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Baby Development: Your 5-Month-Old

Fifth-Month Baby Milestones: Communication

Your baby should be babbling away by now, and those babbles might even be starting to sound like real words. Five-month-olds can begin to put consonant and vowel sounds together (such as ''ba-ba''). If you hear a ''ma-ma'' or ''da-da'' in the mix, don’t get too excited. Babies at this age haven’t yet assigned meaning to words. Wait another couple of months and those ''ma-mas'' and ''da-das'' will be directed at you.

At five months, babies are starting to make sense of the sounds they hear, such as a dog barking or a car engine starting. Though they can’t yet understand words, they may turn their head at the sound of their name or a simple command like ''no.''

Tips for Your Baby’s Fifth Month

  • Babies love music. Play all kinds of songs for your 5-month-old, from classical to jazz to pop. Your baby will clap, smile, and maybe even babble along.
  • Give your baby simple, colorful toys like a soft block or rattle to play with. When you hand over each item, name it (''This is a block,'' ''That’s a rattle'') to help teach your baby new words. 
  • Consider removing the mobile hanging over your baby’s crib. Once babies can push up onto their hands and knees, they can get caught up in the mobile’s hanging cords. 
  • If you haven’t baby-proofed your house by now, make sure you do it soon. Cover all electrical outlets, place household cleaners and other hazardous materials in locked cabinets, and put away all choking hazards. Also be very careful about not leaving steaming mugs of coffee or curling irons on countertops where your baby might pull them down.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on June 30, 2012

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