Top Activities For a 5 Month Old Baby – Benefits and Tips For Parents

6 min read

Written by Sindhuja Prabhu

Sindhuja Prabhu

Activities For a 5 Month Old Baby

Your 5 month old baby is more mobile now, learning to do many things with their body. They are testing their limits, understanding how their toys work, and getting better control over their muscles. At this stage, their motor skills start developing at a very good pace. This is when you need to pick a few top activities for a 5 month old baby.

When your baby shows interest in certain toys and ignores others, it can be very tempting to buy more of what they like. It may seem simple to just let them do what they are comfortable doing. Unless you show your baby what their bodies are capable of doing, they may not realize the possibilities. Activities can be a fun way to introduce your baby to many things and experiences.

In This Article

What Activities Can You Expect From a 5 Month Old Baby?

At 5 months, most babies can comfortably roll over from their stomachs to their backs. Some babies can roll from their backs onto their stomachs too. They can hold, throw and shake rattles and other small objects that can fit into their tiny hands. Some babies can sit up for a few seconds with enough support.

They can see further away and focus on your face or other objects away from them. Their eyes can start tracking movement too up to an extent. They may not turn their heads and track movement but will keenly watch when something is moving in their line of sight.

In terms of cognitive development, most babies can identify their mother or father’s voice and face. They can reciprocate with a wide smile when they see what they like. Similarly, they can show disapproval by crying.

Top 5 Fun and Engaging Activities For a 5 Month Old Baby

At this stage, doing physical activities with your baby can grab their interest and help their motor skills improve. Your baby will be keen to understand and explore toys and other objects. They will spend time exploring their own hands, fingers, or hair too.

Here are some interesting activities that are sure to engage and teach your baby

1. A Sound Source

sound source

Babies love sounds. Different sounds can improve their hearing and keep them from crying for a while.

What You Will Need?

  • Some battery-operated toys with music
  • Moving toys with music
  • Small items like rattles or others that can make noise

Top Benefits of a Sound Source For Your 5 Month Old Baby

Here are a few benefits of sound sources for babies

Skill Development Benefits
Improves Hearing Sound is a sensory input for the ears. As you expose your baby to various sounds, their ability to hear improves. It teaches them to redirect their attention and focus on the sound, to identify the source.
Improves Focus Your baby will try to understand what the sound is, where it is coming from and what it is exactly. It requires immense focus and babies will learn to ignore everything else when they focus on something.
Improves Vision The first instinct when you hear a sound is to look in that direction. Babies will look in the direction of the sound and try to identify the source, which can improve their vision to a good extent.

Tips For Parents

  • Avoid moving toys with bright lights as it can be too harsh for your baby.
  • If your baby is scared of a moving singing toy, stop the movement and make it stand in one place.
  • You can buy musical toys and make noise on your own too, for a good entertaining play session.

[Read : Baby Hearing Development After Birth]

2. Story Time

story time

Who doesn’t love a good story? Babies won’t understand much but they will listen intently and slowly understand your expression, signs, and words.

What You Will Need?

  • A good book
  • Some quiet place
  • Few minutes without any disturbance
  • Attentive baby

Top Benefits of Story Time For 5 Month Old Baby

Here are a few benefits of story time for babies

Skill Development Benefits
Language Development Hearing words over and over again can help their brain pick the words and learn how to use it. This is very crucial for learning a language. Telling them stories from a young age will help them pick a language early.
Helps Understand Actions and Words A baby cannot understand the meaning of the words yet, but your facial expressions and actions will convey meaning to them and they will start understanding. Their little brain will form an association between words and actions. Babies will slowly start mimicking this, as they grow.

Tips For Parents

  • Choose books with big and bright pictures.
  • Opt for books that use phonetics.
  • If you are telling a story without a book, use both your hands and facial expressions for better impact.

[Read : Importance Of Storytelling For Kids]

3. Peek-a-Boo

peek a boo

Peek-a-boo is one of the favorite games for all babies. The sudden appearance of your face can just delight them.

What You Will Need?

Yourself and your baby

Top Benefits of Peek-A-Boo For Babies

Here are a few benefits of playing peek-a-boo with babies

Skill Development Benefits
Teaches Object Permanence It is very important to learn objects can still be there even if we can’t see them. Playing peek-a-boo with your baby will teach them you have not left the room or disappeared but are in fact right there but just behind a layer that can be moved.
Teaches to Anticipate Every time you hide your face or cover your baby’s face, they will wait for your hands or the barrier to drop. They will anticipate seeing your face and wait for it.

Tips For Parents

  • Don’t get too loud or use elaborate expressions very close to the baby’s face.
  • Try alternating between hiding your face and the baby’s face.

[Read : Object Permanence in Babies]

4. Tummy Time Fun

tummy time fun

Laying your baby on their stomach might seem scary at first but your baby will eventually start enjoying the freedom of movement and the view from this angle.

What You Will Need?

  • A soft bed/mat
  • Small pillow for the face
  • Few toys
  • Yourself and baby

Top Benefits of Tummy Time Fun For 5 Month Old Baby

Here are a few benefits of tummy time fun for babies

Skill Development Benefits
Helps Improve Upper Body Strength Your baby will try to push up on their arms and look around, thus working the back muscles. The curving of the back will also help strengthen the muscles, which are crucial to movement and stability as they grow.
Strengthens Neck Muscles Babies will try to look up and hold their heads from hitting the ground. This will work the neck muscles and help them hold up their heads without support.

Tips For Parents

  • Start with a minute or two and slowly increase the duration.
  • If your baby resists too much, split it into multiple sessions. It need not be just one session.
  • Get down to your baby’s eye level and keep talking or singing to them for reassurance.
  • You can even invest in a tummy time mat that is filled with water and objects inside. Babies will like to grab the object and will enjoy the feeling of liquid moving beneath them.

5. Water Activities

water activities

This is one texture some babies will love or hate right away. Eventually, most babies will love playing in the water so much that you will have to drag them away.

What You Will Need?

  • A spacious tub with water
  • A bathroom or an open space
  • Some bath toys
  • Baby and yourself

Top Benefits of Water Activities For 5 Month Old Baby

Here are a few benefits of water activities

Skill Development Benefits
Sensorial Development Touching and feeling the water’s texture and temperature is a new sensorial experience you cannot get with other objects. The sudden splash of water droplets on the face will make your baby flinch or blink rapidly, thus working those muscles and connections to the brain.
Improves Stability Water tends to offer buoyancy which can displace your baby easily. It requires a better balance and control over the body to prevent slipping or toppling in the water. Making your baby sit in the tub with water will improve their stability and sense of balance.

Tips For Parents

  • Fill only half the tub with water to avoid displacing your baby too much.
  • Use lukewarm water.
  • Have a towel nearby to pick the baby up with.
  • Stay close by and never leave the baby unattended.
  • Offer toys they can hold, throw or chase in the water.
  • Let your baby splash and explore the various sensations.

Your baby is developing both physically and cognitively, at a very good pace. To keep this development ball rolling, you need to focus on activities that can teach and help your baby understand more about themselves and the world around them.

Sindhuja Prabhu,M.Sc (Psychology),PGDBM

Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.

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