It probably sounds odd, saying a five month old baby is independent, but she really is. Willow knows exactly what she wants and thankfully, my partner and I can read her signals and know within seconds whether she wants a cuddle, a feed, a change of scenery, whether she wants her nappy changed, is too hot or too cool, ready for a little nap or simply wants to play. She still talks to us, a lot, but she now also giggles and belly laughs and understands games we play with her.
As soon as you put her on your lap she knows it's time to play Row Row Your Boat and will start rocking back and forth in a determined 'I'm ready mama!' way, beaming and giggling as soon as you start. She still loves story time and is adamant she will hold the book with me and help me turn the pages, and will giggle, smile and gasp as I read her stories in exaggerated voices for each of the characters. She's not a fan of 'baby' board books, but really loves books more suited to older babies and toddlers and already has her favourites; That's Not Funny Bunny!, What the Ladybird Heard Next and Guess How Much I Love You.
She is one chunky monkey and now weighs 18lbs 2oz. She's still in size 3-6 clothes, although I think I'll end up changing up her wardrobe to her 6-9 sizes when she reaches 5 and a half months. Sleep is still going well, with 2-3 naps throughout the day and sleeping for 12 hours a night. Her naps in the day aren't the longest; she generally has 30 minutes in the morning and around lunchtime, but will go down for up to 2 hours later in the afternoon before she goes to bed between 6pm and 7pm, before I wake her at 10:30pm for her final feed of the day.
She can sit up unaided and adores her Jumperoo, her Baby Einstein playmat and her favourite part of the day is always bath time. Something that has massively changed this past month is how much she loves to just sit up and play. She's very keen on playing with her more interactive toys and loves to be sat on the sofa surrounded by her favourite toys.
A big milestone for us this month was changing her pram, putting away the carrycot which she was too big for length wise and getting out the stroller seat. I was a little bit sad when we first used the stroller seat; it really does feel like she's not my little baby anymore, but she loves being able to see more when we are out and about and I love that she takes everything in and gets to see more of the big world around her.
We are lucky that Willow is a really, really happy baby. She never cries unless she is overly tired and even then, it's more of a whine than a cry. We did have a few days last week where she was poorly and so we had some tears then, but other than that she is always all smiles, giggles and laughter. Friends and family always remark on her happy demeanor, so we must be doing something right!
It's incredible to see the change in her from the little newborn that we brought into this world to the independent little lady she is today. A month from now and she will be six months old, a whole half of a year - and I am definitely treating myself to cake to celebrate! I can't wait to see what the next month brings us, what changes we'll see and developments she'll make. I miss her newborn days so very much, but nothing makes my heart swell more than seeing her personality grow each day.