At five months old, your sweet baby is staying awake more during the day and learning new skills. I want to share with you questions I get about five month old sleep schedules, wake windows, nap schedules, and more.
What are wake windows for a 5 month old?
A five month old’s wake window ranges from 2 to 3 hours. I tend to see wake windows shorter in the morning but start to increase as the day progresses and babies get older. You may also find your baby cannot handle a 3-hour wake window at the end of the day until she’s closer to 6 months old.
Here's a general routine for wake windows at this age:
About 2 hours after Wake Time = Nap 1
About 2.5 hours after the end of Nap 1 = Nap 2
About 2.5 hours after the end of Nap 2 = Nap 3
About 2.5 - 3 hours after the end of Nap 3 = Bedtime
Can we still use the EASY schedule at 5 months old?
I typically don't recommend holding to an EASY schedule for babies at this age. As babies get older and wake windows get longer, it may be difficult to follow an “eat, awake, sleep” routine while making sure they get enough calories during the day. I always want you to feed your baby according to their hunger cues, so continue to offer breast or bottle feedings every 2.5 to 3.5 hours throughout your baby’s first year.
Here's where that "eat, awake, sleep" routine can get a bit tricky: If your five month old has been awake for 2.5 hours and is ready for a nap, you may need to offer a feeding so he doesn’t wake early from hunger. On the other hand, your five month old may do just fine waiting until after his nap for a feeding. Watch how your baby responds in order to decide whether to offer a feeding before or after the nap.
A few things to keep in mind:
If you do offer that feeding just before the nap, try to break up eating and sleeping to help prevent short naps.
If you choose to wait until after the nap, don't allow your baby to go longer than 4 hours between feedings, even if that means waking them.
What is a sample sleep and feeding schedule for a 5 month old?
Here is a sample feeding and sleep schedule for five month olds. Keep in mind, schedules don’t need to be followed to the minute. We're always balancing your baby's hunger cues and wake windows in order to meet them where they are developmentally.
Text version of 5 Month Old Sample Schedule table
|8:30 - 10:00 am||Nap 1|
|12:15-1:30 pm||Nap 2|
|4:00-4:30 pm||Nap 3|
|10:00 pm||Optional Dream Feed|
Please note: This is just a sample. Remember, a baby’s hunger cues and nap lengths are vital in determining whether to feed before a nap or waiting until after the nap. Be sure to watch your baby and be responsive to their unique needs.
What are 5 month old milestones?
Each new week and month brings more exciting milestones your baby is ready to show you. Just remember, milestones are based on ranges, and some babies will meet them early while others will need more time. So if your five month old isn’t experiencing all of these milestones, know those moments could be right around the corner.
At five months old, most babies start to:
Easily roll in both directions when playing on the floor
Get stronger sitting upright while supported
Move items back and forth between their hands as hand-eye coordination improves
Try to mimic facial expressions
Show some interest in solid foods adults are eating
Respond to what they see and hear with their own sounds: babbling, cooing, and squealing!
If you have any concerns about your baby meeting their milestones, make sure to speak to your pediatrician.
What are some activities for a 5 month old?
Five months old are noticing so much around them and are starting to become quite interactive.
Here is a list of ideas for activities you can do with your five month old:
Talk a walk and narrate the walk – What do you see? What do you hear?
Have a pacifier lover? Try the Binky Game!
Spend some time in front of the mirror making different facial expressions.
Have lots of floor time to help encourage rolling and sitting upright while supported.
Give your little one a shoebox with random (non-choking hazard) objects: tennis ball, cup, bells, ribbon, etc.
How many naps are best for a 5 month old?
We’re aiming for 3 naps a day at five months old. If your baby is taking more than 3 naps a day because naps are short, this is a great time to check on your wake windows (both their length and what you do during them). We want to make sure your five month old is tired enough, but not overtired, heading into a nap.
How long should a 5 month old nap?
Our goal for daytime sleep is 3-4 hours total, divided over 3 naps.
How will this look? It can vary from baby to baby and from day to day. One day, it could be a 2-hour nap, a 1-hour nap, and a 30-minute nap. The next day, it could be two naps lasting 1.5 hours each and a 45 minute nap later in the afternoon. The way the naps divide is less important than the total napping hours and those age-appropriate wake windows.
If you're wondering how anyone gets to 3 napping hours in a day, I can help! Start by reading my blog on short naps and know that my Conquering Naps class provides step-by-step, detailed guidance on all things daytime sleep.
We do want to keep the total daytime sleep under 4 hours. I would also encourage you to cap any one nap at 2 hours. Yes, this means you may have to wake a sleeping baby! As a baby sleep expert, I’m letting you know this is okay and sometimes necessary.
Why is this necessary?
It ensures your baby gets enough active awake time.
It allows you to offer feedings every 2.5-3.5 hours during the day.
It helps you hit that sweet spot bedtime of 7:00-8:00 pm.
It sets your baby up for consolidated night sleep.
Expert Tip: You may notice that third nap seems to be shorter than the others, often 30-45 minutes. Don’t let this stress you out. Even this shorter nap helps your baby make it to bedtime without becoming overtired.
How much sleep does a 5 month old need?
At five months old, 3-4 hours of daytime sleep and 10-12 hours of night sleep is our goal. Keep in mind:
We don’t want any one nap to go longer than 2 hours.
Wake windows should be around 2-3 hours.
Night sleep shouldn’t last any longer than 12-12.5 hours.
When is bedtime for a 5 month old?
An ideal bedtime for a five month old is between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. Remember, your baby will need 2.5-3 hours of awake time before bed, so keep that in mind as you think about your baby’s nap schedule. I often find that babies who go to sleep after about 8:00 pm tend to experience more false start bedtimes, fight sleep, and even have more night wakings or early morning wakings.
Is there a 5 month old sleep regression?
Not exactly. However, if you're seeing sleep struggles, here are some things to keep in mind:
Some babies experience signs of the 4 month sleep regression closer to five months.
There are also developmental changes that may happen at five months old, and these new skills can affect sleep.
There are so many other factors that can affect sleeping through the night.
No matter the reason for your five month sleep struggle, a consistent plan for sleep is the best path to having a great little sleeper.
Why is my 5 month old fighting sleep?
Often babies at this age fight sleep because they're either too tired or not tired enough. Check those wake windows and make sure your baby has enough active awake time.
If bedtime is still a struggle, make sure you're using a consistent bedtime routine with your baby. This can help minimize bedtime struggles by helping prepare your baby's body for sleep.
How do I sleep train my 5 month old?
At five months old, you may decide that formal sleep training is the best option if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night.
I can help! My 5–24 Month Collection includes a completely customizable and holistic sleep training plan to help your baby sleep independently for 10–12 hours each night. These classes will hand you the tools to have a great little sleeper through the first two years of life for days, nights, and every bump along the way.
Still have a 4 month old? Check out 4 month sleep schedules. Already have a 6 month old? I've got you covered with my 6 month sleep schedules.