"Congratulations, you successfully completed six months of parenting"

We did it - we made it to six months as parents! I honestly feel like it should be celebrated more than it actually is; the fact you've kept this tiny person safe, helped them grow, and still have an ounce of sanity left after half a year.

When it comes to Peyton's first birthday (which scarily feels like it's very close now considering how quick the last six months have gone!) it's definitely going to be a celebration for me and Tom, as well as her. I'm thinking cocktails, prosecco... we've earned it after all!

Peyton turned six whole months old right before Christmas.

Six months. I still can't believe it.

When she was first born I would look at people with babies who were six months and think how much bigger they looked and how it seemed like a million years away. Now, I look back at photos and videos of when Peyton was first born and I can't ever remember her being that tiny. She was so much tinier than we were expecting; given thats everyone was suddenly an expert on baby size and predicted she'd be massive because of the size of my gut. But she was just so, so tiny.

I found a newborn vest in the bottom of her changing bag the other day and, I won't lie, I filled up. It was just so small, I can't believe she ever fit in it. God, what am I going to be like when she's older if I'm falling apart over a vest at six months?!

Six months was also my original breastfeeding target; something else that seemed light years away in those early days and weeks. I've not shied away from the fact I struggled with breastfeeding at the beginning. Now, however, we're in such a good routine with it that I really enjoy it; and I never thought I would say that.

I have no fears about feeding her anywhere that she needs to be fed; we're like well-oiled machines now. Although, she can be a tinker when we're out and about and she's feeding. She's so bloody nosey that the second someone speaks, or she hears a noise, her head turns 180 and she's gazing round - leaving my tit fully exposed and on show to the world and his wife. Even when I try cover up with a muslin she yanks that out of the way. She's a monkey.

I haven't really thought about what I'll do with breastfeeding from now, I'm just going to take everyday as it comes. I don't want to try and force her to wean off it if she isn't ready yet; especially now she has started sprouting actual teeth. But, by the same token, I definitely do not want to still be breastfeeding a toddler, that is out of the question. I go back to work in March so I think she'll naturally start to wean off then, given that I'll be away from her for nine hours a day (sob).

Weaning is going really well, though. I can already tell that her feeds during the day are reducing. She now goes much longer in between than she did. Milk still needs to be her main source of nutrition until she's one but I am finding, especially at the moment, that when I offer it she declines it more times than she has it. That is, except, during the night where she seems to want to feed every two to three hours at the moment; which is bloody exhausting. It's no wonder she isn't feeding as much in the day!

She still won't take a bottle but she is getting really good with cups now, and takes milk really well from them. So I'm not worried about how she'll get her milk when she goes to nursery.

Hopefully, if we are still breastfeeding when she turns 1, we can start a smooth transition then from breast milk straight to cows milk and gradually get her weaned off that way. If she took a bottle I would start now and give her formula for a feed a day, then up it to two feeds etc. so to start weaning her off now. But, because she point blank refuses, I'm not sure what to do. I don't think I'd be able to give her formula in her cups because they'd need sterilising first. I know there comes a point where you can stop sterilising their bottles etc but I don't know when it is - maybe someone can enlighten me?

Anyway, for now, we'll continue as we are and just take each day at a time. Now that teeth are coming through we will just play it by ear with how she is with them. As soon as she starts biting me and it becomes a problem then I'll have to spring a plan into action to save my nips. I can't believe how sharp her little tooth that she has now is and the thought of it slicing through my nipple makes me want to cry already.

Enough about my nipples...

The last six months have passed by in the blink of an eye. People would always say to me "enjoy it, it goes so fast" and it's so, so true. Don't get me wrong, some moments it's felt like time was going by incredibly slowly. On the whole, though, it's gone so quick. I've already had over seven months off work now which is just mental.

In less than two months I will be back at work. I'm really not sure how I feel about that at the moment. I'm looking forward to going back because I love my job. I'm also looking forward to adult conversation, not having Peppa Pig on a loop all day, being able to actually use my brain and, of course, earning a proper wage again and waving ta-ta to maternity pay.

But, my God, I will miss Peyton so, SO much. I'm so worried that I will miss so much of her growing and developing, too. I know that is just the mum guilt kicking in; she'll love nursery and it'll make the days we do have together so much more special. But it doesn't make it any easier. I hope when she's older she'll understand why I went back to work full time and doesn't judge me for abandoning her.

The next six months are going to see so many changes for us all as she gets properly mobile, starts to get ready for her first word, cuts more teeth...

I can't wait to watch her grow but I do wish time would slow down just a little bit.

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