Book: My Quiet Book

“Quiet Books” are books made of cloth and is meant to keep little children entertained through simple quiet activities. Common activities include shape sorting, dressing up dolls, zipping and buttoning. They are usually handmade and a search on Pinterest will show you many samples.

Since I learn about them, I have made preparation to make one for the littlest. I added pins to my Pinterest and bought materials from Taobao. Alas I was too busy to actually create one. So I was delighted when I chance upon this book on Taobao.

Here is a look at the details for some of the pages.

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Shape and colour sorting. The heart shape certainly need improvement. The littlest (16 months) love this page. He likes pulling them off and attempting to put them back. He couldn’t quite recognise the shapes yet, so he doesn’t put them back correctly.
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Buttoning. Taking out the flower and buttoning it back. TT is unable to do this, but the elder two (6 and 4.5 y.o) would play with this.
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Push button. Fixing the caterpillar head back on the push button. This page is a little difficult I feel as the kids need to aim and press. Certainly not for TT.
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Zip and unzipping. Good training for their fine motor skills grabbing the zip.

There are other pages, but I shall not share here. All the pages are listed on the seller page.

Overall I find this a very basic quiet book. Most activities are too tough for a toddler and more skewed towards a pre-schooler. But nothing to complain since its an off the shelf product that is not expensive. It provides a good start for the littlest while I find time to create one for him myself.

Have you come across any off the shelf quiet book? Share with us.

P.S. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for the book with my own money.

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Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

Shopping: Baby Looney Tunes Bedsheets (With Discount Code)

Chubby and I are people who put lots of emphasis on our sleep quality. We believe that by resting well, your following day will be good. And sleep is also particularly important to young children. With adequate rest, the brain can develop better. Hence, we believe in quality mattresses, pillows and bedsheets. No point investing in an expensive bed only to lay bed sheets that are not comfortable.

When we first started, we didn’t read up more. We thought the higher the thread count the better. How wrong we are. The material used is also of importance. Thread count alone is not everything. Though, I will say you should have at least over 200 thread counts. Otherwise, it can be kind of rough.

I also read somewhere that it’s better to buy reputable brands as their finishing is better thereby giving you more quality. Hence, we were very happy when we were given a set of King Koil Baby Looney Tunes Bedsheets to review. I swear by their Protect a Bed waterproof mattress protector. It’s by far the most comfortable and effective waterproof protector that we came across. It’s money well spent. Anyway I digress, back to the Baby Looney Tunes bedsheet and summer blanket.

Well, when I first lay my hands on the sheets and blanket, they were not soft as I expected. As in, it’s stated that the material is Supreme Microsatin with 380 thread count. But nonetheless, I got my helper to give it in initial wash before I put it to test.

After the first wash, it’s softer but still not “soft” enough for me. And the blanket appears to be a little thick even for our Aircon room. But I still slept on it with my daughter that night. And surprisingly, it wasn’t as hot as I expected. Somehow the material was still breathable.

A few nights later, the girl accidentally pee during the night and we had to wash the sheets and the blanket. I was happy to notice that the material is now much more softer then before. I think the full wash helps.

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A month after we receive this product and after about 3 washes, I’m quite happy to say that we have “wash-in” and “use-in” the product. The blanket and sheets are getting comfortable. There is also no fading of color and still look as good as new. I think these sheets will last.

If you are interested in getting the sheets, you will be happy to know that we have a promo code for you. By quoting THELITTLEMOM on their website, will entitle you to free delivery for your baby Looney Tunes product and a free Baby Looney Tunes pillow case. Purchase more than $120 worth of Baby Looney Tunes product, you get a free “Protect-A-Bed” pillow case. Happy Shopping!

Disclaimer: We receive a set of fitted sheets and summer blanket for review, no monetary compensation was received. All opinions are our own and derived from using ourselves as guinea pigs.

Shopping: Cloth Diaper Fastener and Pants

Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid or sponsored post.

In the recent years, I have turned into a Taobao shopping queen. I’m not an expert yet as I still don’t deal with the sellers directly but through an agent. But I’m turning to Taobao because I have some good quality buy from there. Especially for the kids stuff. You know how fast kids out grow their clothes or spoil their toys. So when the thing comes from Taobao, the heartache is lesser.

