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Baby Basics :: Eating

This post should be called Baby Basics :: Anything that goes in their mouth!

Today, we are going to cover passies, medicine, thermometers, bottles, toothpaste etc.

Grab yourself a refreshing beverage. Here we go!

Breast Feeding
As you might know, I had a rough, rough time breastfeeding Schäfer because of my own ignorance. I assumed that his hunger + my availability meant we would breastfeed. Not so. Before Schäfer was born I spent a lot of time preparing for childbirth. I wish I had also prepared to breastfeed.

If you are a new Mom I would suggest reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding before birth and keeping it on hand as you deal with some of the challenges that can come with the blessing of breastfeeding.

I am very thankful to say that Selah and I have had a wonderful, pain free experience. Not only did I read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, but I also talked with a couple of Mom’s before the birth and even had one come over to make sure I got that first latch correct. Selah was exclusively breastfed and she is still nursing at 16 months.

I’ve never used a Boppy, but I know some people love having one.

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Infants can get some serious bouts with gas. For a little 2am peace and quiet, I highly recommend having a bottle of Mylicon on hand. (The generic equivalent works fine too.)

Breast Pump
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I pumped for five long months for Schäfer. I loathe a breast pump and promised myself I would not pump for Selah. I worked hard and didn’t need to.

Depending on how your feeding goes, you may want to consider bringing a good pump & bottle system – especially if you want BPA free bottles. I know some Mom’s who took their kids straight from breast to sippy cup. Good for them. That was my goal, but Schäfer and I had “feeding challenges” so I found a pump to be quite helpful.

I know some Mom’s who pump to mix breast milk with rice cereal for nutritional value. Other Mom’s pump so they can return to work.

Today, I spoke with Lactation Consultant Jenny who lives on the East Side and she recommended the Medela Swing Breast Pump.

Jenny says: “I love the Medela Swing because it’s easy to carry with and has a good suction. But it’s only one side at a time so it may not be best for a working Mom who needs to pump both sides at a time.”

Storage bottles or bags
Milk storing accessories would need to come from America. I have not seen them in China.

Nursing Bras
My nursing bras came from America. If you are of Asian stature, then you might be able to find nursing bras locally. Otherwise, I would bring them from the states.

Nursing Cover
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Hubs says that the public is more comfortable when I use a cover while nursing on the go. If needed, I feel that I can be discrete with a loose t-shirt. For a nursing cover, I used baby blankets, but they were sometimes too hot with our humid Yangtze weather.

Anna sent her gently used Papillon Bebe Au Lait Cover and I really enjoy having it. I like the wire they run through the top so I can see the baby. The fabric is also lightweight.

There are a lot of bottles available in China, but most of them are not BPA free.
Advent bottles are common. I’ve also seen Dr. Browns, but they are less common and expensive.

Welcome to one of the hottest topics in China: milk products!

After the great melamine contamination of 2008, people are still weary of buying milk products in China. Enfamil was the only formula not to have any traces of melamine because Enfamil imports their milk powder.

Today, you can find US formula on for a hefty price.

I have friends who bring all of their formula over. They continue to give their three-year-old developmental formula from the states because of concerns they have with local milk products.

We haven’t taken this route, but we understand those who do.

If you plan on using formula, I would suggest buying Enfamil or having Grandma carry over a suitcase full of US formula.

Formula Organizer

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I used this Munchkin Powdered Formula Dispenser when we were adopting Sianna. It was especially convenient when we were running from offices to notaries to doctor’s appointments.

Sterilizing Tablets
At home, it’s easy to keep those bottles clean, but sterilizing in a hotel room can be challenging. I used Milton Sterilizing Tablets. I purchased a bunch of these from a pharmacy in Hong Kong.

Baby Food
I made baby food for all 3 kids. I know some people like to make large batches and freeze portions in ice cube trays, but I thought that was too much planning ahead. I simply steamed enough food for a few days then I did it again. I was in the kitchen cooking anyway so it wasn’t a big deal. Go here to read more about how I made simple, nutritious baby food on the east side.

2007-09-23@16-32-10 2007-09-23@16-31-54
Just like milk products, prepared baby food is another hot topic!

Yes, baby food is readily available. When Schäfer was a wee one, I bought some when we traveled. (This was before food and milk contamination issues came to public knowledge.)

If you prefer to buy baby food, it is readily available in a wide variety of flavors including “tremella, lotus seed & lily paste” or “pork liver & medlar”. To read a list of all the rice cereal and prepared baby food varieties go here.

I know several people who keep a stash of organic rice cereal and organic baby food for times when they eat at a friend’s house or are traveling.

Selah received some organic baby food when a friend’s daughter moved on to solids. It was nice having this food when we traveled. I also purchased some Earth’s Best Organic rice cereal off

Fabric bibs are common in China.

These “plastic” bibs are not as common, but may be available on

If you want BPA free pacifiers, you should bring them from the states.

Teething Rings
If you want BPA free teething rings, they should come from the states.

High Chair
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We bought this high chair for Schäfer. We liked that it could turn into a child’s chair and table.

For a while, we let Schäfer play with toys while we ate.

It wasn’t long before he was eating with us at the table.

