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BABYLIFE magazine October 2012


BABY LIFE MAGAZINE New Zealand’s newest online baby and lifestyle magazine featuring a wide mix of real­life content, ideas and inspiration for women contemplating parenthood, currently expecting or already a mum.

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We’re also an online shopping directory, connecting parents with products and services relevant to their lives. Editor Emma Brooks Cover Photography Mishele Pou

www.facebook.com/MishelePouPhotography

CONT

FEATURES

04 The Art of

Babywearing

Tips and techniques with Babywearing Wellington.

06

Babywearing NZ Our round­up of babywearing groups around New Zealand.

All images are © copyright of their respective owners. Any copying or reproduction in part or whole is illegal without the permission of the owner. Copyright © Baby Life Magazine 2012.

Meet our contri

IF YOU HAVE ENJOYED THIS ISSUE PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

http://www.babylifemagazine.co.nz

E | emma@babylifemagazine.co.nz

Facebook | facebook.com/BabyLifeMagazine Twitter | twitter.com/BabyLifeMag Pinterest | pinterest.com/babylifemagnz/

Jo Hayes,

holistic fertility practitioner and owner of Auckland's Soul Fertility. Fertility Boosting (08).


TENT

12

12

$50 Start-Up

Breastmate's founder Frances McInnes shares the story behind her business success.

WELLBEING

SHOPPING

Fertility Boosting

Slings We Love

08

12 ways to boost your fertility 足 naturally.

10 Why Breast is Best The benefits of breastfeeding for both mum & baby

05

Unido baby slings

11

Baby Baby

I nspiration for your little one

ibutors:-

Leah Rutley,

midwife and owner of online store Express the Best Why Breast is Best (1 0).

IN BUSINESS

14

Making Sense of Social Media

How to use social media more effectively.

16

Mums in Business

A chat with Andrea Little of Banz NZ

Avelyn Holcroft足 Lewer, owner of Biz

Support Solutions. Making Sense of Social Media (1 4).

BABY LIFE MAGAZINE | 03


babywearing B

B

abywearing simulates the conditions your baby had in the womb – warm, snug and next to mum’s heartbeat – helping ease their transition into the world. It’s very common for babies to cry if they’re put down, so babywearing helps keep them content while leaving your hands free to do other things. As they get older, worn babies spend more time in a quiet­ alert state, soaking up everything around them. Because they’re attached to you, they can see and hear everything you can, but when the world becomes too stimulating they can snuggle into you and go to sleep.

04 | BABY LIFE MAGAZINE

Tips, techniques & advice with Babywearing Wellington's Emma Worden.

Babywearing allows you to get out and about easily and not worry about stairs, wonky footpaths and muddy walking tracks. And your baby always has a place to sleep, so you’re not tied to the house for nap times. Having your hands free means you can easily tend to your older children at the same time – even better if you get the hang of feeding in a carrier. Meeting your baby’s need for closeness early on helps foster a secure attachment and should lead to more independence as they get older.

"Because they’re attached to you, they can see and hear everything you can, but when the world becomes too stimulating they can snuggle into you and go to sleep."

There are health benefits to babywearing too. Wearing your baby upright can help with reflux and digestion issues. It provides comfort when your baby is sick and means you can easily monitor their condition. For mums, it can burn extra calories, especially if you go out walking a lot. It can also be good for mums with PND, as it allows them to meet their baby’s needs but not feel as touched out. Your muscles develop as your baby gets older and bigger, so you can continue to wear even quite big children. I had my 18kg, four and a half year old on my back in a Manduca yesterday!

Image courtesy of Babywearing Wellington

The art of


Choosing a carrier

Although there is a lot of criticism within the babywearing community regarding ‘mainstream’ carriers with narrow bases – such as the BabyBjorn – I don’t believe these are bad for short periods of babywearing. However, they are not great value for money as they can be less comfortable as your baby gets bigger, and can’t be used for back carries.

There are several styles of carriers available now with variations within each style. Each have pros and cons depending on what you’re looking for – ease of use, adjustability, fabric design, cost? Some carriers are very expensive but as you can also use a simple long piece of cloth tied around you like a woven wrap, they don’t have to cost a lot.

