Baby Development Month by Month: Month 5

Some aspects of your baby’s development are beginning to escalate rapidly – he may even begin to respond to his name, which makes month 5 an exciting time for parents.

Growing and developing

Starting to be able to sit up by himself for a few moments is an important development milestone that your baby may reach this month. To help him, sit him on the floor with his legs open in a V-shape, put a toy he can reach on the floor, surround him with cushions and be on hand to support him.

He’ll probably love bouncing up and down – try standing him on your lap and holding him under his armpits. He’s also getting more adept with his hands, he might be able to pass things from one hand to the other and pull things towards him. He may hold out his arms too when he wants to be picked up. He’s more responsive generally and more social.

Starting teething is more likely now, but will depend on your baby. Signs include:

  • dribbling
  • a fist in the mouth
  • red patches on the gums
  • crying and irritability
  • rubbing his cheek or pulling his ear

Your baby’s babbling may begin to sound a bit like words. He may repeat sounds as he practices noises. His personality will really be beginning to show.


By 5 months most babies have developed a regular sleeping and waking pattern. He’ll most likely be sleeping through the night, but some babies still wake up for night feeds in the 4-6 month stage. Try to put him down when he’s drowsy so he can learn how to settle himself to sleep.


Some babies may show they’re interested in drinking from a cup by grabbing yours. If you introduce a cup make sure you do so safely. He’ll still be breast or bottle fed and won’t need solid food yet.

Caring for your 5-month-old

He’ll put objects in his mouth, so keep an eye on how clean his toys are. You don’t have to go to extremes though, as a little dirt helps to prime his immune system. Put your baby down on his back to sleep, even if he’s got the habit of rolling over in his sleep.

Playing with your baby

Help your baby’s language development by sitting in front of him and making sounds he can mimic. Games like peek-a-boo will keep him amused too. And you can try putting objects he wants just out of reach to help promote movement.

You this month

You’ll probably experience the joy of having your baby show you affection – with his eyes lighting up when he spots you and giving you a big smile. You probably need to start thinking about how to begin baby-proofing your house before he starts crawling and moving about. Hopefully the exhaustion is wearing off and as he gets into a routine you might also find it easier to meet up with friends.

Find out What to expect in month 5

Did you know..?

5 months is the age where some babies begin to develop an attachment to a particular toy or comforter

How dads can help

You could feel like you’ve been hibernating as a couple as you’ve been so immersed in the baby. See how you can get out as a family. Also have fun seeing how you can make your baby laugh.

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