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 or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. 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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Category: School Days

  1. Fingerlings Narwharl Review & Giveaway

    Posted on

    If you have a child of school age, you have undoubtedly heard about Fingerlings. No? Well if not, let us tell you ALL about them.

    Fingerlings were created by WowWee and they are essentially an adorable creature that is designed to be wrapped around your finger. The toy can be a monkey, unicorn, panda, dragon, or sloth that clings to your fingers and react to touch and sound by blinking and blowing kisses. 

    My daughter has had a Fingerlings monkey for some time but was delighted to have the opportunity to try out the new Narwharl that WowWee have launched. There are 4 Narwharls to collect and we were lucky enough to get Nikki the Narwharl, who according to their website, loves to “splish and splash”.

     Win a Fingerlings Narwharl

    The key features of the Narhwarl are: 

    • The horn lights up to show how they feel.
    • They have cute sounds that react to motion
    • Put them to your cheek to get an adorable “mwah” kiss (I can’t tell you how many kisses I have had from the Narwharl … it is a little addictive)


    The more you love the Narwharl, the more it interacts and loves you back, so when you lovingly pet them they’ll actually flap their tail and then blink their eyes so you know exactly how they’re feeling.


    The Narwharls retail for £14.99 and are available at most leading toy stores such as Smyths, Argos, The Entertainer and Argos. However we are delighted to give the Lilypad readers the chance to win one of your very own. All you need to do is enter below.

    Good luck

     Fingerlings Narwharl


    The Prize: Fingerlings Narwharl
    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Gleam and notified within 7 working days by email
    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.
    UK Entrants Only
    End Date 05/05/2019 at 12am
    This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook. 
  2. How much sleep do children need?

    Posted on

    It is no secret that I love my bed and my girls are very similiar but what time should a child go to bed? Parenting experts and grandmas might have differing opinions, but the best bedtime for a child is one that allows her to wake up on time feeling rested and happy. 

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    How Much Sleep do Children Need?

    Children need more sleep the younger they are, with newborns sleeping on and off throughout the day and night. According to The Baby Sleep Book [Little, Brown & Co, 2005] by Dr. Sears, children need the different amounts of sleep at different ages. Dr. Sears recommends:

    Age 0-3 months, 14-18 hours of sleep
    Age 3-6 months, 14-16 hours
    Age 6 months-2 years, 12-14 hours,
    Age 2-5 years, 10-12 hours.

    Of course, there is a wide natural variation between individual children, but these figures can act as a guideline along with an individual child’s behavior. If a child is hard to wake in the morning or has frequent tantrums at the end of the day these behaviors might be caused by lack of sleep.

    What Time Should My Child Go to Bed?

    From the amount of sleep an individual child needs based on her behavior and age, the most appropriate bedtime can be worked out next. If mornings involve waking up to an alarm clock and getting out of the house to get to school or daycare on time, then work out first how much time is needed for the morning routine to go smoothly. Then, count backwards the number of hours a child needs to be well rested to find out the best bedtime for that child.

    Family Routines Can Affect Bedtimes

    Bedtimes can be pushed earlier or later to suit family needs, although the more a parent relies on the child’s natural sleep cues the easier bedtime will be. If children are allowed to stay up late to play with mom or dad who works long hours and returns home late in the evening, they will need to sleep later in the morning to make up for the lost time. Likewise, if a child sleeps late in the morning he will tend to remain wakeful until later at night as well. The key to finding a bedtime that suits the entire family is searching for the balance where the child is well rested and also has time together with the family, whether that is early in the morning or in the evening.

    Children need different amounts of sleep, but ensuring that a child has an age-appropriate bedtime will help her feel better during the day, pay more attention in school and avoid behavior problems related to sleep deprivation. Whether a family is early to bed or night owls, agreeing on an age-appropriate bedtime requires cooperation from the whole family.

    As for parents, get as much sleep as you can! 

  3. Time Saving Tips for Mums

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    Whether you have one child or more, the daily tasks of making meals, washing clothes, making things better, and making time for yourself can be just a wee bit overwhelming. I have a friend who regularly suggests that there is more than one of me but I have to admit that I run a tight ship so wanted to share some of my top time saving tips with you! 


    Shopping List

    Have you scrambled to find something to put on the table? Plan all of your meals for the week and get all your shopping done once a week with a complete list. Having meals planned out eases the mind with regards to what meal will have to be put on the table and what goes in the lunch kits. I have spent so much time looking in the fridge wondering what to put on the table before I planned meals in advance

    Be prepared for viruses

    Always have Calpol and other remedies on hand. To have a child at home sick with a fever and then having to drag the poor child(ren) to the shops is so distressing on all the people involved. Having these will save time and so much more.

