5 Month Old Baby Developmental Milestones

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In the 5-6 month stage, infants begin to exhibit new feelings, demonstrate a wariness of unfamiliar faces, vocalize with babbling sounds, and display increased physical activity. Around this period, if they exhibit readiness they can be introduced to solid foods. Engaging them in basic interactions like conversing, singing, and reading is beneficial for their cognitive growth.

At This Age:

Development: Your infant is increasingly expressive with sounds like babbling and crying. They can smile, grasp items, support their own head, and roll over.

Sleep: Typically, a 5-month-old will sleep for about 10 hours during the night and have two to three daytime naps.

Nutrition: While the primary diet is still formula or breastmilk, consuming about 6-8 ounces four to five times daily, they might display interest in trying solid foods. It’s essential to note that developmental milestones are tasks that the majority (75% or more) of children achieve by a specific age.

Identifying Developmental Milestones at 5 Months


At 5 months, babies experience notable developmental changes. Parents should be attuned to these milestones to ensure their child’s proper growth and to offer the right support.

Physically, many 5-month-olds can hold their heads up, showcasing improved neck muscle control, and may begin to roll over. These activities reflect strengthening core and arm muscles. Promoting tummy time and safe exploration spaces can boost these skills.

Socially and communicatively, babies of this age often make eye contact, respond to their name, and engage more with smiles, coos, and babbles. These interactions are foundational for future language development. Direct play and communication can enhance these abilities.

Cognitively, a 5-month-old might understand object permanence, recognizing that things remain even when hidden. Playing peek-a-boo or hiding toys can gauge this understanding. Using age-suitable toys that promote exploration can stimulate cognitive growth.

It’s crucial to remember that each baby’s development is unique; variations in milestone achievement are normal. Yet, if there are notable delays or regressions, consulting a healthcare professional is advised.

In short, being observant of a 5-month-old’s developmental milestones helps parents ensure proper growth. Always appreciate and celebrate each milestone on your baby’s unique developmental journey.

The importance of tracking milestones in babies

Monitoring milestones in babies is crucial for assessing their overall development. These milestones signal a baby’s physical, social, and cognitive progress. They allow parents and health professionals to confirm a child’s on-track growth and spot any potential developmental delays for early intervention.

Physically, milestones like head control and rolling show muscle coordination and development. Socially, behaviors like making eye contact or reacting to their name indicate advancing social and communication skills. Cognitively, milestones such as understanding object permanence highlight a baby’s developing memory and comprehension.

It’s not just about tracking progress; it’s about early action. If milestones are missed, it might hint at developmental delays. Addressing these early can mitigate long-term developmental effects. While milestones offer a guideline, every baby is unique in their development pace. Nonetheless, diligent milestone tracking can reassure parents and aid in nurturing their baby’s growth.


About 25% of 5-month-olds can’t (or don’t) sleep six hours in a row. However sleep habits are started at this age and become harder to get out of from this age onwards. Now is a good time if you haven’t already to develop predictable routines for your baby’s day particularly around sleep.

Is baby sleeping well yet? If not, it might be time to consider sleep training.

Physical Development

Physical development is a crucial aspect of your baby’s overall growth and progress. At around 5 months old, you can expect to witness significant milestones in your little one’s physical abilities.

By this age, most babies have achieved better head control and are able to hold their heads steady. This achievement is a result of the strengthening of their neck muscles and signifies an important step in their physical development. With improved head control, your baby will be able to explore their surroundings more easily and have a clear view of their surroundings.

Another exciting milestone to look out for is the development of their core and arm muscles. Many babies at 5 months old have started to show signs of rolling over from their back to their tummy or vice versa. This newfound ability requires strength in their core and arm muscles and showcases their growing physical capabilities. Encouraging tummy time, where your baby spends time on their stomach while supervised, can aid in strengthening these muscles and supporting their physical development.

Additionally, this is also a period where your baby’s fine motor skills begin to bloom. They may start to develop better hand-eye coordination, reaching out to grasp objects and exploring them with their hands and mouths. This exploration helps develop their sense of touch and improves their hand muscle control. Providing age-appropriate toys and objects that are safe for your baby to explore and manipulate can further enhance their fine motor skills.

It is important to remember that every baby develops at their own pace, and there is no set timeline for achieving physical milestones. Some babies may reach these milestones earlier, while others may take a little more time. However, if you notice any significant delays or if your baby is struggling with their physical development, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide valuable guidance and support, ensuring your baby receives the necessary assistance if needed.

Birth weight & months of age

By the time a baby reaches five months of age, they may have doubled their birth weight or even more.

