Flying without my daughter

I had to attend the ASEAN Tourism Forum and it meant flying to Manila. I decided to just leave the children because I would be gone for just 3 nights. The biggest challenge for me was leaving my 1 year old baby who is still exclusively breastfed. This will be our very first time to separate from each other in a year.

 I bought my little Anna the sippy cup, a cup with straw because she opposed the bottle. We tried introducing her to formula and she just refused the formula milk. I thought, she won’t take it because I am still around. She would however sip duchmill yogurt drink (which she learned from her older brother). I bought 2 kinds of formula so she can choose which one she prefers while I am away. I also left several of my clothing that I have not laundered so she could have a sense of comfort when she smells me.

The night before I left, my little girl may have sensed it because she just fed almost every hour. I could not sleep! I did not have any spare breastmilk stored because once babies start to eat, supply usually deplete. 

I called a friend who left their daughter for a trip and she said that her daughter took the formula because she had no choice. They were gone for a week or even longer and their baby adjusted. So I trusted her advise and I also got this confirmation from another close friend who had the same experience. 

I left for Manila and focused on the sales mission for the next couple of days. I called to check on my Anna. I found out on the first day she was on full protest and did not drink from any of the sippy cups, nor from the bottle. She went on the whole day without milk and just munched away on food. I honestly started to worry.

Day 2- I learned that at 6 am she was supposed to take milk in between her sleep. However,  she did not. She woke up,  ate food and went back to bed. She was still protesting taking the formula milk. I had to start researching and learned that as long as she is eating a lot, she should be fine. So I relaxed. 

Meanwhile in Manila I had to express milk because my breasts were feeling painful. I was able to store some milk and many I had to throw away. 

Day 3 – I learned my strong-willed Anna just continued to refuse the milk that was given to her. I could not believe that she has reached this far without milk. She is well behaved but would cry before sleeping because usually we are cuddling so she could sleep. At night she won’t sleep early. She would stay up till 11pm and ask to go outside. There she would call “Mama… Mama…”. When I heard that, I felt that maybe she was waiting and hoping I would be home that night. I felt so bad to hear that report. 😢

Day 4- I could not sleep. I kept thinking of my children and how excited I am to see them. I wondered if Anna would still breastfeed when she sees me… I took the 6:35 am flight so I could be home the soonest that I could. I am missing my family.

As soon as arrived home, my son rushed shouting “Mommy!” … On the sideline with smiles and giggles was my baby girl who stood her ground to not drink any milk. She was so happy to see me that she positioned herself ready for breastfeeding. And that’s pretty much what she wanted to do all day was stick by me and latch!  

  This trip made me learn a few things about my daughter… When she sets her mind on something, she will stick to it no matter what. So for now we are going to continue breastfeeding until she is more ready to wean.


My Baby Led Weaning Child

Until I had Joshua, I never heard of this BLW term. Baby Led Weaning is introducing supplementary food to babies starting 6 months. The key here is to not mash the food.  It is giving your baby the control to try and eat the food. As their slogan says “the mush stops here!”

 When Joshua turned 6 months, I prepared mashed squash for him to eat. I used a small plastic spoon to feed him, and boy did he enjoy it! I loved preparing food for him. But it always required making them into a thick stew or some thick smoothie. This worked well for Joshua. 

However, for my little girl Anna, it’s a different experience. She did not like mashed food. In fact, she gave us that weird face everytime we gave her mashed food! She did not like squash, she did not really enjoy other mashed food too. I got a bit worried because she turned 6 months and was not interested with food.

However, I was wrong! She was interested with food. She just wants to hold it herself, and put in her mouth to suck and nibble. I only discovered that when I gave her a piece of jack fruit and she went crazy nibbling and chewing it on her toothless gums.

Oh, then I tried to give her a chicken wing and she loved it! She seemed like a champ biting that wing and nibbling on it. She did not get a lot of food in her tummy, but she surely enjoyed taking some small bites out of that wing! At this point, I understand that she still gets most of her nutrition from breast milk but she too is qexploring other options with her own hands and chewing it on those little jaws! 

Come to think of it, with Josh he did not chew much at 6 months. He swallowed food more than chewed. With Anna, I notice her chewing, swallowing, or spitting out food. She seems more in control about her food! So we continued to explore!  

The principle on Baby Led Weaning or BLW is allowing the child to eat the same food as what the family is eating. Of course they have to be to monitored and also be given in slices or sizes that they can hold and control. So far she has not choked and many (including myself) worry about that.

I enjoy watching her eat like a little pro. It seems messy too when she eats for now, but I am more hopeful that this method will help her be less picky with food and become an independent eater too! 

Alternative Milk


I was trying to wean my son from breastmilk to cow’s milk, suddenly he contracted amoeba. My personal suspicion– it was triggered by lactose intolerance. Finding the right milk for him suddenly became secondary because I decided not to wean him. Breastmilk has so much antibodies that it strengthens a child who is afflicted with some kind of sickness.