The only carrier that should be avoided at all costs is a style called a ‘bag sling’. The design of these is inherently dangerous and this has prompted Consumer Affairs to issue a warning on them.

You should look for a carrier that allows you to hold your baby in a similar position to carrying them in your arms – you wouldn’t hold your baby around your waist, so you don’t want a carrier that does this. Look for something that will hold your baby up high – close enough to kiss – and snug with their bottom supported.

Correct positioning

As above, in a position you would use if you were carrying your baby in your arms. In upright carries, their knees should be higher than their bottom (in an M position), or froggied up in front of them as if they’re a newborn. Their spine should not be curved or slumped with their chin on their chest, and the fabric should be away from their face. Cradle carries are harder to get right, so I generally recommend upright carries first. If you are going to use a cradle position, your baby should be on a diagonal with their head further away from you than their bottom. Never put them lengthways into the sling.

For more information, see this checklist:

http://southlondonslings.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/ticks_final.pdf

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B AB Y LI L O V E S FE

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Order online or check the website to see if there’s a stockist near you. NZ$90, including postage and handling. www.unido.co.nz/ BABY LIFE MAGAZINE | 05


Image courtesy of Babywearing Wellington

BABYWEARING NZ

Our round-up of babywearing groups across the country. Kerikeri Babywearers

When and where: New group just launched For more information:

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facebook.com/KerikeriBabywearers

Whangarei Babywearers

When and where: Meets monthly in the May Bain meeting room at the Whangarei Central Library. 06 | BABY LIFE MAGAZINE

What: Workshop style meeting. For more information: facebook.com/WhangareiBabywearers

Babywearing Hauraki

When and where: Meets every second Thursday at various cafes. What: An opportunity to view various types of baby carriers and find out how you can wear your baby. To borrow carriers

from the library you need to become a registered member of the group. For more information: facebook.com/BabywearingHauraki

or email

babywearinghauraki@gmail.com

Babywearing North Shore When and where: Meets on the second Tuesday of each month at the Birkenhead


Library community room for a workshop­style meeting. 10.30am – 11.30am. Also on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Windsor Café for a more relaxed coffee group style meet­up. 12.30pm – 2.30pm. For more information:

facebook.com/BabywearingNorthShore

or

babywearingnorthshore.wordpress.com

Babywearing Franklin

When and where: Meets once a month (usually the 1st Tuesday of every month at 1pm) at 8 Cornwall Road, Waiuku. What: Sling demo library and regular walks For more information:

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facebook.com/BabywearingFranklin

or call Ali Ryan 021 168 7073 or Louise Deed 021 270 2923.

Waikato Baby Carriers

When and where: Meets on the third Thursday of the month (excluding some school holidays) at Parents Place, 87 Boundary Rd, Hamilton. 9.30am­11.30am What: Informal monthly meeting which aims to respond to the needs and questions of the people who come along – including carrier advice. Sling library which people can borrow from to try out what suits them best. Older children are also welcome. For more information: facebook.com/babycarriers or email waikatobabycarriers@gmail.com

Babywearing Tauranga

When and where: Regular meetings starting soon

.

For more information:

facebook.com/BabywearingTauranga

Rotorua Babywearers

For more information:

facebook.com/pages/Rotorua­

Babywearers/353772008042592

Babywearing Wairarapa

For more information:

facebook.com/BabywearingWairarapa

Taranaki Babywearers

For more information:

facebook.com/TaranakiBabywearers

Babywearing Wellington

When and where: Meets the first Friday of the month, at the The Southern Cross, which is located at the top of Cuba St, on the corner of Abel Smith St. 10am until 12pm. What: Find out about babywearing, get help with choosing and using various carriers, or chat with like­ minded people. Wide selection of carriers to hire. For more information: facebook.com/babywearingwellington

or

babywearingwellington.blogspot.co.nz/

Babywearing Christchurch

When and where: Meets the first Friday of the month Christchurch Parents Centre, 2/2 Leacroft Street, Bishopdale. 10am.