Monitoring your baby’s weight gain is essential to ensure they are growing as expected. Your healthcare provider will regularly measure and track your baby’s weight during well-baby check-ups. These check-ups usually occur at various intervals, including the first week, one month, two months, four months, and six months of age.

While birth weight and weight gain are important indicators of a baby’s growth, it is crucial to remember that growth is not the only factor to consider. Alongside weight gain, other developmental milestones, such as physical and cognitive abilities, also play a significant role in assessing a baby’s overall development.

If you have concerns about your baby’s weight gain or if they are not meeting their developmental milestones, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide advice, guidance, and reassurance, ensuring that your baby receives appropriate care and support for their healthy growth and development.

Motor skills & head control

Motor skills and head control are important developmental milestones that babies typically reach around the five-month mark. As babies grow and develop, their muscles become stronger, allowing them to gain more control and coordination over their movements.

At around five months, many babies start to show improvements in their motor skills. They may begin reaching and grasping for objects, using their hands to explore their surroundings. This newfound ability to interact with objects helps them develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Another significant milestone at this age is head control. By the fifth month, babies have usually developed sufficient neck muscles to hold their heads steady and upright. This is an exciting achievement as it allows babies to have better control over their bodies and enhances their overall mobility. With improved head control, babies can now turn their heads from side to side and even follow objects or people with their eyes.

Having good head control is not only important for physical development but also for cognitive and social development. It enables babies to have better eye contact and engage more actively with their caregivers and the environment around them. Through this interaction, they begin to understand communication cues and develop their social skills.

To support your baby’s motor skills and head control development, you can incorporate activities that encourage movement and exploration. Provide your baby with safe toys that allow them to practice reaching and grabbing. Offer tummy time sessions to help strengthen their neck muscles and promote head control. Remember to always supervise your baby during tummy time and provide plenty of support to ensure their safety.

It is important to keep in mind that every baby develops at their own pace, and there can be some variation in achieving these milestones. If you have any concerns about your baby’s motor skills or head control, it is always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. They can offer guidance, reassurance, or identify any potential developmental delays that require further attention.

In summary, motor skills and head control are significant milestones that babies typically reach around the age of five months. These milestones mark an important step in their physical, cognitive, and social development. Encouraging your baby’s movement and providing them with the necessary support can help them reach these milestones and continue on their path of growth and discovery.

Neck muscles & active baby

Neck muscles play a crucial role in the physical development of babies, especially around the five-month mark. By this age, most infants have developed sufficient strength in their neck muscles to hold their heads steady and upright. This newfound ability to control their necks not only enhances their mobility but also allows them to actively engage with their surroundings.

An active baby with strong neck muscles can turn their head from side to side and follow objects or people with their eyes. This means they can actively participate in their environment, interact with their caregivers, and explore the world around them. It’s an exciting stage as babies begin to understand cause and effect relationships and develop a stronger sense of their own agency.

To support your baby’s neck muscle development and encourage an active lifestyle, there are various activities you can incorporate into their daily routine. One beneficial practice is tummy time. Placing your baby on their tummy while they are awake and supervised helps strengthen their neck muscles as they lift and turn their heads to look around. Gradually increase the duration of tummy time sessions to allow your baby to become comfortable and build up their strength.

Another activity to engage your active baby’s neck muscles is playing with toys that encourage head movement. You can introduce toys that dangle or hang low enough for your baby to reach and grasp while lying down or sitting up. This not only helps strengthen their neck muscles but also enhances their hand-eye coordination.

Additionally, baby-wearing is an excellent way to support your little one’s neck muscles while keeping them close to you. Carriers or wraps that provide appropriate head and neck support allow your baby to experience the world from a safe and comfortable position. Always ensure the carrier is properly adjusted and provides proper support for your baby’s head and neck.

As with any developmental milestone, it’s essential to remember that every baby progresses at their own pace. Some babies may develop their neck muscles earlier or later than others. However, if you notice any concerns or have questions about your baby’s neck muscle development, it’s wise to consult with your healthcare provider. They can offer advice, monitor your baby’s progress, and address any underlying issues or developmental delays if necessary.

In conclusion, strong neck muscles contribute to an active baby’s physical development and overall engagement with the world. Through activities like tummy time, playing with toys, and baby-wearing, you can support your baby’s neck muscle development in a safe and nurturing manner. Remember to monitor your baby’s progress, and if you have any concerns, seek guidance from your healthcare provider.

