Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Must-Have Tools for Introducing Solid Food

We have started introducing solid food to Baby Boy since he turned 5.5 months, a few months ago. It began with pureed apple and banana, which he immediately spat out.

"Maybe he's not ready for food yet," I told my mum-in-law in Chinese.

However, he seemed to be perfectly okay with cereal and pureed pumpkin porridge that we had introduced him later. It turns out, he does not like apples or bananas or fruits of any kind for that matter!

Now that we have to put effort into preparing Baby Boy's food (there's zero preparation required when I'm breastfeeding directly) and feeding him, it does help to have some useful tools to aid us.

FIVE WEANING ESSENTIALS:

[1] Baby Food Maker

Home Food Maker 
Get a multipurpose one, such as Pigeon Home Baby Food Maker, as it allows you to:
1) squeeze orange juice,
2) grate apples, potatoes, etc
3) grind porridge, pumpkin, carrots, etc
4) store food in the fridge after preparation
5) feed baby directly from the bowl after preparation to minimise extra washing

Pigeon Home Baby Food Maker

If you're rushing for time, you could also use an electrical hand blender instead of preparing the food manually. It's more expensive but you'll be able to save time and make a larger batch of food to store for future.

Porridge Cooking Pot
Pigeon Porridge Cooking Pot

If you think that this is another ordinary container, well, think again. This container actually helps you to make porridge in a rice cooker while you're cooking rice for the family!

Photo credit: Pigeon Singapore

Definitely very convenient and time-saving! =)

[2] Weaning Spoon

Feeding Baby Boy with Pigeon Feeding Support Spoon

My mum and mum-in-law, the ones who does most of the feeding of my boy (lucky me I know *laughs*), tell me that Pigeon Feeding Support Spoons are better than ordinary spoons as it fits perfectly into Baby Boy's tiny mouth. This is vital, especially for babies that are still learning to sip and swallow.

[3] Bib

Feeding can be a very messy affair as babies are still learning how and what to eat. If your baby is in the beginning stages of weaning, make sure that you get bibs that are absorbent as most of their food will be watery. You may even consider getting the Pigeon Disposable Bibs, which allow you to throw them away after every use.

Pigeon Disposable Bibs

As your baby progresses to eating less pureed food, you may want to get a bib that can collect the food that is dropped from your babies mouth onto his lap.

[4] Easy to Use Containers

Feeding Support Set
A great tip that I've learnt from fellow mummies is to cook a big batch of baby food and freezing them, after which you can heat them up when its needed. We use a combination of various baby containers (which were also used to hold my breast milk) and Pigeon Feeding Support Set.

Pigeon Feeding Support containers can be nicely stacked on top of each other
and comes with Feeding Support Spoons
Pumpkin porridge frozen in the container, ready to be fed to Baby Boy when he needs it

Feeding Dish
Another useful container that we like to use is the Pigeon Feeding Dish, which is great for transporting baby food when out and about with the baby.

There is even a small section in the Pigeon Feeding Dish for grinding food before feeding for greater convenience
A feeding spoon attached to the lid of the dish

The dish comes with a feeding spoon that is attached to the lid so that you do not have to find a way to store the dirty spoon after feeding. Simply keep the spoon in the dish and wash everything later. Very convenient =)

[5] Baby Starter Food & Drinks

Pigeon baby crackers, snacks, biscuits, packet drinks and easy to prepare food packets

I don't know about you but my babies have always been big foodies. Even after a heavy meal of pureed porridge and breast milk, sometimes Baby Boy still wants to chew on something. So we give him some Pigeon Baby Crackers (he's not old enough to eat biscuits yet as he doesn't have teeth) to snack on. Both Baby Boy and even my girl loves the baby snacks!

Both my kids love Pigeon Baby Crackers!
Even my girl loves the Pigeon packet juice

My kids love the food and drinks and it's really convenient to take around with us when we're travelling.

What are your weaning must-haves? =)


Related Post: If you're preparing for baby and breastfeeding, check out My Must Have Tools for Breastfeeding.

Disclosure: Complimentary 1-year sponsorship of mother and baby products were received from Pigeon Singapore for the purposes of this blog post feature. No monetary compensation was received; all text and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fun For Free in Singapore: IMM

With Singapore being one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, parents like us are always on the lookout for ways that we can entertain our kids without breaking the bank. While other parents like to bring their kids to nature, my family enjoys roaming the shopping malls in Singapore (we hate being sweaty and hot so we often seek out air-conditioned malls escape the heat).