Initially I was also skeptical about their quality and if there are any harmful materials used in their products. But after a few purchase and learning a tip or two from other buyers, I must say most of the things appear safe if you buy from reputable sellers. But I must state that I buy mainly clothing and books. Occasionally toys for the elder kids where I know they don’t put in their mouth. And again exercise caution where necessary.

Of course, not all my purchases turn out good. There were times where the product came looking very different from what was stated. As such, I decide to post and share some good buys that I made. And hopefully you all will find it useful. (Since Taobao shopping is already quite well known in Singapore, I shall not elaborate further on it. You can email me if you want to know how to shop there.)

Today, I’m going to introduce two good product that I have come across. Cloth diaper fastener and pants.

When the kids were newborn, I let them wear traditional cloth diaper aka 尿布 during the day. This is because it is more gentle to their butt and more economical. All my three kids are breastfed. This means they poo a lot when they are young. Sometimes the poo is smaller than a 5 cent coin. But a poo is a poo. You just have to change them whenever it happens. So if we are on disposable diapers, we will go broke pretty soon (ok, maybe not so exaggerating, but you get the idea). So cloth diaper is a good solution.

For the elder two, I fasten the diaper with a string. The solution work except that sometimes they cry so badly that you don’t have time to tie a knot properly. Or in some case the knot get tangled or came loose. This time round for TT, I spotted this item on Taobao.

Cloth Diaper fastener from Taobao.

This is a fastener for the cloth diaper. Basically you wrap it around the diaper and fasten with the button base on the size of your baby. No matter how tiny your baby is, it works. And since it’s an elastic band, its pretty snug as well. I thought this is a very brilliant design. And it’s not new as it can be found in the older kids pants for waistline adjustments.

Keyword: 尿布扣 可调节
Price: SGD0.70 (pack of 4 – weight is negligible. As it was sent with other items I do not have a breakdown)
Link: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=38824273776&spm=2014.12193480.0.0
(If you use 65Daigou and wants to but this item, please help us by clicking here.)

As good as this product is, there is always an issue with cloth diaper. The pee or poo seeps through the cloth. I cannot count how many times my own clothes got wet because I was carrying the kid and they decide to do their business. So when TT turned 1 month, I put this on for him.

Diaper pants from Taobao

This is a diaper pants worn over the cloth diaper to prevent seepage. For the elder two, they only wore diaper pants when they were older. Cause the diaper pants in SG goes by sizes and cannot be adjusted except for the waistline. I lost count on the number of time the kids poo leaked from those diaper pants because the size was a little too big. Ok, I’m a little stingy cause I didn’t get the smaller size as they will out grow it pretty fast.

However, this diaper pants from Taobao is different. Notice the buttons on the pants? They do wonders. The first row from the top is for waistline adjustment, as per what we have in Singapore. The clever part is row two to four. They are for adjusting the length aka size of the pants. How you do is you button the 2nd row to either the 3rd or 4th row. Depending on the size of your baby. And it’s pretty snug! See TT in it.

TT in Taobao disaper pants @ 1 month+

Ok, there are still seepage especially when they are not worn properly, but it’s so much better than the ones that I used previously. And initially I was worried the material is a little thick as it is not the “net” kind of lining inside (like those in Singapore). However, it’s not. I have not felt TT sweating in those pants. Besides, this make the pants more durable. Those netting tend to “break” after repeated washing. And is hard to scrub when they got stained. (I just check Taobao, they have the “net” version for summer. So if you buy during this season, you can get the “net” ones. But I prefer this.)

Keyword: 宝宝防漏透气布尿裤
Price: SGD1.96 (Exclude domestic and shipping to SG. Weight about 0.12kg. I bought with other items, so this is just estimate.)
Link: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=39331510985&spm=2014.12193480.0.0
(If you use 65Daigou and wants to but this item, please help us by clicking here.)

There are many other cute designs from other sellers. So if you use the keyword to search, you can find more variety. But if you are lazy, you can click on the link. BTW, I’m not affiliated with the sellers. They just happened to provide the best price with reasonable reviews when I was buying these products. However, the 65daigou links are affiliated. It won’t cost you a cent but can help this mummy here earn some rebates.

Hope you will find this post useful. Have you bought anything from Taobao for your kids that is good and you want to recommend? Let us know.

