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Home > Education Center > 5th Month Guide

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5th Month Guide

5th Month GuideThe fifth month is an incredible time for both babies and parents. So many new things happen, new skills develop, and babies begin to show even more personality than before.

Many parents will be amazed at the accomplishments and strides that their babies can make during the fifth month.

Physical Development and Appearance

During the fifth month, most babies weigh, on average, 15 pounds. While this varies from baby to baby, sometimes greatly, this is the typical average for babies of this age.

During month five, a baby will be often need to bump up another size in clothes. Many babies will be wearing size 6-9 months when they are five months old. This will, of course, vary depending on each article of clothing. While many parents believe that a baby will actually wear clothing that is for 3-6 months until they are six months old, this is rarely the case. Many babies will have fat in areas that may cause elastic to seem too tight, such as the tops of the thighs and around the waist.

Babies at this age can often sit up in walkers or exersaucers, and they can intentionally pick up toys and put them where they want to on a regular basis. Many babies can begin to sit up on their own during the fifth month as well, while others may still need some assistance. Babies will often laugh on a regular basis during this month, and the noises your baby makes will become more intentional.

Some babies can even begin to put two syllables together at this age, even if they don’t actually form words. For example, your baby may begin to say things like “goo baa,” or “naa naa.” This is also the month when some babies will start to say “daa.” Although they may not intentionally be referring to their father, it is getting close.

During this time, it is very important to talk to your baby often, repeating easy words as much as possible. Things like “mama” and “daddy” that you want your baby to say can be taught to your baby by repeating them often.

Care for Baby

  • Skin care—skin care is usually not near as intense by the fifth month as it is during previous months. Most babies will no longer have peeling skin or baby acne, and lotion will likely not be a necessity any longer. You may still choose to apply lotions to your baby on a daily basis, though, simply for that baby smell that parents love so much.
  • Head care—you still have about seven more months before you can stop worrying about your baby’s soft spot. You no longer have to worry about it quite so much as before, but it should still be the one area of your baby that you try to protect the most. Since your baby can very possibly sit up on his own, this means that you will no longer have to support his head, but it does mean that you have to be on your toes to prevent him from falling over and hitting his head on anything. One of the most injury-prone pieces of furniture in your house, as you will learn very quickly, is your coffee table. When your baby is learning to sit up on his own, you can prevent many injuries by having him practice this new ability nowhere near the coffee table.
  • Teething—even though the average baby cuts their first tooth around six months, many babies will already have a tooth by the time they are officially five months old. You will usually know that this is what is wrong with your baby because he will begin to drool more than usual, he will chew on things even more than usual (even though you may not have thought this was possible), he will be very cranky, he will possibly be running a low-grade fever, and he might have diarrhea. If your baby displays all of the symptoms above, you should check his gums. If they are red, swollen, and he cries more than usual when you touch them, or if you can see or feel a tooth coming in, then you will know that he is teething. If, however, this isn’t the case, you need to call his doctor just to be sure that he doesn’t have some kind of illness.

    If you can tell that your baby is definitely cutting teeth, there are a few ways to you’re your little one with the pain: give him cold or frozen teethers, apply a topical numbing cream or lotion (or you can use teething tablets—some parents say these are better than traditional ointments). In the place of a teether, you can use a frozen waffle (take care to make sure that your baby doesn’t bite any of the pieces off and take it away before it gets soggy) or a frozen popsicle that is unwrapped (this, of course, only applies to those kind in the plastic wrappers).

    If your baby is going through the painful experience of teething, it can seem like the crying and sleeplessness will go on forever, but have hope. Usually, although every baby is different, the severe pain will only last two or three days. Then, once the tooth has broken the skin, while your baby may still be feeling some discomfort, he will likely feel a lot better than before.
  • Bathing—your baby likely loves bath time now, which makes it a lot more fun for you, but also makes it more difficult. Now that your baby can possibly sit in a bath tub ring, he will have more fun playing and splashing than ever before. But, he will likely not want to get out of the tub. This can make you dread bath time for the simple fact that your baby may cry every time it is over. This is usually just a phase that all babies go through.

    If this sounds completely unlike your baby and he still hates the bath, you may need to try to make some changes. This could include checking the water temperature, checking and changing the room temperature, using different soaps, and more. Giving your baby toys to play with in the bath tub (there are many bath toys to choose from in almost any store, including the tried and true simple toys, such as a rubber ducky, as well as much more detailed and complicated toys—these are usually for older babies and toddlers, though). While your baby’s skin is not near as sensitive as before, it is still best to use all bathing materials that were intended for babies, especially tear-free shampoos. If your baby has to experience the pain of soap burning in her eyes, she may no longer enjoy bath time quite so much.
  • Diapers—it is likely that your baby is still in the same size as the fourth month, or your baby may need to move up another size by now. The amount of diapers you change per day will not vary too much from this point until toddler days, and you likely know your baby’s daily schedule. Most babies are pretty regular with urination and bowels, because most are pretty regular with their eating and drinking schedule. Some babies get thirsty more often than others, and those babies will obviously need more diaper changes throughout the day. If you breast feed, your baby may still go for long periods between bowel movements. If this is the case, it is usually of no concern. Continue to give your baby apple juice on a regular basis, and ask your pediatrician about it at the next visit just to be safe.

    Despite your best efforts, your baby may have developed a diaper rash by this point, as well. The most obvious method of treatment and prevention is to apply the proper medicines and ointments. Another way to prevent and heal any diaper rash that your baby may have developed is to let her air out right after every diaper change. After bath time is another great opportunity to let your baby’s bottom get some air.
  • Gum care—just as with last month, mainly because you have likely introduced juice into your baby’s diet, you should clean your baby’s gums after every feeding. To prevent tooth decay, you should never let your baby fall asleep to drinking a bottle (whether it is juice or formula). If your baby likes to suckle while going to sleep, you should let him have a dentist-approved pacifier instead.

