These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Thinkstock Negotiating the assault course of toddlers and pushchairs outside the Baby Show at Olympia in west London I am eager to see what all the fuss is about. Parents are spending more than ever on their children. Sales of baby products such as furniture, clothes and food are rocketing. Be the best The pressure to provide the best is clear when you take a look at popular parenting discussion site Mumsnet.
The number of threads in the forum about how much to spend on various items is staggering. And as new entries to the market bring different ideas and innovative products, the spending pressure on parents grows even more. Image caption Family-run business East Coast has been selling cots for 55 years Take cots, for example.
As with any parent, Alison had baby-proofed her home for the arrival of her now 18 month-old twins, Libby and Caleb. Katherine My twins are 9 months old. Like a picnic bench, they sit at it for everything — painting sessions, mealtimes, you name it.
The decision to buy one should be simple. A baby needs somewhere to sleep.
But should the child be in a Moses basket or crib before a full-size cot? Do you also need baby positioner supports? What about the wide variety of pods, wraps, pillows, mats and even "nests" available out there? The choices are overwhelming. Sleeping easy Jenny Ward, director of services at the Lullaby Trust, which provides expert advice on safer baby sleep, is very clear on what is required.
They need a firm, flat, waterproof mattress. Bedding must not be too loose as it could become a danger by covering their head and it must not make the baby too warm," she says. Beyond that, she says it is up to parents to make decisions on the type of cot that fits in with their lifestyle. Image caption Chicco Next 2 Me cots on display at the Baby Show Some of the biggest sellers at John Lewis are cots where the side drops down completely, allowing a mother to have it positioned almost as an extension of her own bed.
Image caption The Bunkcot Company designs two-tier cots On the cot market you can also find: The showroom in Harrods, Kensington, is a sight to behold. Its cots are, quite literally, fit for a future king. The Arab and Russian markets are very important for the brand.
Made of solid carat gold it takes six months to build and weighs kg. He is currently working on a special project for the Dubai royal family. Child trend setters There is no doubt that celebrity endorsements and trends are followed closely by parents these days.
Generally speaking, whatever Harper Beckham, the Kardashian kids and other famous tots wear sells out. The same is true of sleeping arrangements.
Sales immediately picked up. Image copyright Blue Almonds Image caption A Blue Almonds Moses basket Beyond the products we would all think of as traditional for a sleeping baby, the market has exploded in recent years.
From cushions and pads, designed to keep a baby in a particular position, to pods, hammocks and cocoons all meant to recreate an enclosed "womb-like" sleeping environment, the list is endless.
At the Baby Show some 31 stalls are categorised as selling "sleeping" products. Jenny Ward from the Lullaby Trust says these items are simply "not necessary".
Desperate times But for a desperate parent, with a child who just will not sleep, anything is worth a try. One such story is what led Charlotte Marshall to design the Poddle Pod. In November her son Deacon was born. While the Poddle Pod is not recommended for overnight sleeping, there are other similar products on the market which are.
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