Signs of readiness

Signs of Readiness for Weaning in a 5-Month-Old Baby

Weaning, or the introduction of solid foods in addition to breast milk or formula, is a significant milestone in a baby’s life. While the general recommendation is to start solids around 6 months of age, some 5-month-old babies may show signs of readiness for weaning a bit earlier. Here are the indicators to look out for:

  1. Head Control: Before introducing solid foods, it’s crucial that the baby can hold their head up and steady. This ensures that they can swallow food properly and reduces the risk of choking.
  2. Sitting with Minimal Support: While they might not sit independently just yet, babies ready for weaning can sit with little support and have a relatively straight back, which aids in swallowing.
  3. Interest in Your Food: A common sign of readiness is when babies become noticeably interested in what you’re eating. They might reach out for your plate or stare intently when you’re consuming food.
  4. Decreased Tongue-Thrust Reflex: Younger babies automatically push out anything that goes into their mouths. However, as they get ready for weaning, this reflex diminishes. If your baby no longer pushes out a spoon or puree immediately, it could be a sign of readiness.
  5. Opening Mouth When Offered Food: Babies ready for solids might open their mouths willingly when you approach with a spoon, indicating their interest and readiness to eat.
  6. Ability to Move Food from a Spoon to the Throat: If you’ve tried giving a little puree and noticed that your baby can move it from the front to the back of the mouth to swallow, it’s a good sign they might be ready for more regular solid foods.
  7. Doubling of Birth Weight: While this isn’t a strict rule, many babies are deemed ready for solids when they’ve doubled their birth weight, which often happens around the 5-month mark.
  8. Chewing Motions: Even without teeth, a baby making up and down chewing motions can indicate they’re gearing up for more than just liquid nutrition.
  9. Growing Appetite: If your baby seems unsatisfied after a feeding session or is seeking feeds more frequently, it might hint at their readiness for additional nutrition from solid foods.
  10. Curiosity about Textures: Some babies might be curious about different textures, grabbing at foods or objects and trying to gum them.

It’s crucial to consult with a pediatrician or healthcare provider before starting solids, as they can provide individualized guidance. Also, while these signs can be indicative of readiness, it’s essential to remember that all babies are unique, and what works for one might not work for another. As always, gradual introduction and keen observation will ensure the process is both safe and enjoyable for the baby.

Feeding Milestones

5-month-old feeding

Your baby may need to eat more when they go through a growth spurt, which can happen at any time after 5 months old but more likely when your baby turns about 6 months old.

Source: pampers.com

Feeding Your 5-Month-Old Baby

How much should a 5-month-old baby eat?

If you’re breastfeeding, you and your baby likely have a well-established breastfeeding rhythm by now. Keep watching your baby’s cues to determine when they’re hungry or full. Formula feeding? Your baby is probably taking in 4 to 6 ounces each feeding and eating about 2.5 ounces per pound of body weight.

Source: happiestbaby.com

Weaning foods for a 5-month old baby:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until 6 months before introducing solid foods, but you can start looking for signs of readiness now. Your little one may show signs of readiness between months 4, 5, or 6.

Signs your baby is ready for solids include:

Sitting up independently for at least a minute

Interest in food

Opening mouth when presented with a spoon

Closing the mouth over the spoon

Grabbing at food

Once you start introducing solids, begin by offering single-ingredient solids every three days so you can keep an eye on potential food allergies. Here are more tips on introducing solid foods.

Source: happiestbaby.com

Breast milk & solid foods

How much should a 5-month-old eat?

Wondering how much and how often a 5-month-old should eat? Five-month-old babies typically breastfeed or bottle-feed every three to four hours and may have started eating solid foods about two times per day.

Bottle feeding: How much formula for a 5-month-old baby? Many babies this age eat 4 to 6 ounces of formula about four to six times a day.

Breastfeeding: You should be nursing baby every three or four hours but each breastfed baby may be slightly different. What’s important is that baby seems content, your boobs seem to have been emptied (they’re soft) and baby’s gaining weight healthily.

Pumping: If you’re pumping breast milk, you’re probably wondering how many ounces of breast milk for a 5-month-old is enough. Five-month-olds need about 25 ounces of breast milk per day. So you’ll need to divide that by how many feedings your baby usually has. So if you feed baby about eight times per day, they should get about 4 ounces of breast milk at each feeding. That’s about how much milk a 5-month-old should drink.

To double-check that baby’s getting enough breast milk, you can check their diapers. How many wet diapers for a 5-month-old is healthy? About four or five very wet ones per day.

Source: thebump.com

What can babies eat at 5 months?

Five-month-old babies still need breast milk, formula or a combination of both. Does baby watch you intently while you eat your own breakfast? It might be time to start your 5-month-old on solids.

