I’ve been resisting purchasing a Funtainer bottle for the longest time because they are so expensive at almost S$60 compared to less than S$15 for normal BPA free bottles. Yes it is a vacuum flask but I didn’t need the temperature keeping capabilities, until recently. As faithful readers of this blog (yes, all 3 of you: dad, mum and hubby) would know, Sophia does not drink formula milk but guzzles down 3 full cups of freshmilk a day. So when planning for my trip, a very big consideration is how to bring milk around without it spoiling. Of course, I’m sure milk is available everywhere in Australia, except for the outback which us city folks are obviously not going to with a baby in tow, but there are the flights and such so we thought it made sense to bring milk out in a thermos.

What a great decision we made! Sophia loves her new Funtainer bottle to bits and will only drink from it. What is it that appeals to her I have no idea. Perhaps she finds the flower prints pretty. Perhaps its easy to drink from. The first day we gave it to her, she drank non stop! That day we changed many diapers.

This is not an advertorial but I am one satisfied customer. Kudos!

I am the queen!

Sophia has been drinking all her milk from a straw cup since she was 13 months plus and has been holding her own milk bottle for months and months, so she’s perfectly capable of holding her own cup and drinking from it right? But when both grandparents and grandaunt are around, this is what happens:


Milk milk

I wish this was available in Singapore:

Grasfed plus organic. That’s what I need. Actually grassfed hormone free is good enough for me but alas I couldn’t find a source. Sophia is now drinking Pura milk because its from cows that are mainly grassfed. The only organic pasturised (as opposed to UHT, just in case anyone thinks I’m thinking of feeding Sophia RAW milk, I’m not that OCD. yet.) milk that I could find in Singapore is the original organic valley full cream milk, which is not from mainly grassfed cows. So neither Pura not Organic Valley original is the best option but are better than the other options being grain fed plus non organic milk. Hence, I was thinking of alternating between the 2 initially but my dad prefers Pura because of the packaging (includes a screw-cap). And so Sophia ends up drinking that more.

I thought about cow’s milk but eventually dropped it because of the low folic acid levels, especially since I emailed the only goat farm in Singapore to ask about folic acid levels, whether they supplement it in their milk and whether their milk is suitable for toddlers, and after months I didn’t hear back. I can only assume it means they have no confidence their milk is suitable for toddlers.

Can anyone advise whether there is a better option available in Singapore? Please don’t say formula, Sophia refuses to drink it.

Help needed

Weaning Sophia off the bottle is proving to be as frustrating a process as weaning her off the breast. She’s willing to accept milk from a straw cup once in a while such as when we’re out and I (again) brought expressed breastmilk out without the bottle teat. But when I make it a regular thing for her to drink from a cup, she seems to realise that means she doesn’t get to drink from a bottle anymore and after exactly 2 days she will violently resist milk from a cup. She’ll take the first sip not knowing whether its water or milk but once she realises its milk, she’ll spit it out and scream her head off if we offer it to her again.

It doesn’t help that my parents don’t think there is a need to wean her off the bottle in such a hurry and are making discouraging remarks whenever she rejects the cup.

How oh how can I make this stubborn girl accept milk from a cup? Unlike weaning from the breast where she’ll eventually drink when she’s thirsty/hungry enough, she now can turn to solids and plain water for hunger and thirst but those won’t give her the nutrients she needs from milk. Back to stressful state…

Don’t shake the milk!

I’ve seen too many of my very smart and very educated friends, as well as random strangers, shake breastmilk violently to motivate myself to bring this blog back to its roots, which is to give wholly unsolicited and unqualified advice based on my own research and biased experience having been there and done that with just one child. Of course, when I say milk, I mean breastmilk. Or, I suppose, if you ever give your baby RAW cow’s or goat’s milk, which I doubt anyone in Singapore would do.I always try my very best to swirl as gently as possible when trying to mix in the fats that coagulated on the sides of the container while in the refridgerator. And have often told family members off for swinging the baby bag when we bring expressed milk out. I cringe when I see mothers or caregivers shake breastmilk as it destroys the molecular structure of important proteins. But I never tell them not to do so because I don’t want to sound like a smarty-pants know-it-all. They may already know it but think its more important to shake off the bits stuck to the container, or to get the milk heated/cooled more quickly. That’s perfectly fine, everyone is entitled to raise and feed their children in whichever way they think is best.

Another thing I’ve been researching now that I’m very slowly weaning is whether there is any harm in mixing breastmilk with other milks (in my case fresh full cream cow’s milk but most research turns up information about formula, which can be used as ancillary information too). Long story short, I have not found anything that says there is any harm in doing so (eg if the 2 somehow reacted chemically to form toxic substances). The only so called harm is if hte child cannot finish the milk then some breastmilk will be wasted which would not happen if breast milk is given first. My child generally finishes her bottle (as long as it doesn’t contain any formula or artificial substances like vitamin drops) so I don’t really have that concern.

So there. 2 hopefully helpful bits of information for today 🙂

What next after weaning from breast milk?

I was originally going to write a post listing all my findings on what milk or milk derivative to give to Sophia after I wean her off breast milk BUT I found MieVee’s ( post on this topic which probably summarizes most of the pertinent facts better than I can. So I won’t reinvent the wheel.

