Baby Development And Milestones: Your 5 month Old Baby

Baby Development And Milestones: Your 5 month Old Baby

Your baby will start to roll over, crawl, and sit upright. Here's what else you can expect in your baby's fifth month.

Congratulations! Your baby has crossed the four-month mark which would have kept you on your toes all the time! And while you must celebrate that your little one is nearing the six-month mark, be prepared for the real adventures as this is the time your 5 month old baby will start babbling, rolling over and, maybe, even start crawling!

Here’s what you can look forward to as your baby enters his/her fifth month.

5 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Baby on Track? 

Baby Development And Milestones: Your 5 month Old Baby

Physical Development

At this stage, your child’s median length and weight* should be as follows: 

  • Boys
    – Length: 65.9 cm (25.9 inches)
    – Weight: 7.5 kg (16.6 lb)
  • Girls 
    – Length: 64.0 cm (25.2 inches)
    – Weight: 6.9 kg (15.2 lb)

And your child’s head circumference* should be:

  • Boys: 42.6 cm (16.8 inches)
  • Girls: 41.5 cm (16.3 inches)

There are quite a few milestones that you can expect or start to notice in the early stages of the fifth month. An exciting one is that most babies can start sitting upright for a longer period of time in their fifth month.

But they may need a little support. So throw in a cushion to support your 5 month old baby’s back as you encourage him/her to sit. Gradually, once you see that your baby is comfortable in his/her sitting position, you can introduce him/her to a high chair and sit with the whole family during meal times.

If your baby hasn’t started rolling over yet, chances are he/she will make an attempt at it this month, and should be comfortably rolling over from back to tummy. This means that you have to be extra careful when leaving him/her alone. We advise that it would be best for you to keep your baby on the mat when you’re busy doing your household chores to avoid any falls. 

Most 5 month old babies also start crawling and scooting if they haven’t already. Babies also start moving their legs a lot, rocking during the day, holding their legs together, and basically just putting a lot of effort into moving around.

Another key skill that your baby develops at five months is grasping. You’ll notice that your baby is able to grasp his/her toys or sippy cup properly as well as transfer objects from one hand to the other, which is a big achievement. Yay! 

Tips:

  • Make sure your rolling and crawling munchkin is never out of your sight, since at five months your baby becomes more active and might hurt him/herself.
  • Childproofing is something you should be looking at right now to avoid any mishaps.
  • Engage your baby in activities that encourage movements, like keeping toys a bit away from his/her reach when he/she is having tummy time. Baby may outgrow the baby gym at any moment, so make the most out of it!

When to See a Doctor:

If your baby:

  • Is unable to hold his/her head steady.
  • Has difficulty turning his/her head from side to side.

5 month old development and milestones

Cognitive Development

Five months is the time when a baby begins to have his/her own identity and, in a way, give you a glimpse of the type of child he/she will be in the months to come — happy, expressive, cranky or emotional… or a mix of all. 

Your 5 month old baby is more expressive and also responsive. He/she will also try to hold his/her gaze upon you for a longer period of time, perhaps trying to read your lips and understand what you’re saying.

Suddenly you will notice that your baby is trying to make sense of every sound he/she hears, such as a bird chirping, the snapping of fingers, and a dog barking in the neighbourhood.

Tips:

  • Encourage everyone in the house to actively communicate with your baby so that language skills are nurtured. 
  • Get your 5 month old baby toys that make noises or are interactive in other ways. 
  • Match noises with a description. For example, if you pet dog barks, then say “Oooh, listen darling! Sammy is barking – bow wow!”

When to See a Doctor:

If your baby: 

  • Does not react at all or very much to noises or new environments. 
  • Does not show emotions.
5 month old development and milestones

You can expect to see some very cute behaviour from your 5 month old baby!

Social and Emotional Development

While your baby is still not old enough to fully express anger, frustration, and joy, at five months he/she would most probably be more expressive and display love, affection and a distinct sense of humour.

Your baby may find humour in every small thing, such as the way you call out his/her name or when you play peek-a-boo with him/her.

Tips:

  • Make your baby giggle and record this precious moment! Never will his/her smiles and laughs be more forthcoming than now. 
  • Tickle your baby! 
  • Play games like “This little piggy went to market,” or “Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear,” where you engage your baby’s senses. 

When to See a Doctor:

If your baby: 

  • Does not engage with you and/or others at all.

