“It’s very weird for me to believe I have a child… a KID. I’m a mom. A real MOM.”—Serena Williams
Five long months ago, it was probably tough to imagine your sleepy newborn as the sitting, clapping, and babbling baby they are today. Five months is such a fun age … but hold on tight because your baby is going to start making even more strides in the next five months!
Starting around now, your little one is finding their balance by sitting independently. (Time to grab the Boppy!) They’re also showing interest in getting around on their own, through movements called “pre crawling”. Pre crawling can look like a scoot, an army crawl, or turning in circles on their bottom (or on their backs) — but however your baby decides to start exploring, rest assured they are going to need to be watched.
You can check out some of the pre crawling stages and other common crawling and pre crawling styles along with other five month movement milestones. Once your baby can sit totally upright unassisted they may be ready for solid foods, so be sure to discuss next steps with your pediatrician.
What’s the Deal with Sleep Training?
Are all the other moms in your parent group talking about sleep training? Are you hitting a wall with sleep deprivation? Discussions about when baby will sleep longer stretches at night (aka sleep training) tend to pop up between four and six months. Before you decide whether or not sleep training is right for you, consider researching the various approaches to sleep training.
You may want to start by determining why your baby is waking at night. Are they hungry? Do they have trouble soothing themselves back to sleep? How you feel about their night waking matters as well. Are you ok comforting your baby back to sleep once or twice at night? Or are you falling apart from lack of sleep? There are a range of factors you can consider about your baby’s behavior and your own reactions to night waking before making the decision that works best for everyone. (And if you’re finding yourself stuck, this guide from Baby Sleep Science on sleep training pitfalls debunks common myths and misinformation related to infant sleep.)
No matter which route you choose, knowing your baby’s cues will help you all have more peaceful nights. If you’re breastfeeding, you can still consider sleep training that involves feeding your baby at night. (Note, for breastfeeding, going 8 hours or more at night without nursing or pumping could lead to issues like clogs or mastitis, so consult with your IBCLC about the best ways to manage sleep while keeping yourself healthy.) Need a more personalized approach? The Sleep Experts at WellNested can help you create a plan tailored to your family’s needs.
Is your baby drooling a ton? Have their hands in their mouth all the time? Acting fussier than usual? There’s a chance your baby is teething. Between four and seven months, most babies begin the teething process. For some, baby teeth come in super fast while for others it seems like it takes forever.
You may notice a mild rash around your baby’s mouth or on their cheeks from the drooling or see them rubbing or grabbing their ears as a deferred pain response. Some things that can help relieve your baby’s discomfort include:
- Cold bottles
- Cold foods (like yogurt) if your baby is ready
- Chewing toys
- A cool washcloth
- Pain reliever like Motrin or Tylenol (You can consult your pediatrician about pain relief options and get dosing information)
Sometimes, all you can do is comfort them with lots of snuggles and know that it will pass.
INFOGRAPHIC: COMMON CRAWLING STYLES
- The classic crawl: From the belly, baby pushes up on hands and knees and moves by alternating the opposite leg and arm forward
- The roll: Baby rocks back and forth until she gets the hang of forward motion
- The tripod crawl: Baby moves with two hands and one knee
- The bear crawl: Walking on hands and feed a downward facing dog position
- The crab crawl: Baby uses arms to push herself backward instead of forward.