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Sometimes, I wish we would have purchased this style from Ikea because the baby can actually sit at the table (as opposed to having his own tray) and because it’s less bulky. (However, some friends of ours have purchased this and they do NOT recommend this chair.)

In the five years that we’ve had the high chair, I’ve only used it as a table twice.

Booster Seat
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We received both of these booster seats second hand. With Schäfer, we carried them with us, but quickly found that the On-The-Go Booster Seat was bulky and cumbersome. We rarely found tables where the Hook on High Chair could be attached. Most tables have a ledge prohibiting the seat to lock into the table.

Eventually, we stopped carrying these around. When traveling, Schäfer or the girls ate while sitting in our lap. For us, it was worth it not having to carry one more baby item around.

Sippy Cups
If you want BPA/lead free sippy cups, you should bring them from America.

Bowls, Cups, Spoons
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We purchased a small collection of bowls and cups from Ikea. Since European child safety standards are much more rigorous than even the US, we hope that Ikea products are safe.

Bowls, cups, and spoons are available locally, but they are not certified BPA/lead free.

For peace of mind, we bring all of our medicine from the states. We know that US medicine is regulated and the instructions are in English.

We recommend bringing:
Infants Motrin
Children’s Tylenol (Do they still sell this over-the-counter?)

I consulted our pediatrician to see if Schäfer needed to take any vitamin supplements. His response was, “Did Albert Einstein or Thomas Jefferson take vitamins?” Good point.

At present, our kids don’t take vitamins. If they needed to, we would bring them from America.

Schäfer was gifted a Digital Pacifier Thermometer when he was a baby. It was nice to have, but we only needed it once.

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We were also given a Medicator, but have never used it.

Hubs and I purchased this Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer. We highly recommend it. It makes me a better parent.


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We use Orajel Toddler Training Toothpaste flouride-free toothpaste from the states.


Child sized toothbrushes are available in China.

Shopping List
Available in China
Formula: Enfamil
Advent bottles
baby food /rice cereal
bibs (fabric)
high chair
bowls, cups, spoons (Ikea)

Bring from America
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Boppy (if you want one)
breast pump
breast milk storage bottles/bags
nursing bras
nursing cover (if you want one)
BPA/lead free bottles
formula sorting container
sterilizing tablets
organic baby food/rice cereal
bibs (plastic or wipe-off type)
portable high chair/booster seat
BPA free pacifiers
BPA free teething rings
BPA/lead free sippy cups
Infant Motrin
Children’s Tylenol
vitamins (if you want)
ear thermometer
Orajel training toothpaste

Whew. How about you? Did you love your Boppy? Was your breastfeeding experience painful or dream like? Did you loath or love to pump? Are you making baby food or buying organic?

6 comments to Baby Basics :: Eating

  • Ashleigh

    So helpful!! Thanks for posting. I do love my Boppy! And I recently found a travel Boppy that zips up in a nice carrying case.

  • pod fan

    wow! so comprehensive! you truly are awesome! I just wanted to add that I once found some Pigeon brand milk storage bags when we lived up north. They actually worked great, and I was so glad since I’d run out of my stash from the states.

    And I love that pacifier thermometer! I’d never even heard of that – so funny! =)

  • Eden Cai

    I had a Boppy, and I used it for maybe the first month of life with both my kids. After that, I used it when the kids were learning to sit up — I sat them up and placed the Boppy behind them and then set out toys for them to play with during play time. I didn’t have a Bumbo until Baby #2 was already sitting on her own.

    Breastfeeding for me worked well with both kids. I didn’t have any painful experiences. So thankful for that! I did pump a little bit when I went back to work in the afternoons with baby #1, but that lasted only maybe a month. I got really tired of it and decided he could have formula during the afternoons. I also did some “pump and dump” when I needed to take some migraine medication, but that was towards the end of our breastfeeding experiences. Overall, I felt that pumping was not my favorite way of feeding the baby.

    Baby food — made my own. I tried some cooking ahead and freezing with Baby #1, but decided it was much easier to just cook fresh whatever we were eating for the day with Baby #2. If it was a new food, I’d make sure I saved enough raw material to cook up for a couple of days to check for allergies, but other than that, Baby #2 ate what we ate — just steamed with no additives and mashed or cut into small chunks.

    We did try buying some baby food to take on our vacation when Baby #2 was 10-11 months old. She absolutely REFUSED to eat it, so we carried it all around south China and brought it back. In fact, I still have some sitting in my cupboard. I need to find a creative way to use it up.

  • Erica

    We also loved our Boppy! I got ours in HK back in 2005 and it is still being used by many!
    We rented a pump from Hong Kong for 6 months and the price wasn’t bad. They were really easy to work with and I was glad that I didn’t have to buy one.

    We also get the baby tylenol/motrin from the pharmacies in Hong Kong. The motherhood s

    I have found a TON of baby products, bottles, pacifiers on They also have the Advent formula sorter (as I had to replace ours). They are really easy to order from and it comes fast!

    Good list!

  • Julie

    Boppy…it is useful for the fisrt few weeks, but after that I feel like it just take up space in our small apartment.

    I just have to share this wonderful find, motherhood nursing bras for 18 kaui each. They are totally legit and great quality, easy to clip on with one hand, and I’ve washed them again and again with no signs of wear and tear.

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