Another month, another set of new developments for your hardworking little one. This month is going to be filled with fun, giggles, babbles, cooing, playtime, and much more.
What are some of the milestones of your 5-month-old?
- Your baby already considers her hands and toes as her in-built toys, and in this month, your baby may start bringing both of her hands together.
- Your baby will use both hands to reach for objects and will be holding her toys using all her fingers.
- This month your baby will start to learn about object permanence.
- Either your little one had already started rolling over in the last month or she will start doing so this month. Even if she is still trying to roll over, at least by now, she will be swaying from side to side, which is a good indicator of readiness to roll over.
- If you have got a fast-developing baby, she may start crawling from this month.
Your baby’s developments in the fifth month
Your 5-month-old baby is working hard to get up and going. She is developing a ton of skills every day to help her grow.
- Weight & Length-
On average, 5-month-old girl babies weigh around 15 pounds, and that of baby boys is 16 pounds. The average height of 5-month-old girls is approximately 25 inches and that of boys is 25.9 inches. By the fifth month, almost all babies weigh more than double their birth weight.
This month, your baby is likely to gain an additional 1 to 1.25 pounds over last month. If your baby weighs different than the average, remember it is probably fine as long as your baby is staying within its percentile range and is following its natural growth curve.
Related: 6-Month Baby Development Tips
- Growth spurt
Babies generally don’t have any growth spurt in the fifth month. But as babies experience growth spurts in the fourth and sixth months, your little one may go through a growth spurt this month also. If you find that your baby is feeding more than usual, is cranky or fussy then it could be an indicator of a growth spurt.
Your baby’s eyesight and vision clarity is improving and she will be able to tell different colors. Your baby could already recognize bright colors like red and yellow, but this month she will be able to differentiate lighter and even pastel colors.
- Object permanence-
Your baby will start deciphering object permanence. You can start playing peek-a-boo with your little one from this month. If you hide her toy and then revel it, your baby will start to slowly understand that objects are permanent and that they still exist even when she can’t see them.
The downside to this development is that when you leave the room, your little one may erupt in tears just to bring you back. Ensure that you have taken proper financial preparation for your baby.
- Cause and effects-
It may surprise you but babies are actually very smart. Your 5-month-old is quickly catching up on the reactions that she can get out of you by doing some action. Like she is realizing how her cries can get her what she wants or how kicking her legs will cause you to react.
Your baby can’t tell if you get frustrated at her actions, she would rather enjoy just getting you to react. You may even find her repeating the same action over and over just to amuse herself with your reactions.
- A grabber-
Your baby can now track objects, spot any toy slightly out of her reach, focus on it, and then grab it using all her fingers. She will be chewing her fingers and putting her hands in her mouth this month.
Your baby is taking essential steps towards saying that first word of her life. She will be attentively listening to you when you two are chatting and then she will try to mimic your words. She will be using more and more vowels in her babble and she will repeat her cooing and babbling.
- Tummy time-
You should continue giving your baby ample supervised tummy time. This will help her to roll over in case she is still trying. By now, she will be able to prop her upper body on her hands. Some babies will start to roll over from tummy to back and again from back to tummy in this month.
Related: 8-Month Baby Development Tips
Feeding your 5-month-old
You were probably just getting the hang of feeding time but it is all probably going to change again from this month. You are probably incorporating baby food along with breast milk and formula. Along with nursing, some mothers also start pumping.
- Bottle feeding:
Most 5-month-old babies have four ounces of formula around six times every day.
5-month-old babies generally feed almost every 3 to 5 hours. But your little one may feed more or less than this depending upon various factors.
- Solid foods:
If you and your baby’s doctor decide that your baby is ready to start eating solid baby food, remember that you start slow, and just like nursing in those first days, you should follow baby’s cues in case of solids too. It is generally advised to start with one ounce during a meal and then you may gradually increase it up to almost three ounces three times every day.
The amount will depend on the baby’s cues. You will notice that as your baby gets habituated with solids, she will become more interested in them and would love to try out different cereals, fruit purees, and veggies.
Generally, doctors advice to wait until the baby starts eating solid foods before parents introduce water to the baby. Give your cutie a few water sips, if permitted by the doctor. However, remember that your baby should not get full just by drinking water.
Over drinking water will make your baby less interested in breast milk or formula and she will miss out on the important nutrients that she needs. Your baby will hardly face unwanted health issues if you have avoided all bad habits during your pregnancy.
Sleep of 5-Month-Old
- Total amount-
The amount the baby sleeps will also depend on her. While some babies can sleep for long stretches, some babies remain cat-nappers sleeping for shorter stretches at a time. Generally, 5-month-old babies tend to sleep for 15 hours every day. 10 of those hours are covered at night while the rest 5 hours are covered in 2-3 naps during the day.
- Sleep Regression-
Often babies start going through sleep regression around the fourth or the fifth month. Your baby’s developing brain may keep her awake and she may start sleeping less for some weeks.
- Sleep training-
It depends on your personal choice whether you want to sleep train your baby. However, if your little one is not sleeping through the night, you may want to give sleep training a try this month.
Related: 9-Month-Old Baby Development
Tips and reminders for the fifth month
- Schedule your baby’s six-month doctor’s appointment.
- In case, you missed the 4-month baby visit, schedule it again this month. The fourth-month checkup is important as your baby will get the second dose of the vaccines. So, you shouldn’t skip that visit.
- Visit your doctor if your baby has a fever of 101 degrees or more. Remember, that babies can’t have Ibuprofen, so you should only treat your baby’s fever with a doctor-prescribed dose of baby-safe medicine.
- You should never give your baby unsupervised tummy time.
- As your baby is very keen on putting objects and hands in her mouth by now, keep her hands clean and keep any choking hazard out of her reach.
- Remember that your baby’s brain is constantly working in this month, so it is also important for your baby to have some supervised alone time. Play with her but also let her entertain herself for some time. Alone time will help your baby to learn independence.
Frequently Asked Questions on Development on 5-months old baby
1. Is it okay for my 5-month-old to sleep on her stomach?
You should always put your baby to sleep on her back to prevent SIDs. However, if your baby can roll over and has found sleeping on her tummy to be comfortable, you will often find her sleeping on her stomach.
You may feel the urge to continue flipping your baby over but don’t worry as your baby can roll over on her back on her own. It is not as risky anymore to let her sleep on her stomach. However, always remember that if your baby can roll over, you should not swaddle her, so that she can use her shoulders to roll back.
2. Can my 5-month-old say “mama”?
Give your little one some more weeks and she will start saying those adorable “mama”s and “dada”s. Right now, she is trying hard and learning to mimic your words. Her babbles have more consonants and vowels. Generally, babies say their first word around 8th to 12th month.
3. Will my baby forget her mother?
This is a valid concern of a lot of new mothers as their babies start to become more social and interactive with others. Your baby will always love you and at the end of the day, it is the mother that all the babies crave for. However, it is also important and natural for your baby to bond with others.
4. My baby starts to cry as soon as reach home after work: why so?
A lot of babies start crying after seeing their parents come home from work. It is not because she forgot you or she doesn’t want to see your face anymore or because she doesn’t love you. She is crying because a few hours feel like a period of long separation for babies. Her crying is actually her way of expressing her joy and relief to see you back home.
Your little one is going to be very busy with month with lots of developments in her way. She will love her playtimes and her favorite toys. Believe it or not, your tiny sleepyhead of a few months back has now turned into an alert baby who may even start crying if you stop her playtime. Your baby will start to respond to your kisses and cuddles by giving your that heartwarming smile of hers.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.