Caring For Your 5 Month Old Baby
The last five months have probably flown by. It might seem like just a week or two ago that your little bundle of joy arrived. All of a sudden, your 5 month old baby is alert, smiling, showing affection, and even making a few first efforts to communicate. How the times have changed!
In this post, the baby experts at Mustela will answer all the questions you may have about caring for your 5 month old baby.
We’ll start by giving you all the info you need about your little one’s development, senses, motor skills, feeding schedule, sleeping habits, and immunizations. Then we’ll cover a few general childcare tips for five month olds.
Finally, we’ll close with some warning signs that your little one has a developmental delay. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get to it.
Caring For Your 5 Month Old Baby
After more than 20 weeks of parenting, you’ve become a pro at changing dirty diapers and you’ve got your daily hygiene routine down pat. But children change quickly, so it’s normal to have a few questions about your baby’s growth. Let’s address all those now.
Your 5 Month Old Baby’s Development
Around the five-month mark, your little one will have roughly doubled in weight since birth. That makes carrying your baby a bit more of a chore than it used to be!
Five-month-old girls typically weigh between 13.9 pounds (6.3 kg) and 16.3 pounds (7.4 kg) and are normally 24.6 inches (62.5 cm) to 25.8 inches (65.5 cm) in height. Baby boys tend to be larger. On average, five-month-old boys are normally 15.2 pounds (6.9 kg) to 17.9 pounds (8.1 kg) in weight and are between 25.4 inches (64.5 cm) and 26.6 inches (67.5 cm) tall.
Of course, these numbers are just average. There’s no need to worry if your 5 month old baby is bigger or smaller than the figures above. Every child develops at their own pace.
Your 5 Month Old Baby’s Senses
Your little one’s senses develop rapidly over the first several months of their life. When your child was first born, they could hardly see and probably seemed unaware of their surroundings. Now, your 5 month old baby is alert, active, and curious.
Your little one’s vision is almost fully developed, and they can see most objects clearly. They can recognize familiar faces. They may also be able to recognize familiar objects, like a favorite stuffed animal or toy. Make sure to keep plenty of bright, colorful objects in your baby’s nursery to stimulate their vision.
Your baby’s hearing has also become sharper. They’ve been able to recognize your voice for a long time, but now you may notice them responding more enthusiastically when they hear the sound. They will begin to identify other sounds too, like that of a rattle or shaker.
Since your baby has yet to try a wide variety of foods, their sense of taste is still developing. And while your baby can smell different scents, they are still learning to associate smells with specific objects.
Last, but not least, is your baby’s sense of touch. Of course, they still love being held by Mom or Dad and they love the feeling of skin-to-skin contact. Now, your little one will be curious about how everyday objects feel.
They’ll probably want to touch and rub practically every object they see. Allow them to explore, but keep a close eye on them to make sure they aren’t touching anything dangerous.
Your 5 Month Old Baby’s Motor Skills
By the time your baby is five months old, their muscles have developed a great deal since they were born. This enables them to have a whole range of new motor skills. Your 5 month old baby should soon be able to:
- Support the weight of their own head
- Stay in a seated position when their back is supported
- Make fists, grab objects, and move objects with some intention
- Lift their head and shoulders off the ground when on their belly
- Roll from their back onto their tummy or vice versa
- Kick their legs firmly
Remember that each child develops at their own pace. If your 5 month old baby hasn’t hit one or more of these milestones yet, don’t be alarmed. Your little one will get there soon!
Your 5 Month Old Baby’s Feeding Schedule
At five months of age, babies don’t need to eat as often as in months prior, but they will still need to be fed every three to four hours. If you’re formula-feeding your little one, they should consume about four ounces of formula six times per day. If you’re breastfeeding, simply feed your baby when they’re hungry and continue to feed them until they seem content.
Many parents wonder if their 5 month old baby is ready for solid foods. It’s important to note that medical professionals recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of your child’s life.
However, it’s generally safe to give your baby soft solid foods, like mashed bananas or peas, once they’re twice their birth weight and can hold their head up without struggling. Consult your pediatrician if you plan on introducing solid foods to your little one’s diet before the six-month mark.
You may also be curious about water. Like solid foods, it’s best to wait until your little one is six months old to start giving them any water to drink. Breastmilk or baby formula is all a 5 month old baby needs to stay healthy.
Your 5 Month Old Baby’s Sleeping Habits
At five months old, your baby sleeps roughly 14 to 15 hours per day. As many as 10 of these hours will come at night, allowing you to catch up on some of the rest you’ve missed over the last several months. If you’re lucky, your baby will even sleep up to eight hours in a row at night.
Your little one also still needs to take a few naps throughout the day. Some babies take two long naps of two to three hours per day. Other babies might prefer three shorter naps of around 90 minutes. Both cases are perfectly normal. Just remember to always put your baby down to sleep on their back.
Your 5 Month Old Baby’s Immunizations
Good news: your baby won’t need any new immunizations at five months old. However, they should have already received a number of vaccination shots. Those immunizations are:
- Two rounds of Hepatitis B vaccine
- One round of Polio vaccine (IPV)
- Two rounds of Rotavirus vaccine (RV)
- Two rounds of Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis vaccine (DTaP)
- Two rounds of Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (HIB)
- Two rounds of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
If your little one isn’t up to date on immunizations, now is the perfect opportunity to get caught up! Vaccination shots are super important for your child’s health, so you’ll want to keep them current.
General Child-Care Tips
Nothing is as important as your child’s safety. Below are a few safety tips to follow:
- Always put your baby to sleep on their back and never on their stomach or side.
- Never leave your baby unattended, even if it’s just for a few seconds.
- Babyproof your home to make sure your baby is safe at all times.
In addition, always use safe skin care products on your little bundle of joy. Your baby has soft, delicate skin that is easily irritated, especially by-products with harsh ingredients and chemicals.
Instead, use gentle, baby-friendly products like Mustela’s. We offer a range of baby-safe products made with gentle ingredients, like body wash, shampoo, creams and lotions, and even baby-safe mineral sunscreen. Taking extra special care of your little one’s skin is vital.
When To Be Concerned
There are a few signs of a developmental delay that you should be aware of. Head to the doctor’s office as soon as possible if your 5 month old baby:
- Can’t hold up the weight of their own head
- Doesn’t seem to recognize you and your partner by sight or by your voices
- Doesn’t respond to loud noises
- Has not yet smiled or laughed
- Is unable to grasp and hold small objects in their hands
- Is not cooing or making baby babble sounds
If your baby isn’t showing any of these early warning signs, then everything is peachy keen. Keep giving your baby plenty of hugs and kisses and taking plenty of photos, because your 5 month old baby will be starting school before you know it!