So as Penelope's first birthday approaches, so does the end of bottles... we're not going to quit cold turkey (which just makes Pen sound like a formula junkie) but we are going to start the weaning process. In a way we already have - P is down to 3 bottles a day and those generally coincide with her nap schedule. She has one around 9:30 and naps around 10, has one at 2 and generally naps around 2:30, and then has her bedtime bottle right before she goes to sleep.
At the height of bottle consumption she was at 6 a day (I think) so we've cut her formula intake in half. This means, of course, that she eats more solids throughout the day. She has three meals and two snacks a day - and sometimes those snacks are bottles at this point. So eventually those snacks will be just solids and she'll drink water or milk with meals. She already gets whole milk with breakfast and she really seems to like it, so that's good.
By the end of the month I'd like to cut down to 2 bottles - maybe just morning and night. By February I'd like her to be down to just the nighttime bottle and before the next baby comes I'd like for her to be off bottles completely.
We'll see how this goes. If she's really resistant then I'll reevaluate... I don't want the transition to be traumatic. But I also don't want to have two babies on bottles (hopefully breastfeeding will work this time, but I know that at some point pumping/bottle feeding will be necessary since I'll have to go back to work and will have to student teach in the Fall). The thought of two babies on bottles (even part-time) fills me with dread and makes the hand on my skin weep. Bottle washing is hell on your skin.
So if Penny can be off bottle before April I will be a very, very happy mama. The nighttime bottle will be the hardest - for us both - so we'll see if milk in a sippy plus a bedtime story will do the trick. It's the last one I want to get rid of so I have some time before I have to worry about it. She may surprise me and wean on her own, she is getting more independent when it comes to eating (which is a whole 'nother post).
This of course brings me to sleeping. She's been doing well, sleeping from 8-6:30 or 7, except the last week or so she's woken up at night and needed to come into bed with us. I say needed, but it's really just easiest for us - I'm sure I could make her stay in her crib and she'd sleep eventually but I'm not comfortable with letting her cry (it works well for some moms & families, but it's not for us). I know that it's her 2nd molar that's bothering her; and maybe the third molar as well. I admit that I enjoy waking up next to her in the morning, although I do NOT enjoy being smacked in the face in the middle of the night.
Once New Baby gets here nighttime bed transfers will have to stop - and ideally they'll stop well before then. Since we co-sleep with our new babies until they're about 3 months old, we just can't have New Baby, Penelope, and us in the same bed - there just isn't room. It's hard enough now with the three of us (plus the damn cat)... there's no way we can fit a baby into the mix. So Penny is going to have to stay in her own bed.
We contemplated getting bunk beds for Pen (so eventually the two kids could share a room) but after talking with our midwives we've decided that's not really the way we want to go... their stories of bunk bed hassles have given us a lot to think about - a lot we never really considered (like sheet changing and sick kids). So bunk beds are out. I think Bryan is just going to build a frame for a queen sized mattress that's low to the ground. P will move to the queen in her new room (which is now the "guest" room), the baby will eventually move into the nursery, and when the baby is old enough both kids will share a room. They'll either share the queen sized bed, we'll get two twins, or do some sort of trundle thing. It all depends on the gender and temperament of New Baby.
Ok, time to finish addressing the Holiday cards. I ordered 50, but I think I'll need to get more...
2 weeks ago