Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Second Baby Shower

Red Carpet Entrance -- It's how I roll. 
Having been inaugurated into the world of baby showers last year, when I attended Big City Moms’ L.A. Biggest Baby Shower, I had a more focused mission in mind for my second go-round. While last year I didn’t know what to expect before it arrived, kind of like when I first became a father, this year I was much more prepared, like the second time I became a father, and my goal was to scope out which new parenting essentials might be of most interest to Dude-Fathers.  

The 2014 LA Biggest Baby Shower was held recently at the picturesque Skirball Center in Bel Air, CA, where the last time I visited I did an archaeological dig with the Little Dude. For this visit I also explored with unknown expectations and I left pleasantly surprised by the results. (Much better than that decoy clay pot we found last time.)

Just to make sure I had the energy to make it through a 3-hour-long event after another very short night of sleep thanks to the Junior Dudes, immediately upon entering the venue I jumpstarted my system with some Sprinkles Cupcakes that were sweeter than my kids while at a toy store. Their triple-cinnamon cupcake was epic, BTW.

Since the Junior Dudes seem prone to simultaneous chronic runny noses, allergies and any other conditions that I can classify their nasal leakage as, I was quite intrigued by the new Clearinse Nasal Cleansing System I discovered. My guess is that my boys’ condition likely stems genetically from my own sinus issues, and I know that saline irrigation helps better than anything else since I use it every day myself. As a result, I am eager to try out the Clearinse system the next time they are congested to see how it works, especially since it was created by a Pediatrician who is also a father. Here’s hoping it’s nothing to sneeze at. (Sorry.) 

After checking out the vast selection of stroller and car seat brands from around the world like Peg Perego, Orbit and Quinny at the Shower, and learning about their myriad unique bells-and-whistles, I was most interested in Britax’s new collection of boosters and car seats that are supposed to be super easy to install. Especially since I have never actually installed a car seat, but would like to learn how. Someday. Seriously. 
Britax: Cool gear and smiling faces. 
Daddy and Company was showing another great gift collection for both expectant and experienced fathers. Their Daddy Scrubs remain the one elusive item I wish I’d had before we went into the hospital when Mrs. Dude gave birth, since the hospital-issued scrubs were as comfortable as cardboard covered in paste and made an already nerve-wracking day even more stressful. I also saw some great gift items for Dudes’ Day Fathers’ Day, that I’d like to receive. (Hint, hint) 

I saw some cool new products from Ergo, updates of some items my family doesn’t use anymore and that (briefly) made me want to have another kid. Also, a magical homeopathic elixir called Camilia that is so good at helping relieve teething pain that my Littler Dude, who’d just gotten like 6 teeth in a month when I attended the event, was immediately cured the day after I got home…and I hadn’t even given him the medicine yet. That stuff is nails.

There was one brand at the event which I was both very familiar with and most eager to meet, because I’ve used their product since roughly the day I became a father. When Mrs. Dude was first pregnant, I was totally clueless as to what we actually needed for parenting beside a baby. I told her to register for whatever she wanted and the one thing I’m grateful for is my Diaper Dude diaper bag. Unlike most diaper bags it’s not covered in flowers, paisley or teddy bears and is designed with Dudes in mind. Sold.  I got a sneak preview of some of their new Major League Baseball licensed diaper bags and Dude-and-son matching gift sets. Seriously, these bags are rad and made with Dads in mind, and briefly made me want to have triplets, just for all the new bags.  
The Dude of the House and the Diaper Dude finally meet. Dude!
Now with 2 Biggest Baby Showers under my belt, I can say that there truly is a place at these events for Dudes/Dads both to-be and already-are. There is no shortage of great gear, and thankfully there is a vast enough assortment of vendors to really gain an objective view of the market, which is really the most important thing, IMO. Just because one stroller is great for me, it might not be for you. That’s why the Biggest Baby Showers are truly valuable, because you can meet the people who truly know the ins and outs of the products, because in many cases they created them! Every baby is different and so are their needs. Go spend a night with the Big City Moms when they hit your town and find what’s right for you and yours.  

Though I was not compensated for this post, I was given complimentary admission to the Big City Moms’ L.A. Biggest Baby Shower and I thank them for hosting me. All opinions expressed in this post are mine alone, for better or worse.