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: The Toddler Years

  1. How to complete a bedroom makeover in a weekend

    Posted on

    Last year we changed the toddlers room from a nursery in to a little girls bedroom and with the addition of a rug and some new lighting, we gave it a more "grown up" feel.

    Vertabaudet Room Finished

    It was a quick and easy way to update the room but fast forward to this year and the little one continues to grow (and grow up - sob) and she wanted a big girls bed. Now having the smallest room in the house comes with its own challenges for trying to actually fit a cot bed, wardrobe, small kitchen (!!) and her toys in there as it is, so finding room for a single bed presented a new challenge. In a moment of inspiration, we decided on a cabin bed and I made it my mission to find one that was affordable, good quality and fit for a little princess. So once we had it, I wanted to get the room sorted straight away.

    So how do you complete a bedroom makeover in a weekend, here are our top tips

    1. Make a plan! Know your budget, stick to it and don't get drawn into buying those additional items just because they are pretty! (I *may* need to take my own advice here).

    2. Clear the space. Random teddy bears and pieces of lego will not be your friend.

    3. Check that you have everything you need before you start. When dealing with flat pack furniture, make sure you unpack the parts and fixings carefully, checking that everything needed is present. Identify the parts against the instructions as you go. Handy Tip : Packaging can be used to protect flooring.

    Bedroom makeover 1

    4. Accept help when it is offered (even if it is from a 3 year old)

    5. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. They’re there to help, and no human has yet been born with a universal flat pack assembly manual downloaded directly into his or her brain.

    Bedroom makeover 2

    6. Don't build or paint yourself into somewhere you can't get out of!

    Bedroom makeover 3

    7. Add a wall decal (toddlers own choice in this instance). Decals are an inexpensive way to give your walls some personality and flair and add colour to plain walls.

    Bedroom makeover 4

    Final tip! When buying a new bed for your child, make sure you have a single bed mattress to fit it and don't do what we did and realise that we might have to make a temporary one!! Thank goodness for next day delivery and online shopping!

    Bedroom makeover 5

    The toddler is delighted with her new "big girl bed" and she is even more excited that she has a den underneath it but I am just pleased that it has curtains to hide all the toys away, so everyone is happy.

    Completing a bedroom makeover doesn't need to be hugely expensive or time consuming, just a few small changes can make a big difference.



  2. Top tips for keeping children protected and cool in the sunshine

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    There is no escaping the warm weather recently (not that I have tried to) but children don't seem to appreciate the effect that the sun (and the heat) can have on them. So after a recent bout of heatstroke with the tween due to a particularly sunny afternoon on the school playing field, here are our top tips for keeping children protected and cool whether you travelling or staying at home this summer.

    Stay hydrated

    This seem fairly obvious but even I can forget to keep hydrated when I am involved in work something interesting. Like adults, babies and young children need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. Trying to get children to drink water can be challenging but you just need to get a little creative when trying to keep them hydrated. If they're over six months old and they are bored with water, try giving them a combination of very diluted fruit juice, ice cubes and homemade fruit juice lollies throughout the day. For older children, plenty of fruit and salad will also help keep their fluid levels up.

    Stay Protected

    Playing in a paddling pool is a good way of keeping babies and children cool. Keep the pool in the shade during very hot weather and supervise the children carefully at all times.

    Paddling pool

    I remember never applying sunscreen in the UK when I was a child but it is the same sun and Factor 50 is my friend. When applying sun lotion we tend to forget the scalp, hairline and ears - especially if we are blessed with a full head of hair - assuming that this will act as a barrier. This is not necessarily the case, so to ensure no embarrassing red or inflamed scalp burns, apply sun spray to these areas generously, or look for specialist non-greasy Scalp Protector products like Calypso Scalp Protector which offers instant protection to scalps and partings and can be sprayed directly through the hair onto the scalp.

    Cover exposed parts of your child's skin with sunscreen, even on cloudy or overcast days. Use one that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or above and is effective against UVA and UVB. Don't forget to apply it to their shoulders, nose, ears, cheeks and the tops of their feet. 

    You need at least 35ml of suncream to ensure you cover your entire body and receive the correct level of protection - reducing this quantity will leave you more exposed to skin damage. Finding the right sunscreen for your child can be like finding the right moisturiser for your skin, don't assume that one type will suit every member of your family.

     Sunscreen 15

    Stay Safe

    Children should be encouraged to adventure and be a child but it is always worth reinforcing caution. That paddling brook, river or even a pond may seem like a good idea to a small child but even the strongest swimmer can be affected by cold water shock, which affects your ability to control breathing. This can lead to gasping, panic and – in the worst cases – drowning. 

    Holidays and the summer months are a great time for children to learn swimming and water safety skills, I know my girls can't wait to get in the pool in this heat.

