Here at Kidadl, we know that figuring out a routine that fits your family can be a challenge.
From feeding and how many hours at night they should sleep, to naps, bedtime, and exactly what they should be doing during their awake time, there's a lot of advice and opinions out there, but there's absolutely no one-size-fits-all. It's so important to remember that every baby and family is different, there are no right or wrong answers.
Kidadl is here to support you with all the information you need. Whether you need advice on your [6 month old schedule] or on these 6 month sleep regression, we have a comprehensive and helpful collection of articles to keep you informed, confident, and in control.
So if you're looking for a typical 5-month-old sleep schedule, a sample schedule for your baby for the whole day, a nursing and sleep schedule for 5-month-old breastfed baby, read on to find the ideal sleep schedule for 5-month-old babies and parents!
Why Are Schedules Important?
Between 5 and 6 months old, your baby is going through a lot of changes, physically, mentally, and emotionally. So it's important that they get enough sleep to recharge their batteries, enough stimulation in their awake time to encourage their development, and enough downtime to allow them to process these changes and understand their new feelings and emotions.
But this doesn't all have to come in the form of really strict schedules: habits and daily rhythms are perfectly fine at this age. Why not try these tips when thinking about creating the best 5-month-old sleep and feed schedule for your family.
Consistency: Try to do things, like feedings or putting baby to sleep, at similar times each day so your baby can get an understanding of their schedule and feel comfortable with how their day works.
Communication: Talk to your baby about what you're doing, such as by saying "It's day time so we're going to play, and then it's nap time" so baby feels included in the schedule for the day.
Flexibility: Don't feel that you have to always stay at home to establish a schedule. If you're out, you can still try to have lunchtime feedings at a similar time, and encourage baby to fall asleep for a nap afterward in their buggy, for example.
Shared Goals: Make sure all family members or caregivers are on the same page when it comes to bedtime, naps, and feeding schedules. You don't want all your hard work to be undone if someone else, totally unknowingly, is doing something else.
Support: We know that things with a 5-month-old can sometimes get overwhelming. Always ask for help if you need it, and share how you're feeling with friends and family.
Sleeping & Naps
All babies are different. Combine that with the number of myths and old wives' tales out there about baby sleep patterns, and you may well be totally lost when it comes to realistic sleep habits or developing a sleep schedule for a 5-month-old! But don't worry, it needn't be as daunting as it seems.
At 5 months old, your baby will need to sleep for anywhere between 12 and 15 hours a day. That's usually made up of around 10 to 11 hours of nighttime sleep (you'll be lucky to get a solid 12 hours at night, despite what other people might say!) and roughly three naps spread throughout the day, that might last anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours, depending on your baby, the time of day, and whether you're at home or out and about. Some babies are happy to fall asleep in their buggy for a power nap, whilst others really need the comfort of a long nap snuggled up in their cot.
Your 5-month-old baby is likely to still be waking for nighttime feedings, but they may well start to be quicker and more efficient than they have been in the past! At this age, they might also start to become fussy in the night and wake more often. Try to keep baby in their own room, with the lights low, to get them back to sleep as quickly and easily as possible. Many babies like to be cuddled or fed back to sleep, and whether or not you choose to is your decision.
Your baby is still young and in the first year, they don't need to be subject to a super strict bedtime schedule. If you would like to look into techniques like sleep training, there are plenty of good books and support groups out there to help you develop a sleep training schedule for 5-month-old babies. But, equally, don't feel pressured into doing things you don't feel comfortable with. Parenting styles differ, every technique isn't for everyone, and no one knows your baby's needs better than you. As long as you're doing your best to establish rhythms and a comforting bedtime routine, and baby is getting enough sleep per day overall, there's no need to worry. Rest assured, you will be setting up healthy sleep habits for the future.
