The Fifth Month Baby continues to be a social being, but the menace that is stranger anxiety might begin to rear its ugly head as object permanence (the knowledge that something still exists even if one cannot see it) starts to develop. It’s a good thing that baby will be busy mastering motor skills such as sitting up, rolling over, and reaching for and pushing away objects. She is also learning that there are other ways to communicate besides crying and will use an array of vowel sounds to express glee, hunger, pain, or boredom. Pay attention to how you react (your facial expressions) as baby is starting to read your face. She may become sad if you frown when she cries or become fearful if you show anger and disgust.
Here is what you can typically expect during the fifth month:
Stranger anxiety may begin (until one year)
Receptive language continues to improve
Uses sounds to communicate
Sits when propped
Attention span increases
Starts to read feelings and emotional states by studying faces and gestures
Beginnings of object-permanence
How to interact with your five-month old:
Continue massages and exercises with your baby. This will help increase muscle strength and flexibility. It can also aid in teaching body awareness.
Parents and caregivers must now learn to decipher the sounds that baby uses to communicate. An “eeehhh” may be a squeal of delight, a series of “aah-aahs” may mean she’s hungry, and a long “aaahhhh” punctuated with laughter or lip smacking may mean she wants to play.
You may start playing peek-a-boo games with baby and start rolling or pushing toys away and see if she follows them or rakes them back in with her fingers.
Textured toys will be of more interest now as baby uses her fingers more actively to explore.
The mirror will be a source of amusement and amazement for your baby at this time. Sing songs in front of the mirror, make different facial expressions, or dance to some music.
Continue to provide tummy time and sitting time when playing and reading.
SOURCES: ♦ Curtis, G. B. & Schuler, J. (2000). Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. ♦ First 5 Commission of San Diego. (2008). How Kids Develop. Retrieved from http://www.howkidsdevelop.com/developSkills.html ♦ Orenstein, J. (2000). 365 Tips for Baby’s First Year. Holbrook, MA: Adams Media Corporation. ♦ Powell, J. and Smith, C.A. (1994). The 1st year. In Developmental milestones: A guide for parents. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved from http://www.nichcy.org/Disabilities/Milestones/Pages/Default.aspx