What: Baby wearing workshops. Gold coin donation. For more information:

facebook.com/pages/Babywearing­ Christchurch/161695193920660

Babywearing Timaru

When and where: Meets every Wednesday at the Plunket Family Centre, 3 Dee Street. 10am. What: Weekly meeting includes discussion and sling lessons and then a sling walk. Sling library for members to try out slings before they buy. The group is the only sling library in the country with a toy sling library for children to borrow toy carriers. Weekend walks over summer for the whole family. For more information: Contact Kirsty on 0273544598 or

facebook.com/BabywearingTimaru

Dunedin Babywearing

When and where: Meets every second Wednesday of the month at the Early Years Hub, 158 Oxford Street, South Dunedin. 10am – 12pm What: Launching the Otepoti Dunedin Babywearing Library during NZ Babywearing Week. The group has experienced babywearers to educate, instruct and support people using the library. Also available: education and support for other attachment parenting techniques For more information: Email

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Dunedinbabywearing@gmail.com

or

ConsciousparentingDunedin@gmail. com.

BABY LIFE MAGAZINE | 07


FERTILITY BOOSTING

One in five couples in New Zealand struggle to conceive, a situ Fertility practitioner Jo Hayes shares 12 ways to boost your fert 1. Get the Timing Right I see couples everyday who desperately want to achieve a successful pregnancy but have no idea when their most fertile time each month occurs. By visiting a Natural Fertility professional you can learn to chart your cycles and discover that short opportunity each month when it is possible to conceive. 2. Diet Eating a healthy, balanced diet is hugely important in the baby­making years. Go back to basics as much as you can by avoiding processed, packaged convenience foods and concentrating on fresh, organic ingredients to give your future child the best start in life. Try to keep as close to your ideal weight as possible. Being underweight can also have an effect on your fertility

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3. Exercise Keeping fit is vital for optimum health. If you are not exercising try and take up something gentle, like walking, swimming or yoga. If you exercise a lot, look at ways in which you can incorporate some lower­impact exercise into your regime. Balance is key; while under­ exercising can have a detrimental effect on your fertility, so too can over­ exercising

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08 | BABY LIFE MAGAZINE

4. Supplements The diet of today’s modern world often lacks many of the important nutrients we need for optimum wellness, and when trying for a baby these needs are even greater. Taking a daily supplement can help provide a range of essential vitamins and minerals. Important ones for fertility include magnesium, selenium, zinc, folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, vitamins C, D and E, iron and essential fatty acids. 5. Environmental Hazards

Short­ and long­term exposure to toxic chemicals in our environment can have a devastating effect on male and female fertility. Common chemicals to avoid include: Bisphenol–A (BPA), parabens, phthalates (DBP and DEP), dioxin, organophosphates and organochlorines and heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, lead and arsenic. Although it’s virtually impossible to completely avoid exposure to these chemicals, you can limit your risks by buying organic foods, avoiding smoking, checking plastic containers for BPA before use, drinking filtered water, greening your cleaning and personal care products, using only natural non­toxic alternatives to pesticides in your garden and suppplementing with a good pre­natal multivitamin and mineral.

6. Smoking & Alcohol Smoking has definitely been linked with infertility in women. It can even bring on early menopause, which is a particularly important consideration for older women who may be trying to beat the clock. Smoking can also decrease sperm count in men, make sperm more sluggish, and increase the number of abnormal sperm. Alcohol will affect both you and your partner. In fact, drinking any alcohol at all can reduce your fertility by half – and the more you drink, the less likely you are to conceive. Drinking alcohol causes a decrease in sperm count, an increase in abnormal sperm and a lower proportion of motile sperm. Alcohol also inhibits the body’s absorption of nutrients such as zinc, which is one of the most important minerals for male fertility. As difficult as it may seem, you should eliminate alcohol from your diets for at least three months in order to give yourself the best possible chance of conceiving. 7. Stress Reduction Stress can be a factor for reduced fertility. Identify any areas of stress in your life and adopt more effective time management and space for relaxation. Start relaxation/yoga classes, breathing techniques and


uation that can be frustrating, stressful and heartbreaking. tility - naturally. counselling or consult a life­ coach. Relaxation can play an integral role in conception, with evidence that those with reduced stress or improved ability to handle stress may have better rates of conception.

8. Especially for the Gents Keep them cool! There’s a reason the scrotum is outside of the body – the testicles need to keep sperm cooler than the body’s temperature. Anything that will increase the temperature of the testicles can have an impact on sperm

quality. So it is important to avoid hot spa pools and saunas, tight underwear, excessive bike­ riding, laptops on your laps and cellphones in your pocket. Chefs also need to be aware that standing in front of an oven/cook top all day is not going to help your fertility. 9. Especially for the Ladies Don’t douche! Douching before sex can upset the vagina’s acid­ alkaline balance which has the potential to damage sperm, and if you douche after sex you may be flushing away or killing sperm. Douching can sometimes force bacteria into the vagina and reproductive tract and has the potential to increase your chance of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). 10. Complementary Therapists There are a number of complementary therapists who

can help you on your path to parenthood. Acupuncturists, Naturopaths, Herbalists, Homeopaths, Hypnotherapists and Reflexologists will all have something they can offer in terms of improving and increasing your fertility 11. Fertility Affirmations Some of you may think that affirmations are a bit too “quirky” for your liking and I too used to think that way. However I am now a true convert and find that saying something positive about my

‘Pre­seed,’ which is fertility­ friendly. Immunisation – check you are up to date with all your immunisations such as Rubella, as contracting this disease while pregnant could be extremely dangerous. If you are planning a trip ensure you get your injections at least three months before you start trying. Dentist – did you know that having gum disease could affect your fertility? Make sure you have a dental check­up before you start your “baby dancing”

12. Also Worth Considering Lubricants – could your lubricant be preventing a pregnancy? Not all lubricants are created equal and some of them could actually kill sperm (same goes for saliva too), so when purchasing your lubricant ensure you’re using a brand like

There are so many things that you can do to increase your fertility, without the assistance of drugs or medical intervention. Give the above suggestions a try before embarking upon a more invasive method of conception. A little knowledge about your body and reproduction is very empowering, and can help you take charge of your fertility.

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body and my fertility really helps. Here I’ve included a few suggestions for you to try: “My reproductive organs work in perfect harmony with my body to allow an easy conception.”; “The most perfect egg is preparing to be released by my ovary and the most perfect sperm is preparing to fertilize it.”; “I release fears about age and time.” Practice saying these every day, first thing in the morning and before bed. You may feel silly at first, but a positive mental attitude can really help on the path to parenthood.

and get any X­rays, fillings or the like sorted before you fall pregnant. Cough Syrup – the main ingredient in many cough syrups is guaifenesin, which can aid fertility by thinning cervical mucus, enabling sperm easier access through the vagina. However, avoid any cough syrup that contain decongestants, as those can have the opposite effect and may dry up cervical mucus.

BABY LIFE MAGAZINE | 09


WHY BREAST IS BEST Midwife Leah Rutley looks at the benefits of breastfeeding for both mum & baby

Plunket’s latest figures show New Zealand’s breastfeeding rates for 2011 and 2012 are the highest they’ve been in 19 years. Currently 85% of babies up to the age of six weeks are getting some breast milk. GO NZ! Breastfeeding helps lay the foundations of a healthy life for a baby and also makes a positive contribution to the health and wider wellbeing of mothers and families. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended until babies are around six months to two years. Nevertheless there will always be mothers who struggle to breastfeed and in such cases it's important for a mother not to feel condemned; your child is blessed to have you as their loving mother whether you are able to breastfeed or not. What’s in breast milk? Did you know breast milk contains the perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates for your baby? Let’s take a closer look: Colostrum: A thick yellow fluid made in the breast from around 20 weeks gestation. Colostrum lasts for three to five days post­ birth before mature milk begins to come through. Compared with mature breast milk it is particularly rich in proteins, which play an important role in gut maturation. Protein: Human milk contains two types of proteins: whey and 10 | BABY LIFE MAGAZINE

