What’s happening with your baby?
By 5 months, she may have reached the following stages:
Lip Service! She’s learning to make new sounds by the day. ‘Da’ and ‘ma’ may be favourites. Watch her blowing bubbles with her mouth too. It’s all part of her gearing up for proper speech.
Carry me! You may notice her holding up her arms and hands or even ‘calling out’ for you –it could be her way of saying she wants to be picked up for a cuddle or that she’s ready for some fun and games. Reward her for her clever action, say her name, and smile as you lift her.
Drop – and crash! She has learnt how to let go of toys and to pass them from one hand to another about now. She has also learnt that if she lets go of something it makes a very pleasing crashing sound as it drops to the floor. What’s more, mummy picks it up for her so she can do it all over again.
How you can help your baby this month
Clap hands: She’s getting quite used to her hands now – well she has examined them for hours on end, after all. Help her learn how to clap by signing ‘Clap hands, clap hands til daddy comes home’ and bringing her hands together (it will probably be knuckle to knuckle at this stage, but she’ll get it in time!)
Legs go: She’s ready for some weight-bearing leg exercises to strengthen her muscles about now. Hold her upright on your lap and gently bounce her up and down. Wow! You’ll be surprised at her strength as she pushes off.
Your baby’s health
I’m hungry, mummy! Up to now, he’s been happy getting everything he needs from your breast milk or formula, but he may start looking for something more. If he seems hungrier than usual and not satisfied by his milk, or if he wakes more during the night or is taking a real interest in what you’re eating, then talk to your health visitor about starting to introduce some solid food into his diet. Although the recommended time to start is 6 months, some babies are ready a little earlier.
Gummy no more: At the end of this month, or the beginning of the next, she may show the first signs of teething. Her gums may be red and look sore, her cheeks may be flushed, she may be dribbling like crazy and gnawing on anything she can get her gums around. If she’s upset, try teething gels and lots of understanding hugs
Play ideas for your baby
Look what I can do: Her hand-eye co-ordination is developing daily so choose toys to help her practise – a train with buttons to press which makes ‘choo choo’ sounds or a farmyard with pop-up animals will delight her senses.
Your baby’s development may not be exactly the same as these descriptions since all children will develop at their own pace. This is an approximate guide of some of the new skills your little one may be developing. If you have any concerns, always speak to your health visitor or GP.