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Baby Development: Your 5-Month-Old

The fifth month is a time of transitions for your baby. You can expect him to make his first attempts at real speech. He’s also gearing up to start crawling, which means you need to be ready for your little one’s new mobility.

This portion of WebMD’s month-by-month guide describes a few of the baby milestones you can expect your child to reach at five months.

Baby Month by Month

Girl and Boy Baby
Your baby's first year will be full of joys and challenges. WebMD pediatrician Steven Parker, MD, explains what you can expect as your baby grows and develops.

Fifth Month Baby Milestones: Motor Skills

Five-month-old babies can sit upright for longer periods of time. Your baby probably still needs to be propped up with a pillow or Boppy, but he may also be able to sit unsupported for a few seconds at a time.

Some 5-month-olds can start rolling over from their back to their tummy. Once your baby does roll over, you may notice him working his legs and rocking. He’s getting ready for crawling and scooting, which are just a couple of months away! But remember, when baby is able to roll over, make sure you never leave him on a bed or other high surface where he can accidentally roll off and get injured.

Another thing you’ll notice at five months is that your baby’s grasp is getting stronger. He can pull objects closer and pick them up in the palm of his hand then move them adeptly from one hand to the other. He may even be able to hold a bottle or sippy cup by himself.

Fifth Month Baby Milestones: Sleep

Most babies sleep through the night by five months, but not all. To encourage your baby to get into a regular nighttime sleep rhythm, establish a bedtime routine. Start with a warm bath, followed by a few minutes of gentle rocking with a song and story, and his eyes are sure to start drooping.

Get into the habit of putting your baby into the crib drowsy, rather than fully asleep. This way, he will learn how to soothe himself to sleep rather than relying on you.

During the daytime, your baby will still need two naps -- one in the morning and one after lunch. Try not to delay naps until baby is already tired and cranky. Put him into the crib at the first signs of sleepiness. 

Fifth Month Baby Milestones: The Senses

Your 5-month-old’s vision is continuing to improve. At this point, babies still don’t have 20/20 vision, but they can see well at different distances and their eyes can focus together without crossing. At five months, your baby’s color perception has sharpened to the point where he can tell the difference between two shades of the same color. But babies at this age still prefer primary colors such as red, blue, and yellow.

WebMD Medical Reference

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