Wondering how much baby food for a 5-month-old is recommended? The five-month mark is an exciting time as baby might be ready to take on solid foods. If you and your pediatrician have decided to move forward with baby solids, go slow and follow baby’s cues. You might start out with one ounce and one meal and gradually increase the amount to about three ounces as often as three times a day.

How much fruit and veggies or how much rice cereal for a 5-month-old largely depends on the baby. The longer baby’s been eating solids and the more they’re interested in eating them, the more you should feel free to feed them—up to three ounces, three times per day.

Source: thebump.com

Tummy time

Tummy time offers a multitude of benefits beyond strengthening neck muscles. It helps babies develop better coordination and balance, promotes core strength, and improves upper body strength. It also provides an opportunity for babies to explore their environment and engage with objects around them, thus enhancing their sensory and cognitive development.

To incorporate tummy time into your baby’s routine, start with short sessions of a few minutes, gradually increasing the duration as your baby becomes more comfortable and stronger. Make sure to choose a safe and clean area where your baby can play on a soft blanket or mat. Engage with your baby during tummy time by getting down on their level, making eye contact, and providing toys or objects for them to explore.

It’s important to remember that every baby develops at their own pace, so don’t be discouraged if your baby takes some time to show signs of readiness or adjusts to tummy time. If you have concerns or questions about your baby’s development, consult with your healthcare provider. They can offer guidance and monitor your baby’s progress to ensure they are meeting their developmental milestones in a healthy and timely manner.

Object permanence & eye contact

As your baby reaches the five-month mark, you may start to notice some fascinating developmental milestones emerging. One of these important milestones is the concept of object permanence. Object permanence refers to your baby’s understanding that objects continue to exist even when they are out of sight. This cognitive skill plays a crucial role in your baby’s overall development.

Around five months of age, many babies begin to develop a sense of object permanence. They may start to actively search for a hidden toy or look for familiar objects that have been removed from their line of sight. This newfound awareness opens up a whole new world of exploration and problem-solving for your little one.

Also Read: When Do Babies Play Peek-A-Boo?

Another significant milestone that typically occurs around this age is improved eye contact. You may have noticed your baby making eye contact with you from the early days, but at five months, their ability to maintain eye contact becomes more intentional and prolonged. This is an exciting milestone as it signifies your baby’s growing ability to connect with you and others.

Eye contact is not just a means of bonding and communication; it also plays a crucial role in your baby’s development of social skills. By making eye contact, your baby learns how to interpret facial expressions, gestures, and other non-verbal cues, which are vital for building relationships and understanding the world around them.

To encourage the development of object permanence and enhance eye contact skills, there are a few simple strategies you can incorporate into your daily routines. For object permanence, you can play games such as “peek-a-boo” or hide and seek with your baby’s favorite toys. Gradually increase the complexity of the hiding places to challenge their understanding. ( warning if your baby get’s good at this you may end up with toddler who hides your house and car keys like I did! Funny in hindsight!)

When it comes to promoting eye contact, make sure to engage with your baby during daily interactions. Talk to them, sing songs, and make silly faces to capture and hold their attention. Use toys, books, or other visually stimulating objects to encourage your baby to focus on your face and maintain eye contact.

It’s important to remember that every baby develops at their own pace, so don’t be alarmed if your little one takes a bit longer to develop these milestones. However, if you have any concerns or suspect developmental delays, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider for professional guidance and support.

By nurturing your baby’s growing understanding of object permanence and encouraging eye contact, you are setting the stage for their continued cognitive and social development. Enjoy this exciting phase as you witness your little one’s awareness of the world around them expand with each passing day.

Medical advice for physical development

When it comes to the physical development of your five-month-old baby, seeking medical advice is crucial. While every baby develops at their own pace, it’s essential to monitor their milestones and ensure they are on track.

Your healthcare provider is your best source of medical advice for your baby’s physical development. They can provide insights into what is considered normal for a five-month-old and help address any concerns you may have.

During a routine check-up, your healthcare provider will assess your baby’s growth and weight gain. They will compare these measurements to average growth charts, keeping in mind that breastfed and formula-fed babies may have different growth patterns. If your baby’s growth is within the normal range, it’s an encouraging sign that they are thriving.

Your healthcare provider will also evaluate your baby’s motor skills and physical abilities. This includes assessing their head control, neck muscles, and arm strength. They will likely ask questions about your baby’s rolling skills, tummy time routine, and any signs of readiness for sitting or crawling.

If your baby is not meeting certain physical milestones or if you have any concerns about their physical development, your healthcare provider may recommend additional assessments or refer you to a pediatric specialist. Remember, early intervention is key in addressing any potential developmental delays and ensuring your baby receives the necessary support.

