The Purpose of Baby Shows and Parenting Conferences

by Jessica Martin-Weber
This post made possible by the generous sponsorship of The Baby Show.

When my first baby was born I was overwhelmed with the amount of information I needed to learn when it came to caring for my baby. Initially I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult but then I learned I had to be careful how I laid her down, that car seat installation should be checked by a professional (and that there are professionals for that!), that there was a right and wrong way to introduce foods, and that there were products that would help me parent but could potentially harm my baby so Jeremy and I agonized over picking out a bouncy seat, carrier, swing, stroller, and even crib sheets. Let alone how we were going to raise our child.

So when baby number two came along I was relieved I wouldn’t have that anxiety to deal with, I had figured everything out, right? Wrong. Recommendations had changed, even laws had been updated, and some of the products I had for my first I learned had been recalled! Not to mention the things it turns out I never knew and did “wrong” with my first. Then she was born and was such a completely different little person she hated the carrier that my first had loved, our breastfeeding journey was filled with challenges and I needed a better pump, her sleep needs completely upended what we thought we did and had us scrambling for a different solution beyond “more coffee.”

With the third I wondered what could be next and the only thing I was really confident about was that I only kind of knew what I was doing and that everything could be drastically different territory.  I needed a different way of figuring out my options depending on what was thrown my way.

Now, mom to 6 kids, I’ve learned that there are few silver bullet products out there (almost none) and lots of different favorites, nor is there one specific method that will make everything just so for parents. Every child, every parent, every situation is different. Sometimes we can’t get or do the “best” because the “best” changes depending on circumstances. The three most valuable acquisitions I’ve made for my parenting are information, community, and confidence. The last two of which can be very challenging to come by as a new parent.

For years I was uncomfortable with the idea of mom-targeted events. The idea of hanging out with a bunch of moms talking about pregnancy, birth, and parenting, just sounded kind of terrifying. I wasn’t sure how much there could possibly be to say on those matters and it sounded potentially very emotional, competitive, and expensive. But I was wrong. Though I shied away from such events for a long time, eventually I realized I needed to connect with other parents on the parenting journey and hear from those not only more experienced but also more informed as well as those just figuring things out along the way. Information within the context of community was so much easier to absorb, I discovered. Even better when that community was fun and a mix of people with different backgrounds, areas of interests, and access to various professional experts from health care to product functionality.

Which is why now I love events targeted at helping build community amongst parents with information sharing, education, and connecting with brands that prioritize education for parents to be confident in their decision making. As I’ve experienced and learned more of such events, I get excited when I see more and more parents having access to these opportunities. The online support community is incredible and needed but I can’t deny that there is something about being able to touch each other, get hands on help, hear the voices of those on a similar journey, and look into the eyes of someone that understands. Being in a room buzzing with people excited to grow for their children is a bit intoxicating, awakening the power we all already hold within ourselves as the right parents for our children.

Not all events are created equal and not all events are the right fit for every parent but venturing out into the unknown for a real live connection is worth the risk that it won’t be what you’re really looking for as part of your journey.  Even if you’re not sure, taking time to explore your options and figure out how to get to them can be energizing, the actual experience even revitalizing.

I talk often about different events happening in the States because that’s where I am but today I’m excited to share with you an event taking place in Toronto, Canada in just a week, September 27th and 28th.  The Baby Show, Toronto, brings together the parenting community, speakers and workshop teachers, and brands with products and services that support families focusing on the prenatal and baby and toddler stages of parenting.  We tried to work it out for me to be there this time but it’s just not able to happen so I’ve teamed up with The Baby Show to send SIX pairs of Toronto Leakies (value of $30 each prize) to the show to go and give me the scoop. I want to hear all about this event so grab your partner or a friend and head over there and let me know what you think. The Baby Show features workshops and seminars covering a range of topics from sleep, infant massage, prenatal yoga, starting solids, birth and beyond, breastfeeding, mommy baby dance workout, first aid basics for parents, and more as well as entertainment, contests, giveaways, and shopping.

For those that don’t win, there’s a discount code for Leakies as well for $3 off online tickets using the code: LB14

To be entered, use the widget below and for once, this giveaway is open to Canadian Leakies only! Please note that all winners will be responsible for their own transportation and the winners will be announced on Wednesday, September 24, 2014. Good luck!

The Baby Show Toronto, Canada

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Comments

  1. I would love to goto this baby show in Toronto! We live just outside the city and I have a six month old and a three year old… I baby wear, BREASTFEED, and milk share 🙂 please pick me!!