In reality, Joshua even having his amoeba continued to play, continued to run around as if he was not sick at all. Of course he had the runs, but overall he seemed very well. I have to say that the breastmilk has really given him some kind of booster that makes him quite strong. Even when everyone got the virus, he too got it. But again, he just continued to play, run around, laugh and he was not difficult at all. I have to really thank God for giving me a child like that.

However, I also know that reality will set in, I have to find an alternative to breast milk. I am really planning to wean him slowly. My schedule is filling up with activities and meetings which means I am often out. I have to start finding another milk that Joshua is not allergic to. I was told to try goats milk, or soy milk. However, there are two mothers who have recommended another kind of milk. Nut based milk is their choice and specifically, the Almond milk.

So when I was in Manila, I entered Rustan’s and there was a section of Silk’s Almond Milk. What made me happy was seeing that it was NON-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism), Lactose Free, Gluten Free, and Soy-free! Wow, its calcium content is higher than cows milk, and it tastes just great! Also a box is not so bad it costs from Php 144- Php152 a box.

A box is about 946 ml. To my son a box is good for about 7 days. You must be thinking, “how can that be? Isn’t that too little?” Remember, this is just an alternative.. It only supplements when I am unable to directly feed. But just think about it… How much is formula canned milk? Its 9 to 10 times the price of this one.


In Sarangani, the focus of the agricultural program will be on naturally grown food which is really the kind of produce God intended for us. But today most of our food come from genetically modified sources. They are also causes of cancers and other degenerative diseases. So, going all natural is the best!


Overall it has been such a relief to find something suitable for my son. Unfortunately this milk is not available in Gensan or Sarangani. We have to fly them in from Manila for now (until purchasers of our groceries here find it worth bringing in.)

Thank God for quality products like Silk that help moms with kids who are lactose intolerant.

Lactose Intolerant?


It has been 13 months of exclusively breastfeeding my son. I have been recently getting busy and back to my work regimen so the thoughts of weaning him or doing a mix feed are playing in my mind.

I have researched that after 12 months, breastfed babies can be introduced to whole cows milk and drink it out of a cup. It seems like a great idea. I walked the aisle of fresh milk in the supermarket several times contemplating on this thought. Finally, I dropped a box of fresh whole milk on my grocery cart and hoped this was going to be the start of a mommy-led weaning.

When I got home. I gave my son half an ounce of fresh milk for taste. He liked the flavor and it was not too bad. So that day he had an about 1.5oz. There was no adverse effect so far.

So the next day, I decided to try mixing it with my breast milk. He had mixed fresh and breast milk for sleeping. He also had fresh milk together with his breakfast. About a total of 4oz of fresh milk he consumed that morning. In the afternoon, he had very soft stools and he kept on having bowels before sleeping. Hmmm… Strange.

The next day he had again 3 bowels in the morning and then he began having a fever. So, we needed to see our pediatrician to see if its the whole milk. That was the only thing different in my baby’s diet. Lactose intolerance could be a factor.

Lactose is found in milk and to digest it the stomach must have enough lactase enzymes. Babies may not have developed lactase to digest lactose in dairy such as high lactose cows milk. Of course, I learned this later. Mommy forums on the net have shared that some of their babies were getting diarrhea and red butts after introducing fresh cow’s milk.

So Joshua took a stool exam. By this time he has already passed bowels about 6 times, yet the result came back negative of anything. By his 10th pass, we had a second stool exam and this time it confirmed entamoeba hystolitica. I was thinking, could his lactose intolerance triggered the amoeba? He was absolutely fine prior to the whole milk.

Despite this, Joshua remained strong and did not even show discomfort during bowels. We kept breastfeeding, drinking pedialite, and obeyed instructions to take metronidazole and erceflora (probiotics). I can’t think how Joshua got amoeba. But now we are increasing our hand washing and alcohol..


Though this needs further study, I am.wondering if it is possible that lactose intolerance which causes diarrhea can trigger amoeba to thrive or surface? Reason I ponder upon this is because another mom had her child stop all dairy because she also had diarrhea when milk was introduced. Same as Joshua the diarrhea later became amoeba.

I guess for now, we will stick to breastfeeding because it heals and the antibodies found in breast milk has helped my son remain strong and active. But I am still in a quest to find the right lactose free milk to compliment breastfeeding. You probably are wondering why should I not consider formula. First, it is still from cow’s milk…so same effect. I also have seen how formula milk has rotten with cavities the teeth of my nephew. I am hoping to skip formula and its just my personal preference. I am still researching on lactose free milk and nut based milks to see what will be best for my son.

Meanwhile, this health challenge has taught us a lot about maintaining the basics – wash hands, disinfect, sterilize, and continue breastfeeding (especially when I still can). God is teaching me that He has enabled me to provide the best nutrition to my son and that I should not rush to wean. That time will come and it will be a perfect time.