Cooking porridge for Bubba

IMG_8077We’ve started Bubba on 3 meals a day when she was about 8.5 months. I guess when she went to school, her teachers were surprised that she’s not on to 3 meals. Again, I wasn’t too fussed about it because I knew for the first year, she should get bulk of her nutrients from milk and food should be secondary. Initially, I had grand plans of just letting Bubba just take cereal for dinner. Thought that cereal might be more filling and perhaps more nutritious for Bubba. Okay, truth be told, Bubba’s intake of porridge is still pretty small and having to cook that amount of porridge for tiny human just seemed like a lot of work.

IMG_8260See what I mean? When I first started making porridge for Bubba, I had to boil the stock (usually lean pork slices with carrots and broccoli) from scratch in a slow-cooker. I then throw in rice that has been chilled in the freezer overnight (apparently, it helps to cook the porridge a whole lot faster) and then wait for the slow-cooker to work its magic on the porridge. This whole process takes up to 5 hours for the porridge to turn into mush.

I haven’t been successful in estimating the portion that she eats and the few times I made this, I ended up having to eat the porridge as part of my meal. Well, not looking forward to eating porridge everyday so after a while, I turned to Petit Bowl to sort out Bubba’s meal. The small portions they offered to Bubba were perfect with different flavours to increase Bubba’s food repertoire without having to slog over the kitchen.

IMG_8259While shopping one day, I discovered this interesting device from Pigeon. Apparently, it’s a Porridge Cooking Pot! I was intrigued at the device and how it can cook the baby’s porridge in a normal rice cooker. Yay for that as we don’t have to use up another electrical device to specially cook Bubba’s porridge. I can prepare her meals using this one as my helper cooks the rice for the family. Win! It costs $29.90 and I got it at a 20% discount at Takashimaya.

Put the device to the test and it was easy to use! Like I said, Bubba’s food intake is still relatively small, so we cook about 2 tablespoons of rice in the Porridge Cooking Pot. Instead of just normal rice porridge, I often throw in other types of ingredients to make her porridge more appetising. Some of the porridge combos that I’ve done in this pot include: Butternut Squash and Codfish, Butternut Squash/ Broccoli and Codfish, Pork and Carrots, Purple Carrots and Pork, etc.

I no longer have to fret about over-estimating portions and cooking porridge using the slow-cooker. This device cuts our cooking time for porridge significantly and we are also able to adjust the quantity plus texture of the porridge easily. Mealtimes for Bubba are now a lot easier to prepare with this device. So if you are stuck in a porridge rut like me and worried about which device one should get, would really recommend this Porridge Cooking Pot from Pigeon!

Pumpin’ with Pigeon

[Sponsored review]

IMG_0178Remember the PIGEON event that I attended in November? I’ve known of other brands of breast pumps but when it came to purchasing a set of my own, I went with the popular brand because nearly everyone close to me recommended it. Well, popular brand of choice failed on me not once but twice. The first time, the Man had to run out to buy me a brand new set of breast pumping equipment. The second time it failed on me, I was left helpless and had to learn the art of hand expression to get the milk out. The entire process was long-drawn and with a time-crunch I have at work, it was simply too nerve-wrecking. That’s not all, there were times where I have to work on weekends and when that happens, it was just too troublesome to think about expressing my breast milk as there was either no nursing room in sight or there’s simply too much to bring along on top of work stuff.

So when I shared my woes at the PIGEON event, the folks there suggested I look at the new Manual Breast Pump which seemed to suit my work/ lifestyle needs.

IMG_0181I checked out the Manual Breast Pump and liked how compact the device was. Better yet, I didn’t have to worry about the pump not working if it ever ran out of battery. The Manual Breast Pump is easy to assemble and to bring around when I need to be running around for work at weekend events.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI was thrilled when the good folks at PIGEON sent me the Manual Breast Pump for me to test and review. 🙂 Timing was just right as well for I had a full-day weekend event that saw me moving to 2 different locations. Already my supply had dipped and I was worried that if I didn’t pump at a regular interval, my supply would dip further and let’s not forget the engorgement issue.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI opened up the box and above are the contents that when assembled make up the Manual Breast Pump. In each breast pump set that you purchase from PIGEON, they have included 2 Comfort ProperFit Flange – regular (23 mm in diameter) and large (27 mm in diameter). Again, I think it’s really thoughtful of them to do so because there is no one-size-fits-all magic fit when it comes to the flange sizes and I’ve once sent my cousin to help me purchase a smaller sized flange simply because the complimentary one that was given in the breast pump set was too big for me. So having 2 sizes in one box is really ideal.

