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 very entertaining) daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or my gorgeous sister in law as part of our baby blog 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) and baby swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. Today, the man on the Lilypad has taken over the blog about what he really thinks of our baby swimming ...... be kind to him!

    Baby Swimming A Dads perspective

    6am, 22 years ago and I'm standing on the edge of the Olympic size training pool. I already know the water isn’t heated, I know how icy cold it’s going to be as I plunge in but strangely I welcome it and crave it. This cold water torture on a Saturday morning was not just for fun, I swam competitively for the county. As I think back now to the inspirational mishap that started my journey I am pleased that my little princess didn’t decide to throw herself into the local duck pond on a freezing January day, instead as a family we wanted a much more gentle introduction to learning to swim, something we found with the amazing waterbabies.

    Most people have seen the images of babies swimming unaided under water, eyes open and totally at home but I have to admit I wasn’t sure about plunging her under the water and just hoping instinct kicks in and she holds her breath! In the early stages my wife took the lead in the pool, allowing me to observe from the side. I was amazed at how comfortable most of the children were and the lessons were nothing like what I had experienced as a child! Singing, splashing, play and a great environment of encouragement all allowed our little one to progress quickly.

    Fast forward 3 years and our Sunday mornings are filled with 30 minutes of getting in and out of the pool safely, bubble blowing, ‘tiger arms’, frantic kicking, jumping in, singing, wibble wobbling off giant floats and ultimately one of my proudest moments as a dad, watching my little mermaid complete a 10 metre unaided swim – pink goggle clad face bobbing along with a giant grin on it! Of course its not all plain sailing! We have had a number of lessons that have descended into tears (typically anything involving lying on her back! And typically the ones where its me in the pool!?) but this is always dealt with brilliantly and nothing is forced.

    As parents we all want our children to progress and learn new skills as they grow, but it has been one of the most rewarding experiences to see this crucial life skill being developed in a fun and structured environment. Who knows, maybe like my dad I will end up sitting watching a champion swimmer diving in to that same freezing Olympic size pool at 6am in another 10 years time, all inspired not by a dip with the ducks but instead bathing with the water babies!

  2. Do you believe in Fairy Magic?

    Fairy Magic (1)

    The Irish Fairy Company help fairies relocate into homes and gardens all over the world by producing high quality handmade Irish fairy doors; their aim is to create memorable family moments and a little magic all year round – all YOU need to do is believe! 

    FullSizeRender (1)


    I *may* have been a little excited about this arriving on our doorstep as we are always on a quest to maintain the magic of make believe for as long as possible in our house and with the combination of the irish fairy door, the magic key and family agreement, there is nothing more magical than having your very own fairy! The Irish Fairy Door comes well packaged and securely fixed inside the box. It takes a little persuasion to get it out but the girls were busy investigating the fairy guide, key and family agreement while we carefully "unstuck" it from the box.

    You have to pick a special place for your Irish Fairy Door to go (and I have to admit that ours may have moved location a couple of times until we were happy that a) it was safe b) the cat couldn't mess with the stones and c) the fairy would be happy!)

    I have to take time to note the quality of the door. There are a lot of "plastic" products on the market which are targeted to young children but this beautifully made wooden door is very simple but perfect in every way. There are a number of door designs to choose from all of which retail at £19.99 but we chose the purple arched door as this appealed to both girls with purple door for the older one and the splash of pink to pacify the younger one. You can also buy accessories for your fairy door such as door knockers and adorably cute washing lines for fairy clothes.

    Fair Door

    It is obviously important to write a note to your fairy and you have to hope that the fairy can read your writing and will write back. (Note for Parents : It is IMPORTANT that the fairy writes back!).

    With a soldem vow after reading the family agreement, even the 10 year old who doesn't "really" believe in the tooth fairy any more has bought into writing to the fairy when her tooth fell out, although I am not sure if this is more to do with continual quest for a shiny coin in return for her tooth, than maintaining her belief in fairies!

    Bubbling excitement at bedtime due to the waiting for the fairy means that sleep is the last thing on a childs mind, so we found a gorgeous fairy poem that helped encourage sleep.

