Freelance writer, mum of two who loves living in sunny Perth.
Are you thinking about starting a family or do you already have one? Maybe you're pregnant and just starting out on the journey to parenthood. Either way, this expo is a great way to nab some freebies, speak to the experts, and find out about the latest innovations and gadgets to suit your needs. Coming to Perth in August, this is one to mark on the calendar now.
Come and find out all you need to know about pregnancy, babies and children. Image courtesy of Pregnancy, Babies and Children Expo
When and Where? Where: Claremont Showgrounds Exhibition Centre - free parking.
Friday 10th August to Sunday 12th August 2012 Open: Friday 10am - 4pm (last admission 3pm) Saturday and Sunday 10am - 5pm (last admission 4pm) Top Tip: Go early if you want to get a head start on the crowds. This is one crazy popular event and if you've got specific stalls you want to get around, either head very early in the day or late in the afternoon. With many of the expo visitors bringing prams and pushchairs with them, it does become a bit packed in and difficult to move around during peak hours.
Entry free is $15 per adult with children under 14 FREE.
Top Tip: Look out for the free entry tickets available online and at many leading baby stores.
What's There? In the land of all things baby and children related, it really might be easier to define what's not there as there is so much to see and do. You'll find hundreds of exhibitors showing off their product ranges or service offering. Everything from children's food, clothing, baby carriers, pushchairs, photographers, nursery equipment, baby toilettries, pregnancy care products, toys, nappies, childrens books and clothing for you and your children.
A lot of the big name exhibitors give away some really great freebies, I came home last year with enough baby wash to last me a good six months in addition to free nappies, trial size baby shampoos, nappy creams, breast pads, baby food and baby formula. For the stands not offering you freebies; there are some good discounts to be had. Most of the stands that are selling products have some great introductory offers on and these can save you many dollars particularly on the bigger ticket items such as prams and nursery furniture.
Top Tip: Do your home work so you know which stands are there, and where they are located. Sign up for the newsletter before the event so that you know which discounts are available and what you might be able to buy. There are cash machines available, but the queues can be horrendous so I would advise bringing some cash with you.
It's not just about the stalls and fabulous products on offer. There are some great talks and expert advice to be sought out. For the pregnant or new mother expo goer, there's a fabulous midwives pregnancy lounge, manned by qualified midwives able to answer your personal questions on child birth, breast feeding and the whole child bearing process.
There is also an education centre that throughout the expo offer guest speakers on a variety of topics covering all aspects of pregnancy and caring for a family.
You'll also be able to visit a growing number of Perth's family support groups at the expo who you can chat to face to face to get first hand advice rather than having to trawl through all of the various websites.
Top Tip: Keep looking at the website to find out what guest speakers are on for 2012, so you can plan your day around these sessions. Tickets are valid for three days, so you can do multiple visits to see the speakers that you really don't want to miss.
Coming with Kids?
There is free entertainment planned for kids throughout the day, and this is a very popular with the little people. You (or your little folk) can look forward to seeing Dorothy the Dinosaur and Captain Feathersword on thethe main stage at various times throughout the expo. Additionally, there are some designated play areas for kids in addition to the Old MacDonald Animal Farm where you can get up close and personal with some lambs, rabbits and other (small) farmland animals. This was a real hit with the youngsters last year, so if your little one has their heart set on stroking a lamb, you might want to make this first on your hit list.
If you are bringing tiny babies with you, look on the map for the numerous baby changing areas (where you can get a free nappy) in addition to feeding areas, including private breastfeeding rooms.
Dorothy the Dinosaur - image courtesy of the Pregnancy and Baby and Children's Expo
Top Tip: This is a full on expo; so much to see and do. Use the guide you recieve to help navigate yourself around the expo and ensure you don't miss out on what you came for. As the tickets are valid for all three days of the expo, you could stagger your visit, so you're not on your feet for a whole day trying to cram too much into your time. The other bonus of coming back on multiple days; more freebies. I've found food choices to be a little limited at the expo, so bring a packed lunch if you want to avoid lunch queues.