5 things you need to know about your five month old
For many mums and dads, the five-month mark is when you start to enjoy being a parent. It’s partly down to confidence-by now, you’re settling into the role and know what you’re doing. But it’s also due to the fact that, by five months, life with your baby is a lot of fun.
1. Research shows that, by now, the one word a baby understands, and knows the meaning of, is his own name. He’ll turn his head when you talk to him or even about him to other people, and you’ll notice he stops what he’s doing and is obviously pleased when you’re speaking about him.
2. His pre-speaking skills are improving hugely, and he can sound many consonants. You may find your baby is ‘stuck’ on one sound, which he repeats again and again. Many five-month-olds also enjoy blowing raspberries! When he wants attention or a ‘conversation’, he’ll start by making eye contact or a noise so you look at him.
3. He’s just beginning to realise that actions have consequences. He may drop a ball and look to see where it’s gone, and watch as you pick it up. He’s grasping that, when he opens his hands, the object he’s holding falls, and when you pick it up, the object is returned to him.
4. His sight is developed to a point where he can make out more subtle colours than he could in his early days, such as the different shades in a pastel pattern. He can also see further than he could before, at least across a room or even across the street.
5. By five months, even babies who cried a lot early on tend to have settled down. They have more ways to get your attention, and they’re more confident about the world around them. Many are able to sleep eight hours overnight at a stretch. If your baby does start to cry more frequently, you may be told that he’s hungry and needs to be weaned onto solids. More frequent crying is not a sign that your baby is ready to wean. Find out more about when to start weaning and if it’s OK to start weaning early.
At five months, your baby knows when you are talking about him
Help them learn
Follow these five steps to give your little one a flying start
- Help him develop his long-range vision by pointing things out across the road, or up in the sky. Your baby is now capable of following your gaze or looking where you’re pointing, and will enjoy having new things to look at.
- Although your baby isn’t talking yet, he’s starting to put language together and needs to hear words clearly and often. Tell him the names of his body parts as you dress him or change his nappy. You’ll be helping build up a vocabulary that, before you know it, he’ll be using himself.
- Now your baby is capable of taking most of his sleep as one block overnight, limit his daytime naps to before 3pm. It makes a big difference to how easy he’ll be to put down at 7pm. You may not want to become a slave to your baby’s timetable, but a fairly consistent daytime and evening routine will help him with night-time sleeping.
- Look out for signs your baby wants a ‘chat’-you won’t always be able to drop everything to talk to him, but remember that, important though other things in your life are, making time to talk to your child and enjoy him are crucial building blocks to his future development.
- He’ll enjoy activities that give him a chance to push with his legs and feet, helping strengthen his muscles for crawling. Your baby is still a long way off walking yet, but don’t be tempted to put him in a baby walker as recent research shows they don’t help babies to walk any quicker and may even impede them.
At five months your baby will be preparing to crawl and will enjoy activities that use his legs and hand-eye coordination