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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.

Published on July 24th 2015 by .
Article was last reviewed on 12th September 2015.

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