Now to put the pump to test!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Assembly of the Manual Pump wasn’t too difficult if you follow the step-by-step instructions included in the box. I got my helper to sterilise the parts the night before and all these items were then placed in a zip-lock bag. When it was time for me to put this device to test, I zipped away for a couple of minutes during my work event and quickly assembled the Manual Pump.

I studied the guide the night before so I started first with the Stimulation mode to create the gentle suction stimulation, once the flow was established, I switched to the Expression mode with the push of a button. As it was my first time using a Manual pump, it did take a while for me to get used to the pumping motion by hand. But one thing for sure, using this device definitely beats hand expression.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAfter the breast milk is collected into the bottle, I simply popped the sealing disk over the cap, screwed it tightly and placed the bottle into the Coleman sports bottle filled with ice. This mode of transportation of expressed breast milk is a tip given by my sister. She shared that it’s easier to transport the ‘goods’ this way then to use ice-packs as the packs can only last about 4 hours max. Plus, it’s way easier to get ice outside and add into the Coleman sports bottle then finding a fridge. Remember I was going to be out the whole day with no access to a fridge. So this arrangement worked out pretty well for me that day. Phew!

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 Now, to sum up what I really liked about PIGEON Manual Breast Pump:

  • It’s compact, handy and lightweight (182g)! Perfect for me when I need to work on the weekends with no access to a proper nursing room. Plus, it’s quiet, so I don’t have to worry about inviting stares from people.
  • I don’t have to worry about charging the device! The only power that I need is manual ‘hand power’! The ergonomic easy-express handle enables comfortable and easy pumping which reduces hand fatigue. This point is something you will definitely appreciate!
  • Easy to use! With just a few parts, it’s quick and simple to assemble this device.

When it comes to taking care of the Manual breast pump, the washing/sterilising of the parts are not too difficult either. I simply washed the parts with the gentle dishwashing liquid meant for cleaning baby’s equipment and sterilised them. However, do note that the silicone valve is rather delicate, so wash with care or it will tear easily. That happened to me, my helper accidentally tore the silicon valve while washing it. Thank goodness there’s a spare silicone valve included in the box that I can use. But if you ever need to purchase spares as back-up, you will have to go to the PIGEON Singapore Office located at 84 Genting Lane, Singapore 349584.

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The PIGEON Manual Breast Pump is retailing at S$79.90 at all major departmental and baby speciality stores.

Thanks PIGEON Singapore for sending this set along my way! It’s certainly a handy option (pardon the pun) for moms like me who enjoy the simplicity and fuss-free pumps. Plus, let’s not forget, this device has been a life-saver on occasions where I had to work over the weekends.

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Disclaimer : lady J’s musings received the Manual Breast Pump worth S$79.90 from PIGEON Singapore to test and review.  No monetary rewards were given.  All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using this product. Any queries on the product  should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

Media invite: Pigeon’s new range of breast pumps

I’ve always been an avid fan of PIGEON products. Bubba’s first encounter with the bottle was the PIGEON Peristaltic PLUS bottle because of it’s wide-neck teat that’s supposed to replicate the natural sucking pattern learned at the breast. Of course in the first couple of days that we introduced the bottle, we were so afraid of nipple confusion but the Peristaltic PLUS feeding system suited us fine until she resisted the bottle when she hit three months. We freaked out! I went to buy up all the teats that were recommended by friends and on blogs that I read but she refused them all. In the end, we eventually settled on the Peristaltic Slim-Neck Nipple teat which we are currently using, so fingers crossed no more drama episodes in that department.

Besides using products from the bottle-feeding category, we are also huge fans of their hygiene care (laundry and wet-wipes)  and their cleansing plus sterilising care (dishwashing liquid and steam steriliser). So when I received the email inviting me to an exclusive preview of PIGEON’s new range of breast pumps, it didn’t take me very long to accept the invitation. I was actually excited about attending the event to learn more about their new products for the only breast-pump I’ve been acquainted with is Medela and that has sadly failed me twice.