Home Activity: Online Shopping @ The Sunshine Kids

I always admire those parents who bring their kids along for shopping. And I mean not shopping for groceries or toys. But to shop for clothes or accessories. Basically, things that don’t really interest the kids, especially boys.

We have tried bringing the kids to shop for their own shoes, but they got “tired” after trying on the 2nd pair. And the boy couldn’t wait to get out of the shop to wonder around. The experience is worsen when there is a queue at the checkout counter. So I have learned to shop online at the comfort of my home and not struggle with two pre-schoolers that monkey around the shop.

However, with the girl growing up and having a mind (and fashion sense) of her own, she is very picky about what she wear. So now I have to involve her in my online shopping, which is not such a bad thing as I treat it as a mother and daughter activity to do together. However, the ease of navigation and usage become utmost important as the girl doesn’t have the patience to sit with me for too long.

One of the website that fits this is “The Sunshine Kids @ Agape Babies“. The navigation and submission was so simple that we bought a dress together easily.

We like it that items are categorized and we can filter the sizes by age. The thumbnails are big enough for the girl and myself to browse even on my iPad mini.

The filter at the side is by age and the thumbnail is very decently size that we need not click in to individual items to view properly.
The filter at the side is by age and the thumbnail is very decently size that we need not click in to individual items to view properly.

The girl scroll down the page on her own and when she found a dress that she really like, I taught her to touch it to view the details. Once inside we were happy that they have photos of both the front and back view of the dress.

The detail page has photos of both the front and back view of the dress!
The detail page has photos of both the front and back view of the dress!

Once the girl decided on her dress I just added it into my cart and I did the rest on my own as it is not necessary to involve the girl anymore. So now I remove the problem of my girl not wanting to wear the clothes I buy for her and we also spend sometime doing something together. In the process we also discuss about the dresses. So I get to understand her preference too (although it may change quite quickly). I thought it’s quite a good Mother Daughter activity and my first taste of “shopping” with my girl (at such a young age) without having to worry about boring her or her brother.

Discount Code for Sunshine Kids
Here is the good news. We have a discount code for all thelittlemom.com readers. Just quote thelittlemom during checkout and you will be given 15% off all dresses, that will make perfect presents this Christmas. The code is valid till 30 Dec!

And if you are wondering why you should be shopping at Sunshine Kids, here are the reasons.

  • Sunshine Kids dresses are designed for special occasions. Which is really useful for Christmas party and the upcoming new year.
  • They partnered with Agape Babies (an online store that specializes in Baby essentials) to form a multi-store. This means you can shop at both places and checkout your cart together. Hence saving on your shipping. Mummies have to be prudent right?

You can find out more about Agape Babies and The Sunshine Kids from their blog or Facebook page.

Happy Shopping!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. No monetary compensation was received. All views are our own.

Review: NoQ Store with Discount Code

[Sponsored Review]

As a reader myself, I’m quite happy that I manage to instill reading as a habit for both my kids. The boy is the real reader who is open to different genre of books while the girl is more attracted to books that is related to what she sees on TV. The boy could also be seen sitting/standing at a corner and flipping through his books as if he is “reading”.

We borrowed regularly from the library. But being a book lover myself, I also can’t stop myself from buying books both online and through brick and mortar shops. So imagine my happiness when NoQ Store send me some vouchers for a review.

The books came nicely wrapped in brown paper and in a fitting box. So there was little damage to it. I hate books with dented corners (Ok, my OCD Self).
The books came nicely wrapped in brown paper and in a fitting box. So there was little damage to it. I hate books with dented corners (Ok, my OCD Self).

What I Like

  • Wide variety of titles
    I was very impressed with the titles that they carried. I have issues looking for the girl favorite “Maisy Mouse” books at the library and in the shops. It seems that the title they carry are similar. However, I found more different titles from NoQ Store!
  • Cheaper prices
    I have wanted to introduce the boy to “The Berenstain Bear”, so I have been looking around for it. After price comparison, I notice that the price on NoQ store was about 2 dollar cheaper than what I saw in the shops. Well, Mummies just have to spend money wisely right?
  • Easy to navigate website
    I find the website easy to navigate too. I like the section on the best sellers so I can see what some of the other kids are reading. Apart from that, when I choose a main category (e.g. Children’s Books), it open up into more sub-categories. And even sub-categories by age, which I think will be helpful for new parents.

