Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad, when he is not relaxing in one of our best recliners, or by one of our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. Anyone that reads our blog will have followed our Water Babies swimming adventures over the years and know how important I feel it is to learn to swim.

    But what about a doll that swims? Who else could it be other than Baby Annabell!

    We all know Baby Annabell as the No 1 selling doll brand in the UK so when Zapf Creations launch a new doll there is lots to be excited about. We were told that the Baby Annabell Learns To Swim doll splashes, moves her arms and legs when she comes into contact with water, and floats on her back. As always, she has cute accessories, so the little water baby includes a towel and inflatable water wings with cute sheep design

    Even more exciting news was hearing that Olympian Rebecca Adlington had partnered up with Zapf Creations and Baby Annabell for this launch, so we wanted to know more!

    Rebecca Adlington launches Baby Annabel Learns to Swim. Photos copyright Si

    Rebecca Adlington says: “Learning to swim is an important milestone, helping to instil confidence from an early age as well as being a really fun bonding experience between a parent and child. If your little one is nervous it can be a challenging process – expect plenty of tears and tantrums, however initial fears can be overcome by slowly building confidence and trust.” Whether your child is an anxious swimmer or an excited water baby, Rebecca Adlington’s top tips will help turn your child into a little Olympian in no time.

    Children can be initially nervous of the water, baby steps and lots of praise will help them overcome a lack of confidence. Try taking them alone to just watch for the first time, then toes in next time and so on, along with lots of positive praise to help encourage them to take that first dip.

    700051_BA Learns to Swim (1)

    Toys are a brilliant tool, they are such a good distraction for anyone who doesn’t normally like putting their face in the water or splashing. Toys such as the new Baby Annabell Learns to Swim doll are a great way to give children (and parents!) the courage to take those first steps towards swimming

    Swimming is huge bonding experience. The learning process is a lot to do with trust and really builds a closer relationship between and parent and child. For this reason, try not to use your phone during lessons to avoid distractions.

    The younger you start swimming lessons the better. It is all about building confidence and awareness of the water from a young age. Swimming also helps with a child’s muscular development and is fantastic for understanding their physical abilities. We started our Water Babies journey when our youngest was 12 months old but we could have started so much sooner. 

    Make good use of the equipment that’s there. Whether it’s armbands, noodles, or vests, use whatever your child is more comfortable with. I tend to do five minutes with floatation equipment and five without, this helps when they’re really young and still building confidence. 

    So how about Baby Annabell Learns to Swim, how does she fare? Well it took me a little while to realise that you have to put Baby Annabell in her 3 positions in sequential order. Just like when a child is learning to swim, they need to learn each stage. Reading the instructions before you put the doll in the bath with an expectant child is always the better option than frustratingly freestyling it. 
    Oh and you need batteries. I repeat you need batteries. 3 x AA batteries are needed. So please don't buy one as a gift this Christmas and forget them. ...... a bath with a floating Annabell isn't quite as exciting as one who giggles and moves her arms and legs in the water. For obvious reasons, Baby Annabell Learns to Swim isn't going to be doing Olympic breastroke around your bath as she is clearly still only a baby (!!), but while the movements and sounds can get a little repetitive, the children are oblivious and delighted to play in the bath.
    The attraction of this new Baby Annabell is quite simply that she can go in the water with your little one, whether that is the bath or the swimming pool .... fun time doesn't have to end at the edge of the bathroom or pool changing rooms. The fun has only just started! 
    We are therefore thrilled to be able to give our readers the chance to win a Baby Annabell Learns to Swim Doll worth £49.99 ..... just in time for Christmas. All you need to do is enter below.
    Win Baby Annabell Learns To Swim RRP £49.99
    Good luck!
    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: Baby Annabell Learns To Swim Doll
    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email
    By entering this competition, you understand that your details may be retained for future mailings. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.
    End Date 26/11/2017 at 12am

  2. Oh my goodness. The children go back to school after half term, the temperature drops ten degrees and your mumdar is flashing. You can sense it in the air. There are bugs about. You’ve got a bit of a tingle in your throat. The kids sneezed twice yesterday after they got home. Your husband woke you up with a cough on Thursday night. It is upon us. Our first dose of autumnal death is about to strike.