  2. I’m in Toronto and would LOVE to join other Toronto Leakies and give you the LO-down on what’s UP at the Baby Show next weekend! This will be my fourth Baby Show attended, and each time I learn something new. One of my best girlfriends is expecting her first baby in November. I’d LOVE to take her to the show…

    Wish you could be there so we could meet/hang out/become bestest buds… Wait, is that too stalker-esque?

  3. Indecently have birth to my 2nd and I would love to learn more on tips to manage 2 under 2yrs, sleep training options and managing toddler challenges (e.g. tantrums, independence, etc)

  4. I’d be really excited to go! We’re nearly at the toddler stage and I’m pretty clueless about what I need to know!

  5. I live in Toronto and would be happy to attend!

  6. I’d definitely be interested in breastfeeding, first-aid basics and sleep! As well as something about managing 2 children… for sure!

  7. I’m in Toronto and interested I need to figure out our sleep situation so I’m excited for the sleep consultation! 🙂

  8. Jamie-Lea White says:

    I would love to see what new and innovative products are out there! Esp babywearing gear. I would love to see a seminar on babywearing and learning different carries. I would love to see some advice on working and having a large family and making it work 🙂 having everyone happy and healthy.

  9. Come to the Ottawa one in May? Eh?

  10. We are expecting at the end of October. We’d be interested in the pregnancy and birth areas. Our first kid so would love to attend this show.

  11. Please pick me… I have a 7 weeks baby girl, I would like to attend the parenting seminar learning how to deal with all challenges in raiising her.

  12. I’d like to learn more about sleep and night weaning.

  13. Lisa Mayers says:

    I have a 26 month old and expecting my 2nd in 3 weeks. I want to check out the latest greatest baby and toddler items as well as attend seminars on breastfeeding, sleep training and feeding. Pick me! 🙂

  14. Would love this! I live in Toronto with my three daughters. Currently nursing my third sweet girl who is five months old next week. I’ve been following your page and loving the breastfeeding encouragement and wisdom since I nursed my first baby 4.5 years ago.

  15. Theresa lajoie says:

    I would LOVE the change to go to the baby show!!! I’m currently nursing my 2 baby (I have 4 kids all together!)

  16. Just about to start solids. Would love to see all the feeding options from vendors.

  17. Amber Osborne says:

    Would love to go to this baby show!! We have a 4 yr old and 2 month old so lots of things to look for!

  18. Wasn’t planning on a baby show since this is my second pregnancy. ..but now you’ve got me thinking with this post.

  19. I’m interested in nutrician tips for babies starting solids

  20. Really hoping to win tickets so I can convince DH to go to the show with me. Expecting baby number two and he thinks we have everything we could need.

  21. Hi!! Always a great bog post as usual. I can so relate, I was 19 when I had my first child. I knew nothing and was so overwhelmed. I first thought I was going to bottle feed him, because isn’t that what everyone did. I’m so thankful my Aunt introduced me to breastfeeding and told me all about it and encouraged me to give it a try. I fed him for 18 months and weaned him because everyone told me I should. I was 20 what did I know. Then 4 years later I had my 2nd, everything had changed. We nursed through lots of GI issues. Then I had my 3rd 6 1/2 years later and forget it everything was totally different, then when she was 8 months old I found out I was pregnant again with my 4th. We are now tandem nursing which I knew nothing about but found lots of support thanks to your blog and Facebook page!! Thank you so much for this blog!! I always recently found out carseats expire! Who knew!! Also thanks to your page I found Jamie Grayson and lots of other things!!

  22. I’ve been waiting so long for a good conference to come into my area! If I don’t win, I think I’ll still go !

  23. Emily Wilson says:

    Will be introducing solids soon, interested in baby led weaning. Also looking for great wash to keep her happy and healthy!!

  24. This would be an amazing experience. I have never been. With a one year old and a three year old I’m sureI could learn a lot!

  25. I’m seriously hyperventilating over this!

  26. As a Tandem nursing Mama of two boys (almost 3 and 6 months), AND an aspiring midwife, there is A LOT at this show that I’d like to see 😉

  27. Kristin Baer says:

    I live just outside the city and would love to be your eyes and ears at this year’a baby show! I have a 7 month old and there is so much we have yet to learn!

  28. Arlene Jordan says:

    This is the first time I have ever heard of a Baby Show. I am traveling to Toronto this weekend and by chance I came upon the advertising of this event. I will be traveling by car for 8 hours from Northern Ontario. I have already a 14 and 15 year old boy and a 6 year old girl and am now 29 weeks pregnancy. I am hoping to gain more knowledge in all areas as the laws in Ontario have change a lot since my first Son. I also am from a big family and my siblings have a lot of children so I would like to share with them all the information I have found. This year alone me and my sisters have all been pregnant and three of my sisters have given birth already. I am very excited to attend with my husband and daughter this weekend.

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