One of our favourite malls to visit is IMM as it's relatively close to our home, houses the most outlet stores in Singapore and is very family friendly.

Five Things We Love about IMM:

1) The Dry & Water Playground
It is one of the few malls in Singapore that has both dry and wet playgrounds.

The playground is located at Level 3
One year old Baby Girl, still crawling around as she can't really walk well yet

We've been bringing my girl to the playground at IMM since she was a year old and she loves it!

There is also a Tree House Slide at the other end of the outdoor space! (Yes, Westgate is not the only mall with a tree house playground).

Climb up within the tree trunk and slide down the 2 slides!

Note that the slides and structures of the playground are meant for older children (at least 3 years old for the playground and 6 years old for the tree slides). Younger or more timid children (like my girl) may be too scared to climb up.

There's no stopping your younger child at the water playground though! My girl loves the water! In a hot country like Singapore, water is a child's best friend! =)

Walking over to the water playground, located in the same area
"Wooo what's this?!"
Crawling because she is not so good at walking yet
This was Baby Girl's first swimsuit! *nostalgic*

When she was younger, we had to follow her around the playground because she would drink the water if we're not looking! *laughs*

Now that she's older, I can kick up my legs and relax while she plays =)

Three year old Baby Girl in her first bikini
(Don't have a recent photo of her at IMM)
"Ahhhhh I'm all wet!!"
Cooling down in the heat
Kid's shower area

There's a kid's shower area although there isn't much privacy. Still, it's better than nothing =)

2) Kid-Friendly Entertainment
We also like the arcade at Level 2, where Baby Girl loves to get on rides. Not really fun for free but if your child is ok with the rides not moving, then yeah, fun for free! =)

She was too young to ride this so we let her play on it for fun

The mall sometimes conduct ice-skating and other activities for kids during the holidays so do look out for them.

3) The First and Biggest Daiso in Singapore
I don't know anyone who doesn't like Daiso! Whenever we're there, we're sure to pop by and load our baskets with all sorts of knick knacks (here are my top buys from Daiso) while Baby Girl entertains herself with the decorations and toys.

Buying Christmas decorations at IMM Daiso

4) Nursing Room
And how can I forget to mention one of my favourite places to visit in any mall?

Newly renovated nursing room at Level 2 next to the carpark entrance
Spacious and has everything (almost) that you need to care for your baby =)

For more detailed review, check out my Nursing Room Review page =)

Last but not least..

5) The Carpark is FREE
Well, at least for the first 3 hours =)

Now you know why we love IMM. Happy shopping everyone (and no, unfortunately NOT fun for free but hey, still fun!)


Tomorrow, Mabel will be sharing on one of her family's favourite places to visit that's fun and free in Singapore!