    How to keep the bugs at bay this winter

    5 tips for beating winter bugs

    Try as you might, keeping every single sniff and snivel at bay over autumn and winter is unlikely. That being said, there are precautions you can take to keep your family fighting fit while coughs and colds are at large. Here are just five of my best tips on how to ward off those pesky bugs this winter. From one mother to another mother.

    1.    Get the vitamins in

    Seriously, vitamins are oh-so-important. Whether you have to pop a chewy gum on the side of their breakfast bowl, or your child loves their five a day, vitamins all the way. Some fruits and vegs pack more of a vitamin punch than others.

    Build up your bodies’ natural defences with fruits such as berries, citrus, and kiwis, as well as green vegetables, sweet potato, and mushrooms. 

    2.    Don’t forego your 40 winks

    It’s such a simple solution, yet so many of us don’t allow ourselves the sleep our body needs or deserves. Plenty of people have researched the effects that lack of sleep can have. And yep, you’ve guessed it, when you miss out on sleep your immune system takes a huge hit. Sleep!

    Those with babies and toddlers, I can only apologise. Perhaps just sleep when you can?

    3.    Keep things clean

    This is just common sense isn’t it, really? Tell me it is? Wherever bacteria harbours, you’ll find bad bugs and nasties. Bad bugs and nasties equate to a plethora of health issues.

    In autumn and winter when we perhaps cook rustic, hearty meals with meats, be a bit OTT and Dettol every single surface in sight. Forget the battle with the soap, let the kids use handwash in the bathroom, and the kitchen too – make it easy. Have antibac gel in your bag. Go full neurotic mum. Go there. Banish those bugs.

    4.    Use aromatherapy

    No, it’s not just for hippies. There’s actually plenty of scientific research into aromatherapy and essential oils. The only problem is, it’s really hard for pharmaceutical companies to patent it, so it doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

    Add a few drops of Clove Bud essential oil to your diffuser. You will find loads of blends online if you want to create a seasonal scent. Clove Bud oil contains pretty exceptional antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. Used in the air, as a preventative step, it can ward off any horrid airborne bugs. (This isn't always appropriate for asthmatics like our little one but worth considering for others).

    5.    Ginger is king

    Looking for an excuse to tuck into a pack of ginger biscuits? Well, here it is. Ginger is king when it comes to fighting winter health complaints.

    Whether you take ginger supplements, eat ginger in stews, or drink ginger tea/hot water with honey, ginger's properties can help keep down fevers and soothe sore throats. The oil of ginger is packed with anti-inflammatory goodness, meaning if you are feeling under the weather, it can help ease common sinus complaints and other infections.

    What are your top tips for keeping the bugs at bay?

  3. Anyone with an (almost) teenager will know that with the teenage years brings disagreements, attitude, lack of conversation and the delights that are hormones. The hormones don't just manifest themselves in a change in attitude but changes in their skin too! So teenage skincare brand SkinGenius are committed to helping youngsters return to school fresh faced and confident by helping them clear any spots, pimples and acne from their skin. 

    Skin Genius logo

    My daughter has "found" makeup this year, so in addition to the changes in her skin, she is also caking putting on makeup on a regular basis, so making sure that she cleanses her skin has never been more important but finding the right products has been an ongoing challenge.


    The SkinGenius products are jam-packed full of natural and organic ingredients which are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and will also soothe and calm the skin. They really can make a difference to teenage skin and the results are lasting as the products address the cause of acne, pimples and spots and don’t just mask the symptoms.

    The no junk SkinGenius range comprises of three products – key active ingredients are listed below.

    SkinGenius Clarifying Treatment Lotion (£19.99, 100ml) is packed with 98% natural ingredients. It takes just one minute to soak in too! 

    SkinGenius Facial Wash (£17.99, 150ml) is specially formulated to help restore harmony to oily skin troubled by pimples, spots and acne. 

    SkinGenius Moisturiser (£18.99, 100ml) is rich in nut oils which work in synergy to soften the skin, manage excess sebum production and calm inflammation caused by acne or break outs.  




