Your 5 month old baby development milestones
Up until now, you’ve been the one showing all the affection, but you may soon start to see something back, and it will be so worth the wait. You baby might hold out their arms to be picked up, and – in a true-heart-melt moment - put their pudgy little arms around your neck. Find out what other developments you might see when your baby is five months old.
At a glance
- A baby's mouth has more nerve endings than any other part of their body, so it’s a perfect way to find out what something feels like
- A few babies may have mastered sitting up around now, but the majority will still look like the leaning Tower of Pisa
- This is the time to rediscover your inner child as your baby will laugh if you pull funny faces or make funny sounds
Your baby’s senses at five months old
There’s a good reason babies of this age are constantly putting things in their mouths - because a baby's mouth has more nerve endings than any other part of their body, so it’s a perfect way to find out what something feels like. This makes washing toys occasionally a good idea, especially after other kids have been round.
By five months old your baby’s sight is developing to the point where they can now recognise a wide range of objects including smaller objects and objects that are moving. Their perception of how objects exist even when they can’t be seen hasn’t fully developed yet, but soon they will be able to understand that when they put an object down and can’t see it, it’s still there and will be when they return.
Your baby’s motor skills at five months old
Tower of Pisa sitting
As the months go on, your baby’s muscles will be getting stronger and they’ll be progressing from laying on their back, to laying on their front. By five months old a few babies may have mastered sitting up around now, but the majority will still look like the leaning Tower of Pisa and will need all the cushions you have to prop them up.
Hear my amazing noises (on repeat!)
Your baby will start to add new sounds to their repertoire – a growl here, a squeak or a gurgle there. A perennial favourite is blowing raspberries, which often prove so hilariously popular to babies they won’t stop practising. You may also find they’re repeating sounds as they start to explore and enjoy their new found abilities.
Other five month old baby developments
I can make them laugh
This is the time to rediscover your inner child as your baby will laugh if you pull funny faces or make funny sounds. They may try to make you laugh, too. Who could resist?
Sleeping through the night
By 5 months old you may find your baby is sleeping through the night in a solid block of sleep. The best way to establish this to ensure that you have a good bedtime routine set up that is followed each night. This helps to relax your baby and let them know it’s time to sleep. You’ll also find your baby needs 1 or 2 naps in the daytime too, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
How you can help your baby develop in month five
- To help your baby sit, move their legs to form a V-shape, which helps them balance. Once they are in this position, place a toy in front of them to play with. Make sure you – and plenty of cushions – are nearby to provide support and rescue
- Place a toy in one of your baby’s hands and then another. They will soon learn to pass the toy from one hand to the other all by themselves
- Swinging your baby gently up and down and rocking them side to side will help improve their balance and perception of movement in preparation for crawling
- It’s way too early for standing up but help your baby to stand up and kick his legs by holding him under his armpits when you are playing together
- Move a toy just out of reach during daily tummy time and watch them try to reach it. If they can’t, move it a bit closer for an easy win so they don’t give up
- They will shriek with laughter at roly-poly toys that bounce back up when they are knocked over
Game of the month
Peek-a-boo. Put a toy under a blanket, then whip off the blanket for the big reveal. It’s an excellent way for your baby to learn that things which disappear can magically reappear.
They're all different
A small note on developmental milestones: it’s really true – all babies are different and although we can encourage them, they will do things at their own pace and in their own time.
Read more about baby development anxiety here and our at-a-glance milestones guide here.
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