5 month Update

Quinn is now 5 months old!
I had in my head that 5 months had been one of the stages in Seb's development that I'd particularly enjoyed, although I couldn't especially remember why that was, so I was arbitrarily looking forward to reaching Quinn's fifth month.

As it is, she hasn't disappointed, she's really growing in to her own little person and is finally becoming slightly more confident in exploring the world without clinging to me.

She's still "clingy" by other people's standards, I guess, and can be slightly reluctant to be picked up by strangers, but I take that as testament to her having a great, secure attachment to me and I'm happy about that. She's now sitting unaided, which means that I can pop her on the floor on her play mat, surrounded by a few toys, and she'll happily amuse herself whilst I pop and make a cup of tea - which is huge progress, as she'd previously wailed as soon as I even looked as though I might be about to leave the room.

Sitting up on her own has definitely given her a little more independence and she seems very pleased with herself!
The other milestone that I've noticed very recently, is that you no longer have to "try" to get her to laugh, by playing peek-a-boo, or tickling her. She's now laughing as a response to things that she sees, whether it's her brother racing about playing with new toys, or the cat eating his dinner. Yesterday my friends visited with their daughter, who's a day younger than Quinn, and when the other baby was tickled - Quinn would laugh. It seems like a big developmentall leap from just chuckling out of over-stimulation!
Quinn was weighed at 22 weeks, and had managed to get up to 18lbs 14ozs. She's now 24 weeks, so I assume well over 19lbs, and absolutely none of her 3-6 month clothes fit! I managed to get some adorable new baby clothes from Mothercare and Frugi in their post Christmas sales though. We're moving in to Size 2 nappies now (reusable - I realise that a disposable size 2 is tiny!) and she no longer feels like a small baby, with so much more control over her own body and being sack of potatoes sized, she feels far more robust these days!
Quinn's first Christmas was a pretty overwhelming affair to be honest. She loved Christmas morning, sitting in bed with me, Seb and her Dad. She could appreciate Seb's excitement, although she didn't understand what was happening, and loved watching him unwrap presents - but in the afternoon we met up with the rest of Boyfriend's family and she found the chaos and the sheer number of faces to be too much. In the end, we cut celebrations short and brought her home, as it just didn't seem fair to keep her in an environment that she found really distressing. It was a shame, as everyone just wanted to be around her and to enjoy her first Christmas with her - but she just found that really stressful! Boyfriend and realised how calm and laid back we typically are around her, even though we have four children between us, the atmosphere at home is always pretty chilled, and being breastfed on demand, Quinn tends to dictate the pace for everyone else - so being thrust into the hustle and bustle of a big family Christmas must have been really daunting for her!
Unfortunately, the four month sleep regression never really left us. I'm still up every couple of hours at best, breastfeeding, although, Quinn can now pretty much find a boob and latch herself on, without me having to do any more than shuffle in to position - which means night feeds barely wake me up any more. We're exclusively co-sleeping now which makes our night time breastfeeding routine so much easier for everyone involved. I have to admit that although she can be a right pest at times, I love having her in bed with us. Because she and I are so close it feels right to sleep together.
The best thing to have happened in the last month though, really, is the development of Quinn's relationship with her Dad. Being an exclusively breastfed baby has meant that she's been more of a Mummy's Girl than you'd expect from a bottle fed baby, where feeding is shared between parents and potentially with siblings, friends, grandparents and other members of the family. For the first few months of her life Quinn would occasionally grace her Dad with five minute cuddles before complaining and needing to come back to me. It was really quite difficult on Boyfriend and I might write a separate post on that at some point, as I know it's something that a lot of Dad's of breastfed babies struggle with. At last though, she's a lot more interactive with him, and he's definitely her secondary attachment, in that, if she's with someone unfamiliar, and there's the option to go to her Dad, she is comforted by him, and she'll stay with him whilst I shower, or make dinner etc. without complaint. On two occasions in the last month, Boyfriend has taken her for a walk whilst I've had my hair done, and on both occasions she's happily fallen asleep in the pram, aware that I'm not around - which is a big deal for Quinn!

She's also very fond of all three of her brothers, which is so precious to see. She responds to, and recognises, all three of them, and as they all have very different characters, so the dynamic of her relationship with each of them is slightly different, which is lovely to see developing. Her eldest brother turns 16 next week so there's a big gap between the two of them, but he's brilliant with her and it's great to see her little face light up when he walks in to the room.

I'm looking forward to seeing what 2016 has in store for us as a family of six!

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