This month is full of transitions for your baby. You can expect your 5 month baby to make real strides in her speech and to even start crawling. What does this mean for mom and dad? Be at the ready. In a moment’s notice, one of you will want to grab the camera while the other guards your baby from any harsh falls.
This article is a continuation of the Baby’s first year series.
Previous article: 4 month old baby development
Your little one is starting to be able to sit all on her own, however brief the time may be. She probably still needs some kind of prop most of the time, like a Boppy pillow, but try to have her sit unsupported for a few seconds at a time here and there to get her and her muscles used to the idea.
She has also started rolling over, back to stomach, on her own, too. Rolling onto her tummy paves the way for the motion and muscles she will need to crawl. This is a great time for you to reassess your baby proofing and safety precautions. Now that your 5 month baby can roll and almost crawl, you never want to leave her on a high surface where she can roll off and hurt herself.
You will start to see that her grasp has improved immensely. She could grasp things before but now she is much stronger and much better at controlling it. If you give her the chance, she may even be able to hold her bottle all on her own!
Catching Baby Sleep Zzz’s
Does a 5 month old baby sleep through the night? Not all do, but most can, starting from baby’s first year. If your baby is struggling with nighttime sleeping, try establishing a nighttime routine. This may involve a warm bath, getting her pajamas on, and rocking her while reading a bedtime story.
This is a great opportunity to put her to bed drowsy instead of completely asleep, giving her the chance to learn to soothe herself to sleep. This is an important step in your little one gaining her independence.
Her day should consist of two naps, one usually in the morning and then another in the afternoon. Many parents wait until their baby is already cranky before putting her in her crib, but try to begin noticing the first signs of tiredness and set her in her crib then.
She still can’t see 20/20, but your 5 month baby’s sight is improving. At this point, her eyes can focus at the same time without crossing. She still prefers her primary colors like red and yellow, but she can tell similar shades apart.
At this stage, babies can even begin to put things down and know that even though it is out of sight, it is still there.
Crazy, isn’t it!
You may notice your baby babbling on a lot more than she used to. She’s really picking up on the rules of language and can even start to put vowels and consonants together. Don’t get ahead of yourself if you hear a “mama” or “dada.” Right now, they have not assigned meaning to those words. It won’t be long until she knows what they mean, though.
Even though she cannot yet understand words, she may recognize her name or simple phrases, like “no.” Your baby can even make sense of things like dogs barking at 5 months old.
A baby’s mouth has more nerve endings than any other part of their body. This means that there’s more to why she’s always putting everything in her mouth. It’s the perfect way to figure out what something feels like!
For mom and dad, this means making sure all choking hazards are put away where she can’t reach. Again, I’ll remind you to babyproof, babyproof, babyproof! Do it sooner rather than later during baby’s first year. When she begins to crawl, it’ll be harder to get ahead of her. The rest of her toys should be washed on occasion to minimize the spread of germs, especially if other kids have come in contact with them.
Your 5 month baby should still only be getting formula or breast milk at this stage. Introducing solid foods isn’t recommended until your baby is at least 6 months old.
We are past the days of gas smiles as a newborn. This means that it’s time to pull out your funny faces and give them a go. Your baby will, more than likely laugh at your silliness and even try to make you laugh, too!
She’ll even think it’s funny when she drops something and you go to pick it up. It’ll be so entertaining she will do it all day long.
Many babies begin feeling anxious about strangers who are too close around this age. Your baby may cry or become clingy at the approach of a new face. While some babies are just naturally shy, try to socialize her as best as you can. Bring her around new places, new people, and different situations to give her a chance to learn about herself and the world around her. This is a great way to build her confidence and comfort level in different environments.
How can I help on 5 month baby development?
- To help her master an unassisted sitting position, move her legs into a V-shape to help her balance. Place a toy between her legs to encourage her to stay seated this way, and make sure to standby, with pillows, in case she performs a trust fall.
- Start getting her used to the idea of standing by holding her so that she can put weight on her feet.
- Place a toy in one of her hands, then put it in the other. This will encourage her to transfer things to and from each hand on her own.
- During 5 month baby activity, such as tummy time, place one of her favorite toys just out of her reach and let her problem solve and use her body to try and grasp it. If it’s too tough, move the toy a little closer so she doesn’t give up altogether.
- Play music and dance with her and play interactive games like peek-a-boo with her to stimulate her social skills.