An update on Waffle our Leopard Gecko

Here is our lovely Waffle, doing great and very healthy! My 8yo enjoys sitting and reading a book with Waffle sitting on her shoulder or front of her sweater.  She’s still eating small meal worms though I often “gut load them” by feeding them carrots and oatmeal and leaving their container out of the refreidgerator for a week and letting them grow a bit. I should probably get her the large ones but they creep me out.

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Occasionally the kids seem to forget about her but she’s so low maintenance she is super easy to take care of, other times they want to hold her every day. She’s still super sweet and does occasionally make a interesting croaking noise. The kids say she’s fine but I think she’s mad when she makes the sound and its her saying she is done being handled and ready to go back to her house. She didn’t shed very much this winter (or I just missed seeing her shed) but I always make a point to look at her toes and make sure they are clear of any shed. She seems to take care of herself very well.

I’ve continued to give her tap water and she has not had any issue with it or shown any ill effects. Life with a Leopard Gecko is laid back and fun!


Waffle 11 months old

Our Waffle is now about 11 months old and my goodness does she look different! She was SO TINY when we first brought her home. All of her stripes are nearly gone and she looks exactly as we hoped she would, a proper Albino Sunglow! She still has loads of orange in her tail and she’s pretty vibrant if you catch her in actual sunlight. We always have to photograph her by a lamp at night so you never get the full orange/yellow effect. She’s super sweet and much more tolerant of being handled now that she’s older.


She often seems what I would consider “bored” and will walk around her tank and try to climb the sides of it. Anytime she does this we take it as an invitation to play and we bring her out and let her crawl around a bit. She often settled on our hands and sits calmly and she also loves to climb. She still doesn’t seem to like her back touched but she’s calmer about it when we do. I don’t think lizards like you to “pet” them but its hard to resist the urge!

She still pops out mid-day to say hi when she’s in the mood and if you come up to her cage when she’s out she does not run away. When she hits her first birthday we would like to upgrade her to a larger tank to give her more to do! I have to say she barely eats it makes me a bit nervous but she has a nice fat tail and we always make sure it stays fat but this entire winter she barely ate. Its gotten warmer now and its about the same speed. I’ve read they can go “dormant” but based on her activity level I would say she is not.


We successfully went on vacation for 5 days and left her. I left a little meal worm tray with 6 worms in it she ate all but 1 and when we came back her water was empty and she came straight out and drank quiet a bit in front of us her little tongue coming out was so cute. I’ve gotten lazy and not given her crickets in months now. She frustrates me with how little she eats, about once or twice a week now but she seems happy and healthy, she sheds and poops so we can only assume she is well!

Leopard Gecko Changing Patterns

One interesting thing about Leopard Geckos is that their pattern changes as they grow from baby to adult. On our gecko Waffle, the white band she had around her neck has just recently changed with her last shed (she has shed twice in the last 5 weeks).

Leopard Gecko Bell Albino

In this photo taken a week ago she appears very orange and the band on her head is white with a bit of orange speckles and dark speckles. That is not a trick of the light it is really how much she changed. Her little tongue can be seen below, the pink spot on the end of her nose.

Leopard Gecko Orange Yellow

Here she is just a week later after a shed and her neck has faded about 50% away on her neck and her body suddenly looks more yellow.  Her little legs are suddenly less orange and more yellow as well. It will be fun to see how she changes as she grows.

Do leopard geckos sleep all day?

A question that everyone always asks is, if they are nocturnal does that mean they sleep all day and I will never see them? This is a great question and I think the answer probably depends on each leopard gecko. Maybe some do sleep all day, but our leopard gecko Waffle does not.

Sunglow Leopard Gecko
Waffle awake during the day.

I keep an eye on her some days to see what she does, and she sometimes can be found standing up on all four legs in her moist hide. In her dry warm hide, she tends to always lay on her belly, probably because of the heat. Just now I checked on her and found her asleep in her moist hide with her belly down and she is totally conked out asleep! It’s 4 in the afternoon here, sometimes she can be found with her little legs sprawled out totally relaxed and its very cute. I am planning to setup her tank so that I can get better pictures of her in these cute positions.

Albino Leopard Gecko

I’ve only caught her shedding once so far, and she shed in the middle of the day. Sometimes in the middle of the day she will come out of her hide to go potty, she does sleep a lot but she is certainly awake during the day at certain times. I read in a book that they like to hunt when the sun rises, and when the sun sets so I would imagine they may possibly sleep during the night as well, the only way to know would be to stay up all night and keep a log of their activity. If you’ve ever tried this please post a comment and let us know the results of your study!