casein, at levels that allow for easy digestion. These proteins contain important infection­ fighting enzymes and bacterias that are not present in formula. Fats: More than 100 important fatty acids have been identified in human milk, that aid in brain growth, nervous system development and fat digestion. Carbohydrate: Provided chiefly by lactose in human milk. As well as providing 40% of the energy needs of baby, lactose also facilitates the absorption of calcium and iron, helps line the gut and prevents many infections and bowel problems. This is not present in formula. Vitamins: The amount of vitamins contained in human milk varies from mother to mother and is directly related to her nutritional intake – which is why a good diet while breastfeeding is vital. Minerals: Mineral concentrations are lower in human milk than any other substitute but are present at levels sufficient to meet the needs of the infant.

The benefits of breastmilk for mum and baby Breastfeeding helps mother and baby bond. Skin to skin contact, particularly in the first few days helps to regulate body temperature control for baby, creates security and reduces stress. Breast milk reduces the likelihood of infections such as

diarrhoea, ear infections and respiratory infections. For mums, breastfeeding has been shown to decrease the risk of breast and ovarian cancers and osteoporosis. It can provide free contraception and can save you around $1300­3000 per year! Getting help and advice For some mothers breastfeeding comes naturally, but for others more help and support is required. Fortunately there are plenty of resources and services available. Your midwife can

provide assistance and Lactation consultants are available during your stay in hospital, or you can make contact with them at a local clinic once you are at home. La Leche League is a non­ profit organization which provides support, advice and encouragement. You can also find information on Facebook – great pages to visit include Breastfeeding NZ or Express The Best. A breast pump can be a very helpful tool in keeping the breasts stimulated while your baby is learning how to suck, or meeting the extra stimulation needed to increase milk supply. A pump also gives you the ability to stock up on breastmilk if you need to be away from your baby between feeds, or if you need to take medication for a short time.


Yellow summer girls shoe Sizes: 3足6 months, 6足9 months, 9足12 months. $16.99 www.smalltrendz.co.nz

Cloth baby shoes by Little Finn & Emily. Custom orders welcome. $17.50/pair. www.facebook.com/finnemily

Little knitted redbands by My 2 Monsters. www.my2monsters.felt.co.nz/

baby

BABY

Inspiration for little ones

Lily and George dinnerware http://www.scamps.co.nz/

Designer bibs by bibs4bubs www.felt.co.nz/shop/bibs4bubs

Kiwini wooden highchair www.kiwini.co.nz/

BABY LIFE MAGAZINE | 11


$50 START-UP Frances McInnes shares the story behind her award-winning business Breastmates

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rances McInnes founded Breastmates in 2004 with just $50, a domain name and a single product. Today her online store stocks a vast array of maternity clothes, lingerie and feeding products, as well as being a valuable resource and support centre for mums across New Zealand. She’s won multiple awards and she’s done it all while bringing up her family. Here Frances gives us some insight into how she built up her business. Take a read and be inspired.

12 | BABY LIFE MAGAZINE

What made you decide to start up Breastmates and how did you initially get your venture off the ground? I was actually on maternity leave, and was making breast pads and a few handmade baby things so that I’d have a bit of extra spending money. I started selling these on Trademe, and then just made a really basic website. When I went to a baby shop to get advice about breast pumps, I had a typical bad shopping experience with a sales assistant who didn’t know anything about breast pumps…. and I realized there was potential for me to list useful products and get product


training (and use them myself at the time too) so that I would know what I was talking about. I made a really basic website using Frontpage on my computer, and bought a domain name. I also found a free shopping cart provider.

doing every second edition

That was back in 2004. Since then my website has grown to have hundreds of products, as well as articles and shared stories. I’ve gone through two major website overhaul/upgrades.

Sign­writing on my car, networking with other businesses, being involved in the community such as Parents Centre and Plunket etc.

Over the years my business has grown to encompass breast and bottle feeding, and we have a clear philosophy that we support all mums regardless of how they feed their baby. We have also extended our maternity wear and later baby feeding stages too.

What has been instrumental to Breastmate's success?

Working on it every day! I don’t think people realise the amount of hours that go on behind the scenes. And staying focused.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting up Breastmates, and how did you overcome them?

