How parents can help
As a parent, it is a pleasure to get involved in your five-month-old baby's development. Parents play a critical role in promoting infant development socially and physically. At this age, learning and play are inseparable. Hence, spend time with your baby to help them reach their developmental milestones
Communication and language development
Talking to your baby
You can promote your child’s development by
- Asking questions to your child.
- Responding to your child’s coos and gurgles.
- Describing what you see, hear and smell to your child.
- Using simple words such as baby, cat, go, hot, walk and cold.
Read to your baby
Reading to your baby develops speech and thought.
- Make sounds while reading, so that your child mimics them.
- Use large, brightly-colored picture books.
- Point to and name some common objects.
Physical or motor development
You should often change the baby's position by laying them on their abdomen for a few minutes while you supervise them. While the baby lies on their abdomen
- Hold a colorful toy to make noises to encourage your baby to lift their head.
- Hold your baby’s hand and gently pull them up to a standing position.
- Once your baby’s ready, try a sitting position. Make sure to place pillows for support or hold the baby while they sit.
Play favorite games
Try playing favorite games with your baby to develop their physical and motor skills.
- Play peekaboo with your child.
- Hide one of your baby’s toys with the corner of a blanket and encourage them to find it.
- Ask your child playfully, “Where are your toes?” then touch your child’s toes and say, “Here are your toes!”
Offer simple toys
Babies at this age often enjoy colorful toys, especially those that make sounds. You can
- Try a musical toy, rattle with a handle, softball or wooden spoon.
- Put out only one or two toys at a time for your baby to focus on.
- Place one toy out of reach to encourage your baby to stretch and creep.
- Shake a rattle behind your baby’s head and let them turn and grab it.
Social and emotional development
Take time to cuddle
Give your baby all the cuddles and love that they deserve. Also, do not forget to
- Give gentle caresses and tender kisses to make your baby feel safe and secure.
- Hold or rock your baby and talk slowly or sing soothing songs.
- Cuddle, talk and play with your baby while feeding, dressing and bathing.
- Hold, talk to and smile at your baby.
Let the child set their pace
- Give your baby a break when they are upset or fussy.
- Try to understand their unique personality, temperament, likes and dislikes.
- Respond to your baby’s needs to build trust.