Saturday, 19 November 2011

{Product Focus} Babys First Calender - A Handy Gift To Give!

We are always on the look out for new products, interesting ideas and things that will plain and simple, make life as a parent easier!  Which is why, when we were contacted about stocking Babys First Calender, we were initially intrigued as to what made it different. 

Looks good, but what else?
I felt like we couldn't sell something we hadn't tried out.  So, having a tiny baby myself, I took it upon myself to look into it further!  On taking it out the box, it looks like a wall chart, which isn't a bad thing!  I do like a bit of organisation, but in my baby's room?  I'll be honest, I wasn't sure.  However, I was impressed with the tag line, "Special Days, Safer Nights", anything that gave me even the tiniest piece of mind would help and The Baby's First Calendar has a thermometer attached, which wasn't going to slip behind a chest of drawers or get lost within a week of me moving it from room to room (I had a little thing about temperatures when both my children were born as the weather was so warm when they arrived!).

Peace of mind if nothing else!
The other thing that I liked about it, is that, once it was up on the wall, I wasn't going to forget about it!!  Call me a bad parent, but I started baby books with the best of intentions, recording their arrival religiously, when they first slept through the night etc. etc.  However, by about six months, maybe due to sleep depriavtion and sheer exhaustion, I'd kind of forgotten to record stuff *hangs head in shame*.

However, Baby Calendar, with its handy milestone stickers (including first tooth, first smile, first laugh, first shoes) that you use with the calendar, it was an easy way to remember to record things and always on hand because it was on the wall!  Perfect!  If only I'd known about this when I had my first, I might have a more comprehensive record of her first year (sorry Maddy!).

And last but not least, its different!  Definitely a unique present for someone expecting.  Makes a change from socks and baby grows, which are useful, but usually given in abundance.

We hope you agree and if you've bought Babys First Calendar from us, we'd love to hear what you think!


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

{Top Tip Tuesday} Toddler Tantrums

We come across so much "baby info" during the course of the day, we thought we'd put it together and share this info, in what will now be known as Top Tip Tuesday!

Today, a subject close to our hearts here at LTBS HQ - Toddler Tantrums.  We have two toddlers between us, so understanding and being able to deal with toddler tantrums is something we are VERY interested in. 

Every parent dreads the day their seemingly placid, smiling baby, will throw the mother-and-father-of-all tantrum.  It usually happens in a busy supermarket or packed out restaurant. 

Here are some useful tips in dealing with the dreaded, but inevitable, toddler tantrums.

1. Try To Work Out Why - A big part of why a toddler is having a tantrum in the first place, could be out of sheer frustration.  They are no longer a baby, but neither are they able to communicate well enough, their wants and needs.  Try to figure out why your toddler is having a tantrum - is she tired?  Is she hungry?  Is she bored?  You can then work on avoiding this in the future.

2. Choices, Choices - Try giving your toddler choices where possible - i.e. playing inside or outside, watching tv or looking at a book.  This can help give your toddler the little bit of  independence they long for!

"Forget the tantrums, Im trying to make a quick escape"

3. Distract - Distraction is as good a technique as any!  If you feel your toddler is on the verge of a meltdown i.e. if another child has taken a toy from them, try distracting them with something else - a "better" toy or a cuddle from mummy usually does the trick.

4. Ignore it! - Remember, ALL parents have been through it.  No one will mind your little one having a tantrum, infact, for most it will bring back memories of their own!  As long as your little one is safe i.e. strapped into a buggy, try ignoring their shouts and tantrums.  You may find it dies down as quickly as it started!

We hope you've found those helpful.  Feel free to share your top tips for dealing with tantrums!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Back From Holiday!

And what a holiday it was!  Was a bit dubious about taking the little ones to Turkey for ten days.  It was littlest ones first time abroad and my five year olds first holiday she could remember so we were determined to make it a good one. 

I will admit, it was stressful in parts but a lovely time was had by all and we were sad to leave.  I wont bore you with reams of holiday photos, but here's a few just to show us having a good time!

The weather was fab, the girls had an amazing time and as you can see, the food was exotic! 

Got lots to do here at LTBS HQ now that we're back, including adding more to our sale section, some improvements to the site and some lovely winter stuff!

Now that the dark nights are here, all I can think about is wooly jumpers and ugg boots!  Keep an eye on the site for lots of lovely stuff for your little one this winter.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

A Few Questions

The weekend at last!  Infact we're half way through but its gone by in a flash and I dont quite know why?!

Anyway, thought I'd share an interview I did for Sonia at Mummy Loves blog.  She asked some fab questions and hope you feel you know us a little better by the end of it!!

Rhiannon from Little Tots Baby Shop is our mumpreneur feature this morning! Fab idea Rhiannon :O)

Who are you?
My name is Rhiannon and I'm 29 years old, married mummy of two little girls.  I'm originally from Barry, South Wales.  The home of Gavin and Stacey!

What do you do?
I run an online baby shop called Little Tots Baby Shop.

When did you establish your business?
Very recently!  November 2010.

