Your Baby's Fifth Month: Characteristics and Changes
It might seem like yesterday that your baby was born, but they're now five months old. Let's take a look at everything you need to know about this new stage.
More ability to move around, increasing sociability and attention to the outside world are just some of the characteristics you may begin to observe in your baby’s fifth month of life.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the most important features of this stage.
In just a few months, your baby has gained the strength in their muscles to move around more easily and frequently. They’ll continue trying to sit up, and may manage to do so with help, or if surrounded by cushions.
Your baby’s development can also be seen in how they relate to others. They don’t just want attention from their parents, and may initiate interactions with other people.
With all of their senses fully developed, your baby will be watching and listening to what is happening around them.
Take the chance to talk to your baby. They ‘ll start to notice when you’re speaking to them or mention their name. This period is ideal for interaction.
What to expect in your baby’s fifth month
Here are a few (although not all) of the typical characteristics of 5-month-old babies.
- Weight gain: By the time they’re a few months old, babies gain about 150 grams (5 oz) a week. According to the WHO, a healthy weight for a 5-month-old baby is around 6.8 kg (15 lb) in the case of girls, or 7 kg (15.5 lb) for boys.
- Size: At five months, baby girls should be 63-65 cm (25-26 in) long while baby boys should be around 65-67 cm (26-27 in) long.
- Strength: By the time your baby is five months old, they should be able to hold their head up for long periods of time. They’ll also try to sit up or even stand if you put them on a firm surface.
- Senses: Their vision and hearing have become much sharper over the last few months. Your baby is now capable of identifying where sounds come from, recognizing faces. They’ll even begin to recognize the sound of their name.
- Diet: Experts recommend breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition up to six months of age. Between this month and the next, you’ll be able to start to introduce food as part of a complementary diet. This should always be pureed or mashed, since your baby’s teeth haven’t appeared yet.
- Sleep: Your baby sleeps for between 8–10 hours a night, and takes daily naps. It’s now much easier to establish a routine.
- Immune system: Your child’s immune system is still developing, so it’s important to follow the schedule for vaccinations.
If your child has a fever, this shows they’re fighting off an infection. A fever is a sign that their immune system is working. Surprising though it may sound, making your baby laugh and keeping them entertained will help them get over a minor bug.
Other questions for your baby’s fifth month
Is my baby ready to spend time around pets? If you already had a pet at home when your child was born, the animal will probably have gotten used to having a baby around and getting a little less attention.
Under your supervision, contact with a pet will help your child learn how to treat an animal. Always make sure that your pet doesn’t hurt or frighten your child, however.
A game that specialists recommend for five-month-olds is to lie your baby on their back and show them a toy. Your child will make eye contact and stretch their hands out to grab the toy.
Move the object from one side to another, so that your child turns and moves around. This simple exercise helps to develop the abdominal muscles and stimulates your baby’s senses.
Has your baby’s arrival affected your relationship?
The birth of a new baby is a whirlwind of happiness, nerves and insecurity. As the months go by, however, you grow accustomed to caring for your little one.
You learn, your baby grows, and both of you gain experience. This means that it’s now possible to establish certain routines around the house.
It’s never a bad idea to relax a little and spend time on your relationship, which may have been somewhat neglected in recent months.
Leave your baby in the capable hands of their grandparents or a sitter and go out for a meal, to the movies, or at least for a little walk.
Recharging your batteries and staying positive is good for both you and your baby.