Parenting

5-Month-Old Baby — Development Milestones, Sleeping, And More

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5 month old baby
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Get ready to get all up in your feels! Your baby at 5-months-old will turn you into a puddle of emotional goo. This month continues the “golden age” of the baby months, meaning your little one is packed full of personality. And giggles. So many giggles.

Because baby is continuing to grow and make new strides, you’re naturally their biggest cheerleader. So, you probably want to know what you should be encouraging your little star to do (you know, outside of cheering for literally all.the.things). Take a look at what’s in store this month in the way of 5-month-old milestones and developments.

Your 5-Month-Old Baby’s Development & Growth Milestones

How much should a 5-month-old weigh?

Do you ever look at your baby and think they must be growing overnight while you’re sleeping? Somehow, they seem even more grown-up at their a.m. feeding than they did the evening before. Well, baby may not be growing that fast, but they’ve probably put on another 1 to 1.25 pounds since last month!

Curious what the average weight for a 5-month-old is? According to the World Health Organization, the average 5-month-old baby girl weight is 15.2 pounds and the average 5-month-old baby boy weight is 16.6 pounds. Just remember — those aren’t hard-and-fast figures. Baby weight at five months can fluctuate from child to child. So, there’s probably no need to worry as long as your little one is seeing consistent growth.

How much and how often do you feed a 5-month-old baby?

There’s no doubt your little cutie-pie is getting bigger. They’ve moved up a few diaper sizes. They’re more alert and active than ever. And you’re probably wondering what a 5-month-old baby feeding schedule should even look like. Your baby will typically clue you into their hunger at this stage by reaching for the bottle (or boob!), licking their lips, sticking their tongue out, sucking on whatever they can get their hands on and, if all else fails, crying until you get the hint.

So, how much are you supposed to feed your 5-month-old? Whether baby is breastfed or bottle-fed, they probably still feed every 3 to 5 hours. Bottle-feeding babies generally consume 4 ounces of formula per feeding. If you’re breastfeeding, you’re on the right track if baby seems satiated and your boobs are empty or soft. If you’re pumping breast milk for your little one, just know that a 5-month-old baby needs about 25 ounces of breast milk per day. If baby has four or five very wet diapers per day, they’re getting enough milk.

Can I give my 5-month-old solid food?

Your little munchkin sure does seem interested in your dinner plate. Surely you can slip them a bite or two of mashed potatoes? Maybe. But you should definitely get the green light from baby’s doctor before introducing them to solid foods. Yes, doctors often recommend that moms wait until their babies are 6-months-old to eat solids. However, most babies are ready for solids before then — your doctor may have even given you the go-ahead to start your little one on baby cereal, baby food, and other palatable solids last month. The general rule of thumb is that baby is ready for solid foods when they have developed the skills needed to eat, according to Nemours.

How much should a 5-month-old be sleeping?

Ah, sleep. The good news is that between 4 and 11 months, many babies are forming good sleep patterns and sleeping for longer stretches during the night. The not-as-good news is that your baby might not be one of them. The amount of sleep a 5-month-old baby needs is between 12 to 15 hours total. This doesn’t necessarily mean your little one is sleeping through the night yet — they may still want to break it up with a nighttime feeding. Wondering when you can stop night feeding your baby? Relief is on the horizon since, according to the National Sleep Foundation, most babies sleep through the night and no longer require nighttime feedings once they hit 6 months of age.

Be forewarned, though, it might not just be hunger waking baby up at night. Around this same time, social and development issues (think separation anxiety and increased motor development) may lead to some restless nights.

Your 5-Month-Old Baby’s Physical, Social, And Cognitive Milestones

How much can a 5-month-old baby see?

Since healthy eyes and good vision are important to how your baby learns to see, it’s always advisable to watch for any signs of eye and vision problems. A baby’s vision at 5-months-old is experiencing some exciting new developments. Example? It’s around this time that your little one’s eyes begin working together well enough to form a three-dimensional view of the world, per the American Optometric Association. Also, it’s believed that babies have good color vision by this age.

In general, you should see your baby’s eye movement control, eye-body coordination, and depth perception continue to improve.

Is my 5-month-old teething?

Drooling. Fussing. Chewing. Crying. This may not sound like fun, but it does sound like teething. Although the timing for teething can vary widely, most babies begin by around 6 months of age. So, if your little one has these symptoms — and especially if they seem to want to chew on everything in sight — you’ve probably got a teether.

To help soothe your sweet thing, you can do a few different things. You can rub their sore gums with a clean finger or give them something chilled for chewing/sucking on (like a spoon, a damp and obviously clean washcloth, or a teething ring). If your baby is running a low-grade fever, the Mayo Clinic advises giving them an over-the-counter remedy like Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Motrin. It goes without saying that it’s always recommended that you consult your doctor about proper dosages before giving your 5-month-old any medication.

How alert should a 5-month-old be?

We told you this is typically a delightful month, right? Here’s why — well, at least part of the reason. Baby is super-alert and active these days, and they are all about having fun. Baby should recognize familiar faces, which means you’ll likely get big smiles and maybe even squeals of delight when little one sees you. Since that little nugget tends to react to people’s emotions, your happiness will likely amplify theirs. Your cutie is looking around at nearby things, expressing curiosity (which may mean grabbing things that are no-nos!), bringing things to their mouth (also sometimes no-nos), jabbering away using consonant sounds, stringing together vowel sounds while babbling, and more.

One of those “more” actions may include rolling over from both front-to-back and back-to-front, which is something you’ll want to be mindful of. Be sure to use the safety straps on baby’s changing table and be aware that if you leave baby alone on the floor for a minute, they might have rolled a few feet away when you come back.

How do you play with a 5-month-old baby?

Wondering how to play with your 5-month-old? Keep doing much of the same you’ve been doing, Mama. Utilize brightly colored or intricately patterned toys to catch baby’s attention. Since baby may be beginning to sit without support now, you might even be able to try rolling a squishy ball in their direction. Give them tactile objects to indulge their senses. And, as always, read to, sing to, and talk to your little one as much as possible.

Your 5-Month-Old Baby’s Health

Does a 5-month-old need a checkup?

Unless your little one gets sick and needs to see the doctor, you’re off the hook this month.

What immunizations does a 5-month-old get?

Similarly, your little one probably won’t receive any new vaccinations this month. The exception to the rule might be if your doctor has a staggered or delayed immunization schedule.

Written by Julie Sprankles.

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