5-Month-Old Baby: Development, Milestones & Feeding

Now the 5-month-old baby recognizes her parents not only by smell and touch but also visually.

Physical Development

The rate of the development of the 5-month-old baby is still high, but not as swift as during the first four months. In the fifth month, the baby will gain approximately 1.7-1.8 pounds of body weight; her head circumference will increase by about 0.06 inches, and her chest girth – by 0.08 inches, the height of the little one usually increases by 0.8-1 inch. The weight of the lungs at this stage is practically two times as much as that of a newborn; this also means that the area of the lung surface has doubled too. The size of the pancreas has increased 1.5 times in comparison with the size of the one-month-old. The liver at this stage has gained about 0.1 pounds.

The baby’s progress in food digestion is evident, and now the little one can sleep through the almost entire night, crying for the mother to feed her early in the morning. By this age the baby has almost formed the conception of the part of the day – it is noticeable by the rise and fall of the baby’s activity during the day and the night respectively.

Main Indicators

Height – 24.5-25.1 inches – Weight – 14.5-15.3 pounds

Head circumference – 16.1-16.5 inches – Chest girth – 15.4-15.7 inches

Motor Skills

The little one is purposefully reaching for toys hanging above and grabbing them, which improves her ability to turn over. The baby is able to turn her head in the direction, from where she hears the voice of her mother or father. You can play “hide-and-seek” with your baby now, covering your face with a handkerchief or hiding behind the headboard of the bed. Such games are pleasing the little human, being a great joy, and stimulating her physical activity. If it’s not your first child and there are other kids in the family, you should encourage them to take care of the baby and spend time with her.

It’s possible to save your elder child from probable jealousy, related to the fact that the birth of the little brother or sister has temporarily led to the lack of parental attention. As we have previously mentioned, at the turn of the fifth month the baby undergoes a complex of inoculations.


The parents are thoroughly preparing the baby for this procedure; there are visits to the medical specialists. And when the vaccination is over, it is recommended to measure the baby’s temperature every evening during the week to follow the safe course of vaccinal reactions closely. If the baby’s temperature rises above 98.8°F, her behavior changes, or rash and vomiting appear – consult a doctor. The baby usually sleeps four times a day for approximately 2 hours and is awake four times a day for 1.5 hours.

Feeding Your 5-Month-Old Baby

In this case, if during this period you continue breastfeeding you’ll be feeding the baby six times a day. But if you combine breastfeeding with supplementation, or give the baby only artificial feeding, it is best to feed the baby five times a day at the intervals of three-four hours.

Considering the little one’s diet at this stage, there are many points of view. There is a number of theories, tendencies, and rules of feeding. We will set forth one of the approaches, which is popular among modern pediatricians.

By the second half of the fifth month, with the appropriate recommendations of a pediatrician, besides the juice, the baby may be supplemented with fruit or berry pap.

It is allowed to add to the baby’s diet grated a fresh apple, banana, plum, cherry, or the appropriate canned food for babies. The mother usually starts to give the baby fruit pap with small portions (a half or a quarter of a teaspoon) after breastfeeding or formula. Then the daily portion is increased up to 3-5 teaspoons (gradually during 2-3 weeks).

The babies with food allergies, as a rule, are not given carrot juice, and you’d better choose green or yellow apples. Orange, tangerine, peach, or grape juice is also usually ruled out from the baby’s menu, regardless of the presence of allergy.

If your baby frequently suffers from constipation, plum juice or pap is highly recommended. The overall amount of food (including juice and fruit pap) by the end of the fifth month is increased up to 0.3 gallons per day. It has been considered before that the first teeth appeared in the mouth of a baby by the age of six months. But now pediatricians say that deciduous teething by the end of the fifth month is not an uncommon thing. If your baby’s mouth is watering during the day, and at night it is suddenly waking up and starts crying, teething may be the reason.

