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Baby development: 5 months

What is your baby doing?

  • Laughing if you pull funny faces or make funny sounds
  • Putting objects and toys in his mouth.
  • Turning his head when he hears his name or your voice
  • Rolling over and even trying to commando crawl across the room
  • Dropping toys and making you pick them up

What not to worry about – Putting objects in their mouths

While you should be careful what’s lying about in case your baby grabs something small enough to choke on, it’s very normal for babies to constantly put their toys in their mouths. This is because a baby's mouth has more nerve endings than any other part of her body, so it’s a perfect way for your baby to find out what something feels like. Try to wash toys regularly, especially after a play date with other kids.

How you can help your child at this age?

  1. Place a toy in one of your baby’s hands and then another. He will soon learn he can pass the toy from one hand to the other by himself.
  2. Help your baby to stand up and kick his legs by holding him under his armpits when you are playing together.
  3. Play peek-a-boo with a toy under a blanket. Babies love repetition and it’s an excellent way for your baby to learn.
  4. Push-pull toys, roly-poly toys that come back up when they are knocked over will delight your baby and boost his development at this age.

Troubleshooting - “My baby cries when anyone but me, or her dad comes near her.”

Stranger anxiety is normal at this age” says health visitor Anna Sharp. “Many babies become clingy and anxious around people and may cry if anyone but you comes near her.” However, warns Anna, “Babies need to learn to be around different types of people as this helps them to learn about themselves and the world, so try to encourage socializing from a young age with play-dates, baby groups and visits from friends and family.”

It helps to prepare your baby for what’s going to happen. Show pictures of family members, talk about other babies and allow your baby time to adjust to new people.”

Next steps

Baby development at 6 months