On the 1st September, Emmy turned 6 months old – half a year already!! People always say how quickly they grow up and I guess I didn’t really understand until now – that little baby who slept all day long and barely opened her eyes (a little potato, we called her!) is now the most hyperactive and wriggly little monkey ever, now learning how to move of her own accord and even try to escape! But I’m getting ahead of myself – here’s all the things that happened during Emmy’s fifth month. August was a busy month!
At the end of July, at just before 5 months old, Emmy had juuuust started being able to sit unassisted – she’d spent the whole of 4 months old determined to this, starting with balancing in sitting with our hands on either side of her, then moving onto a tripod sit, to finally on the last few days of the month, holding herself with her hands out to the side for a few seconds. Well, the first day of August, as she turned 5 months old, she suddenly got it! And there’s been no stopping her since. She will NOT be laid down now! We like to say she’s very independent, always telling us what she wants to do because she’s NOT a tiny baby any more, and this was just the first example of it this month.
She also decided that she looooves standing too in August. She’d figured out how to put her feet flat on the ground and push them down so her legs were straight rather than curling underneath her at the end of July, but this month, she really went for it. Unfortunately, she already wants to move to the next step – standing by herself – and that won’t be happening all that soon! Like I said, she just wants to be independent and do everything at once.
Which leads me onto…pterodactyl shrieks. Eurgh. This is one of Emmy’s new found skills that I do NOT enjoy! When she’s frustrated that she can’t do something, she started making a throaty wailing noise, and it only got worse as she discovered it was fun to do – I’m not entirely sure why as it sounded like it was hurting her throat, but she was even doing it from her pushchair as we walked around town when she was perfectly happy which earned me a few funny looks from people! I just had to apologise for my dinosaur baby! She did go through a phase of banshee type shrieks a couple of months ago too, but these were louder and worse! It lasted for most of August and had me going crazy some days! Her other speciality noise this month was whining – this was on basically every out breath most of the day! At first it was like occasional talking when she was bored, but then I think it became a habit. Luckily she’s calmed down on both of these now, but it was a noisy month!
We continued to use the inflatable play nest a lot this month as I was very wary of Emmy toppling over from sitting and bumping her head – which she did several times! I have to admit, I found August pretty tiring as we had no baby classes to occupy Emmy, I had to sit next to her all the time in case she toppled over as she wanted to be sitting all the time, she wanted to be on the move but couldn’t get moving yet, and she was making her dinosaur noises all the time! It’s funny because at the beginning of August, I kept exclaiming about how this was my favourite age yet and 5 months was just THE BEST. Then by the end of the month I was exhausted!
It didn’t help that Emmy’s sleep has been all over the place this month – I think it’s a combination of factors: growth spurts, teething (no sign of any teeth yet though!), outgrowing her Next To Me cot, overtiredness a couple of days… I think we’re heading into nap transition territory as she’s occasionally skipped her afternoon nap, no matter what I’ve done to get her to sleep. One day this happened and we couldn’t get her down for bed for love nor money – both of us taking it in turns to rock, sing, sway, feed, shush. It eventually got to 9.30pm and we ended up heading up to bed with her with us where she eventually fell asleep in her Next To Me rather than in her own bed where we normally put her down for the first 3-4 hours of the night while we’re downstairs. We had a few wake ups that night, and for around a week at that time, we went through 3-4 wake ups a night which was really odd as she’s never really done that aside from her first few weeks where I had to wake her up to feed!
This came towards the end of the month so I started thinking about transitioning into her own room to see if that would help – the plan was to start by raising the side of her Next To Me, then move that to the side of our room so she couldn’t see us, then eventually move to her own room. As it turned out, we did something a little bit different at the start of September – but that’s for next month!
Aside from sitting, our other big thing this month has been weaning! Last month, she started with some pureed sweet potato and a bit of avocado, but this month, we really upped the game. She’s had all sorts of foods! We continued with purees including courgette (a strong fave!), carrot, banana, spinach and pea, but it quickly became obvious she wanted to do it herself – that independence again! So we’ve now moved onto a more baby led weaning approach with sticks of food – cucumber is her absolute favourite thing in the entire world, but she’s also enjoyed scrambled eggs, cooked apple with peanut butter, sticks of red Leicester cheese, sweet potato wedges (another fave!), strawberries and more. She’s really enjoying food so far! Strangely, she’s gone a bit off purees now and will NOT allow anyone to feed her any more – she wants to do it all herself, as per usual!
And there was one biiiiig thing that happened this month: I went away! So if you’ve been keeping up with my Emmy updates, you might know that Emmy will not take a bottle. Like, absolutely WILL NOT. This is weird because she had to drink from a bottle for a couple of weeks when she was born due to her jaundice and sleepiness meaning she couldn’t latch properly. But after that, nope. Nothing.
We’d booked a trip to go see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London all the way back when I first got pregnant. Ben’s sister spent hours online waiting to get the tickets and managed to grab enough for me, her, her mum, my mum and my sister – literally every female in our immediate family! When we booked it, I was all like “Oh, it’ll be fine! She’ll be nearly 6 months by then and eating solids!” In reality, I discovered that babies don’t just swap straight to solids and stop breastfeeding! In fact, it turns out that they carry on with milk for a long time!