Potty Problems

Leopard geckos are funny little animals. Many of them prefer to potty in the corner of their cages, and even better they almost always potty in the same spot. This makes cleaning up their mess much easier.

When we first got Waffle our leopard gecko, the kids made her a super cute hide out using legos and the cardboard box that contained the night vision lamp for the tank. A day later we looked in the box (which we had placed in the right-most corner of the tank) only to discover she had pooped in it. I regretted that I had not lined the box with paper towels so it would not have to be thrown away. Now we place a piece of white folded paper in the corner, about 4 or 5 inches long and she always goes potty on it. In this funny way leopard geckos act a lot like a cat, you can basically create a litter pan for them if you wanted.

hand made hide
Waffle’s first “litter pan”.

One very important thing to know about leopard geckos is that their poop can contain parasites, because wild animals naturally have a small load of parasites in their body. When the load becomes too heavy, the animal gets sick. Leopard geckos are often fed crickets. If the crickets are left in the cage and find the poop and eat it (ew!) which they TOTALLY will if left in there long enough, the gecko then eats the crickets and overloads them with parasites. You ARE what you eat, and we want to feed our geckos crickets and meal worms that have fed on nice healthy stuff. This means you want to get your leopard geckos food from a reliable source. If the crickets and worms are sick, then your leopard gecko can become sick too.

You can read more about it here  and here if you would like to find out more.

Best ways to avoid potty problems;

  1. Clean out the poop daily or every other day
  2. Keep your animals cage clean – change out paper towels and newspaper weekly, and thoroughly clean with warm water and mild soap at-least once a month
  3. Make sure the insects you feed your gecko are fed a healthy diet
  4. Clean out all the poop before placing feeding any crickets to your leopard gecko

Bringing home our first leopard gecko

In the summer of 2014 my children and I first discussed the idea of getting a pet, something low maintenance, something the kids could hold but something that would not need to be held. Something cute and interesting from a scientific perspective so the kids could learn new and fun things. Kids love bugs, and leopard geckos eat bugs.

Leopard geckos don’t really want to be played with too often which means when the kids forget they even have a leopard gecko, the gecko won’t feel lonely. All the signs pointed to yes! With a bit of research online we quickly found that the best place to buy one would be a Reptile Expo. It actually turned out there would be an expo very close to our house only a few months away but we would not be home that weekend, so instead we went a bit sooner and trekked into northern Virginia to a show at the Prince William County Fairgrounds.

Receipt for our gecko with her “morph” listed

The reptile show was super interesting for the kids, they had spiders everywhere, and gigantic lizards, and tiny snakes. It was like the reptile section of a zoo times 1,000. The kids got to hold a bearded dragon and hold tiny mice (eeeek!! for the snakes to eat!!). GermX was thankfully present at a few tables. We wound a few vendors selling leopard geckos. It was decided we wanted an “orange” one and one of the vendors had several lovely baby “Bell Albino Sunglow” leopard geckos that we immediately liked.

Our soon to be pet, a Bell Albino Sunglow
Our soon to be pet, a Bell Albino Sunglow

Before looking at each “morph” (what the leopard gecko breeders call the different colors they come in) I asked the man which of his gecko’s was the most docile, he noted that the sunglows seemed the most docile in his experience, which was perfect for us given we wanted that lovely orange glow.

Leopard Gecko

All of the leopard geckos came in plastic containers. At this particular show we saw leopard geckos that cost anything from $35 to $120. We saw a very nice young man and his mother selling leopard geckos, to people who seemed to have a large breeding business selling leopard geckos along with bearded dragons and other reptiles. Once we held ours we were smitten! Both of the kids got to hold her, we paid and off we went on a long car ride home. The breeder told us she had been fed small crickets and to leave her alone for 4 to 5 days once we had her setup in her new home. We went home and placed her in a quiet spot while I went out to petsmart to find a 10 gallon tank and some other necessary supplies.

Her first tank setup, needs some work
The state of her tank the first day we brought her home, it has changed a lot since then!

I asked my kids what they wanted to name her and my 5 year old immediately responded “Waffle!” which turned out to be the perfect name for her. Welcome home Waffle!