It's Showtime!

You're having a baby, hooray! Once the initial excitement has died down, your thoughts now turn to "what on Earth do I need for this baby?". A baby show can be a great place to start; you get to see, feel and try the products in your hands and speak to the experts and brands. Way more useful than trying to make sense of the thousands of online reviews of the next best bit of baby gear.

But you've never been to one before. How do you know what to do? Where to go? Will you be hounded to buy everything every time you walk past a stand? Read on for my top tips for attending your first show.

TIMING: Take a look at the show timetable and make a note of any workshops or talks that you're interested in. Don't make a rigid schedule as something is bound to catch your eye, but it can help to have an idea of which sessions are a must do for you. (Did I tell you about that show I went to where I missed the main talk I wanted to attend as I wrote down the wrong time?)

SHOPPING LIST: You may want to get everything you need in one trip, or you may just want to browse to get a feel for things. Make a list of the essentials you're looking for so you don't get carried away, but do remember that these shows will often have exclusive offers so be sure to budget for them! Have a think about what to do with large purchases - can you order to be delivered to home? Or can you easily transport them to your car? Is there somewhere to leave your shopping while you wander round?

YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR DESTINATION: Take a look at the floor plan before you go. Go straight to your must visit stands early, so you've crossed that off the to-do list and the rest of the day is yours to enjoy.

ME TIME: A large show can be tiring or overwhelming, especially if you're pregnant or taking your baby with you. Drink plenty of water through the day and remember to plan in some time to eat and rest. Note where the food and drink is for you and feeding/changing areas for baby. You'll have a much better time if you're feeling rested!

HANDS FREE: No blog post from me would be complete without saying USE A SLING! A sling or carrier gives you your hands free for shopping, makes navigating the aisles easier and keeps little one calm and close in an unfamiliar environment.

I'll be providing the show sling library at the Babytodd Sussex Baby Show on 12-13 October. Pop in and say hi, leave your buggy in the buggy park and borrow a sling to use during the show. If you love your sling so much at the end of the day you can buy one to take home too!