The one thing I would highlight, which MieVee has also mentioned in passing in her post, is that I was surprised to find that there are also objections out there about pre and pro biotics and DHA / ARA added to formulas. I always thought these were the good stuff and was thinking of ways to include these in Sophia’s diet even though I’m not using formula (infant drops and natural sources). The natural sources are still good but it seems I should reconsider the drops and other artificial sources like infant cereal. See here for some links on the issue. No test has indicated any conclusive negative effects so far, it seems, but some of the facts sound scary. Like how a neurotoxic solvent is used to extract the DHA / ARA and traces may remain in the final product. Or how some studies have reported unexpected deaths among infants who consumed formula supplemented with DHA / ARA and also other illnesses like diarrhea that went away after switching to a formula without DHA / ARA. See, for example, these articles about DHA / ARA:

Moreover, even the studies which indicated improvement in brain and eye development in babies taking DHA / ARA supplements, the difference is small, especially as compared to the difference between breastfed and non breastfed babies. Which again seems to indicate to me that these added artificial substances are not absorbed as well as natural sources and, hence support my view that food should be kept as natural as possible.

Prebiotics and probiotics seem less problematic. At least they don’t seem to have the potential to do harm, they just probably does not do as much good as the formula companies make it sound.

The more I read, the more I am reluctant to give up breastfeeding just yet. Actually, I should get rid of the thinking that breastfeeding needs to be all or nothing. I probably should still continue to pump at least once a day if not twice and only supplement whatever demand I can’t meet with fresh pasteurized whole cow’s milk.

However, as I have mentioned re latching vs pump and feed, Sophia is a very inflexible or stubborn baby. If she wants something she will try to get it. Therefore if I switch between breast milk and fresh milk, she will decide she likes one better and reject the other so that she will always get the one she likes. The only way to counter this is, as with the latching, to completely deny her one option so she eventually has to accept the other. It appears to me that she currently has a slight preference for breast milk which I suspect will just get stronger over time as her preference for latching did. If it gets to that then I suppose I may have to stop giving her any breast milk altogether and give only fresh milk. I wish there was a way to get her to understand the her behavior is only serving to deprive her of the good stuff……

And just like that, Sophia won my fresh milk battle for me

By rejecting formula and lapping up fresh milk. Who could blame her? Given a choice I would pick fresh milk over formula any day. In a way I was patting myself on the back for giving her a taste for healthy food because the only thing formula has going for it taste-wise is its a lot sweeter than fresh milk – personal opinion.

Actually the milk issue made me wonder whether I should switch pediatrician. In the first place, he wasn’t very pro breastfeeding. He kept telling me that 50% is almost just as good and that asians tend to have not enough milk. Then at Sophia’s first year well baby check and vaccine visit, I asked him whether I should wean to formula or full cream cow’s milk. He thought for a moment then said formula. Only when pressed did he say fresh milk is also ok but he likened to 92 petrol whereas formula is 98. I’m not quite convinced as I can easily add those additional vitamins and minerals that manufacturers add to formula to Sophia’s food or milk using vitamin drops but the goodness of fresh food with their naturally occurring nutrients is difficult to replace. This pediatrician, though good, strikes me as a bit too conservative. I need a more forward thinking one, I think. Someone who thinks more like me. Who prefers food in their natural form and encourage low salt, low sugar, low fat diets. Who will let nature takes its course if possible. But considering Sophia is already 1 and it will probably be unnecessary and in fact weird to bring her to a pediatrician in another year or so, I guess I’ll stick with this doctor. There’s nothing wrong with him and he’s a very good doctor. He just doesn’t think like me.

When Sophia made the decision to go for fresh milk, I showed off to my mother, her grandmother that I was right after all and her reaction was “oh, we should try other brands of formula then”. Good thing that was fended off with “since she takes fresh milk, lets just stick with it, lest she decides milk drinking is too risky and rejects milk completely. For anyone willing to follow the fresh milk movement, I used Pura with success. She has also tried and accepted farmhouse’s low fat high calcium version but I didn’t give her much, just 30ml as children below 2 shouldn’t be given low fat milk. First choice milk failed even though its supposed to be Australian as well. I will stick with Pura but farmhouse is a good option if its difficult to get Pura at your regular supermarket or if you want to save a bit of $.

Since I’m already showing off about the victory on the fresh milk battle, might as well go the whole nine yards with the showing off – I just made some plain buns (failed polo buns actually, the flaky portion tasted disgusting but good thing I made them half polo and half plain) which were a hit among young and old in the family. Sophia can finish half a bun on her own, as snack, after eating her proper meal. And these are not mini muffin sized buns, they are full sized buns similar to what you would get if you were to buy a bun from any bakery out there. Mental note to make my buns healthier next time. There were already relatively low sugar but I need to use wholemeal flour or half wholemeal half bread flour, just because I can’t seem to find wholemeal high protein flour in the market.

Yay! She can drink milk without a bottle

Drinking from a straw cup


I’ve been reluctant to wean Sophia off the bottle even though she’s drinking water very well with a straw cup now because (i) she seldom drinks more than about 30ml of water at a go and (ii) when she doesn’t want to drink she’ll deliberately take in a mouthful and spit it out. I’m not too keen on wasting precious breast milk that way. However, today I went out with a bottle of milk but forgot to bring the teat for the bottle so I poured the milk into her straw cup and kept my fingers very tightly crossed. To my pleasant surprise, she finished all 220ml of the milk! I totally didn’t expect it as I always thought that the straw was too thin so she would never finish much liquid from it simply because it takes too much effort. I guess it just goes to show that we should never say never.

It may just be beginner’s luck this time but at least I know its technically possible so after Sophia turns 1, the cow’s milk that she gets will be served in cups. Hopefully I don’t have to grapple with issues of bottle attachment and misaligned teeth and jaws from excessive bottle use 🙂