My baby's development: Month 5

Your baby grows more curious and cautious

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My 5-month-old baby: growing stronger, and wary of strangers

By the end of this month, your 5-month-old baby will probably be able to sit up with some support, and be able to pass toys from one hand to another. Depending on how long your friends and family visit you, your baby might start displaying a wariness of strangers.

5-month-old baby sleep patterns and tips
  • Your baby could start waking up more during the night to feed, and might not yet sleep longer than five to six hours at a time. He might still sleep about 12 to 15 hours total every day.
  • He might start sitting up and waking himself up in the process. If possible, let him try to get back to sleep on his own instead of immediately trying to provide comfort.
  • You should decide beforehand, with your partner's consent, if you are comfortable with this type of baby sleep "training." Many parents call it the "cry it out" method.
  • Have questions about SIDS?

    Learn about SIDS at the American Academy of Pediatrics.
How proper nutrition helps your 5-month-old baby grow strong

How proper nutrition helps your 5-month-old baby grow strong

Whether you choose to breastfeed or use baby formula, your baby needs protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in order to develop strong bones, healthy muscles, and a strong body.

Here are some important nutrients your baby needs for optimal growth:

  • Vitamin C helps form collagen, a protein that gives structure to bones, cartilage, muscle, blood vessels, and other connective tissue. It helps maintain capillaries, bones, and teeth. In addition, vitamin C is essential for healing wounds and helping the body resist infection, and it aids in iron absorption.
  • Calcium plays an important role in bone and tooth development, blood clotting, and maintenance of healthy nerves and muscles.
  • Iron is necessary for proper growth and formation of healthy blood cells. Iron is part of hemoglobin, a protein which is involved in carrying and storing oxygen.
  • Proteins help develop, maintain, and repair new tissues throughout the body, including muscles.

Breastfeeding is the best way to help your baby grow. If you choose to formula feed, Similac® Advance® provides complete nutrition to support your baby's growing body.

Your 5-month-old baby might start fearing strangers

By month five, most babies have developed an awareness and recognition of key people around them. But they also might have a mistrust and fear of those who are not familiar. Although this fear goes away with time and is nothing to worry about, it usually helps to slowly introduce your baby to new people.

How to help your baby develop a strong mind and body at 5 months old

How to help your baby's brain and body develop at 5 months old

  • Encourage your baby to raise his head and push up on his arms to watch what is happening in the world around him.
  • Hold your baby upright under the arms. Slowly lower your baby until his feet touch the table, bed, or your lap to help him get prepared for what standing will feel like.
  • Help your baby sit up alone. You can start by sitting on the couch or a chair with your baby and propping him up in the corner (which can prevent him from falling over).
  • Try to get your baby to follow faces or bright objects with his eyes.
  • Help your baby pick up small toys, such as 1-inch blocks. (Keep small objects that can cause choking out of your baby's reach and mouth.)

5-month-old baby developmental milestones

Every baby develops at a different pace. This is normal. But in general, by the end of the fifth month, your baby will likely be able to:

  • Sit with support
  • Transfer objects from one hand to another
  • Make two-syllable sounds, such as "ah-goo"
  • Give "raspberries" — make a razzing sound with his lips
Keep learning about your baby's development every week
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