Jamie Grayson—known as the BabyGuy—is a nationally beloved expert in baby products and is the founder of the the BabyGuy Gear Guide. Not only is he well-regarded, but parents also really enjoy him, which is why his Facebook community is an incredible phenomenon. What’s more, he will be the keynote speaker at the New York Baby Show on May 14th and 15th, at Pier 92.
The nation’s biggest show for expectant and new families, the New York Baby Show is a wonderful family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler. From top products to trusted parenting experts, the New York Baby Show welcomes thousands of expectant and new parents from New York City, the Tri-State area, and beyond!
Tickets to the New York Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.
We caught up with Jamie to learn more about his work and what he has in store for parents at the New York Baby Show!
For an expectant or new parent who is unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what The BabyGuy Gear Guide is all about?
My site is just an extension of my Facebook page and my life. I never wanted it to be an encyclopedia of baby products—other people can do that, I don’t care. There’s too much out there and there’s too much clutter, so having an edited site is much more efficient. If it’s on there, it’s on there for a reason—not just to be a “review.”
What really inspires you to pursue this work, and what do you love about it?
I have sisters 20 years younger than me, and I’ve always jokingly been called the Baby Whisperer because I’ve always been good with kids. I was an actor and on tour for years, as well as [working on] a few shows in NYC, but I knew that eventually when my knees gave out from doing “CATS” too many times I would go into teaching. I was fortunate to have incredible teachers growing up, so I needed to pay that back. What I do know is [this job] is a perfect combination of entertaining people and educating them. [It’s] incredibly fulfilling and I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life right now.
Last year you launched the babyguybox, a monthly box of baby goods that you curate and offer at a deep discount compared to the retail price. How does it work?
The box! It’s a blast. It’s an insane amount of work, but it’s fun. We launched it in the summer of 2015 and the first month sold out in three minutes. It was nuts. We like to think of it as a “boutique in a box” because not everyone has access to cool specialty stores to find items. So we find them for you. We are integrating subscription soon, but right now the best way to find out when they go on sale is to follow my Facebook page or the babyguybox Facebook page.
Some of our readers might not realize that you also have experience working with lactation consultants and early childhood parenting experts. What can expectant and new parents expect from you at the New York Baby Show? What topics will you cover in your keynote talk on shopping for baby products? You’re also doing a separate talk both days with Shari Criso, a well-regarded expect on child birth, breastfeeding, and baby care. What will those chats focus on?
I’m very excited to be making an appearance in NYC… It’s going to be an hour of me chatting about car seat safety, strollers, babywearing, and other products—and full of Q&A. And I am very excited to be doing a Q&A with Shari Criso. I’ve known her for years and we do a monthly Q&A Live on my Facebook page where we answer anything and everything that pops up. She’s a wealth of information, we get along famously, and I trust her.
Babywearing is one of your big passions. Why? Also, what’s your sense of it? Has it caught on as much with dads as it has with moms?
I love babywearing! I could give you a giant list of reasons why, but it’s truly a game-changer for urban parents. As much as I love strollers, they can be a giant pain in the ass on subways and buses. Wearing your baby makes navigating the city much easier. Don’t get me wrong, there are definite pluses to having a great stroller, but babywearing is just easy. As it becomes a bit more mainstream, I see dads wearing constantly. It’s great. There’s nothing like a sleeping baby on your chest.
Finally, as well-regarded as you are for your expertise in baby gear, and early parenting, part of your appeal is that you cultivate a fun, relaxed vibe. We know of no other baby product expert whose motto is “Conquering Baby Products & Life One Cocktail At A Time.” So we have to ask: What’s your favorite cocktail?
I love a great IPA. Or wine. Or bourbon. Or anything. I’m not picky. But I am a giant beer nerd, so [my] move to Denver has been a glorious thing for many reasons.