What can be improved

  • Delivery Time
    The only thing that needed improvement is the delivery time. I think the books took about 2 weeks plus to arrive at my home. My guess is, they only purchase the books from the publisher after an order is make. So they need time to wait for it to arrive at their store. Hence, the long “delivery” time. Nonetheless, for a prudent Mummy like me, I’m willing to wait in order to get things at a cheaper price. Well, give and take, ya?

So the next time you are looking for books, consider giving NoQ store a visit and save some money, which means you could probably buy a few more books with the same amount of money. 🙂

Good news for thelittlemom.com readers. NoQ store has also given me a discount code that can be use on their website and you get 15% off your purchase (discount on already cheap price)! Just quote “THELITTLEMOM” at checkout. The discount code is valid till 31 Aug 2014. Have fun buying and reading.

*Disclaimer: I received some vouchers from NoQ store for the purpose of this review. The kids are the happiest cause I do the work and they get new books. But I did get Nick Vujicic “Give Me A Hug” for myself just to feel more balance. In the end the boy fell in love with that book. More on that in another post.

All opinions are 100% my own.

Payless ShoeSource

On Monday, Chubby and I took half day in the morning so we can shop at Robinson with my 25% discount coupon. We both send Zai to school and proceed to go Center Point. As a result, we reach there quite early and Robinson isn’t open yet. As we wait for it to open, Chubby decides to visit the toilet for his BIG business. So I just walk around and stumble onto this shop call “Payless”. Initially I thought it was “@Payless” but apparently, the sign is not “@”.

Anyway, what attracted me in the first place was that there were shoes for kids. I remembered that Zai need a change for his sandals. So I walk in to check out the shop. Only to find that it not only sell kids shoes but also adults. And they are reasonably priced. The selection of shoes for toddlers were a lot too. Just that they are mainly girls shoes. We only spotted a few boys sandals. One is the disney “Cars” series. We thought its really nice and its on sale costing only SGD15. But the size is too small for Zai. And than we spotted these:

Airwalk shoes from Payless

We didn’t really like Crocs big head shoes as we think its quite dangerous and slippery. But these shoes although they look like Crocs are different. The shoe base looks quite good and the material is harder. So it gives Zai the comfy of his toes and at the same time looks safer. Oh, and it also doesn’t look like the cheapo market replica which is found to be emitting poisonous chemicals. And the best part? It was on sale and cost only SGD10 a pair! We couldn’t resist so we bought both colors. As the red was really nice but we think it will be difficult to match so we bought the blue for his daily use. And Chubby suggest we mix and match the shoes so he wear one color on each feet. *Faints*

Anyway I will like to revisit the store and look for some shoes of my own. I google and found this article. Looks like there is a store at Suntec. This means I can visit it after work.. *Hiak Hiak*

The percussionist

Zai always have a love for percussion. He can take a bottle of sweet and shake it, just to listen for the sound. He will take the toy bowling pins and knock against each other to produce sound. He loves the clapper. And when he is at my parents place, he will drag the big biscuit tin and knock it with a hard coaster. So we have always an intention to get a drum for him. But when we brought him to Toys-R-Us a month back and put him on a sample drum to try, he isn’t that interested. I guess, he just can’t seat still. So we decide to save the money and didn’t get him the drum.

That day we took half day leave intending to visit the Borders sale. But was put off by the queue to pay, so we walked into the JL Expo sale instead. And we spotted this drum set that is only SGD3. We thought its just a drum where he can hit. In the end when we open it at home, its not only the big drum. It comes with 2 smaller drum acting like the tom and also a “crash”. It also comes with flashing light, which Zai loves to turn it on. I think its really a good buy for $3. And guess what, Zai really likes it. For the past few days he will wake up and look for that toy. 😛 But clumsy mummy cause Zai to broke the connecting part of one of the toy while trying to help him check if he pooed. But still Zai can still play with it.

Properly Setup Drum

This is Zai playing with the drums which I have setup properly for him. The one he is holding is the one that has broke and can’t be attached on.

5 Mins into Play

5 Minutes into his play, the drums are on the floor and the “crash” has fallen too.

Big Head

This has nothing to do with the drum. I was trying to snap more photos of him playing with the drum. But Zai decides to stand up and peer at my camera. As such, the proportion is distorted. But I like it. Too bad my iPhone is too slow to snap it clearly and at the point where he is looking. 😦