Mabel blogs at Amazingly Still, an open journal where she shares her life as a stay-home wife and mother of two. She is finger-trigger-happy whenever she whips out her camera to capture the precious moments spent with her husband and children, most of which are when they are out on an adventure, exploring new places together.







~~~~~

Can't get enough of FUN FOR FREE SG venues? Here's the whole list of free fun in Singapore for 31 days! This list will be updated regularly; you will be able to click on the location to be brought directly to the blog post when it goes "live":

1 Aug: Tiong Bahru Park by Gingerbreadmum
2 Aug: Queenstown Heritage Trail by Princess Dana Diaries
3 Aug: Jurong Regional Library by Finally Mama
4 Aug: Singapore Maritime Gallery by Peipei Haohao
5 Aug: Singapore Philatelic Museum by Kids R Simple
6 Aug: Sculptures of Singapore by Gingerbreadmum
7 Aug: Fire Station by The Js Arena
8 Aug: Esplanade + Merlion by Prayerfull Mum
9 Aug: Bukit Batok Nature Park by Meeningfully
10 Aug: Lower Pierce Reservoir Park by The Kam Family
11 Aug: I12 Katong Water Playground by Universal Scribbles
12 Aug: IMM by Mad Psych Mum
13 Aug: Tampines 1 Water Playground by Amazingly Still
14 Aug: Sengkang Riverside Park by Itchy Finger Snap
15 Aug: Jacob Ballas Children's Garden by Toddly Mummy
16 Aug: Sembawang Shopping Centre Playground by Joey Craftworkz
17 Aug: Animal Resort by Raising Faith
18 Aug: Botanical Gardens by Mum's The Word
19 Aug: A Surprise! by Mummy Ed
20 Aug: A City Trail by Scrap Mum Loft
21 Aug: Road Safety Park by Miracule
22 Aug: Marina Barrage by J Babies 
23 Aug: Gardens By The Bay, Children's Garden by Finally Mama
24 Aug: Changi Airport T3 by Mother Kao
25 Aug: Pockets of Nature by Mum in the Making
26 Aug: Changi Airport T1 by Growing with the Tans
27 Aug: Pasir Ris Park by Ingspirations
28 Aug: Gardens by the Bay, Supertree Grove by My Lil Bookworm
29 Aug: Vivocity Play Area by Amazingly Still
30 Aug: Punggol Promenade + Punggol Waterway by Chubby Anecdotes
31 Aug: Westgate Wonderland by Xavvylicious

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Robots in Disguise

I was an all-rounder when I was a child. I played with Polly Pocket, I played with Ninja Turtles. I played with Barbie dolls, I also played with cars.

I've always wanted a Transformer but my folks took one look at the price tag and bought me a lollipop instead (they thought it was too blardy expensive. And they still do -_-).

Now that I can afford to buy one for myself, I can't cos it's really weird to be buying a toy for a grown person (yes I'm looking at you my "I shall not name names but you know who you are" friend). I've got more important things to buy now.. you know, like makeup, bags and shoes.

So imagine my excitement when Hasbro offered to send me one! Yes it's for me. I did warn them that it was for me since Baby Boy can't play with it yet, and they still sent it to me! (Good people) *big grin*

Optimus Prime, ages 8+
(Yay! I fit the age range! :D)

Baby Boy also showed interest to this box of blue, touching and biting it (maybe he was more interested in the box, I don't know).

"Wah what's this?"
Analyzing the words and pictures on the box
(Like real only)
How the Optimus Prime looks like when taken out of the box
(Got standard leh!)
His sword & shield are detachable :)

I went right into "transforming" it into a truck, which is not easy especially if you're doing it for the first time.

Half truck, half robot!
Before & After
Now you see me, now you don't!

After I got the hang of it, I could do it with my eyes closed! :)

I'm sooo living my childhood dream! *laughs*


P.S: Ok fine, I will keep this for Baby Boy until he's 7 as I doubt Optimus Prime and the Autobots will die (long live Cybertron!). Till then, it's mine! *evil laughter*

Disclosure: A complimentary Transformers Age of Extinction Optimus Prime toy was received from Hasbro Singapore for the purposes of this review. No monetary compensation was received; all opinions are my own.

Friday, July 25, 2014

If the Diaper Fits, Wear It!

When you are a mum of two kids, with lots of things to buy and bills to pay, every little bit of savings count.

My precious, the loves of my life

I don't know about you but as someone who does not like to waste anything, I'd hate to have to give away diapers that are in a size that my kids can no longer wear because they have outgrown them.

So how do you know when to change from size M to L?

Well this comes with experience and keen observation. Case in point, Baby Boy is starting to outgrow his current diaper (if you see his chunky thighs, you'd understand why).

You know a diaper's too small because:
1) There are deep pressure marks on the skin, especially around the leg openings
2) There are redness around the waist and thighs
3) The diaper sits too much below the belly button (ideally, it should sit just slightly below the belly button)

It is definitely time for me to get bigger diaper pants for my boy! Oh how fast he has grown! (*groan*)

In general, the moment we notice that diaper is starting to cause pressure marks, we would buy a bigger size in our next purchase so that we don't waste money (better for your baby to wear a slightly bigger diaper than a diaper that is too small).

With a proper diaper in place, the kids are free to roll about in any way that they like and you won't have to worry =)

Kids rolling around and playing on the bed

And if you have a toddler like me, trust me, life is so much easier when your kid knows how to put on her own diaper.

That's really easy to do (and teach) with Drypers Drypantz, as my girl demonstrates in 3 easy steps:


STEP 1: Stretch It Out
Even before putting on the diaper, ensure that your child stretches it out both at the top and at the bottom of the diaper pant to "loosen" it before putting it on.

Stretching out the bottom (left) and the top (right) of her Drypers Drypantz