    To clean your baby’s gums, you can use a soft baby wash cloth with just water, or you can purchase a baby gum-cleaning kit from your local drugstore. These often have a finger cover (which may have soft bumps on it that can help relieve painful gums as well) as well as baby-safe toothpaste. Cleaning your baby’s gums may seem pointless, but it is an excellent habit to develop early and continue after getting teeth, not to mention the pain and expense it could save you and your baby later.
  • Sleep—many parents of babies in the fifth month are doing a happy dance because they are so happy and energetic. This is due to all the sleep they are now getting that they missed out on for so long. This, of course, is not true with all parents, but most babies are sleeping through the night almost every night at this age. If you do have to wake up with your baby every night, it is most likely only once. During the fifth month, your baby probably still takes at least two naps a day, possibly three.

    If you are one of those parents who is still suffering through sleepless nights, you can help make changes to this by not allowing your baby any juice past early afternoon (juice has quite a bit of sugar and can keep your baby from sleeping good—you can switch to water instead). Another excellent way to help your baby develop a habit of sleeping through the night is to not allow him to have his late nap of the day. You can also wake your baby early from his last nap, or wake him earlier than normal every morning. It may take a couple of weeks and a cranky baby to completely change his schedule, but you will be thankful you tried when you sleep all night every night.
  • Eating—the fifth month is a fun month when feeding time arrives. While it can be very messy and a lot less simple than just giving baby a bottle or breast when she is hungry, it can be a wonderful time for both parent and baby.

    Since you can now feed your baby solid foods, this means you can sit him down to feed him every day. Your baby will take a while to get the hang of eating from a spoon, and you should plan on more food ending up on the baby than will end up in the baby. It is also good to plan bath time for immediately after meals, because babies somehow manage to get food everywhere—this can often include their eyebrows, hair, nose, and more. When you first start feeding your baby solids, you should only feed him one or two times per day. All the other meals will come from formula or breast milk, and should be the main source of nutrition for your baby. Until your baby is one, you will steadily increase the amount of regular food he has and decrease the amount of formula or breast milk that you give him.

    When you begin introducing new foods to your baby, you will want to watch for any food allergies your baby may have. You can do this by only introducing one new food a day. If possible, you should also make your baby’s food meal the last one of the day. You can feed him while you eat supper, and then give a half a bottle just before bed, or something similar. The trick is to keep your baby full throughout the night. If you do begin by feeding your baby his food early in the day, you will need to start two feedings a day pretty quickly. Once a baby has experienced the full feeling caused by food, he may begin to get hungry more quickly than before, and this may lead to even more sleepless nights.

Experiences

  • Illnesses—by the fifth month, many babies have been ill at some point or another, in some way or another. This is especially true with babies born during the wintertime. The forced indoor dwelling leads to more illnesses being spread, and these can easily end up coming in contact with your baby. While there is no way to completely prevent your baby from catching any kind of cold or other illness, you can take some preventative measures. The best way to try to keep your baby from getting sick is keep your baby away from knowingly sick people, and have everyone wash their hands before holding your baby. This can at least temporarily ward off most illnesses.

    When your baby does get sick, you can help him get well faster, and help him feel better in the process, if you have medicine on hand to give him. While it isn’t always to think of buying a medicine you don’t even need yet, when you wake up in the middle of the night to a crying sick baby, it is wonderful to not have to make a trek to the store for medicine. Instead, you can dose your baby immediately and he can feel better much more quickly.
  • Toys for this age—babies in the fifth month are often playing with the same types of toys as in the fourth month. With your baby possibly sitting up, and being able to reach out and not only hit things, but also grab them as well, you now have a lot more options. Some great toys for babies during their fourth month are anything that makes noise. Little toy phones, rattlers, talking or singing dolls, etc. Babies at this age like noise and lights. You can also get your baby toys for the car at this age, such as the steering-wheel toy that mounts on the carseat. This can be a lot of fun during car trips. Another good toy for a baby during the fourth month is little books. There are many kinds that are safe for babies of this age, including ones that are made of plastic or cotton. Some of these books will have animals that make noise, mirrors, and more.
  • New abilities—by the end of the fifth month, your baby will have likely made many strides. By now, she can probably roll over at will. She might be able to sit up on her own, even if it is for short periods, she can possibly get up on her hands and knees and even scoot (some babies can even crawl at this age, although it is a small percentage). By now, your baby’s giggles will have become common, and words may be beginning to form. While they may not really mean anything, and they may be completely incomprehensible, you will be able to tell that your baby’s sounds are different than they were in the beginning. Now they are more intentional, with the purpose of actually saying something.

    Your baby’s cries will be similar to this, as well. They will have changed, and will likely include a variety of cries. Your baby will have a cry that tells you he’s hurt—something that will happen more and more often the more mobile he becomes—and he will have a different cry for hunger. This is because hunger means something different once a baby has begun a diet of solids. There may be a variety of other cries, as well, and only the people closest to the baby will know what they each mean.
  • Parents—during the fifth month, a new thing to try with your baby is looking in the mirror. Most babies really don’t enjoy this activity until around this age, so it is a good time to try it for the first time. In the beginning, your baby may not like this experience at all. Babies do not realize that they are looking at themselves in the mirror. If you hold them there, all they will see is that Mommy or Daddy is holding a baby. But, once they move around and smile and realize that the reflection is doing everything that they do, your baby may learn to love looking in the mirror.

    You should continue to talk to, read to, and sing to your baby. This is a very crucial time, and your baby will begin forming her own words soon. The more you repeat words, and the more words you say, the more quickly your baby will be able to understand and speak them.

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