Your Baby Today

5-8 months

Your rockin' and rollin' 5-month-old

Your rockin' and rollin' 5-month-old

This month, your baby will be much more active as he begins to push-up and rock-and-roll around on his own. All that wiggling around even may help baby move forward or backward. One of your baby's favorite playthings this month may be his toes. He'll delight in reaching out and grabbing them to put in his mouth. While lying on his stomach, your baby will learn that he can crane his neck to see what's going on around him. There's a lot happening in the world, and he wants to see it all!

Milestones this month | Coordination cues | Strength training | Sounds are golden

Milestones this month*
  • Your baby is able to reach accurately for an object.

  • He can hold his head steady when sitting upright.

  • Baby can raise his chest with arm support while lying on his stomach.

  • He can roll over in one direction.

  • Baby can grasp a rattle.

  • He pays attention to very small objects.

  • Baby squeals with delight.

  • He spontaneously smiles.

  • Baby mimics sounds and gestures.

  • He turns towards the source of a sound or voice.

  • Baby gets attention by babbling.

  • He makes different sounds for different needs.
*All babies have their own internal developmental timetable. If your 5-month-old hasn't yet reached these milestones, rest assured that he will in time. If you have concerns about your baby's development, discuss them with his doctor.


Coordination cues
Your baby's ability to reach out accurately is a signal that his coordination is more keen. He now can transfer a toy or object from hand to hand. To reinforce this new talent while you change his clothes, encourage baby to transfer a favorite toy from one hand to the other as you put each arm in a shirtsleeve. With his increased control and dexterity also comes the ability–and inclination–to bring toys and other objects to his mouth.

Your baby also is gaining a new understanding of how to grasp and hold objects. The way baby shapes his hand to grasp a round object will be different than the way he grasps a flat object like a page. Baby also will begin to use his hands more often to push away things he doesn't want, like that dropper full of medicine.

Strength training
Your baby's strength is increasing, too. He's now strong enough to roll over from his stomach onto his back, push himself up so part of his chest and stomach are off the floor, and rock himself on his stomach. Leg strength is growing as well. With you there to balance him, your baby is able to stand and support his own weight for short periods of time.

Sounds are golden

This month, your baby will stay alert for longer periods of time, which means he'll need more attention from mom and dad than he did in months past. Keep these thoughts in mind as your family life begins to become more routine:

  • Your baby is becoming a better communicator. He may begin to mimic and express his own range of sounds based on his needs. You'll soon be able to tell whether or not these vocal gestures mean he's happy. If your baby wants attention, he'll babble away to get it. If you laugh every time he makes a cute little coo or sound, your 5-month-old will learn to repeat it to get your reaction.

  • Your baby also is learning to locate the source of your voice. Talk to him from across the room and he'll turn his head toward you. He'll begin to watch your mouth when you talk, and increasingly he'll be able to tell where your voice is coming from.

  • Your baby's new ability to distinguish and mimic different sounds and gestures are examples of his new vocal coordination and control. Vocal play can be an entertaining activity this month while you encourage and reinforce these new skills.

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The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.


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