    Daily Schedule/Planner

    Have a schedule for all to see in the kitchen. I chose the kitchen because everyone goes there everyday. With this you can get prepared for the next day by having the necessary things ready. For example, the hockey gear can be checked to see if it all there or the ballet outfits can be put together the day before so you are not scrambling to find things at the last minute.

    Designate age appropriate chores

    After supper if the kids are old enough to carry their plates to the sink get them to do so along with putting the ketchup in the fridge etc. It can be a fun time and the child(ren) gain a sense of belonging and fulfillment even. Starting this can be daunting, but once the routine is established it saves time. If they are too young for this they will be old enough soon. Tummy time turns into chore time soon.. This can be a good time to have them sort out their outfits for the next school day too.

    Have a stocked cupboard

    Having all the necessary supplies makes homework so much easier. Have pencils, sharpener, scissors, erasers crayons, markers, and glue in a container. Then when it is time to do the homework you won’t spend time looking for things, put who knows where yesterday.

    Post Checklists

    Some child(ren) are daydreamers, I have one. He sometimes remembers to comb his hair, but forgets to brush his teeth. A checklist by the light switch helps him remember to do both. Younger kids could have picture checklists if they are unable to read yet.

    Take Naps (best advice ever!!)

    When your child is in school or taking a nap get a little shut eye yourself. If you work this does not work during the week, but on the weekends if you can squeeze in a nap it can perk you up so much. Make rest and sleep a priority for you, the housework can wait.

    Get a babysitter

    Any parenting article tells you to do this, but affording the time away is hard especially for some single mothers. Perhaps make an arrangement with another mother if necessary to get some time away to get some perspective. 

    Get a cleaner

    This can be hard to afford for many too, but it could even be for just one day a month for some of the larger jobs like doing the floors. The cost is the same as going to a movie and restaurant. Having the house clean is quite a treat to give yourself and you are worth it.

    Spend time with your child(ren)

    Even if you can only make 15 minutes of your day for this, it is time well spent. I find if I do not do this my two girls tend to bicker more and just get very irritable and I then have to spend time disciplining them instead, so I choose to read with them or just lie down with them and chat. It provides so much balance for them and balance for me too.



  4. How to survive raising a teenager

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    Parents of teenagers: Unite! Sometimes it might feel like you need a battle cry to get through the trying years of parenting a teen. Parents can take solace in the fact that they are not alone. Even the most well behaved teen goes through some growing pains from time to time. Parents must learn to survive though, and they must help their teens thrive.

    How to survive raising a teenager

    I remember my mom saying that by the time I was 14, she loved me but didn't like me very much and I always have that at the back of my head with my daughter. Up until now we still have a great relationship and we talk more than I ever did with my own mom.


    Talking to your teen is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Teenagers will most likely resist but don't give up. Ask the five W's: who, what, when, where and why. Who will be with them? What will they be doing? When will they be home? Where are they going? Why will they be there? If they feel like they are getting the Spanish Inquisition, you're doing it correctly.

    It may be annoying to them to answer all of your questions, but it shows that you care. You'd rather not have an angst-ridden teenager wondering whether his or her parents care enough to ask the right questions. Encourage them to open up about problems in school or social issues as well. Have dinner together and talk about news stories or entertainment bits that may interest your teen. Any communication is better than no communication.


    Making mistakes is a part of growing up and becoming a responsible adult. A teenager needs to learn how to make decisions and how to live with the consequences of his or her decisions. One of the hardest things for parents to do is to step back and let their children make mistakes. If you bail out your teen the first time, he or she will be destined to repeat the same errors in judgment again and again. Relax and know that your ability to back off and let your teen learn through actions will be a great benefit in the long run. (just not for our nerves in the short term).

    Track and Monitor

    As much as it pains me not to be nosey, you shouldn't snoop or invade your child's privacy. Developing trust between you and your teenager is one of the most important steps in keeping an open line of communication. However, in this technological age of texting, picture messaging, and internet access, it is important to keep a little control on the "reigns." Counsel your teen on the safety of keeping a certain level of anonymity on the internet, and convey the vital message that things sent over cell phones are not always easy to erase. If used correctly, mobile phones can be a great method of keeping in touch with your teen when you are not together. Teach your child how to use a cell phone safely, effectively, and politely.


    Get Involved

    The natural instinct of a teen is to pull away from his or her parents. The best way to stay in your child's life is to get involved. If your teenager plays on his high school football team, try to attend as many games as possible. Welcome his or her friends into your home and try to provide a tolerant (within reason) atmosphere for them to hang out and feel comfortable. If your house is their central hub of activity, you will be more likely to be able to keep track of the things important to your teen.

    Being a teenager is not easy, and raising one is even more difficult. There are no right or wrong answers to every situation. Try to be adaptable. If you are patient and empathetic, you will soon find that your unruly teenager has become an independent adult, and you can breathe a sigh of relief.