    How far and wide the fairies fly,

    On bright and golden wing,

    But when they settle down to sleep,

    A gentle song they sing.

    Sweet Queen of Night,

    Soft silver stars

    We're glad you are so near,

    We seek our beds,

    We rest our heads,

    Without a moment's fear.

    On thistledown

    In hidden nooks

    We watch the wanning light

    The joys of sleep

    Upon us creep

    We wish you all good night.

    Credit : Steven Kroll


    So while everyone is sleeping, the fairy comes into your house to sprinkle a little bit of magic all around because let's be honest, who doesn't want a little bit of magic in their lives?

    Fairy Magic

  3. Sleep has evaded us this week. It taunts parents with young children (which makes that about 99% of our readers) but it is not solely the endurance test of those with small babies. Nightmares can interrupt an emotional childs sleep pattern, a full bladder is never anyone's night time friend and let's not start on the introduction of a cough and cold that keeps everyone awake.

    I feel exhausted. I have resorted to co-sleeping but do you know what? These are the things that loving, caring, nurturing mums do! I have no intention of feeling guilty about cuddling/holding/rocking/co-sleeping my little one to sleep – those are all things that mums do!

    I just need to leave a little reminder to all those tired mums out there ......

    You are doing a GREAT job 

  4. Every person has a natural in built fear of the water. The human body not naturally designed to be underwater which is why swimming is such an important life skill for any child. But what if confidence holds a child back, what then?

    We are huge swimming advocates and ensure that the girls swim on a weekly basis but going on holiday this summer meant a new pool, new depths, no lifeguards and a big adventure as far as the girls were concerned but I was a little more cautious. I was therefore delighted when Swimfin gave us the opportunity to try out one of the pink shark fins for our summer holiday.

    The website tells us that the SwimFin compensates for different abilities, providing as much support as the swimmer needs, yet giving confidence to even the most timid learner. For me the fact that it works in harmony with the body, helping to develop a better and more natural swimming position, was attractive to me as whilst the little one has achieved her 10 metre badge with Water Babies, she has a tendancy to "run" through the water rather than lying flat.

    So what did we think ......?

    Swimfin 3

    The Swimfin feels sturdy without being heavy and the adjustable velcro straps give a feeling of security for the little one (and for me). I *may* have put it on my daughter backwards the first time round and whilst she looked like a backwards shark, it didn't actually detract from its bouyancy. There is no need for inflating or deflating after use (and it dries quickly too ..... although that may have been more to do with the sunshine!)

    Swimfin 1

    The deep end of a new (freezing cold) pool can feel quite daunting, especially when the water temperature takes your breath away but the Swimfin gave our little swimmer that extra bit of confidence in getting into the pool. Our little swimmer doesn't like "fuss" so the fact that the Swinfin is so easy to get on and off when she is getting in and out of the water is a big plus.

    Swimfin 2

    We saw lots of different bouyancy aids on our holiday but unlike other swimming aids, we love that the SwimFin is multi-stroke functional. It leaves the arms completely free to move and so can be used to learn front-crawl and back-stroke with ease. Our youngest daughter has never been a huge fan of swimming on her back but with the Swimfin she was happily swimming around on her back, comforted by the protection of the Swinfin.

    Swimfin 4

    Essentially the SwimFin is just a very clever flotation device. There are no gimmicks (aside from being very cool looking) but it does its job and complies with international safety standards, which is a big plus for safety conscious parents.

    The Big Plus Points :

    • The Swinfin gives confidence for mum and child in the water
    • The Swimfin looks super cool
    • The Swinfim is not restrictive
    • The Swinfin is always a talking point at the pool so great for helping the children make new friends on holiday.Everyone was asking "where is the little shark"
    • There is no need to get out of breath blowing up inflatable water wings as the Swinfin is ready to go.
    • It helps to improve the childs swimming position

    Is there a downside to the Swimfin?

    • The only downside for me is that it took up a little extra room in my suitcase that I could have used for an extra pair of shoes!

    Swimfin 5