Congratulations Momma! The harrowing 9 months of pregnancy and the first 4 months of baby's life have gone by. It's been quite a journey, hasn't it? The sleepless nights, the endless cries, the wee hour diaper changes, and those endless spit-ups and constant demands for feedings. But hey, there were many wonderful moments as well. Remember the first kick in the belly? Or the first smile and gurgle? Or how much love is felt when they unconsciously searched and clutched on a finger while they slept? Ahhh, motherhood. What a wonderful journey it is.
But wait. Those first four months were just the beginning. There are a lot more surprises waiting in line. Many of them, moms might not be prepared for. The baby will change and evolve before our very eyes and surprise us the most when we least expect them to. So be prepared for a whole new eye-popping, jaw-dropping and heartwarming adventure, because the fifth month is finally here and boy will it dazzle and amaze everyone. Many of the things that we are about to share are not shared by textbook professors but are based on real-life experiences from moms worldwide, so ladies, chuck away the Wikipedia. This is the real deal.
Babies! One would think they would remain sweet and innocent forever but no, we could not be more wrong. At 5 months, we start to see the mischievous side of our little ones. These babies will start piecing things bit by bit and figure out what pushes our buttons. They might start acting cute when they want something (as if they weren't cute enough already) or throw tantrums when they don't get what they want, and perhaps even get frustrated when they have trouble communicating with us.
Now as we have shared previously, babies will start showing their true colors at this stage. We get a glimpse of their actual characters, whether they will grow up to be patient Polly, nervous Nelly or Calm Cindy. But when a baby has a bad temper, boy will the parents be in for a treat. Power struggles will come into play when baby tries to wrestle mommy's cup or big brother's toy. Parents will get to witness first hand the epitome of 'anger' and the real life definition of 'baby boss'. You don't want to give me your food? I'll cry on top of my lungs. You don't want to surrender that phone? I'll scream like nobody's business.
At about 5 months, we the parents can slowly but surely start introducing solids to our baby. Bit by bit, we can introduce pureed fruits and vegetables before advancing to pureed beef, chicken and fish. Play around with all the different kinds of food. See the delight in our babies' faces when they taste something sweet or how they make funny faces when tasting lemons. Heck, some might even like lemons!
Over the past few months, most parents would have spent a fortune on toys for their babies and by the fifth month, parents will get to find out if baby likes playing with the hundred dollar puzzle or chewing on mommy's old headband. Many parents end up with dropped jaws when they realize that their babies prefer some old junk lying around the house instead of the fancy talking teddy bear that mom and dad worked so hard to buy. Blame it on all the toy marketing. We could have just given them some old teddy bear!
Some babies develop a strong dislike for certain people at around this time. They might have loved big sister's company before but come 5 months, the baby might suddenly start pushing them away or bawl whenever they enter the room. This can cause much distress for the poor innocent soul, especially if it's a slightly older sibling. Parents will have to act fast to dispel the tension and try to reintroduce the baby to their sibling once again. Dealt properly, baby will grow to love big sister again. But if not handled well, the older sibling might end up feeling unwanted and jealous of the baby.
At this age, the baby will finally be able to tell who the parents are who and who loves them the most. While during the first few months, the baby might be more attached to grandma or the nanny and refuse to be carried by mommy, come 5 months, the synapses in their brains will finally fuse and a mighty bulb will light up in their heads. 'Hey, it's you I love the most, not the other guy!' And from then on, be prepared to have the baby cling to you like a koala bear and stick to you like superglue everywhere you go.
While many parents know that babies will master the art of sitting up at around 5 months, many will be caught off guard by how sudden it will be. One day we can see them struggling to pull themselves up and the next thing you know, they'll be sitting next to us, peeking over our shoulders like professionals. We never really know when to expect ' the ' moment to come so the best thing a parent can do to capture the victorious moment would be to try to set up a camera all around the house, just in case they miss witnessing the first triumphant sit up.
Peekaboo! The game that all children love to play. It is also a game that many 5-month-olds can master. Kids of today develop mentally much faster than we ever did back in our heyday. Hmmm, could it have something to do with how much access kids have to technology nowadays? Methinks what matters most is that our kids get to have fun playing peek-a-boo with us. So get ready for fun and games!
Just as we may be caught off guard by the sit up, we will most likely be stunned , awed, blown away even by our child's seemingly sudden ability to roll over. For weeks it might seem like they will never be able to roll over with their constant grunts and struggles but then one day out of the blue, they will just, well roll over. And from then on, be prepared to have the house filled with bed guards and baby safety gates because the quest to start crawling and bumping around will begin. But before we begin to panic, let's just enjoy the pure bliss on our babies' faces when they realize that hey, they can rock and roll!