Speech and Language Development

Your baby’s communication skills will be at an all-time high this month. You’ll suddenly notice that your baby’s coos have increased and he/she will also start saying his/her first “da-da”, “ba-ba”, and “ma-ma”. He/she will also try to respond when you call out his/her name or say something peculiar and will perhaps let out a squeal in excitement.

Tips: 

  • If you haven’t already, this is also the time to start reading to your baby.
  • You can also try and repeat a few common words to your baby that you use every day such as “milk”, “paci”, and “sleep”.
  • Do note that when you speak to your babies, use correct words and not made up ones, such as “mimi” for “milk” or “mum mum” for water, for instance, as your baby would take these as the correct words.

When to See a Doctor:

If your child: 

  • Is not making any sounds at all. 
5 month old development and milestones

By six months, your little one will be ready for solids.

Health and Nutrition

Your baby is growing up fast and his/her hunger has grown substantially from last month as he/she prepares himself for solids next month. Your breastmilk still provides all the nutrition your baby needs to grow and thrive. 

For now, the amount of breastmilk/formula milk  your baby needs at this stage is:

  • Breastmilk: 19.3-30.4 ounces/day
  • Formula: 25 ounces/day

Baby boys at this age need 624.4 calories per day. Baby girls need 570.1 calories a day. 

At five months your baby should have a proper sleep pattern and might be able to sleep through the night if he/she is well-fed and there’s nothing that is bothering him/her. This means that you’ll get more time as a new mother to sleep and rest, so enjoy this phase. However, this also means that your baby will not be in any mood to sleep longer during the day and will keep you on your toes.

Congratulations on continuing to breastfeed your 5 month old baby! Rest assured he/she is getting the very best of nutrition this way. 

Tips: 

  • While it might be tempting to feed your baby solids, always consult a paediatrician before going ahead with this. 
  • On very hot days, increase the frequency of breastfeeding. Your baby still does not extra water. 

Vaccination and Common Illnesses

This month, your baby should receive the following vaccinations: 

  • Hepatitis B – 3rd dose: Immunisation against Hepatitis B
  • DTaP – 3rd dose: Immunisation against Diphtheria, Pertussis & Tetanus
  • IPV – 3rd dose: Immunisation against Poliomyelitis
  • Hib – 3rd dose: Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate – 2nd dose: Immunisation against Pneumococcal Disease

To learn more about the importance of vaccinations and to check your baby’s schedule, click here

Common illnesses that your child might get (especially if he/she has an older sibling) include: 

  • Respiratory Syncytial virus, which has symptoms like runny nose, nasal congestion, and heavy breathing 
  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, which may present itself via fever and sore throat, with some rashes on the palms, sole, trunk and diaper area.
  • Scarlet fever, which has symptoms including a sore throat and red rash around the neck and face. 

Your baby’s immunity is slowly improving and maturing. However, he/she still might not be able to fight off infections as effectively as an older child. So it’s important to maintain strict rules about hygiene when at home and out and about.

While the above-mentioned conditions (and even the common cold) may not be a big deal in an older child, in a young baby it could lead to severe consequences.

This is why it’s crucial you and all others who handle your baby practice strict hygiene, that must include frequent hand-washing. Wear a mask if you have a cold or cough, and any other family members or friends with colds or who are sick should stay far away from baby until they are better. 

Treating Common Illnesses 

In the event your little one gets a cold or and other common illness, you should bring him/her to the paediatrician immediately. At 5 months old, your baby is still too young for any kind of home remedies. 

Note: Never give your baby medicine that is not prescribed by a paediatrician.

Tips: 

  • If your baby gets ill, continue to breastfeed. Your breastmilk composition changes during baby’s illness and includes more antibodies that will help him/her heal. 
  • Breastfeeding is also a great way to counter the pain of jabs. Latch baby on while he’s getting his shots. 

When to See a Doctor:

If your baby: 

  • Shows a significant drop in weight or if any parameter falls below the 5th percentile. 
  • Has a fever over 37.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Displays unusual bruises, cuts, bumps or rashes. 

Five months is the time many parents enjoy the most with their baby as it is the time he begins to respond and express himself for the first time. So enjoy this phase to the fullest!

*Disclaimer: This is the median length and weight, and head circumference according to WHO standards.

Reference: Web MD

Previous month: Baby development and milestones: your 4-month-old

Next month: Baby development and milestones: your 6-month-old

 

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