Dramatic snow across much of the country made travel difficult and meant a quiet start for this year's spring Baby Show at London's ExCeL - but things were in full swing for the weekend, and those who braved the journey were rewarded with an impressive array of brand-new products from right across the industry.
As we've come to expect, many of the launches were compact strollers, with pushchair companies continuing to develop faster, easier, smaller folds, lighter frames and stylish packages that refuse to compromise on aesthetics, comfort and little touches of luxury in the bid to downsize.
The Mima Zigi is a super-smart and contemporary-looking stroller, created for mini globetrotters, and available in the UK now in this striking charcoal and silver combination. Folding one-handed with a pull of a lever and a flick of the wrist, it comes down to 56x45x25cm, small enough to be accepted as cabin luggage on most airlines.
The Roma Capsule is a tiny 4.9kg and designed for adventures on the move with little ones aged 6 months to 3 years. It's priced at £140 and comes in grey with a black chassis or a more unusual brown tweed on an oyster chassis (part of Roma's new Tweed colour palette, available to pre-order now for May, which also gives a cool country vibe to the Moda 2-in-1 pram, Vita travel system and Rizzo pushchair). We particularly like the way that the Capsule folds to make the bumper bar double up as a sturdy carry handle.
UPPAbaby introduced its most compact stroller yet - and proved that doesn't mean having to sacrifice versatility and space where it's needed. Available later this spring in a lovely range of colours, the MINU boasts a great-size, easy-access basket and transforms into a lightweight pram with the addition of the From Birth bassinet kit. It is also compatible with UPPAbaby's own MESA infant car seat as well as Maxi-Cosi models.
Babyzen's recent collaboration with Air France was also on display in London, delivering what has to be the most chic version yet of the already neat and stylish YOYO.
The new Tutti Bambini Koji cleverly provides a real sense of space within a compact package. Designed for everyday life in the city, it offers a compact, single-hand fold for ease on public transport, generous shopping basket, and a host of the luxury touches for comfort and convenience that you might expect from a bigger pushchair.
The curvaceous egg stroller never fails to turn heads, and the newer, smaller member of its flock - the Quail - showed it also had the wow factor at the ExCeL, with many people checking it out 'in the flesh' for the first time since its arrival on the market at the end of last year. While it offers much of the style and functionality of the egg in more compact form, the Quail's interchangeable back panels with their diverse range of colours and textures, really caught the attention.
Of course, it wasn't all a case of the smaller, the better. The brand-new Bugaboo Fox was inescapable, with a constant flow of visitors keen to try its innovative features and ultra-smooth drive for themselves.
ABC Design had its beautifully styled new Salsa 4 pushchair on show, with its seriously luxurious fabrics available in a range of lovely natural shades.
Tutti Bambini's just-launched single-to-tandem Arlo was also drawing interest. Its innovative open seat unit offers lots of room - a big plus for those with larger babies and toddlers - and the concept of purchasing fabric packs separately to the chassis allows for easier customisation or updating. The name is also proving a hit with parents who have a little Arlo of their own to push!
We were excited to see the DEMI grow, another single-to-tandem which marks the very first pushchair for two from celebrity favourite Nuna. It is officially launched on March 13th.
Colours for 2018
There must have been at least 50 shades of grey on display! This colour - smart, urban, forgiving and unisex - isn't going anywhere.
Kiddy launched its brand-new Grey Melange range across its car seats. This really does feel lovely and comes with tiny touches of vivid green, red or orange (or less vivid but uber-classy icy grey) to lift it out of the ordinary.
Dove Grey one of only four colours for the 2018 iCandy Peach, on show at ExCeL and expected in stores next month. This iconic pushchair, known in the past for an array of popping colours, looks like it has come of age with a host of new features and a classic, grown-up palette of the Dove Grey, Beluga (black), Indigo and Damson. There's even the option of a stunning dark matte grey chassis colour, called Phantom, alongside Satin and the high-shine chrome we associate with the Peach.
The aforementioned Salsa 4 is available in different tones and textures of grey, as well as an unusual muted green and subtle brown, while the new Joie Signature range, which encompasses pushchairs and car seats, marries a rich grey padded in plush block-quilting with complementary shades and detailing in beautifully aged faux leather. The overall effect is deluxe.
Don't worry! If grey's not your thing, there were plenty of brilliant grab-your-sunglasses brights around too.
The dramatic new Maxi-Cosi Frequency Pink shade is certainly eye-catching (no one's losing that car seat!) and, like the Recaro Power Berry, guaranteed to be a hit with parents and little girls who want something with a bit more attitude than candy floss!
And just check out the vibrancy of this new Royal Blue colourway for the much loved and lusted-after Mima Xari - bringing a flash of summer to wintry days in London!
Also livening things up and frogmarching us all into spring was the February-launched Kiddy Evoluna i-Size 2 in its glowing array of colours. The new model shares its predecessor's patented omni lie-flat function, which allows an upright or flat sleeping position in the car, along with its leading safety score, and comes in Spring Green, Summer Blue and Chilli Red among others.
On the subject of standing out from the crowd, there was a bit of celebrity-spotting going on between demos. Amy Childs took to the stage with her latest designs for Roma Prams, with super-cute daughter Polly watching from the front row, Binky Felstead was also speaking at the event and spent time on the Cybex stand, while Love Island's Cara de la Hoyde was snapped trying out the Bebecar Spot Plus with baby Freddie.