Your Baby, Month-by-Month: Month 5

Your baby is almost half a year old!!! Can you believe it? Even though you’ve likely had long, hard nights with very little sleep…it still manages to fly by!

That sweet little miracle of yours is entering such a fun stage! She’s probably very alert and interactive with her surroundings and is now babbling all day long!

Big Brother at 5 months

Here’s what you can expect by the end of the fifth month:

  • SleepingMost babies are sleeping at least 8 continuous hours at night by 5 months of age. She may still be taking three naps a day or might drop down to just 2 longer naps. If your baby isn’t on this schedule…don’t worry! Every baby is different! Talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned (or go here for some infant sleeping tips).
  • Weight:  Your baby’s weight will slow down substantially from how he has been growing in the past 4 months. You can expect your baby to gain about 1 pound per month for the next several months.
  • Gross Motor Development:  At 5 months, your baby should be able to hold her head up. She should also be pushing her chest off the gound with her hands while lying on her stomach. This will help develop the muscles needed to sit up on her own within the next few months! She’ll probably kick her legs and act like she’s swimming when lying on her stomach as well. Her favorite activity, however, will likely be putting her feet in her mouth while lying on her back.
  • Hand-eye coordination:  Your baby is now able to pick things up with his hands (using a claw-like grip). Just be vigilant that there are no small items that could be choking hazards within his reach.
  • Language:  Your baby is babbling! Even though it may sounds like gibberish to you, if you listen closely, you’ll likely hear her immitating the variations in pitch and volume level that she has been listening to so intently by you and the other people in her life for the last several months.
Little Brother (aka “fuzzy head”) at 5 months
  • Tummy Time:  I know you’re probably tired of me going on and on about the importance of tummy time, but it pays off! Continue with at least 30 minutes of tummy time each day until your child begins to sit up on his own.
  • Read, read, read!  It might sometimes feel monotonous or perhaps like your baby couldn’t care less, but continue to read to her anyway. She’ll probably like books with texture at this point in time. Not only will she enjoy hearing your voice, she’ll begin to recognize pictures and start to correlate pictures of objects with the verbal words.
Toes, Ears, & Nose! A Lift-the-Flap Book

  • Go for a walk:  Weather permitting, try taking your little one on a walk each day. He’s hearty enough by now that he can even go out on cooler days and he’ll enjoy getting to see the world around him! Plus, it’s a great time to talk to him and tell him all of the things he sees.
  • Enjoy an exersaucer or activity center. Once your baby can hold her head up and sit with support, she might be ready to try an exersaucer (or jumperoo). These are great for developing the muscles in the legs…and since your baby is likely rolling, it’s a great way to know that they will be staying in one spot while cooking dinner, cleaning, etc.

Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo

  • Rattles and Shakers:  Continue letting your little one enjoy the cause-and-effect of shaking a toy and hearing a sound!
Sassy Ring O' Links Rattle Developmental Toy
Peek-A-Boo:  Playing “peek-a-boo” helps your baby learn about object permanence…an important development milestone for babies. Find out why “peek-a-boo” is so important here. Don’t be surprised, however, if your baby doesn’t seem interested at first. Just keep trying!

Ask your doctor if your baby:

  • Seems very stiff, with tight muscles
  • Seems very floppy, like a rag doll
  • One or both eyes consistently turn in or out
  • Does not respond to sounds around him
  • Head still flops back when body is pulled up to a sitting position
  • Does not turn her head to locate sounds
  • Reaches with only one hand
  • Seems inconsolable at night
  • Does not babble or attempt to imitate speech
  • Shows no affection for the person caring for him/her
  • Doesn’t roll in either direction
  • Doesn’t smile spontaneously
Other Months:

Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Month 4

Your turn:

  • Do you have any questions? Leave a comment!
  • Likewise, veteran parents…feel free to chime in with anything I forgot to cover or with any tips you may have.


Shelvov, S.P., Hannemann, R.E., & Trubo, R. (2004). The American Academy of Pediatrics: Complete and Authoritative Guide for Caring for Your Baby and Young Child. Bantam Books.

Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, 5th Edition: Birth to Age 5 (Shelov, Caring for your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5)
*Every family should have this book on hand!
Reisser, P.C. (2007). Baby & Child Care: From Pre-Birth through the Teen Years (Focus on the Family Complete Guides). Tyndale House Publishers: Carol Stream, IL.

Baby & Child Care: From Pre-Birth through the Teen Years (Focus on the Family Complete Guides)


**The content in this post is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advicediagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.


  1. Cute baby!

    We've got a 17-monther that STILL doesn't sleep through the night!

    He just recently slept for 6 straight hours for the first time and is starting to put himself back to sleep when he wakes up.

    We've pretty much tried everything so this is super exciting for us!

  2. Thanks! Our very own "little brother" just turned five months old. And you know what? I LOVE THIS AGE. And I love this baby. I am absolutely smitten with him. This is such a wonderful time of life.

  3. As I noted in my 3 month post only keep baby in one position or in one restricting toy (exer-saucer) for 20 minutes at a time. Spending more time then that will possibly delay motor skill development.

    It is not the end of the world if you have to keep them in there longer than 20 minutes just don't devote 1 to 2 hours a day with one of these toys.

    I recommended spending time in sitting, rolling, scooting on the floor is the most beneficial.
    Sarah Hasser
    Pediatric Physical Therapist

  4. My son was not a fan of tummy time, and I admit we did not do it as often as we should have. He has great leg strength (loves to “stand” all the time) but not great upper body strength. Any suggestions on helping this develop? He will be 5 months on March 17, and we have started doing more tummy time but he still doesn’t tolerate much more than 5-10 minutes of it.

    He can roll over back to tummy but gets “stuck” because he doesn’t move his arms out from underneath him. Once he gets stuck, he can usually roll himself to his back again…but I don’t know if he could roll when placed flat on his tummy.

    1. Jenn,
      Pushing pressure into his arms (therapists call in proprioceptive input through joint approximation.) and encouraging him to use his core to stabilize his body. He sounds like his motor skills are developing nicely. I am sure he has met these mile stones by now since it has been 6 wks since your post.
      I hope this helps,
      Sarah Hasser. MPT

      1. Yes, he is going on 6 and 1/2 months now and can easily roll from back to tummy both right and left. Though he is still none to happy to be on his tummy. He does the mini push up and gets his knees and bottom in the air…but can’t seem to roll himself to his back again. I guess I should relax and let him figure it out! He gets so mad on his stomach still…hopefully he will get used to it.

        1. Jenn,
          Once he starts crawling I am sure he will not mind his belly time so much. Try putting him on you for belly time or getting down low close to the floor so he can see your face.
          Sarah MPT

  5. My daughter is just five months old. She’s sleeping maybe 9-10 1/2 hours a night. She however seems to have no real interest in rolling over. I’ve seem her do it so I know she can but nope she just doesn’t have an interest in it. She however doesn’t mind her tummy time, and loves to try and sit up from laying on hr back…. She also loves to stand up…. I figure she will do it when she’s ready , I dunno it worries me a little…..

  6. This is very helpful! I have daughter who is turning 5months old in few days., she normally wakes up twice during the night for feeding., but now it’s been a week that she slept straight from 8pm until 5am in the morning and only then asked for feeding., i was worried that she’s skipping her feeding time during the night and won’t be getting enough nutrients that she needs., but thank you for this wonderful information that it’s normal for a 5month old baby to sleep 8hrs straight during the night., now i feel so much relieved!

  7. My boy is 5 and a half months and he rolled from tummy to back for three hours days at about 3.5 months and stopped. He still doesn’t roll from back to tummy. He will roll onto his left side and get stuck it suck and his thumb or go onto his back again. I make him do tons of tummy time and floor time though he still hates it. I’m getting very concerned.

  8. My girl is 5 mnths old now she likes to raise her legs in the air n hold thm with her hands while lying on her back.bables all the day ,respond to soundsand show familiarity to the environmnt .she holds her head when lying on a pillow and can get upto the chest.but …but not below tht.when shez made to stand she doesnt strsighten her worried

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