I didn’t have a huge amount of money available to start my business – we were a young couple with a new baby. So having no money was a hurdle, but I found a lot of ways to do things on the cheap, so I could at least start with a few products. Back then we didn’t even have a printer; I would hand write

rather than every monthly edition, though it is important to have repetitive adverts and not just one­offs. Actually, it took me a year or so before I could seem to justify that money on advertising!

Frances is also an artist and for the past three years has entered

designs into the Brancott Estate World of WearableArt awards.

Above is her 2012 entry, entitled "Umbilic."

address labels and use a manual receipt book. It would have been wonderful to fully launch everything right from the start, but I have had to be patient, do things slowly and reinvest profits as they came in. It was a long time before I drew a wage from the business, and I actually went back part­time at my old job and worked on my business at night for quite a few years. This slow growth has actually been advantageous for me as it has enabled me to grow with the business and develop my own skills. Plus my customers have been able to see my brand growing along the way too!

Finding affordable marketing methods can often be hard for small businesses. What are some of the ways you’ve marketed Breastmates?

Just taking out a small advert in a baby magazine is a really good way to advertise. You can do this more economically by

There are lots of ways that you can actually market your business without spending a lot of money. However approaching pregnant ladies in the street is not really recommended – although I think my mum still does!

What do you love most about running your own business? That I am responsible for it – even if it is a monster I have created – I know it is due solely to me. I’m also really proud of the way my customers embrace my brand. There is a need for my business in the community, and I am here to provide and help mums.

Any resources – on or offline – that you’d recommend to mums or women starting up their own small businesses?

I would highly recommend getting Xero which is a super easy way to do your accounting and reconciliations each day and GST returns at the click of a button. My program integrates with my website. The IRD also have consultants who are really friendly and can help you when setting up. BABY LIFE MAGAZINE | 13


A B UILINDES S B US

MAKING SENSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’re in business, social media is a great tool for helping to spread the word about your services and products. It’s free, and relatively simple, to set up a Facebook page or Twitter account. But what comes next? How do you find the right people to connect with? And what types of content should you be sharing? We asked Avelyn Holcroft-Lewer, of Biz Support Solutions, to give us her tips and thoughts on using social media more effectively.

Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? I’m confused! Which social media platforms should I be using to promote my business? My recommendation is to definitely create an active and engaging Facebook page for your business. With over one billion active users, Facebook is where your customers are and is the number one social networking site in the world (and my favourite website by far). Then, work out what other social media sites would suit your business best. Videos are very engaging content (and great for SEO), so YouTube may be one of the best mediums if you are able to create regular videos. If you have a business with a great deal of images and visual content, then Pinterest may be a good fit. Remember, you don’t need to be everywhere, but you do need to ensure that you are doing it well wherever you are. What types of content should I be posting and sharing? And how often should I be posting updates? Always ensure you are posting engaging and interesting 14 | BABY LIFE MAGAZINE

content. The number one most popular postings are visual: photos and videos. Think about the types of visual images you can share with your community, for example new products, packaging, special occasions such as a team member’s birthday, cards and gifts from customers, interesting views around your workspace. Get your fans involved – ask for their opinion (maybe you have to make a decision about how your new packaging will look, or maybe you have a few different ideas for new services and products that you would like feedback on) and become an expert in your field.

Social media is about giving, so pass on tips, ideas and developments graciously. Less than 20% of your posts should be selling your services or products. There is a lot of debate over how often you should be posting updates. You don’t want to post too frequently and frustrate your fans, and you don’t want to post too infrequently either. I try to post every one to two days (and from time to time a few times a

day if I am wanting to share time­sensitive information). There has been quite a lot of research into the best time of day to update so as many of your fans as possible will see your posts. It appears that 11am, between 3pm and 4pm, and then around 8pm, are the most successful times to post on Facebook. You can test this for yourself by checking how many people have seen each of your updates and working out what times work best for you. How can I tell if my

customers are interested in my content? You will know which content is working by how many likes, comments and shares you receive (on Facebook and Pinterest), retweets and replies (Twitter), and messages, comments and communication (Linkedin). Another excellent indication is if you are continuing to see new people following and liking your profiles. How can I get more Fans/Followers etc? There are so many ways to increase your audience. Here are a few to get you started:


the baby life online

• Add your social media buttons/links to your website, email signature and all promotional material including your business cards and email newsletter. • Add your Facebook business page to your Facebook personal profile. • Let your current (and past) customers and contacts know you are on social media. If you have a retail shop display a sign. • Create interesting and engaging content that others will want to share with their communities. • Run an offer or competition exclusively for your fans and followers.

