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5th Month Guide
5th Month Guide
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
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.
- 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
- 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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