What made you start your own business?
After having my second daughter in April 2010 I didn't want to go back to the mundane 9-5 that I'd done previously.  I wanted to do something that I enjoyed, that could be done from home but also meant I could look after my children and not have to worry about what work would say if one of them was sick, had the doctors, something unexpected happened as it always does when you have children!
I am completely besotted by my children and I know every mother out their feels the same.  I love dressing them up in pretty dresses, smart outfits and lovely tops but have never been able to afford (or justify) some of the prices out there.  I started buying bits for my girls from eBay but got frustrated when I got outbid on something!  So I started up Little Tots Baby Shop selling pre-loved clothes in as new condition at a fraction of the cost.  I spent my maternity leave sourcing stock from family and friends, car boots etc.  I have a very good eye for detail so make sure everything we stock is in as good a new quality.  There is nothing on the site that I wouldn't put on my own children (apart from maybe the boys stuff but you know what I mean!)
My sister is also part of the company and we have recently registered as a Limited company and hope to soon bring in a product that helps babies with colic.  Its something close to our hearts as we have both had children who have had colic and know how harrowing it can be listening to your child scream for hours on end.  So its all very busy and all very exciting!

What do you love about working for yourself?
I love doing something I enjoy rather than doing something because it pays the bills.  I love the flexibility I've got and can work around my girls - I take my oldest to school every day and look after my littlest one.  I'd never be able do that if I went back to office work.
I also love meeting new mums that are similar to me in that they've started their own business and want to make it work.  I attend a welsh mums in business networking event once a month and there's no one more determined than a mum starting her own business!
I'm also loving the marketing side of business.  Its fun networking and trying to get your name out there and thinking of new ways to do so!

Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
The money isn't great at the moment but hopefully we'll get there.  Its still very early days and I'm still getting the name out there!  My determination and passion for what I do more than compensates and staying home with my children is amazing, I love it!  My oldest one makes my littlest one laugh all the time and after a hard day or not many sales, it makes me realise why I do this. 

Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
I'd buy a digital camera from the start!  I've got a good one but need to buy a better one as some of the photos on the site don't do the clothes justice.

What advice would you give to a Mum considering starting her own business?
Do it!  I would rather try and fail than sit at my desk doing my boring job, wondering about what could have been.
If you have an idea, research it and if you think its viable go for it.  I was trapped in my job for a long time because the money was so good and I was scared of failing.  Now we've just pulled our belts in a little now and my husband is so happy I'm home with our girls.  


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A Very Nice Review

Before we had our own blog (and if Im honest, before I truly understood the blogging world) we were reviewed on a lovely mummy blog.  Mummy of 3 Diaries gives honest reviews of products and sites she comes across. She has three beautiful children and her blog is well worth a read! 

Here is the review she wrote about LTBS when we were only a few months old!

There are thousands of online shops now where you can buy baby clothes from but whilst i was looking the other day i came across this sweet little shop called Little Tots Baby Shop. Its only a small shop but it has some really beautiful clothes at really affordable prices and they offer free UK delivery on all orders too.They are a family run business and pride themselves on excellent customer service as well as selling beautiful items at an affordable price. They sell both new and preloved baby clothes, baby items, toys and maternity clothes. They have got clothes for girls and boys from birth up to age 5. If you get a chance you should take a look at some of the lovely items they have and even better news is that have currently got a sale on at the moment too. The clothes for sale are updated regularly so keep checking back too see whats new and who knows you could find a bargain for yourself.
We were really pleased with such a lovely review and hope to bring you more glowing reviews soon!  The business has grown since that review with hundreds more items added and LOADS more being added every week.  Why not take a look?!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Such A Lovely Cause

Here at LTBS HQ we get approached by lots of companies and charities asking for donations to help with fundraising.  Each charity is for a wonderful cause but, as a small business, it would be impossible to help them all.  It would bankrupt us before we really start!

However, we were approached on Twitter by @LittleTreasures who said she is running an online auction to raise money for Kettering General Hospitals Special Baby Care Unit.

Now, I've never been to this hospital and I'm lucky enough never to have had to be in a Special Care Baby Unit.  However, on reading further about the work they do and hearing inspirational stories about the babies and parents that pass through this unit, we had to get involved.

I've read stories about babies born so frighteningly early, their organs arent mature enough to cope, being cared for here until they were strong enough to go home.  Some babies born with conditions that meant their mummies werent able to have that special first cuddle until they were a few weeks old and strong enough to be held.  Heartbreakingly, some of the babies born in this hospital would not have made it if it wasnt for the staff and workers of the Special Care Baby Unit.  This is what touched my heart when reading and made me want to get involved in raising money for the unit.  

Bit of serious blog post today but it breaks my heart reading all these special stories and Im thankful every day for my two little miracles, who, although they drive me crazy, are happy and healthy in every way.  This is why we were only too happy to help such an amazing cause.

Take a look at the auction on Facebook here.  Little Treasures picked out our Baby Gifts to include in the auction, which can be found here.

Thanks for reading and we hope you'll check out the auction!  It runs until the 11th October so plenty of time to get involved.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Meet Our Models!

When we were setting up the Baby Shop all those months ago, one if the things we didn't want was to have amateur, dark, eBay type photos. It was important to us to show off the beautiful clothes in their best light and in the best possible way.

So, we are pleased to introduce to you, our three models!! Meet, Edwin, Edwina and their mum Erica!! We've dressed Erica so as to preserve her modesty. Lol!

These mannequins have proved invaluable to our shop and have made such a difference to our shop. There's a lot of modifying and tweaking that goes on after the photo is taken but it's basically these guys that bring the clothes to life.

I did consider using real life models for the photos (i.e. my children) but they don't stay still for long enough and have you tried changing a 17 month old once in a day, let alone eight times!

So that's it, our best kept trade secret (not really)!