This is a guest post by Hellobee community member loopedd.
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I saw the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower Ever event mentioned on Hellobee before I was pregnant, and thought it looked like fun for a first-time mom. I liked the idea of seeing new gear and learning some tricks, and let’s be honest — getting some free stuff! I had heard that the ticket, while not cheap, would pay for itself, and my experience bore that out.
The vendors represented pretty much any baby-related product or service you could think of — gear like strollers, car seats, high chairs, monitors and carriers; anything related to breastfeeding or formula-feeding (samples of bottles/formula brands, nursing bras, breastmilk storage gear); baby clothes, shoes, and toys; maternity clothes and comfy shoes; a pediatrics office; swaddle blankets; diapers (cloth and disposable); baby food; bakeries; lots of cord blood banking services… even a booth for the National Honey Board!
I did learn a lot, though a lot of my registry decisions were already made before I went. Still, it was fun to see the products I have been researching for months! And there were things I didn’t know existed (like a quarterly toy delivery service!) and products that I knew of but wasn’t interested in before I saw them at the event (like the Baby Bjorn bouncer) that have made their way onto my registry!
We played lots of little games at each vendor station (pick a lollipop and if it has an orange dot on the bottom, you win this humidifier!) and I went to one seminar on Baby Gear. The speakers tried out brand new gear and demonstrated their favorite things, giving tips and tricks. The one seminar I went to was good – I liked all of the topics but it didn’t seem like there was time to do everything!
I won this Tommee Tippee Close to Nature Perfect Prep Formula Machine by spinning a prize wheel at the Tommee Tippee booth, and this Safety 1st TechTouch Digital Color Video Monitor at the Babies R Us booth. I also got an email saying that I would be getting a prize from Britax shipped to me in January, so we will see about that!
It was well-organized and planned out and actually more fun than I thought it would be! My husband couldn’t join because of work so I brought a non-pregnant girlfriend to help me carry everything – a must! We actually really enjoyed visiting all the booths and sampling all the tasty food. There were plenty of beverage stations and savory snacks like sliders and mac & cheese, and of course lots of sweet treats throughout like cupcakes and chocolates. The vendors were well spaced out and it wasn’t overcrowded.
I got a Couples Super Pass that totaled around $195 – it admits two people and gets you one gift bag. My ticket included a Beco Gemini carrier in addition to the gift bag filled with samples, bottles, onesies, diapers, bibs, formula, swaddle blankets, body lotions, nursing pads, teethers, snacks, coupons, you name it. The ticket also gets you a Bingo card, which gets you a random prize when you complete it. Mine was a travel cot.
I would recommend this event (they have events in New York and Los Angeles in 2015), but really only to first-time moms. Moms of 1+ kids will likely have lots of gear already and opinions on what works best for them and their families. This was a great way to gather information and help you make decisions. For example, should I use bottles, I have about 8 different types of bottle samples to use to help me figure out what works for my baby. I also feel like I know about as much as I can about baby gear from reading Hellobee and doing other research — if you’re starting from scratch this is an especially great place to try out products in person in a fairly relaxed environment (I didn’t feel a tough sell from any vendor). Big City Moms sent out a list of tips and tricks before the event — if you go, follow them! A pre-printed sheet of name/address/email labels saved me from writing my info down a hundred times!