Talking the talk
After months of squeals and gurgling, you may notice that your baby is starting to babble by combining vowel and consonant sounds to produce sounds such as 'gaga', 'dada', 'baba' and 'mama'. Be warned though - while he may sound like he's saying his first words, you can't claim 'mama' as his first word quite yet - these 'words' have no meaning to him and it will be some months before he can attach meaning to the words he speaks. At this age, he'll also begin to play with sounds - he'll experiment with volume, pitch, and different sounds.
Discover more about your baby's speech and language development.
At this age, you may find that your baby switches to waking earlier, or more often during the night, for a feed. Is this because she's hungry? Is your milk supply dwindling? Should you consider introducing solids early?
At five months, many babies become too distracted during the day to feed properly - there's so much to look at that you may find that your baby is too busy looking at the world around her to give breastfeeding or bottle feeding the attention it needs. She's on and off the breast or bottle ten times before she decides that she's done. So, it stands to reason that at night she'll wake because she's hungry - and in the quiet dark of the evening, where there are no distractions and you're focussed completely on each other, she can have the best feeds of the day.
Find more on night time feeding and sleeping tips.
By leaning into his cot to pat him rhythmically on his back or bottom, you're able to offer him some comfort and help to fall asleep while he remains in a sleeping position. By withdrawing rocking or feeding as sleep aides, you'll be teaching him how to relax in his own bed so that he can eventually fall asleep unassisted. Once you and your baby are enjoying some success using the patting method, you can begin to work on slowly withdrawing the patting technique until he's falling asleep on his own.
Learn how to use a patting technique.
Find more about your baby’s week by week development
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz