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Stages of Development in 5-Month-Olds

author image Erica Loop
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.
Stages of Development in 5-Month-Olds
Support your 5-month-old so she can see what's around her. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

By 5-months-old your baby is beginning to act more like a little person than a newborn. Although she is still in the infant stage of development, she is rapidly developing new abilities at what may seem like a near-daily rate. Her budding physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills all go hand-in-hand helping your baby explore the world around her.

Get Moving

Gone are the days of your newborn's floppy neck and reflexlike grip. As your infant rounds the 5-month mark she'll have the physical strength to raise her head while on her stomach, kick her legs and roll over, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics' HealthyChildren.org website Giving your baby tummy time allows her to further strengthen her neck and increase her gross motor skills. When it comes to using her hands, the AAP notes that a 5-month-old has a claw-type of grip and can move objects with a raking motion. To encourage fine-motor-skill development, hand your baby soft blocks, a rattle or other similarly sized toys to handle and manipulate. Before providing any toy to your baby, ensure there are no small parts that present choking hazards.

Social and Emotional Skills

The more mobile that your 5-month-old becomes, the more social and emotional skills she'll gain, according to HealthyChildren.org. Although she won't have a need for hanging out with other kids or playing with pals in the sandbox just yet she'll socialize with you, smiling and cooing. When you grin at your 5-month-old, she may just give you a sweet smile back. Likewise, she may also show her emotions when you excite her senses by shaking a rattle near her or clapping your hands in a rhythmic pattern.

Brain Builder

By the end of month 5, your little one should have the cognitive, or mental, abilities to show intense curiosity when it comes to her immediate environment, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Spike her inquisitive nature and help her to build cognitive sills by providing plenty of opportunities to explore. Although she isn't crawling yet, she can still make discoveries about her nearby surroundings while on his tummy or by grabbing the toys and brightly-colored play things that are within arm's reach.

Language Learning

Even though your 5-month-old isn't talking yet, she can still communicate with you and build her beginning language skills. During this time your baby is babbling and trying to imitate the sounds that you make, according to KidsHealth.org. Don't disregard her language development simply because she can't speak real words. Talk to her, and then allow quiet, waiting for her to babble at you. In another month she will likely be imitating words such as mama or dada.

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