Talking, crawling, and other bigger milestones are still several months away, but at 5 months, the baby has already started gearing up for them. Of course, he may not utter his first word until he is about 12 months, but your infant’s coos and gurgles may have turned into babbling and jibber-jabbering that sounds surprising like read words.
Similarly, most babies begin to crawl at around 9 months, but baby at 5 months is already scooting, rolling, and creeping to get around.
Enjoy the ride and read on to find out what more the 5 month old milestones have in store for baby (and you).
What You Should Know
- Morning time is when the baby is the most awake, active, and happy. Try spending time together by talking to each other or playing “peek-a-boo” before embarking on your daily routine.
- Let the baby meet new people so he can develop and improve his cognitive and social skills.
- 5 month olds enjoy music. Play some and sing to him and you will see him respond with laughs and babbles.
- Schedule baby’s 6 month checkup
The Most Adorable 5 Month Old Milestones
At 5 months old, the baby is exploring and learning about this big world around him. You have been part of his development journey since day one, so you need to join him in this new venture too. Get down on the floor with baby, get him some toys for 5 month olds that he can play with, encourage him to roll over, or just make faces and delight in those baby chuckles. Below are some exciting 5 month old baby development milestones to look forward to:
1. Weight And Length
Baby is likely to have doubled his birth weight by now. He may even have added a few extra pounds to that number, or just about to hit the benchmark. Babies grow at different rates, but on average, a 5 month old will weigh about 16.5 pounds for boys and 15.1 pounds for girls. The average height would be about 25.8 inches for boys and 25.1 inches for girls.
Babies grow rapidly during the first year of their life, but somehow, at around 5 or 6 months old, the rate of growth seems to slow down. For instance, by the fourth or fifth month, baby weight maybe doubles his birth weight, but it may take almost 6 full months for a baby to triple his birth weight.
2. The Senses
Baby has a better vision now. He is not 20/20 yet but he can see pretty well at different distances and can focus on objects without crossing eyes. This month, he will love to look at objects with more colors, patterns, and shapes, but will still prefer those in yellow, blue, or red m
He has also learned that just because something is out of sight doesn’t mean it has permanently disappeared. However, this could also mean that the baby will cry when you leave him alone in the room.
The sounds baby hears (a car engine starting, a dog barking, music playing, etc.) all make sense now. Of course, he still can’t understand the words but you may see him turn when you call his name or frown when you say “no”.
Touch And Taste
At 5 months old, the baby will be touching, grabbing, and tasting everything, so make sure his toys always stay clean and sanitized. Also, inspect the area around the baby play mat regularly to get rid of any breakable or hazardous objects.
3. Motor Skills
You may be wondering, “What my 5 months should be doing?” Here is an idea:
- Reaching for objects: Baby grip control has developed immensely. He stretches to reach out for objects. Baby bottles, toys, and rattles are much easier to hold now.
- Putting weight on legs when standing on a hard surface: When held vertically on a firm surface, the baby will put weight on his legs and even lock them in place. Sometimes he will make bouncing movements by locking and relaxing his knees.
- Rolling both ways: At this age, most babies can roll onto their tummies when placed on their back or onto their back if placed on their tummy.
- Sitting with support: Baby can sit with support. In a few months, he will be able to sit on a high chair without support.
- Communicating: By the fifth month, the baby is babbling and the babbles may sometimes sound like real words. He is beginning to put consonants and vowels together like “ma-ma” or “ba-ba”. But don’t get too excited; the baby is still learning and hasn’t assigned meaning to these words yet.
He also knows how to use his voice to express delight or displeasure. Baby will squeal or laugh when happy and cry when he is upset.
- Experimenting cause and effect: Baby now understands that actions can cause a reaction. For instance, if he drops a spoon off his feeding table and you pick it, he will keep dropping it just to see what happens.
- Responding to the emotions of others: This is the age when the baby will cry if you laugh at him, laugh when you tickle him gently, or make faces when you make one. He recognizes your emotions from the tone of your voice too. For example, he will frown when you raise your voice at him and calm down if you talk to him in a more soothing tone.
- Looking joyful: Baby looks happy most of the time and enjoys playing with his parents.
4 Month Old Food
Is It OK To Start Solids At 5 Months?
Yes, it is OK to start solid baby food at 5 months, but experts recommend waiting until the baby shows signs that he is ready. At this age, you don’t need to feed your infant anything else apart from breast milk or/and formula.
However, children develop differently and your 5 month old baby development may include an urge to try solids. So how do you know he is ready? Here are the signs to look for:
- Baby opens his mouth whenever you bring food nearby
- Baby can hold his head up
- Baby attentively watches you eat
- Baby reaches for a spoon or grabs food from it and puts in his mouth
- Baby’s weighs at least 14 pounds or double his birth weight
What Should A 5 Month Old Be Eating?
A 5 month old should be eating the freshest and most nutritious baby foods. If you have a baby food maker, you can make your food for your little one. But there are great food options for babies available for purchase too. If you don’t have the resources or time to prep your baby’s food, buying could still work.
For homemade baby food, avoid food that contains turnips, collard greens, spinach, carrots, or beets. These veggies sometimes contain high amounts of nitrates, a chemical is known to lower blood counts and could put your little one at risk of anemia.
If you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, make sure how much your baby consumes is in line with how much solids he eats. For instance, if your baby is still not used to solid food, he will rely fully on breast milk or/and formula for nutrition. But on average, babies in the fifth month will drink 6 to 8 ounces of formula every 5 or 6 hours or breastfeed every 4 or 5 hours.