In addition to seeking medical advice, there are several things you can do at home to promote your baby’s physical development. Engage in regular tummy time sessions to strengthen their neck and upper body muscles. Provide age-appropriate toys that encourage grasping, reaching, and hand-eye coordination. Encourage exploration and movement by creating a safe and stimulating environment for your little one.

Remember, while seeking medical advice is essential, every baby develops at their own pace. Some may reach physical milestones earlier, while others may take a bit longer. Trust your instincts as a parent and seek medical advice if you have concerns or notice any significant delays in your baby’s physical development.

Incorporating your healthcare provider’s medical advice and guidance, along with plenty of love, care, and stimulation, you can support your baby’s physical development and help them reach their full potential.

Language Development

Language development is an exciting milestone that your baby will reach around the age of five months. During this period, your little one will begin to make important progress in their communication skills.

Cooing & babbling

At this stage, your baby may start to babble and make various sounds, experimenting with different tones and pitches. They may also begin to mimic or imitate sounds they hear, such as simple words or noises you make. This is an exciting time for both you and your baby as they start to discover the power of their own voice.

Another significant aspect of language development at five months is the increased ability to engage in eye contact and social interaction. Your baby will become more responsive to your voice and attempt to communicate with you through gestures, facial expressions, and coos. They may even start to recognize familiar voices and react differently to different people.

Babies understanding language

To support your baby’s language development, it’s important to engage in frequent conversation and interaction. Talk to your baby often, using simple and repetitive words and phrases. Encourage them to imitate sounds and respond to your voice. Sing songs, read stories, and use gestures to help your baby understand and absorb language.

Baby’s response to sounds and noises

It’s important to note that every baby develops at their own pace, and language development can vary. Some babies may be more vocal and expressive at this stage, while others may be quieter and more observant. Check that your baby responds to sounds and noises, you can do this by introducing different sounds whilst in a quite place and see if they startle or turn towards the sound. However, if you notice any significant delays or concerns in your baby’s language development, it’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider.

Remember, language development is an ongoing process that will continue to progress throughout your baby’s early years. Keep providing a rich language environment, engage in meaningful conversations, and celebrate each milestone your little one achieves. Your love and support will play a crucial role in nurturing their language skills and ensuring they develop the necessary building blocks for effective communication in the future.

Can I give my 5-month-old water?

Source: happiestbaby.com

Typically, doctors say to wait until baby is about 6 months old or eating solids before introducing them to water. That said, if they’re eating baby food, you can probably give them a few sips of water too.

Source: thebump.com

5-month-old feeding schedule

Don’t know how to space out feedings? Here’s a basic schedule that might work for you and baby:

Here’s a sample feeding schedule for a 5-month-old baby. Keep in mind, this is a general guideline. Always consult with your pediatrician regarding your baby’s individual needs, especially if you’re considering introducing solid foods.

TimeFeeding TypeAmount
6:00 amBreast milk/formula feed4-6 oz (120-180 ml)
8:00 amNap
9:00 amBreast milk/formula feed4-6 oz (120-180 ml)
11:00 amNap
12:00 pmBreast milk/formula feed4-6 oz (120-180 ml)
1:00 pmNap
2:00 pmBreast milk/formula feed4-6 oz (120-180 ml)
4:00 pmShort nap
5:00 pmBreast milk/formula feed4-6 oz (120-180 ml)
6:30 pmOptional: Small taste of solids*1-2 tsp (pureed)
7:00 pmBath, bedtime routine
8:00 pmBreast milk/formula feed4-6 oz (120-180 ml)
10:00 pmOptional: “Dream feed”4-6 oz (120-180 ml)

* At 5 months, some parents may choose to introduce small amounts of solids like rice cereal or pureed fruits and vegetables, but the primary source of nutrition should remain breast milk or formula. It’s essential to discuss the introduction of solids with your pediatrician before doing so.

Note: Babies at this age might still wake up once or more during the night for a feed, especially during growth spurts or sleep regressions. Always pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and adjust the schedule as needed.

Final Thoughts

n conclusion, the journey of a 5-month-old baby’s development is both astounding and heartwarming. From physical achievements like rolling over and enhanced muscle control to cognitive leaps in recognizing familiar faces and reacting to their own names, each milestone marks a significant step forward in their growth journey. As parents and caregivers, witnessing these changes is a cherished experience. While every baby progresses at their own unique pace, understanding these developmental milestones offers invaluable insight into their rapidly changing world. Continue to offer support, celebrate each achievement, and remember that these fleeting moments form the foundation of your child’s lifelong journey of learning and discovery.