    Stay Cool

    Hang wet towels over chairs or windows when it's really stifling. The evaporating water will help the air to cool and if you can keep your child's bedroom cool during the day by closing blinds or curtains, this will also help keep the temperature down

    A nursery thermometer will help you monitor the temperature of your baby's room. Your baby will sleep most comfortably when their room is between 16°C (61°F) and 20°C (68°F).  

    And finally, make sure that any waterproof sheets are removed and only cotton ones are on the bed. Dress them appropriately for bed and keep your fingers crossed for a restful nights sleep!


    Would you add any other words of wisdom?

  3. Ways For Parents To Monitor & Reward Their Children

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    It’s often said that you should never resort to buying the good graces of anyone – sadly this is a rule that never has and never will apply to kids! When it comes to younger children in particular, there’s really nothing wrong with ‘greasing the wheels’ from time to time to motivate positive behaviours. After all, it’s likely to be some time before the old ‘any good deed is its own reward’ adage means anything to them – in the meantime, making good with the more tangible rewards tends to work much better.

    Of course there is a line to draw as to reward each and every positive thing any child does would be to instil a rather bad habit of then expecting too many rewards long-term. Nevertheless, in instances where habits are either hard to break or in any way difficult for younger kids to understand, a little deal-sweetener here and there can be a wonderful thing.

    Brainwaves, the leading provider of high quality rewards for children (stickers, badges, certificates, stampers & pencils) have written the following article for our readers highlighting some areas of children’s activities that parents may like to monitor and encourage good practice through positive reinforcement.


    For example, trying to explain to any younger child why it’s of such importance to practise good cleanliness habits can be tricky. This covers everything from the state they keep their room in, to their own personal hygiene and so on – all of which are lessons that aren’t learned overnight. These are therefore perfect examples of instances where positive behaviour could be grounds for a reward. For each night the little one keeps their room clean, she gets a sticker…for example. And if she gets five consecutive stickers in a row, she gets something even better – a badge, toy, etc. It’s a fantastic way of motivating positive habits, which once instilled have a delightful habit of sticking long-term.

     Messy Bedroom

    Table Manners

    Believe it or not, it’s actually possible to make the subject of teaching better table manners fun for all involved. Just as soon as your kids are old enough to begin feeding themselves at the table, set them the challenge of not only finishing their whole meal, but doing so without spilling or splashing a drop. Invest in a simple sticker chart and give them a sticker for it each time they manage a clean meal. Then, just like above, every time they chalk up say ten clean dinners, they’re rewarded. This way, positive habits are encouraged by pure recognition, as opposed to being scolded for failure.

    Child Eating

    Social Interaction

    In terms of social interaction, it’s important to nurture things like kindness, compassion and generosity in all kids - though this, again, can be difficult with words alone. Monitoring a child’s interaction with others therefore can be a great way of picking up on key points worthy of rewards. If there’s only one ice cream and he or she lets a friend have it, big gold star. If they let their friend use the slide or swings first, another gold star. Sharing their bag of crisps is another perfect reason for a reward. Again, you’re not looking to create a system where good deeds are only done for rewards, but to instead nurture the development of positive habits that will stick for life.

    You’d be surprised how far a few stickers and badges might just get you!

    We have therefore teamed up with Brainwaves to offer you a great prize of their Saver Cards and accompanying stickers. All you need to do is enter below.


     a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Good luck!

    UK Entrants Only.
    The winner will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 5 working days by email
    Brainwaves will make every effort to provide the gift set requested but this cannot be guaranteed
    By entering this competition, you understand that your details will 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 18/07/2015 at 12am

    Listed on Prizefinder

  4. Things to do in the summer with children (without getting on a plane)

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    The hot weather is here. The children will be breaking up from school shortly and in our case have 7 (!!) weeks off school. The warm weather in the UK means that we don't need to get on a plane to enjoy some sunshine, so here are our top things to do with the children this summer.

    Go Swimming > Outdoors

    Why should outdoor swimming be reserved for holidays abroad? There are lots of holiday parks in the UK that have outdoor pools or you could try somewhere like Droitwich Spa Lido in the West Midlands. Droitwich Spa Lido is one of the UK’s few remaining open-air saltwater swimming pools, and with a 40m pool, wet play area, sun terraces and Lido Café you’re sure to have a memorable day out that won’t break the bank. It is only only open during the summer months, so it is a great time to go and enjoy while the weather is warm.

    Reading Challenge

    School may be finished but there is no reason to stop reading with your children over the summer. It is a great way to keep their minds active but also a good way to wind down at the end of a fun packed day.

    Childrens Festivals

    There are some fabulous child-friendly festivals out there, and it's not just about the music these days - there are some brilliant boutique festivals which offer great food, dressing up for the kids, crafts, workshops, comedy and so much more. Here are a couple that we are coveting.
    Standon Calling - Hertfordshire - Not only is there a swimming pool, the kids' area has everything from yoga classes to drama workshops. There's also a chance to compete in the annual themed fancy-dress competition. The music line-up comes in the form of Basement Jaxx, the Dandy Warhols and Little Dragon. Find out more: