All babies have their own timetable, but you can watch for certain developments in your 5-month-old. Celebrate with your baby as he reaches or nears these milestones.


  • Distinguishes a fuller range of colors, including subtle shades
  • Interested in more complex patterns
  • Focuses on small objects
  • Tracks faster moving objects with eyes
  • Reaches for objects with greater accuracy
  • Grows bored looking at the same thing
  • Shows increased interest in new toys and his own feet and legs
  • Has increased attention span
  • Experiments with cause and effect
  • Begins to discover object permanence (an object is still there even when he can’t see it)
  • Begins to understand sequencing (setting up a high chair means it’s time to eat)


  • Holds head steady without support when sitting
  • Learning to turn head from side to side when sitting
  • When on stomach, pushes up to elbows and arches his back
  • Rocks on stomach, waving arms and legs
  • Rolls from stomach to back—and maybe even back again
  • Coordinates hands and eyes (seeing an object, then reaching for it)
  • Brings objects to mouth with good accuracy
  • Uses hands to explore body
  • May grab feet when lying on back
  • Grasps a rattle held against fingers
  • May pick up an object by pressing it with his palms and closing his fingers around it
  • Sits with support or when propped up
  • May sit in frog- or tripod-like position without support
  • Likes to stand on your lap or a firm surface and bounce


  • Uses different cries to express hunger, pain, sleepiness, or boredom
  • Listens carefully to your language patterns and copies sounds
  • May repeat one simple syllable again and again
  • May make more complex, two-syllable babbles that combine vowels and consonants (“ah-goo,” “bah-bah”)
  • Babbling begins to sound like the intonation of real language
  • Squeals, giggles, and laughs to draw attention


  • Begins to decipher emotions from your tone of voice and expressions
  • Begins to use voice and facial expressions to indicate emotions
  • Watches faces closely; makes and maintains eye contact
  • Mimics some facial expressions and movements (frowning)
  • Expresses happiness when he sees you
  • May be soothed by your presence and voice when upset
  • Personality becomes more apparent
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