What do you mean they won't be sleeping through the night? All the experts and books say that they will! Welcome to the real world people, where some babies don't even sleep through the night even after they become toddlers. Cue to all the sleep deprived moms out there. At this point in time, most of the 5 month old babies will still wake up an average of twice a night for feeds, so all we can say is, good luck and all the best. Pat tired moms on the back.
Every baby can sing. They may not be able to pass the first stage of The Voice but they sure as heck can carry a simple tune or two. Keep humming the same Sesame Street or the Baby Shark song to them and they might just surprise you at 5 months by singing along (or at least they try to) or suddenly humming the tune themselves. Babies are perceptive little creatures. They may look cute and dumb but at 5 months, they are starting to grow more and more intelligent than before so keep playing music in the house, in the car and bring them to any place that plays music too, and you might just find yourself with a little Mozart in your hands.
These 5 month old babies learn new things every day. They are seizing every opportunity to learn new things, like mimicking mommy's expressions. Now, this is a sensitive terrain and parents will have to tread cautiously on this. Keep frowning and being grumpy and you might just end up having a baby who grows up looking like Mr. Scrooge. As the saying goes, a little smile goes a long way and in this case, nothing could be further from the truth for our babies.
It may take many more months before our babies can start having a proper conversation with anyone but at 5 months, do not be surprised if you hear them mouth what seems like 'mama' or 'dada' or 'poopoo'. This is not a dream. Some babies tend to master the art of talking at an earlier stage so if your baby happens to be one of them then bravo! Lots of fun will ensue trying to guess what they are actually trying to say because sometimes 'mommy I love you' can sound like 'ma...ma....oooo'.
While they may be still small and require a lot of sleep, the hours and frequency will however, reduce by a teeny weeny bit. Whereas newborns tend to sleep throughout the day, these 5 month old babies will usually nap around 2-3 times a day on a 1 - 2 hour basis. Anymore then that and you'll have a night owl partying the whole night through. So if possible, try to regulate the baby's sleeping pattern such that they will be able to sleep longer throughout the night instead of waking up wanting to have a baby talk at 3 in the morning.
Did you know that babies are generally happiest in the mornings? Wait, no, aren't they always happy even they are well fed? Well, yes and no. After a long and good night's sleep, the baby's emotions will generally be on the happier side. Plus it'll be even greater for them if they get to wake up next to mommy or daddy. So if you're a little slow in feeding them in the morning? No problem. They will still smile, laugh and play (for a limited time). But be slow at noon, and how upset they get may surprise you.
At 5 months, moms can rest their laurels and see the fruit of their labor because their babies will be able to hold their own milk bottles! Yay! One less thing for mom to do! Time for a celebration! In fact, some might even try to grab hold of a spoon and try to feed themselves (this usually ends up in failure but hey, at least they're trying). In fact, moms can start introducing sippy cups to their babies at 5 months and soon they will be able to drink from a real cup like an adult. That would be a cause for celebration!
Do not be surprised if the baby suddenly goes through a growth spurt. At 5 months, their length/height will increase by 25% while their lbs will double. Now before anyone starts to panic and scream for the pediatrician, know that it is normal for the baby to grow faster than usual at 5 months. It is mother nature at work here and this can be used as an excuse to go shopping for even more baby clothes. So get ready to watch them grow like the magical beanstalk from Jack's garden.
Try leaving the baby for 5 minutes and they might just start to cry so much their tears could flood the Nile River. All they did was leave the room for a moment. Why would the baby cry? They never did before. Well, this is a sensitive time for 5-month-olds. With so much happening to them right now (the growth spurt, the reduction in nap time, all the delicious new food), they might feel a little bit insecure. And because of that, they feel the need to be as close to their comfort zone as possible. Move an inch and their confidance crumbles and they will cry so much the neighbors might just move out.
With the increasing number of outings and the people that they meet, babies will be exposed to more bacteria and viruses. Plus most moms stop breastfeeding by the 3rd or 4th month so the immunity in the baby's body tends to drop slightly after that. Still, one should not worry. A little sniffle here, a cough or two there or even a slightly higher body temperature is not a cause for worry. So long as the illnesses do not spiral out of control, it should be fine.
One would think that babies would salivate less and less as they grow older but noooo... In fact, the drippings will only increase so be prepared to have your clothes stained with baby drool and get ready to invest in bibs after bibs. One of the main reasons why babies salivate more at this time is due to their teething. Also, the little ones at this age have yet to develop the fine motor skills to swallow their saliva automatically so with so much drool forming in their mouth, the only way would be to let them flow out.