Six months.....

Is this a are six months old!

You are no longer a newborn, you are a baby, like a proper baby now, one who rolls over, who babbles and screeches and one who is interested in all the things you shouldn't be!

You are a teeny tiny person, who laughs and giggles, who goes quiet when taken to new places and meets new people. Who looks at everything with such curiosity that you can see your brain computing it all. You grab my hair and bash everything to see if it makes a noise. You are a little person who sits strapped in a high chair as I attempt to feed you mushed up food. You watch everything. The baby who will only nap on me or in a moving mode of transport during the day. You are you and I couldn’t be more proud.

Six months: I am so proud of you little girl but I’m also so proud of us to; me and your dad. Every month that passes I feel the crazy fog lift a little bit more, we grow with experience and grow in the knowledge of knowing you that little bit better. The tell tale signs When you are tired, when you are hungry, when you are bored, that’s not to say that you don’t throw a few curve balls in there occasionally but every month that goes by we know you better and with that comes a tiny bit more calm and routine. When I think about routine it makes me want to scream as all through my teens and early twenties I didn’t want it but as I’ve moved into my late twenties it’s something that I crave when things are uncertain and although I wouldn’t say we have the strictest of routines (I’m not sure anyone can say that with a baby) but it makes more sense, there is more of a rhythm to your day. Your morning nap, your afternoon nap have all evolved and helps to give the day structure and order. In recent days we have been building in times for food (not just milk) which adds structure. Those early days and weeks are so unsure and turbulent that this tiny bit of structure helps me to feel slightly more anchored.

And yes six months down the track we are still boobing! If you’d said that to me before I had a baby I think I would have laughed in your face, don’t be so ridiculous. I won't be able to do it. Being on maternity leave through the winter months provides certain levels of challenge due to the UK’s wonderful climate but with it came time when the rain did not stop and it offered a real opportunity to find my ‘feeding grove’.

Sleep, ahhhhhhhh the topic on every parents lips. Well as soon as you think you’ve cracked it, it all changes. Did I get a bit cocky, yes probably and then the end of December rolled round and for the last three weeks we have been back to three to four wake ups a night. I know for some of you out there that may be your normal and that three wake ups is nothing but it’s what you get used to, so when I’d been through a patch of just one wake up in a night I thought I’d made it, home and dry. Nope, January the month of sleep deprivation, cue transition to own cot!!! That’s right, yes, you are that big now that you sleep in your own cot. Still next to me but nevertheless in a big girls cot. Sleep regression is a real thing, no matter what anyone says to you (I feel there is potentially a generational misconception about sleep, but everyone approaches things differently) and I think worthy of its own little blog in the coming weeks as it is still going. It's quite common at six months old and ours potentially feels more savage due to lack of regression at four months, we seemed to have missed that one.

Feeding: we are still breast feeding in combination with the weaning. When we arrived at just before six months and we bought your first lot of baby food I felt weirdly euphoric. We made it; this epic milestone that I have had in my brain since before you were born. This milestone that meant so much, and in a weird kind of way I felt a huge weight slip from my shoulders. I have been incredibly lucky and blessed to have been able to feed you for this long with very little issues and I know that I will look back and cherish these continuing moments when I feel your little body next to mine and your small hands grab my face or give my chest a reassuring tap just to check it’s still me, but now it’s not just me and I couldn’t be more thankful. Daddy can get involved, Granny can get involved and we can start to enjoy the wonderful world of food. From reading I understand that milk will still remain her main source of nutrition but for me the pressure has gone, and even though there are still times when I think I’ll just pop in the shower and it turns out that she needs feeding half way through (typical!) these times will start to become less frequent and without sounding selfish I feel ever so slightly more free. Alas this feeling of freedom is tinged with sadness, you will never be that small again and for some reason that hurts my heart, not because I want to go back to you being a newborn but because I know I’ll miss it. So the breastfeeding journey is continuing, I don’t have any intention of stopping. I am expressing and have some stored in the freezer, however the next hurdle will be when I go back to work, when she will be around 10 months old. We have tried her on a bottle the Medela Calma, but no joy at the moment I have since been recommended the ‘MAM anti colic’ bottle so have purchased that to see if she will take it, fingers crossed.

Does it hurt to feed now, no not at all. Does it still exhaust me, yes, some days. Do I care about feeding in public anymore, nope although fathers and brothers in law still make me a little awkward and new people who I've just met, but apart from that I will feed her anywhere. Amazing how much can change in six months. My only advice is just keep going.

There are still so many firsts out there, your first tooth, your first steps, your first day at school all of which are still to be navigated but one first we have navigated is your first cold. Sounds silly but I was absolutely dreading it as I know how poorly I feel with a cold but with some really good advice from a mummy friend, the right tools and lots of cuddles we made it through. These products were life savers: THE DREAM TEAM

*Calpol Vapour Plug and Nightlight

*Snuffle Babe Vapour Rub

*Snuffle Babe Nasal drops

N.B: Please note this is not medical advice, these are purely items that helped us. Please always refer to your GP and NHS if you have questions about your baby.

Everything however now goes in your mouth so throughout January (which is prime time for colds anyway) we have seen one or two more sniffles, it’s a shame when you get all bunged up but in the long run it’s good for your immune system.

Six months: so much change came before you and so much change will come after you. Right now we are in the midst of erratic night time sleep, teething, weaning, increased movement and talking, I have no doubt it will be another rollercoaster of a six months till we arrive at your first birthday.

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