This will ensure that the gathers of the diaper will not be folded inwards and "clip" your child's skin. You may need to remind your child repeatedly to stretch out the diaper because there is a high chance that they will not remember (hopefully over time, they will no longer need any reminders =P).

STEP 2: Front Side Up
Teach them to distinguish between the front and the back (and as an OCD mum, I'm very particular that she gets it right! *laughs*).

The back of the diaper has an animal (in this photo, a bee) is showing its backside (left)
while the front of the diaper has an animal facing front (back). It's not rocket science =)

STEP 3: Put it In & Pull it Up
Get your child to sit down when putting on the diaper as it's a lot easier. After they've inserted their legs, all they need to do is pull it up!

Put it in (left) and pull it up (right)!
And viola! =)

Remember to check the fit around the thighs and waist because if the diaper is worn incorrectly, it may leak (it did a couple of times when we forgot to check).

A comfortable and stretchy waistband is also very important to ensure that the diaper fits just right without causing any discomfort which, as we know, is simply a recipe for disaster. Breathability and Softness can be achieved with the cloth-like Comfort Fit™ waistband and softer outer cover of the Drypers Drypantz that provides ultimate comfort for your child.

To illustrate this, meet Dryper's cute mascots, Airy and Softie!

Airy (left) is a colourful pinwheel that reduces pressure and allows your baby's skin to breathe;
Softie (right) is a fluffy little cloud, what the outer cover is made of (sort of)

Your child can now Breathe Easy with Drypers Drypantz! =)

Good Things Must Share!

1) FREE Samples of Drypers Drypantz
If you are keen to try the new Drypers Drypantz, simply visit Dryper's Facebook page and request for them!

2) Special Offer
For the month of July (2014), you can buy a pack of Drypers Drypantz for a special price of $10.95 each at major hypermarts and supermarkets (sizes available: M44, L36, XL32, XXL28)!

3) Win Attractive Prizes
Play the “Breathe Easy Breeze” game on Facebook, where you'll have to control Airy using your mouse to help Softie turn plain diapers into Drypers Drypantz! Convert 12 diapers to Drypers Drypantz in the fastest amount of time and the top scorers each week will stand to win prizes such as $100 cash vouchers or tickets (worth $88 each) to Lunchbox Theatrical Production’s “Bubble Magic” show.



Disclosure: This is Part 4 of a series of sponsored stories on behalf of Drypers Singapore. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

London Train Travel Tips

After travelling for a week in London, I have learnt that their train system is quite different from the train system that I'm used to in Singapore. Here are some tips that may be helpful if you're new to London:

Tips for Travelling by Train in London

1) Arm Yourself with Maps
Print out the Tube Map and National Rail Map for easy reference when deciding which line to take and which station to change at. You are also able to check if a tube station is wheelchair accessible by noting the wheelchair symbol on the Tube Map.

2) Purchase an Oyster Card
It is used like Singapore's Ez-link card and allows you to tap in and out very conveniently.

Oyster card

Tube
3) Check the Display Screen on the Train

The display at the front of the train will tell which line it is and which station it is terminating at

Always check the display screens just before you board the tube because certain stations can have more than one line go through the same platform or have the same line stop at both sides of the same platform but have different destinations. Case in point, the District line (green) has two completely different routes at Earl's Court Station. Sometimes the tube would even change its destination suddenly with just an announcement as warning! Hence, always read the screens and listen out for announcements when you're travelling on the tube.

This is very different from Singapore, where most platforms have only one line passing through it and there is usually no changes to the destinations (unless it is a train that is returning to the depot).

National Rail
4) Buy Tickets Early
According to my colleague, the tickets are cheaper if you bought it at least one day prior to your departure. This is for travelling outside of the City of London as the Oyster Card will suffice for rail travel within London.

5) Buy Tickets from Counter Staff and NOT Ticketing Machines
The machines may have a shorter queue but you can end up spending more if you are not familiar with the system, which can be complicated. You may pay more if you are not aware of cheaper alternatives or forget to click the return button (buying 2 one-way tickets is almost 2 times more expensive than buying 1 return ticket!). Purchasing your ticket from a counter staff ensures that you will get the right ticket (and you can ask them whatever questions that you may have).

There are a lot of ticketing counters at London Bridge Railway Station
so I would advise buying your tickets there if you're in the area

6) Travel Off-Peak
If you're not in a hurry, travel after 9.30am on weekdays as it is a lot cheaper. For example, a ticket to Windsor would have cost us GBP 16 before 9.30am but it cost us GBP 10 as we travelled after 9.30am.

7) Check the Display Board
Check the display board at the station to know which platform that you need to board the train. After you have entered through the gantry, double check the display board at the platform again to be sure that you are boarding the correct train.

Our train to Windsor

I'm definitely not an expert on this so if you have more tips, share them in the comments! =)


P.S.For the rest of my London posts and other travel itineraries, please visit my Travel Page! =)
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