IMG_0190The event happened last Saturday at Cool De Sac and the folks at PIGEON Singapore were really thoughtful for the invite also included Bubba if I wanted to bring her along. Well, I did dress her up and had the intention of bringing her along thinking that it would be fun for her to roll around the play area. But the time of the event coincided with her morning nap and Mom who very kindly accompanied me along decided it would be easier for her to push her around the mall in the stroller. So I attended the event on my own but thankfully bumped into Miss Ene and little E at the event as well.

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This being my first media event, I didn’t know what really to expect but failed on the account that I forgot to bring along my digital camera to capture professional shots for the day. Oops! I will do better next time. Thank goodness for the iPhone which I think did a pretty decent job of capturing these shots at the event. Phew!IMG_0179 IMG_0178The impressive set-up of balloons that greeted us with the most adorable inflatable animal balloons that we could take home after the event. It was quite an intimate affair with a couple of bloggers and the team from PIGEON Singapore who took us through the brand history of PIGEON via a video presentation and then took time to chat with us. The setting was casual and we were encouraged to share a little on our breastfeeding journey. The sharing was candid and most of us around the room could relate to some of the woes plus joys that breastfeeding brought. One thing for sure, determination to provide for our LO through breastfeeding is the common trait around the room.

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Ivy and Calicia from PIGEON Singapore also brought us through a short presentation on the new range of breast pumps that’s designed with the Asian mum in mind. It’s nice to know that PIGEON firmly believes in the benefits of breastfeeding and will continuously create products to cater to the needs of both the mother and the infant.IMG_0183With more than 50 years of experience in infant feeding studies, PIGEON has identified three key factors for effective breast milk expression in their latest breast pump range: Fit, Gentle Stimulation and Expression. Besides conducting extensive studies in product development at its R&D facilities in Japan, what’s interesting is that they have also collaborated with KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) in Singapore to conduct a study among breastfeeding mothers of different race in Singapore.

3-Key-Steps

(Image from PIGEON Singapore)

The new products under the range are the Electric Breast Pump Pro, Electric Breast Pump Portable and Manual Breast Pump.

IMG_0181I was particularly interested in the Manual Breast Pump for I had an electrical breast pump already and despite it being small, I still found that it was difficult to bring around when I was out at work the entire day.

What I found interesting about the PIGEON’s new range of breast pumps is the Comfort ProperFit Soft Silicon Cushion that’s supposed to mould easily to the breast. This helps to provide a secure seal and comfortable fit that prevents air leakage during expression and this in turns allows mothers to maximise milk flow. Based on the research that PIGEON has conducted on Asian mothers in particular, PIGEON has customised two cushion sizes – regular (23 mm in diameter) and large (27 mm in diameter) – which are both included in each breast pump set that you purchase.

I realise that fit is very important when it comes to pumping. I know this because the cup size of the other breast pump that I’m using was initially ill-fitted for my use. I had to send my cousin to help get me the right size after a session with the Lactation Consultant who was appalled that I had been using the wrong fit for the first week of my breastfeeding journey. Well, I guess we learn along the way.

IMG_0184 After the hands-on demo of the new products, the event came to a close. We mingled a little over some light bites.

IMG_0185IMG_0186The team also prepared some gifts and we each had a box of customised PIGEON cupcakes to bring home. How thoughtful!

IMG_0187Guess who came to join us after? Little E! He’s grown since the last time we met! Couldn’t resist taking this cute shot of him pulling his little inflatable horsey. At that point in time, I wished Bubba was there to take a pic with him. But I know she’s still fast asleep if my Mom has yet to call me.

IMG_0222(Photo credit: Miss Ene)

Besides those gifts, we could also bring home the balloons. I took the Ladybug and the Panda one for Bubba to look at and play with.

IMG_0189Thanks again to PIGEON Singapore for the invite. I really enjoyed myself and have gained some insights on your new range of breast-pumps. Can’t wait to try them out for myself! So stay tuned! 🙂

Note: An invitation to this event was received from PIGEON Singapore. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions expressed are purely of my own.