Now your baby is 5 months old, you have probably already established a feeding schedule that works well. Whether baby is breastfeeding or formula-fed, he or she needs to drink anywhere between 24 and 36 ounces of milk a day, with some night feeds still likely.
At 5 months, you might also be starting to think about weaning. It's considered safe to introduce some solid foods from 4 months old, so if your baby is starting to show signs of being ready, for example, if they can sit and hold their head up well and they have good hand-eye coordination, you can start to introduce a variety of finger foods. There are plenty of resources to help you explore whether you and baby are ready, and you can always speak to your doctor. But do remember that your 5 month old baby will still be getting all of their nutrients and nourishment from milk at this age.
Your 5-month-old is going through a lot of changes, and you'll notice a lot of them in their physicality. Baby should now be able to roll in both directions and may even start to sit unsupported for a few seconds at a time. Their grasp is getting better, their vision is improving and they might even start to rock on their hands and knees in preparation for getting mobile!
So try to choose playtime activities that support these developmental milestones. Small handheld toys like rattles, musical instruments, or little balls are a great way to hone fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Activity mats can help to stimulate the senses and encourage babies to move around. And don't forget to introduce them to sensory play, the more colors, textures, patterns, and materials the better!
But alongside all of this fun physical play, remember to keep up with nursery rhymes and storytelling. Having quiet play helps to manage emotions and wind children down ready for snack or nap time and helps to strengthen bonds. Plus, stories are a great way to help develop children's communication skills.
As well as the physical developments, 5-month-old babies are also experiencing lots of emotional changes too. Your little one is learning exactly who they are, and who other people are too. They will have developed close bonds with loved ones and know the difference between people, which means you might start to notice stranger anxiety, as baby becomes unsure of people they don't know.
You'll start to notice that baby is also getting pretty good at expressing themselves. He or she should now be laughing, smiling, and reacting with joy at things that make them happy. But baby will also be eager to let you know when they're unhappy, with frowning, grunting, and, of course, crying being used to demonstrate anger and sadness.
Now that you are all clued up, its time to look at some 5-month-old sleep schedule samples! Just like adults, some babies like to wake at the crack of dawn whilst others like a little lie in, some have lots of energy after lunch, whilst others like to take a nap. So a sleep schedule for your baby could vary quite a bit from another parent in your baby class, and that's absolutely fine! We've put together a few different examples of a 5-month-old schedule, including wake-ups, playtime, naps, and bedtime, to give you an idea of how your daily routine could look and how they can vary from family to family. Remember that every baby and family is different, so use our 5-month-old sample schedule ideas as a jumping-off point to develop a personalized routine (involving feeding and play as well as sleep) that works for your day. Remember the best sleep schedule for 5-month-old babies is one that is adapting to their (and your!) needs.
5-Month-Old Sleep Schedule Sample One
7:00 a.m.: Awake
8:40 a.m.: Nap
10:30 a.m.: Awake
12:30 p.m.: Nap
2:00 p.m.: Awake
4:15 p.m.: Nap
5:00 p.m.: Awake
6:30 p.m.: Bedtime routine
7:00 p.m.: Bed
5-Month-Old Sleep Schedule Sample Two
6:00 a.m.: Awake
8:00 a.m.: Nap
10:00 a.m.: Awake
1:00 p.m.: Nap
3:00 p.m.: Awake
4:15 p.m.: Nap
4:45 p.m.: Awake
6:00 p.m.: Bedtime routine
6:45 p.m.: Bed
5-Month-Old Sleep Schedule Sample Three
8:00 a.m.: Awake
10:00 a.m.: Nap
11:00 a.m.: Awake
1:30 p.m.: Nap
2:45 p.m.: Awake
5:00 p.m.: Nap
6:00 p.m.: Awake
8:00 p.m.: Bedtime routine
8:30 p.m.: Bed
If you found this article helpful, then why not take a look at our [sample 10 month old schedule] or our [investigation about why your 9 month old baby might not be crawling].
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
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Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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