5 months is a really fun age! They’re babbling, interacting with you, becoming more mobile (hello rolling, goodbye swaddle), and are really discovering their voice!
If you’ve survived the 4 month sleep regression, sleep may be looking a little better than it did a few weeks or months ago! However, if you haven’t made it on the other side of that regression, it may feel like you have a newborn all over again.
If you are on the other side of the 4 month sleep regression, then a predictable daily routine may be emerging with baby waking around the same time each day, napping around the same time each day, and going to bed around the same time each day as well as earlier than they did as a newborn.
In this blog, we will go over:
- What nights look like
- 5 month old sleep schedule
- 5 month old feeding schedule
- 5 month old nap schedule
- Sample schedule for 5 month old
- Activities you can do during awake time
WHAT NIGHTS LOOK LIKE FOR A 5 MONTH OLD SLEEP SCHEDULE
The 4 month sleep regression can affect your child any time between 3-6 months. This is a permanent change to their sleep cycles meaning there is more opportunity to wake up.
So just when night time sleep starts to come together (typically around 8-12 weeks), your solid night of sleep is gone just as quickly as it started!
Their sleep needs do change as they get a little bit older, so typically they’re awake more time during the day and consolidating their night time sleep into longer stretches of sleep. An average 5 month old may sleep 10-12 hours at night with 1-3 feedings.
The long stretch of sleep develops from bedtime to their first night time feeding. This happens as bedtime naturally becomes earlier as their circadian rhythm develops. You can consider dreamfeeding at this age if you would like to give it a try!
Most physicians will allow you to let your baby sleep at night and not wake for feedings once your child has established a growth curve and maintains that so make sure to check in with them!
5 MONTH OLD SLEEP SCHEDULE
A sleep schedule for 5 months old is still going to vary a little bit. However, since their circadian rhythm has developed at this point, you may find that they are waking up around the same time each morning and potentially going to bed around the same time in the evening.
I would expect morning wake up time to be between 6-8am and bedtime to fall between 6-8pm. This is what is considered normal for their circadian rhythm. I would also expect 10-12 hours of nighttime sleep (in their bed, not a continuous stretch).
If you find that their day to day sleep schedule is really erratic, don’t be afraid to wake them up in the morning around the same time (consider a 30 minute window, like 7-7:30am). This will help to stabilize their day, their naps, and their bedtime!
Pretty soon, they will wake themselves up during that time in the morning and you won’t have to.
A gentle way to wake your little one up would be to open their door, wait a minute or two then turn off their sound, wait again, then open up the blinds before gently rubbing their back and speaking softly to wake them up.
Most babies need to transition into a Kyte BABY sleep bag at this age for naps and night sleep!
5 MONTH OLD NAP SCHEDULE
A typical 5 month old nap schedule will include 3 naps and about 3-4 hours of day sleep. An average awake period for a 5 month old is 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes, maybe a little bit more if you’ve got a fantastic sleeper on your hands!
It is still normal to have cat naps throughout the day so don’t be afraid to hold and snuggle for a longer nap sometime throughout the day in order to keep your baby well rested for good night time sleep.
You may already know, but overtiredness from too much awake time or too little day time sleep can negatively impact your nighttime sleep!
5 MONTH OLD FEEDING SCHEDULE
Regarding feeding schedules for 5 month olds, most babies are feeding every 2-4 hours during the day with a longer stretch at the beginning of the night.
Most 5 month old babies are consuming 24-36 oz a day of breastmilk or formula.
It’s very normal for them to take longer naps, shorter naps, and eat at varied times during the day. There is a lot that we can consider “normal” for young babies so try to not compare!
SAMPLE SCHEDULE FOR 5 MONTH OLD
A SAMPLE SCHEDULE FOR 5 MONTH OLDS MAY LOOK SOMETHING LIKE:
7:00am wake up, eat, play
9:00-10:15am nap, eat, play
12:30-1:45pm nap, eat, play
4-4:45pm nap, eat, play
If naps are short, it’s best to move their bedtime earlier instead of adding an extra nap. Extra naps take away from sleep by introducing even more awake time into their day. This makes them overtired!
You can also move their bedtime up to 6pm in order for them to make up sleep from their short naps during the day! If you have a chronic catnapper, check out this blog to see how to improve naps.
Don’t let the 5 month old sleep schedule stress you out if your baby didn’t read the book and doesn’t follow the perfect day. Remember to try to start your morning around the same time each day and that will help everything else stabilize!
Important note: you do want to limit any single nap to 2 hours maximum and again no more than 4 hours of daytime sleep.
It is a great time to incorporate a bedtime routine for your baby if you have not!
And parents, infant sleep is a predictor in maternal mental health disorders postpartum so do not feel guilty for wanting to improve sleep for your little one since it affects you too!
ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO DURING AWAKE TIME AT 5 MONTHS OLD
Now that your baby is staying awake for longer periods of time, you may be thinking, “what do we do for an entire hour?!”
According to Mom Junction, babies at 5 months old are starting to work on holding objects like their bottle, tracking toys, tracking sounds, and understanding that moving objects makes noise (some cause and effect).
Some fun activities you can do with your little one at this age includes:
- Playing with bubbles
- Playing peek a boo
- Tracking a toy
- Reading books
- Kicking toys
- More tummy time
TAKEAWAYS ABOUT SAMPLE SCHEDULE FOR 5 MONTH OLD:
Remember to focus on responsive feeding, learning their cues (how they communicate is through behavior), changing up the activities during their awake time, and try not to stress if your child doesn’t fit the textbook version of sample schedules!
It is definitely okay to want to improve sleep, especially during the night when it is affecting you as well, but also tune into your child and as long as they’re happy, eating well, gaining weight well, and you’re getting in some great bonding times, then you’re raising a happy, healthy kid.
Ashley Olson is a certified pediatric sleep consultant, owner of Heaven Sent Sleep, and passionate about helping new parents, experienced parents, desperate and sleep deprived parents form healthy sleep habits for their children.
She has over 3 years of experience in working with families and has completed over 150 hours of coursework plus continuing education related to infant and toddler sleep. The focus of her work is on fostering a routine that grows your bond with your child while improving their sleep habits. She specializes in custom sleep plans and one on one support in changing sleep practices!