    Our "almost" teen got a chance to try the facial wash and clarifying lotion and the delighted look on a usually non commital face, meant that it was a winner!! Parenting win right there!!

    So if you want to gain parenting bonus points, why not enter below to win a set of Skin Genius products for your teenager worth £49.99

    LLP Win a Skin Genius set of natural skincare

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: Skin Genius natural skincare set
    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email
    By entering this competition, you understand that your details may be retained for future mailings. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.
    End Date 19/11/2017 at 12am

  4. A few weeks ago I held a friends newborn baby and my ovaries ached (shhh don't tell my husband) and whether is your first, second, third or twentieth thanks to Britain's largest family The Radford's, I don’t think the feeling of excitement, joy and sheer emotion of having a new baby ever changes. However, just as you can feel excited about the prospect you can also feel overwhelmed and worried about it. It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions that is for sure. Once you are over the initial excitement, you can start to think about the future and preparing yourself for the arrival of your new baby. But what do you really need?

    If this is your second child or beyond, you may be blessed with things you have kept from your first born. The most popular things to keep tend to be push chairs and car seats, even nursery furniture and clothing. So if you do have their benefit now would be the ideal time to sort through the loft or storage areas and see exactly what you have. It can also help determine how much you need to invest in for the new baby. But for some, you are starting from scratch and so you may feel like you have a big endless list of things to buy or consider for your new baby, but actually there are not as many essentials as you possibly once thought.



    Somewhere to sleep

    Baby’s need a place to sleep, after all, they tend to spend those first few weeks sleeping a lot. So you may want to consider what sort of arrangements you are going to have in place for this. Of course, there are moses baskets that offer great flexibility for sleeping. But you could also consider the more permanent arrangements such as a cot that will potentially live in the baby’s nursery. There are all sorts of accessories to consider when it comes to sleeping arrangements, particular mattresses and sleeping aids, so it’s always advisable to do your research to ensure that the products you think you might not will actually be beneficial.

    The feeding arrangements

    Some people choose to breastfeed, others choose to bottle feed. Whichever route you decide to embark on is a decision only you can make and it is personal to you and how you feel. Sometimes you may have plans to feed in a certain way and things just don't go to plan. There are, however, essentials that could work with each type of feeding possibility such as breast pumps for breastfed baby’s or bottles and sterilisers for the bottle fed ones. Make the choice and then ensure you have what you need to embark on the feeding journey you choose.

    Clothing for those first few weeks and months

    We can often get a little carried away when it comes to buying clothes for a new baby. It’s all those cute little outfits you see in shop windows or websites like Next or Zara. The truth is, in those first weeks and months the chances are your new baby will live in rompers and sleepsuits. Cute outfits are great, but don’t have too many where you run the risk of your baby outgrowing them before they even have a chance to wear them. Be careful with your purchases, and instead, by a few months ahead to ensure you have a steady stream of clothing from newborn size onwards.



    Dealing with siblings

    It can be hard to handle siblings when you are expecting a new child. You run the risk of feelings of jealousy creeping or feeling left out. It can be hard to remember at times there are other feelings to consider, especially when you are exciting and concentrating on taking care of yourself through pregnancy. The essential factor here is to ensure that you involve your child in the process of welcoming another baby. That might be a surprise gender reveal or making it a big event to announce the new sibling. It might just be arranging a private scan so that they get to meet their new sibling, a 4D scan could be a great bonding experience.

    Getting out and about

    You might need to consider the getting out and about arrangements for you new baby. Which could mean doing research on travel systems, push chairs and car seats. The car seat essentially is something you need for the hospital to get you home safely, so that may become your priority if you are planning on spreading the bigger purchases. There are options to suit all budgets in this field, and the best advice would be to go out and visit them and try them out and see how they feel. People have opinions from the top end of the budgets right through to some of the cheaper options available on the market.

    Finally, make sure you take care of your own well being. Taking time out for yourself, enjoying a nice book and a relaxing bath. They may not be essentials that cost much, but they can make all the difference to how you feel.