5 Month Old Baby: Developmental Milestones

The fifth month of your baby’s life will certainly be a fulfilling and eventful one for you, as by now he will be showing a lot of new skills that he was unable to so far. Let us take a look at the various developmental milestones met by your baby this month.

Physical Development

Growth Details Boys Girls
How much should a 5-month-old weigh 13.5 to 20 pounds [3] 12.12 to 19.18 pounds [4]
What should the height of a 5-month-old be 24.3 to 27.5 inches [3] 23.5 to 26.8 inches [4]
How much should their head size be 15.86 to 17.63 inches [3] 15.35 to 17.28 inches [4]
What is the respiratory rate of 5-month-old [14] 30 to 45 breaths per minute 30 to 45 breaths per minute
What is the heart rate of a 5-month old [14] 90 to 120 beats per minute 90 to 120 beats per minute

What should your baby be doing at 5 months

Motor skills

Your baby will be able to sit with support in an upright position for a longer time and may even sit unassisted for a few seconds [1]. Some of them will even be able to roll over to their stomach while lying on their back [1]. Developing strong grasping skills, he can hold objects in his palm and shift them conveniently from one hand to another [1,2].

Communicative development

Babies will show a marked improvement in their language skills apart from the regular babbling that they have been doing for quite some time. Most of them may be repeating a single syllable such as “ba”, “ga”,”da”. A few babies might even go a step ahead by combining a vowel and consonant together to make meaningful words such as “baba” and “mama”. However, they are unaware of the meaning of such words.[1, 5].

Cognitive development

Most babies may turn their head in response to their names being called or react to any order. They begin recognizing an object by seeing it partially [5] as well as acknowledging something amusing or funny by smiling and laughing [6]. Infants go on to develop an attachment towards their family members, beginning to get conscious about strangers [2,28].

Sensory development

How clearly can a 5-month-old see

With an improved vision, your baby will be capable of spotting minute objects and things that are moving [5]. He can also see at varied distances without crossing. Having a sharpened color perception, he can differentiate between different shades belonging to the same color [1].

How well can the baby hear

His hearing skills are apparently getting better because of a developed brain-ear coordination. He, therefore, gets accustomed to noises he hears every day like the beeping noise of a microwave oven, the sound of a fan or that of a vacuum cleaner. By this age, he partially starts understanding certain new sounds he hears such as the barking of a dog or the noise emitted by a car’s engine while starting [1, 5].

What is the feeding schedule of a 5-month-old baby

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, solid foods may be introduced to a baby’s diet along with breast or formula milk between 4 and 6 months [7, 8]. Make sure that your baby can sit upright, and his tongue-thrust reflex is gone, so that he can chew and swallow with ease [8].

How much baby food should a 5-month-old eat

While starting solid foods, you might try giving 1 to 2 teaspoons of pureed food that includes sweet potatoes, bananas, and peaches. In case, you are giving iron-fortified cereals, mix it with breast milk or formula milk to bring it to a semi-liquid state. Do not give anything hard to your baby as he may still be in the process of cutting his first tooth, going through a lot of painful symptoms such as drooling, fussiness and disturbed sleeping [27]. However, it is safe to consult the doctor before making any changes to the baby’s diet pattern [8, 9].

How much milk should a 5-month-old drink

Babies having solid food will show a decrease in their milk intake. Their daily requirement of milk may be approximately 210 ml per feed though the number varies with his body weight [10].

What is the sleep schedule for a 5-month-old

Most babies may sleep throughout the night for a stretch of eight to twelve hours [13] also taking about three naps in a day for maximum four hours [11]. However, some of them may still be irregular sleepers, waking up one to three times at night for a feed [12].

When to call a doctor

  • Breathing fast and making a grunting sound after every breath [15].
  • His body temperature being 101°F or above, also showing other symptoms like flushed red cheeks, severe cold, runny or congested nose, reduced appetite, restlessness and cough [17].
  • Being constipated, passing hard, dry stool or having lower than three bowel movements weekly [18].
  • Experiencing pain or distress during urination or presence of blood in urine [19].
  • Diarrhea persisting for over twenty-four hours including other symptoms like dehydration, vomiting, fever, restlessness, sunken soft spot, mucus or blood in stool [20, 21] and cold hands and feet [23].
  • Spitting or throwing up a lot after a feed because of reflux problems along with weight loss [22].
  • Vomiting sporadically after a feed (projectile vomiting) [22].
  • Quivering or shivering for more than twenty seconds, causing the baby to lose consciousness, with his eyes flickering and lips turning blue [24].
  • Baby having yellow skin and lessened appetite with increased fussiness as it may indicate jaundice [25].
  • Ear infection with yellowish-white discharge and fever [26].

There are no vaccinations scheduled for the fifth month. However, if your infant has missed any of the previous shots, contact your doctor about the same.


  1. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/baby-development-5-months
  2. http://similac.com/baby-development/5-month-old-baby-tips-advice
  3. http://www.babycenter.in/a1052194/baby-boys-growth-chart-0-to-12-months
  4. http://www.babycenter.in/a1052197/baby-girls-growth-chart-0-to-12-months
  5. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a720/your-five-month-olds-development
  6. http://www.babble.com/baby-month-by-month/5th-month-baby/
  7. http://www.parents.com/baby/feeding/solid-foods/starting-solids-guide/
  8. http://www.babycenter.com/0_introducing-solids_113.bc
  9. http://www.babycenter.com/0_age-by-age-guide-to-feeding-your-baby_1400680.bc
  10. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a9136/how-much-formula-milk-does-my-baby-need
  11. http://www.parents.com/baby/sleep/basics/understanding-baby-sleep-4-6-months/
  12. http://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/5-month-old-baby-schedule/
  13. http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-sleep-basics-3-to-6-months_7656.bc
  14. http://www.emedicinehealth.com/pediatric_vital_signs/article_em.htm
  15. http://www.babycenter.com/404_should-i-worry-if-my-baby-rolls-over-onto-his-tummy-while-as_3571.bc
  16. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a558559/your-babys-breathing-whats-normal
  17. http://www.babycenter.com/0_fever-in-babies_84.bc
  18. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a79/constipation
  19. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/infantcare/conditioninfo/Pages/basics.aspx
  20. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/baby-diarrhea-causes-treatment
  21. http://www.babycenter.com/0_diarrhea-in-babies_82.bc?showAll=true
  22. http://www.babycenter.com/0_reflux-and-gerd-in-babies_10900.bc
  23. http://www.babycenter.com/0_vomiting-in-babies_9955.bc
  24. http://www.parenting.com/article/why-babies-shake
  25. http://www.babycenter.com/0_jaundice_89.bc?showAll=true
  26. http://www.babycenter.com/0_ear-infections-in-babies_83.bc?showAll=true
  27. http://www.babycenter.com/0_teething-your-babys-first-teeth_11243.bc
  28. http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-5-month-old-week-1_1141.bc [/ref]