Baby Expos – A trip of confusion

I’ve wanted to write this post for a while but it kept slipping my mind! Oops, naughty me. Being a first time mom, I went through the stage of visiting every expo that came to town. I felt like I needed to be there because that’s the only place where I would get all things baby in one place. Well… that was true but what happened was even more confusing! I visited on different days (weekday and weekend) and you would think on a thursday the baby city stand would be quiet but no, there was a looooong line of parents with trolleys of nappies waiting to pay. I understand we all want to buy nappies when it’s on sale but is it worth it for a 7 month pregnant mom to stand in a line for an hour to buy 3 bags of nappies?


Many of us think expos are SALES and unfortunately that isn’t really true, yes you do get many items at a cheaper price but there’s a few which actually stay the same. Baby expo’s are brilliant for brands, it’s the first place a pregnant woman would think of going when she’s preparing for her first-born but is it the place to shop? YES and NO.

NO, Why?

1. When you’re pregnant or have a toddler running around with you among 3000 other parents, it can become quite frustrating.

2. You’re only at aisle 3 and already tired with sore feet.

3. Information overload and every product is the ‘best’.

4. The line for nappies is extremely long but you choose to stand in it just to save R100 (assuming amount).

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate baby expos but I don’t love them either.

I was totally confused when I went to my first one, every sales person gave me a valid reason on why I needed to buy their product but did I really need it? They were doing their job, it was for me to think if I really needed it but I was confused. How can I not trust a professional? How would I know what I needed? Each family is different and we all have different parenting styles, many of us don’t use the same brands or products on our kids. I think we forget what’s important to purchase and we buy what we ‘think’ we need.

A baby expo is a great place to be introduced to new brands, I connected with many brands I never knew existed however there’s so many brands selling similar products, it becomes very difficult when choosing.

What I’ve learnt from visiting a gazillion expos:

Before you visit, make sure you’ve done your research and made a list. I suggest making 2 lists.

1. Priorities

2. Luxuries

Yes, even with babies there are luxury products. Go with a budget in mind and an amount you can exceed.

1. Make a list.

Decided what’s important to get at the expo and visit those stands first.

baby shopping list2. Research

It’s important you have a little background info about the brands that will be exhibiting at the expo. A great way to learn about them is visiting their websites and social media pages.

3. Read Reviews

See what other moms are saying about these products. Get advice from those who already used the brand.

4. Judge

You need to ask yourself a dozen questions.

Is it going to work for your parenting style?

Is it a need or want?

Is it worth the price?

Can I get it for the same price or cheaper somewhere else?

I’ve learnt to use baby expo’s as an educational environment, I visit to learn about different and new brands. This is the best place to speak to directly to the brand! Go there with a page filled with questions if you have too because they will answer them. Use the opportunity to test, feel and try the product. Many of us see something online and think it’s what we need but when it arrives, it’s not exactly what we wanted.

At the expo you can learn about how 1 product, (example a crib) has so many brands associated with it and at different price ranges. I visited 3 baby expos before I bought my essentials for Kitana and I still ended up buying things I regret because I never researched.

Moms, expos give you an opportunity to connect with the brands. Become a reviewer for the day and decide what fits in your budget. Remember, you don’t need to buy something because it’s on ‘sale’….Some ‘sale’ items can be a waste of money.

Top South African Baby Expos:

Mama Magic

Mama Magic Baby expo South Africa

Kids and Baby

Kids and baby expo South Africa

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2014-10-25 / 12:44

    These are really good tips. I’ve never been to a baby expo, but I can imagine that it would be overwhelming, especially to a first time mom who doesn’t really know what she will and won’t need. I bought things for my first baby that I never ended up using, but by my third, I knew I’d pretty much be good to go with some onesies and a box of diapers. I like your idea of going as a reviewer. It’s a great way to connect with brands and then later you can decide what you want and don’t want.

  2. 2014-10-25 / 16:54

    Great tips! I went to a few baby expos when I lived in Austin but I, too, found them overwhelming! The biggest benefit to me was getting introduced to new brands and products. I very rarely bought anything because it was expensive.

  3. 2014-10-26 / 16:53

    They always seemed overwhelming to me too!

  4. It's Dog or Nothing
    2014-10-26 / 22:03

    I went to a pet expo and was completely overwhelmed. I can’t imagine a baby expo!

  5. 2014-10-27 / 04:14

    I’ve never been to a baby expo. When I was pregnant with #4, I ignored the fact the baby was coming until I realized the baby was due in 5 weeks and we had NOTHING! I’d gotten rid of everything after baby #3. At least I knew what I needed!

  6. 2014-10-27 / 04:50

    I’ve never been to a baby expo and I’m pretty sure I never will. I agree that too many options and lots of people are a disaster in the making when you are pregnant and tired.

  7. 2014-10-27 / 07:31

    Great tips! I have never been to a baby expo. I am the type of person who would need these tips before entering as I am pretty sure I am one who would get easily frustrated.

  8. 2014-10-27 / 15:22

    I’ve actually never been to a baby expo, but it sounds like it would have been right up my alley if I had known about them! I am a product-researcher, too… love finding the best thing for my family’s needs. If I had known about expos, I probably would have felt much the same as you. I’m sure the tired and crowded factors would have been challenging!

    • Shan
      2014-10-27 / 21:16

      I love going just for research, and it sounds like you have a interesting job :D… Thanks for reading.

  9. 2014-10-29 / 16:53

    I’ve never been to an expo yet, but I would love to attend one someday! This is a great list to keep handy!

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