So it took a looooot of planning in advance to figure out how we would manage it, but in the end, I just kind of had to leave Ben to it. And how did we manage to get her to eat while I was gone, you ask? A shot glass. Yes – breast milk out of a shot glass. Of course. Emmy’s recently been obsessed with us drinking out of glasses and hasn’t really been interested in cups, so we tried a little shot glass to see if that would work, and it turns out it did. Whatever works I guess! Ben also had a little bit of success tipping a free flow sip cup into her mouth and letting her swallow it at her own pace, as well as mixing courgette puree with lots of breast milk to ensure she was getting plenty. And they were both fine! She took two 2 hour long naps for him (what?!!) and slept all night long. He did struggle to get her down for bed to be fair, which we kind of expected, and he struggled to sleep because of the weight of responsibility being totally shifted onto him, but it was all good!
And how did I get on? Absolutely fine too! It was so so weird being without Emmy for 24 hours – I felt like something was missing all the time. I’d worried I wouldn’t be able to focus on the plays, but luckily, and I think thanks to not being able to have my phone on, I managed to distract myself and really really enjoyed the performances. The only problem I had was that I had to express while I was there, both to maintain supply and for comfort, and that was really tricky! I used a combination of the Elvie pump, which actually had a lot of issues and barely got any milk (a story for another day, but I’ve sent it back now) and my silicon breast pumps which worked a hundred times better for me and were just as discreet! I obviously really missed Emmy, but she didn’t seem to be too fussed as far as we could tell, aside from the fact that she wouldn’t make eye contact with me for a few hours after I returned!
Since all the baby classes were stopped for summer, I was worried we would struggle to find things to do. The only ideas I had were visiting my family frequently, which we did do, but in fact I found something else fun that we really liked – walking. We ended up taking a walk pretty much every single day in August. Some days it was just round our town, where I aimed to do around 5km minimum, but we also ventured out to nearby woodland where we explored several different footpaths, walking 7-8km each time. It’s brilliant because Emmy absolutely loves being outside, especially in nature, and she also naps while out and about, whether in the pram or carrier. On top of that, it’s been good exercise for me! We’ve discovered lots of beautiful places and got ourselves very lost – like the day we couldn’t find a path marked on a map so followed a mountain bike…this ended up with me sliding down a hill holding onto a fallen tree while Emmy managed to stay asleep! I’m now planning to invest in a good winter coat so that we can continue walking through winter as we’ve both been really enjoying it.
And here are a few other things Emmy and I have been up to this month:
- Ben and I took Emmy on a trip to a local National Trust property, Beningbrough Hall. I wrote a post all about this here.
- We’ve seen lots of friends this month, including charity shopping with Laura (where I spent very little money and bought a lot of stuff, including an age 10-12 Frozen dress – well, she’ll be 10 one day!!) and meeting up with an old friend from school and her little girl who’s a couple of months older than Emmy.
- At the beginning of the month, we had Emmy’s monthly weigh in and discovered that not only had she increased nicely in weight, she’d even gone up so she was nearly on the 50th centile line! Considering that at one point she was down to the 18th (after being around 25th when she was born), and they made me feel quite worried about it, this was pretty impressive! She’s looking pretty chunky nowadays 😀
- We had a couple more shopping days with Grandma, on one of which we decided to try her in the “big girl seat” of the trolley…and she loved it!!
- Emmy discovered that she could stick out her tongue this month! And she seems to have a super long tongue too – it’s hilarious!
- One day, we decided to make sensory bags so we put marbles into jelly and dried quinoa in zip lock bags and taped them down to the floor. She thought these were just okay, she wasn’t too fussed really! I think it’s because she had to be on her tummy to play with them and she’s not the biggest fan of being on her tummy still!
- We had a day out at Countryfile Live at Castle Howard which was fun and very muddy!
- We got Emmy a new wooden high chair – we really like the IKEA Antilop but have passed this on to the grandparents for now and really like this one now. It looks better set up in the dining room and takes up less space too!
- Emmy started wearing 6-9 month clothes some of the time – how is she so big?!
- Favourite toys this month have included blocks (£5 for a big box at the charity shop!), a Jellycat bunny, a teething ring Grandma bought her in Asda, and a sensory bottle made by Aunty Beth!
- We met up with some friends from swimming classes to go swimming at a local pool. We actually saw our teacher there too!
- We moved Emmy out of her baby bath into the big bath! She was getting too big for the baby one and starting to try to launch herself out of it, so we knew it was time! We got a mat from Aldi and she’s LOVING being in the big bath and splashing around.
- We went to a BBQ at my aunty’s house on the bank holiday – although we only called in rather than staying for food – and saw lots of family members including Emmy’s second cousin Sam who’s just under a year older than her. He’s obsessed with tractors, and the obsession seems to be wearing off on Emmy too!
- Emmy and I had our own little shopping day out in York! We had a voucher for Gap that can only be used in store and it turned out that the shop was closing soon, so I decided we’d go and spend it. I managed to get her to fall asleep in the carrier while I was waiting for food in Humpit (which was AMAZING), so that was an achievement!