If you have decided to give baby solid foods, go slow and just like when breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, follow baby cue’s. By now, chances are you can tell when the baby is hungry. Start with an ounce a day and gradually increase the amount to about 3 ounces, 3 or 4 times a day as baby gets used to solids.
This could also be a good time to introduce water to the baby. Experts recommend that parents wait until babies are ready for solids to give them water. So if your baby is already eating solid food, there is a good chance he is ready for water too.
But just like solids, go slow on your little one. At 5 months old, the baby’s tummy is still not big enough to accommodate much, so even a few sips of water will get him full. If he drinks too much water, the baby won’t be able to feed, which means he won’t be getting the nutrients he needs from solid food, breast milk, or formula.
How Often Should 5 Month Poop?
A 5 month old should poop about 2 times a day if on solids but some can go up to 3 times a day at first. Breastfed babies and those on formula, on the other hand, can poop once daily, while some go up to 7 days without any bowel movements and it does not mean they are constipated.
5 Month Old Sleep
Many first-time parents ask, “How many hours should a 5 month old sleep?”
A 5 month old should sleep about 11 to 14 hours every day (24 hours). How this is split up will depend on whether a baby is a big sleeper or a not-so-big sleeper. As most infants hit their 5 month old milestones, they start to sleep less during the day and more during the night.
Day naps for almost 5 month olds are usually about 2 hours long with some sleeping as little as 30 minutes. However, during the night, babies sleep for longer stretches. They can sleep for up to 9 hours without waking up to feed.
But not all babies will sleep through the night during the fifth month. If you want your baby to get into a consistent nighttime sleep pattern, establish a bedtime routine. You can start with a nice, warm bath, then rocking with a story and a lullaby. Massaging your baby can also go a long way in getting him to sleep. Include it into your nighttime routine and baby’s eyes will surely start to droop.
All this time, have the baby crib ready so that when your little one gets drowsy, you will just move him in. Always try putting baby to bed half asleep. That way, he will master the art of soothing himself to sleep so he doesn’t always have to rely on you.
As the baby starts to enjoy longer stretches of sleep at nighttime, you need to think about his safety more. For instance, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends letting your child suck a pacifier at bedtime. Baby pacifiers are not only great at encouraging self-soothe but also lower the child’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Also, keep in mind that this is the age when most babies begin to roll over. So make sure baby blankets are tucked in properly, or even better, use a swaddle blanket.
A Day In A 5 Month Old Life
Sleeping through the night is probably the most celebrated 5 month old baby development. But this also means you will have a more active baby during the day. But how long your infant’s day will be will depend on what time you put him to bed. So if your baby goes to bed at 6 p.m., he will probably be up by 3 a.m. and that’s when his day will start.
So, how do I entertain my 5 month old all day, you may wonder?
Short answer; peek-a-boo. Hide an object under a blanket and then whip the blanket off for the big reveal. This is one of the most effective ways for a baby to learn that things that vanish can also magically resurface.
But this is just one game and so you may ask, “How can I keep my 5 month old busy?”
The best way to keep your 5 month old busy is to simply keep him entertained. Baby will shift his focus on anything as long as it makes him happy. Sing and talk to your baby, read to him, have fun on the play mat, go outside and get a change of scenery, and don’t forget the tummy time.
And if you are wondering, “How do I stimulate my 5 month old baby?” know that all the aforementioned activities will keep your baby stimulated. However, there several other exciting things you can do with your little one to help him hit the 5 month old milestones faster and get ready for the sixth month. For instance:
- Placing toys out of baby’s reach and encouraging him to reach out and grab them improves his eye and hand coordination
- Reading books that are brightly illustrated will help him enhance his vision and improve his communication skills. Baby in the fifth month loves looking at colors and hearing your voice.
- Letting baby meet and play with other 5 month olds improves his social skills.
When Should You Be Concerned?
Every baby is different and will reach the 5 month old milestones or any other stage of his development at his own time. Some infants will achieve all the milestones we have discussed here at the right time, while others will take a little longer and still be healthy. However, if your little person is showing any of the following symptoms, make sure to consult your pediatrician:
- He is not feeding properly
- He is sleeping less than 5 hours at night
- He doesn’t seem interested in playing
- He has added less than 50 % of his birth weight
- His eyes still cross when focusing on objects
- He cannot hold his head up
- He is unable to sit up even with support
- He doesn’t seem interested in your face
- He doesn’t bring his hands or other objects to his face or mouth
- He doesn’t smile when you tickle, kiss, or play with him
- He has a bulging soft spot
- He doesn’t look at people or objects as they move
- He doesn’t respond to sounds
In most of these cases, your pediatrician will advise waiting a little longer as the baby may just be taking a little more time to hit all of the 5 month old baby development stages. Always make sure you are taking your baby for his monthly checkups so you can be certain he is growing at a healthy rate. There will be no checkups this month unless of course, the baby is sick, but it would be wise to start preparing for the sixth month checkups as early as possible.
My Babies Planet Overview
The fifth month marks the beginning of an amazing journey for you and your little one. Baby has grown so much and has learned so much. He can tell the difference between colors, he knows when you are angry or happy just by listening to the tone of your voice, and his speech has developed immensely. You are having better sleep now too, finally! You deserve it, mama. Delight at the moment as you wait for even more exciting developments in the sixth month.