DIRECTORY

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It takes a great deal of time, effort and creativity to make social media work. Set realistic expectations. Don’t set up your profiles, post a few updates and expect to have people flock to follow/like you. I come across inactive Facebook pages every day that well­ intentioned people have set up for businesses and then abandoned. This looks very unprofessional and gives the impression you don’t value connecting with your community, especially when comments and questions have gone unanswered!

PT'S FOTO FUN Like to feature? Annual listings currently cost $35 (inc). Head to www.babylifemagazine.co.nz for more info. BABY LIFE MAGAZINE | 15


andrea little

BABY BANZ NZ

MU B US IMNSE IN SS

When Andrea Little’s son Jack was a baby, she searched everywhere for tiny sunglasses to protect his eyes, but to no avail. Then in Sydney she came across Baby Banz sunglasses, which fitted Jack perfectly…and sparked a whole new career path for Andrea! Today she runs Banz NZ, selling a range of baby and children’s sun-protection gear across New Zealand. Here’s her story:

I am a born­and­bred Dunedin girl; from doing my family history recently I’ve found I have deep roots in Southland, as well. I grew up in the traditional nuclear family of five; parents, twin sister and younger brother, with grandparents close by. Fast­ forward to 2000; I was working as a sub­editor on the Otago Daily Times, which I combined with bringing up my daughter Amanda. Then came the proverbial ‘whirlwind romance’; I met my now­husband Tony while in Auckland on a trip and

we quickly married, which meant a move to the Big Smoke. I got work as a magazine sub­editor/writer and, seven years ago, our son Jack was born. When Jack was five months old, we attended a family wedding in Sydney. Tony was aware that the sun was much more fierce in Australia (he lived there as a teen), so we searched high and low for baby­ size sunglasses. The only ones we could find were a shrunk­ down version of adult’s ones – naturally they didn’t fit his wee face properly and the chances of them stay on were nil. In a chemist in Sydney’s Newtown

we saw just what we wanted – Baby Banz sunglasses. They blocked the UV rays, they fitted, they stayed on – and we got so many compliments about how cute Jack looked wearing his sunnies! As I was looking for a fresh challenge I emailed the company, asking if they needed representation in New Zealand – and the adventure began! Banz NZ is a small business, but we’re growing fast. Up until the time of the Global Financial Crisis we had been planning to get premises and open a shop – now, we’re content to continue operating from home, until the retail sector recovers.

It’s possible to work your own business around family commitments. If Jack has a school production it means I can take the time to be there for him during the day and work in the evenings to make

up the time. And I can schlep around in my PJs during the school holidays! Auckland isn’t all motorways and busy lifestyle. There are many small areas of native bush dotted around the city, which are ideal for walks. We love to visit St John’s Bush Reserve, on the boundary of St Johns and Meadowbank; the tracks are easy enough for kids and the bird life is extraordinary! It’s such a peaceful place to go to chill out. At Banz NZ we’re gearing up for another busy sun­safe season, beginning with Auckland’s Baby Show at the end of October. Of course our ranges of baby and children’s sun­protection gear go crazy over summer and this year we are introducing a new product – the Magic Mitten. This is a unique baby­calming aid, designed and developed by a Kiwi dad. It works by playing one of the three calming sounds – a mother’s heartbeat, ocean waves or rain on a tin roof – when held next to an upset baby’s ear – and works like magic! Ideal for when your baby won’t settle in the night – or at any other time.

Baby Life Magazine October 2012  

New Zealand's freshest baby and lifestyle magazine.