tiniest sizes – but unfortunately topping out around size 2, with plans to one day expand to size 5 (yes, please!) – Electrik Kidz features organic cotton Ts, onesies, bandanas and the cutest sleepers. What makes the line stand out, however, are the details on each piece: patterned bows on girls’ shirts, soother clips on onesies and bandanas and full-on ties to make your little man look like a little man. The colours were interesting and edgy, and the style completely unapologetic about eschewing the cutesy-baby look. Around $20 for a bandana and $30 for a T-shirt means that this creeps up into gift range (unless you make it your splurge of the day), but – boy – will you be the hit of the party when you show up with this.
As some of you may know, I’ve been testing several brands of cloth diapers for about three months now. It’s been a long process because there are about a kazillion brands of cloth diapers out there – with as many accessories – and I really want to showcase the best of the best. So keep an eye out for a comprehensive look at cloth diapering coming soon to a screen near you. If these funky fluff diapers work as well as the owner says they do, you can bet you’ll see them make my lineup. At only $19.99 per diaper (which is definitely on the lower end of the price scale when it comes to cloth diapers), they come with everything you need even for overnight leak protection. Available with a bamboo liner (which is really soft against baby’s bare bottom), the funky fluff ladies are so sure you’ll love these cloth diapers that they guarantee them. It’s the only 3-in-1 cloth diaper I’ve ever seen, too, meaning you can use it like an “all-in-one”, “all-in-two” AND “pocket diaper.” What I’m most interested to test out, however, is the company’s claim that I can just toss the whole diaper into the washing machine without disassembling it and the liners will work their way out of the pocket on their own.
If you’ve read my review of BOOB Design’s nursing tops, you know I’m a big fan of functional nursingwear. I made the mistake of wearing a “normal” shirt today to the BabyTime Show, and of course Miss Q requested a sip of the good stuff. I’m not shy, but trying to lift a boob out of one’s inflexible neck-hole is definitely not ideal. When I happened upon this new nursingwear company called Luna, I was a bit smitten. This bamboo sweater somehow manages not to look like a bruise despite its black and blue combination – in fact, quite the opposite. It’s gorgeous. And the clever, stylish snaps down both sides of the neck are genius. I’d wear this post-breastfeeding, 100 per cent. Luna also makes maternity clothes.
If you’re ridiculously wealthy or just have $3,000 you’re itching to spend, then let me introduce you to Gaultier Furniture and its kids’ collection – a very eco-friendly company that manufactures everything in France. Although I’d personally never spend three large on anything for a child’s bedroom, this was definitely the most eye-catching thing I saw at the BabyTime Show. Part of the Calico collection, the Playhouse Bed features a lower level with a bed and storage drawers; what lives on top, accessible by ladder, is truly unique – a play fort. With clean lines, kid-friendly colours and Danish-inspired space-saving sensibilities, Gaultier Kids makes an impact. Oh, I should mention that the price includes delivery and set-up…does that help?
The 8th annual BabyTime Show is on from today until Sunday, November 11 in the north building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. I’d love to hear what you found to covet yourself or what you busted out the plastic for!