Having a 5-month-old baby is fun! They are usually social, loving, and active. If you want to know what development milestones to look for and get ideas on how to play with your baby, this post is for you!
Many 5-month-old babies are getting a bit picky about their activities. They seem to think that baby play gyms or baby bouncers are for babies – that is not for them! 🙂
They want to be where you are, eat what you eat, and do what you do.
This is not a period of a lot of adult time when the baby is awake. But they still sleep a lot!
Now is a good time for you and your baby to start getting together with other parents and babies. Baby swim classes can be great fun for example. Many 5 months old babies are also old enough to enjoy a trip to the playground both to watch other children and to try the swing themselves (if it has a high back for support).
A bit surprising maybe, but some babies already experience their first round of separation anxiety. Remember that you can never spoil a baby by carrying him!
For many more tips on baby games to play, check out Baby Play for Every Day. (Link to Amazon)
Your 5-Month-Old Baby
5 Months Baby Milestones
Here are the development milestones to look for when your baby is 5 months old:
- Weight and Length
Your 5-month-old baby has probably doubled his birth weight by now.
The average weight for a 5-month-old baby boy is 16 pounds and 9 ounces (7.5 kg), and the average weight for a 5-month-old baby girl is 15 pounds and 3 ounces (6.9 kg).
When it comes to length/height, a 5-month-old baby boy is, on average, 26 inches (65.9 cm) long, while the average length for a baby girl of the same age is 25.25 (64 cm).
The most important thing is that your baby is happy and growing at a healthy rate. So, if your baby’s measures are slightly different from these, there is no need to worry. All babies are different.
At 5 months of age, vision and hearing are almost completely developed. Your baby’s vision is still not perfect, but he can see at different distances, his eyes aren’t crossing anymore, and he follows objects with his eyes without difficulty.
Babies this age can see and recognize different shades, even if the difference is subtle, but they still prefer primary colors. They also love looking at different patterns and shapes.
- Getting stronger
A 5-month-old baby can lift the chest and hold the head up while lying on the tummy.
Your 5-month-old baby might have become strong enough to support himself on his hands for a short period when placed on his tummy. Crawling is now only a few months away!
At this point, your baby can probably sit with support for more extended periods of time.
Some babies might already sit unsupported for short periods in a tripod position, but most will still topple over if unsupported.
- Rolling over
Many 5-month-old babies figure out how to roll over from back to stomach. It can happen anytime, so whatever you do, don’t leave your baby unsupervised on the couch or the bed. Also, if you co-sleep, the baby must sleep in the middle or by the wall. I didn’t think that one of our babies could roll over until I saw her doing it while asleep!
If standing up with support, your baby is maybe jumping like crazy.
Sometime around five months, most babies start using their whole hand instead of just a couple of fingers when trying to grab something. This means they manage to grab more or less anything. Watch out!
- Move objects
By the time they are 5 months old, some babies learn how to move objects between their hands and love using toys to pound the floor or the table.
Almost everything your baby holds will go straight into his mouth because he uses his mouth for exploring.
Your baby will start to throw toys and things on the floor, so prepare for a lot of bending in the coming weeks.
Cognitive and Social Development
- Object permanence
Before, when your baby didn’t see a certain object, it was as if that object permanently disappeared. But now, your baby slowly realizes that things exist even if she doesn’t see them. It means she will also realize that you exist even if you are not in the room, which will make her miss you, and she might cry when you leave the room.
- Not wanting to be alone
At five months, many babies become very unhappy if left alone for a long time on the floor or in their baby bouncer. They want to be at the same level as everybody else and where all the action is.
- Knowing their name
Some 5-month-old babies have started to recognize their name. They understand that they are being talked to when they hear this particular sound.
- Showing affection
At 5 months, babies are passionate individuals, and they show it. Your baby may reach her arms for you when you come to pick her up and may kiss you all over your face if she gets the opportunity.
- Reserved towards others
Just as he is passionately in love with his dear ones, the 5-month-old may become more reserved when it comes to strangers. This will increase during the next few months.
Respect your baby’s feelings and protect him against (for him) unknown people who want to carry him if he doesn’t seem to enjoy it.
- Action and reaction
As mentioned above, a 5-month-old will throw things from the highchair or the bed. At this age, a baby is starting to learn about the concept of the cause and the effect. Your baby realizes that every action produces a certain reaction, and she finds it is so interesting that she repeats the same action all the time.
- Language development
5-month-old babies will start making different sounds and start including some consonants into their range of “words.” You might hear your baby say “mama,” for example, but your baby still doesn’t know what that means. He is just exploring different sounds without attaching meaning to them.
Your baby will also try to mimic the language he hears. Continue having “conversations” with your little one regularly. Here are ideas on how to stimulate your baby’s language development.
Although some 5-month-old babies sleep through the night, many babies still don’t. However, when they are 5 months old, most babies will start sleeping for longer stretches at night.
Your baby’s sleep schedule will still consist of 11-12 hours of sleep at night and a few naps.
If you haven’t already, consider starting a bedtime routine, such as bathing, massage, or reading. Anything that can help your baby relax and start calming down for sleep.
Activities and Games To Play with a 5-Month-Old
5-month-old babies love hearing different sounds as well as seeing funny faces. This is a great way to play with your 5-month-old!
Singing and dancing are also popular.
Go to a playground and place your baby in an infant swing. Chances are he/she will love swinging. You’ll have to find a swing with a high back to support your baby’s back and head. And no hard pushes!
Have some skin-to-skin contact with your baby. Take both yours and your baby’s top of and cuddle. It is probably going to make your baby very happy. My youngest tried to swallow my shoulder when he got the opportunity at this age.
Babies of this age are also likely to discover how fun it is to splash water. Bathe with your baby and splash around together.
This is also a good age to start attending baby swim classes.
Best Toys for Your 5-Month-Old
An unbreakable baby-safe mirror, so that your baby can talk to “another” baby while lying on the floor is fun. Balls and toys that make sounds are exciting.
If your baby likes jumping on your lap, a baby jumper can be a real success. If using one of these, be very sure to read the instructions, so that you use it in a safe way. And never leave your baby unattended. There are two different types of jumpers to consider. The “floor stations” that ofter look like small space ships, but are good in the sense that they stand on the floor. This feels quite safe. Here is an example of a good jumper.
The other type is the door jumper, that you hang in the doorway. These are lots of fun for babies that really love jumping, and they take a lot less space. However, they can be a bit unsafe – they do hang! – and I know babies that have tipped over when jumping high. So a door jumper is a really funny toy, but it needs to be used with caution!
Finally, a 5-month-old baby that has learned to sit up or support him or herself on the elbows when lying on the tummy can really enjoy a roly-poly toy that rights up itself.
The 5-Month-Old Baby On Video
In this video with 5-month-old babies, you can see some little ones actually almost being on the move, others sitting up. Most babies do neither yet, though. You can also see how much they enjoy the interaction with mom and dad and also siblings.
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