Sometimes the mother has difficulties seeing the edges of incisors. In this case, you may touch the baby’s gums with the pad of your index finger. You’ll feel the solid edge of the tooth and then all the doubts will be gone. There are other signs of teething as well. The baby has a high body temperature during the day and suffers from cold or loose bowel movements. Don’t disregard calling your pediatrician in the case when the process of teething is too painful for your baby.

At this stage, the episodes of inexplicable crying (for example, because of a sudden bout of intestinal colics) occur far less often. The baby is gradually adapting to life in a big and wonderful world; the main task of her parents and doctors is to help her adapt, eliminating all causes of the discomfort of the little human being.


5-Month-Old Baby Psychical Development

An important measurement of the social development of the 5-month-old baby is the little one’s joy when she sees her parents, which manifests in the lively movements of arms and legs, and smiles. The baby isn’t afraid of unfamiliar people yet. It’s reacting with the same joy if any of the adults try to socialize with it. The baby is willingly expressing its readiness for communication: it’s smiling, babbling. There are new consonants and vowels in the baby’s babbling: i, e, j, b, m, p.

By the fifth month, the walking reflex of the baby eventually fades away, there is no imitation of stepping anymore.

If you put the baby into a standing position on a solid surface, at the same time supporting her by the armpits, you’ll see that her legs stay bent and she will not make stepping movements. Many babies can learn to turn their heads to the right and the left in the direction of the sound of a toy or toward the moving object that interests them. The little ones like to listen to musical toys, and melodious music, to fix their gaze on the movements of the adults in the room.

What to Play and what to do?

When the head of the baby is resting on the chest of the mother, the little one feels the vibrations during the conversation. It helps the baby to understand how exactly the speech sounds and learn it. Change your intonation when you are talking to the baby, alternate the sound of your voice from quiet to loud, from quick to slow, smile and laugh, and fall silent for a couple of seconds.

Such pauses in speech and changes in timbre, the volume of voice, and the rate of speech attract the baby’s attention better. When the baby is babbling (trying to pronounce some sounds), wait for a little listen to her and then repeat the sounds she has uttered. This way the baby learns to speak in turn.

Call Your Baby by the Name

It will be best for the baby if you call him or her Johnny or Jenny, rather than calling her “bunny”, “honey”, “little one” or something else. Sing different songs to her. Babies like that. After some time, your baby will learn to calm down when you start singing. Now the baby recognizes her parents not only by touch and smell but also visually.

While talking to the baby, find a spot, where the light falls on your face. Pencil your eyebrows and put on a bright lipstick. It attracts more attention. The little one will watch the changes in the movements of your eyebrows and especially your mouth with interest when you are speaking with it. Change the expression of your face, smile, then furrow your eyebrows, then lift them in surprise and open your mouth widely. The baby is likely to mimic your movements and will surprise you with them soon. Take a few bright toys (but no more than three at once).

Slowly draw them one by one in front of the baby, getting her attention. The little one will concentrate on the movements of the toys.


Take the baby into your arms, walk to a window and choose a place with the best view. The baby gets lots of new impressions while it is watching birds, cars driven in the street, people passing by, tree branches that move back and forth, and shaking leaves. In the evening the attention of the baby will be attracted by bright street lamps.

Don’t forget to tell the little one about the things happening outside, for example: “Look, the car is signaling: beep-beep. And there is a bird flying”. Don’t leave the baby alone by the window; she may get scared by sudden noises. The baby feels easy and safe only when you are holding her in your arms or staying close.

A Perfect Place for the Five-Month-Old Baby

A playpen is a safe place for the little one, and there is also enough room for its playing and toys. She will be able to move and turn over, examine and touch her toys. Stretch a lace or elastic band with various toys above the playpen. The baby will be interested not only in her toys but also in her own hands. If you have noticed that your baby is looking at her hands, help her to join them in front of her chest and clap them.

5-Month-Old Baby Pictures

Check out what a 5-month-old baby looks like.