I can’t believe it’s time for the Moms on Call 5 Month update! 5 months old is almost half of an entire year!! GAH!
Beckham is my 4th baby and I am still completely torn up every month when I realize how fast they grow. They say babies don’t keep, they say the days are long but the years are short, but you don’t realize how TRUE it all is and how BITTERSWEET it is until it happens to your babies
Ugh. Moving on. This is Beckham’s moms on call 5 month schedule, his milestones, and monthly update. He turned 5 months old on September 17th, so this is for his fifth month of life, August 17th-September 17th, and approximately weeks 18-21.
If you aren’t doing moms on call (or have no idea what that even is!) this post will basically walk you through what to expect with a 5 month old baby, including a really easy Moms on Call schedule for your 5 month old.
What to Expect With a 5 Month Old Baby
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Moms on Call: 5 Month Schedule
At 5 months old, your baby’s schedule will likely be very similar, if not identical to their 4-month-old schedule. They might be able to handle a little bit more awake time, which will make their naps shorter. However, the core schedule and time of the naps will remain the same until they are ready to drop the cap nap.
Here is an overview of what to expect with the 5 month baby schedule:
- Baby should be close to, if not already on a 4-hour eating schedule (our sample schedule is below!)
- Your baby will hopefully be sleeping 10-12 hours at night (and if they’re not, this post on soothing rounds will help!)
- Your baby will likely need 3 naps: 2 full naps (1.5-2.5 hours) and a cat nap
- Your baby will be able to handle 1.5-2 hours of awake time.
- You can start solids, but it’s not mandatory until 6-months
- Your baby’s sleep may be impacted by the 4-month sleep regression
- They might be extra fussy due to the mental leap 4 (post to come on that!)
I can’t tell you how many blog posts I read that suggest much longer awake times for a 5-month-old baby. Even the Moms on Call book states that there should only be a 1.5 hours nap and I completely disagree.
Isn’t that the great thing about motherhood? We all get to have our own opinions and do whatever works. I’m sharing what works for us and you are more than welcome to disagree and do your own thing!
The main difference between Beckham’s 4 month and 5 month Moms on Call schedule is that we are working on extending his awake time from 1.5 to 2 hours.
Beckham’s schedule did however change because we transitioned his morning DWT (desired wake time, or the time that baby wakes up in the morning) from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM.
We did this because it worked better with homeschooling our older 3. When Beckham got up at 7, he napped from 9-11, which is when we did homeschooling. He then got up again at 11, leaving me absolutely exhausted after the hustle of breakfast, homeschool, lunch, etc.
We still do school from 9-11, but Beckham is awake for the first hour. He just sits and plays with his toys or watches us sing/read books and is perfectly content. Then I do the more concentrated work with the big kids from 10-11.
From 11-12, Beckham is still napping and I send the big kids outside to play! This gives me a minute to catch my breath, make a 2nd cup of coffee (or breakfast for myself), do few minutes of work, or throw in a load of laundry. That hour of freedom makes a huge difference in my day.
Anyways. That was a tangent I didn’t plan to have, but there you have it! That’s why we changed Beckham’s schedule. Moral of the story: your baby’s schedule should work for YOU. The entire point of having a schedule is so that you can make the most of your day!
Moms on Call 5 Month Schedule
5 Month Baby Schedule
- 8:00: Eat, and awake time
- 10:00: Nap
- 12:00: Eat, awake time
- 2:00: Nap
- 1:00: Eat, awake time
- 2:00: Nap
- 4:00: Eat, awake time
- 5:30: Catnap (usually lasted about an hour)
- 6:30: Awake time, bath, or a quick wipe down
- 7:00: Eat
- 7:30: Bedtime!
Babywise vs Moms on Call… there are a few differences, but they both follow the same principles of eat, wake, sleep and teaching your baby to fall asleep independently. While I’d say that I was principally following moms on call, this schedule would work for a Babywise 5 month schedule as well. Truly, there isn’t much of a difference at this point!
5 Month Old Baby Sleep Tips
As I mentioned above, your baby will hopefully be ready to go 10-12 hours at night. If they aren’t, don’t feel like you are a failure! Sleep will come and all babies are different.
Naps should be an average of 2- hours, with 1.5 on the low end and no longer than 2.5 hours. Many books and articles will suggest that your baby should be ready for much more awake time and shorter naps and while it may be true, it is unlikely.
Many baby sleep problems stem from your baby not getting enough sleep. It can also be from getting too much sleep, but in my experience (and hearing from readers) it more commonly occurs from getting too little sleep. It’s a good place to start.
Beckham has been unswaddled for awhile now because I am pretty hardcore about starting the unswaddling process early, before they learn to roll from back to belly.
If your baby is still swaddled, that is OK! But it is something to start working on. There are gentle ways that you can transition out of the swaddle.
Learn more here –> How to Drop Swaddle With No Tears!
Other Helpful Sleep Posts
- Find the Sleep Training Method That’s Right for Your Baby
- How to Establish a Good Sleep Environment for Your Baby
- How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Longer at Night
Moms on Call: 5 Month Old Baby Eating
At 5 months we have given Beckham a few tastes of food here and there but we hadn’t officially started solids. If you have started, or want to, 5 months is a perfectly fine age to start. Anytime from 4-6 months is perfectly fine as long as they are demonstrating signs of readiness.
At this point I was debating between starting with baby led weaning or purees. Either method is completely fine, but if you choose to do baby led weaning, it’s best to wait until 6 months.
Breast milk or formula are still the main source of nutrition and your baby should have 4-6 liquid feedings per day (24-36 ounces in total).
At 5 months, Beckham was still nursing exclusively with an occasional bottle of pumped breastmilk here and there. Since we were hardly leaving the house, he didn’t need to take many bottles.
Moms on Call: 5 Month Old Baby Milestones
Here are some things your baby may be doing at 5 month old:
- Sitting without support
- Bearing weight on legs
- Holding up their head and chest
- Reaching for toys
- Tracking toys and other objects with their eyes
Beckham wasn’t yet sitting without support but he started doing it the following month.
He is becoming a pro at holding his head and chest up for tummy time!
It definitely helps that his siblings are the best helpers and adore playing with him and entertaining him during tummy time!
He was also reaching for toys (check out this post for my favorite toys for babies!) and tracking objects.
And now, for my favorite part of the post…. photo spam of Beckham this month! He truly is the happiest baby ever!