Your five month old baby is likely on the cusp of mobility. Even a rolling baby is a mobile baby! This period brings huge strides in both cognitive and motor abilities. You can look forward to playing simple games with your baby for the first time, and those initial steps toward independence may appear when your baby tries to hold her own bottle. Your baby is now trying to figure out how the world works, and he may insist on repeat actions. Don’t be surprised when you are playing “drop-a-toy” or making the same silly face dozens of times each day!
At five months of age, your baby may…
Recognize their name. You are probably saying your baby’s name a lot, and so is everyone else! Who can resist trying to get the attention of that adorable little one? All of that talking is starting to pay off. During the fifth month, you might notice your baby turning her head when you say her name, to try and find the source of the familiar word.
Understand expressions. If you want to hear that cute baby laugh, just make a silly face! Five month olds are starting to understand different facial expressions. Funny faces will make them giggle, and soon enough a sad face just might make him burst into tears.
Hold a bottle. Your five month old will suddenly seem a whole lot older the first time he holds his own bottle. It isn’t uncommon for a baby this age to be able to support their bottle with two hands when lying down or propped up in a secure sitting position.
Delight in games. At this age, your baby isn’t quite mature enough for peek-a-boo, but don’t underestimate the entertainment value of a simple game. Try dropping an item and watch her follow it with her eyes the whole way down. She might demand that you do this over and over. Toward the end of the month, this game will become even more interactive when your baby starts dropping items for you to pick up. Get ready for a bit of mess, and keep in mind that this is your baby figuring out how the world works!
Roll both ways. By this time, most babies will be able to roll from belly to back, and back again. Sometimes, this leads to your baby being able to roll some distance, so don’t expect him to always be found in the same place you left him.
Gain depth perception. Before now, your baby was unable to see depth. While colors have been developing and her sight is no longer as fuzzy, her newest vision progress is being able to tell if an object is close up or far away. You might be able to see her grab for an object that is partially hidden, or watch her attempts to rake a toy across the rug and into her arms.
Drool all day. Teething is no joke! Those first bottom teeth are getting ready to pop through soon, and in the meantime, your baby is probably drooling up a storm. Stock up on bandana bibs and get used to it, because once the drooling starts it doesn’t usually stop until around their first birthday.
Sit with support. If you have been using a pillow or lounger to help your baby sit up, you might begin to notice that he is able to sit with support for longer periods of time. Five month old babies might even begin to move their arms into a tripod position, and sit on their own for a few seconds. Don’t move those pillows just yet! Early sitters are often super unstable, and tend to topple over without even a moment’s notice.
Watch you eat. The most fun milestone of this month will likely be seeing your baby begin to have interest in food. This might mean she will watch intently as you take each and every bite of breakfast, or she might even make chewing motions while sitting and watching a family meal. Her tongue thrust reflex is probably starting to weaken, which is one of the last precursors to your baby being able to start solid foods. Keep watching for signs so that you know when she is ready for those first delicious bites!
At five months old, your highly interactive baby is likely well on their way to being mobile. This is the perfect time to babyproof your home. Getting it all finished before your baby moves to hands and knees will allow you some time to relax and enjoy all of these new developments as they arrive. While your baby makes small moves toward independence, try to revel in this time as it continues to fly by faster than you ever thought possible.