A baby’s growth is coupled with a lot of different milestones. First, he learns how to roll over, then he starts sitting on his own. The next minute he’s cooing and laughing as he crawls towards you. All of these wonderful achievements are moments that parents will always treasure, but the path to these milestones isn’t an exactly an easy one.
Aside from the nutrition that babies need to have everyday, parents also have to consider the kind of sleep their 5-month-old is getting because it’s an important factor that determines the development of their bodies. Following a schedule is an essential step to make sure that they are growing at the right pace. In this article, we’ll help you come up with a sleeping schedule and give you some tips on how you can improve the sleep quality of your little one.
How much sleep does a 5-month-old need?
When making a sleep schedule for your baby, you should first identify how much sleep they need in a day. For babies that are 4-6 months old, they still need quite a lot of nap time for about 12-16 hours a day, sometimes even more. They will still have a tendency to sleep in the day but they are more likely to sleep more during the night, lasting for about 10-11 hours straight. This is a great time for parents to catch some Z’s after a whole day of taking care of their baby.
Sample 5-Month-Old Sleep Schedule
7 AM: Wake and Milk Feeding
8 AM: Playtime
9 AM – 10 AM: 1st Nap Time
10 AM: Milk Feeding
11 AM: Playtime
12:30 AM – 2 PM: 2nd Nap Time
2 PM: Milk Feeding
3 PM: Playtime/Tummy time
4:45 PM: Milk Feeding
5 PM – 5:30 PM: 3rd Nap Time (Catnap)
6:30 PM: Milk Feeding
7PM: Tummy time
7:15 PM: Bedtime Routine
8 PM: Bedtime
Should you try sleep training?
Following our sample sleep schedule is a great way for your baby to learn how to fall asleep on their own, but what if they still have trouble sleeping even on nap time?
While this may not be a necessary step for all parents, sleep training may help their babies fall asleep on their own faster. This involves putting them down for bed even if they’re still wide awake, and letting them drift off without being swayed or rocked. This also teaches them to fall back to sleep themselves if they ever wake up at night. Sleep training involves different methods, and you can choose which is the right one for your baby and yourself as a parent.
Is your 5-month-old experiencing sleep regressions?
As your baby grows older, their body undergoes several changes that also affect their day-to-day routine, especially their sleep. While some parents would be lucky with babies who seem to adjust well to a new sleep schedule, the same can’t be said for parents whose little ones just can’t seem to sleep at the usual time. If this is a familiar scenario for you, your baby might be experiencing what is known as sleep regressions.
Sleep regressions are actually normal occurrences that happen as a baby achieves several milestones, but they can be quite an unpleasant experience for both them and the parents. These commonly happen at the 4th, 6th, and 12th month of age, but it may happen even during their 5th month. Usual signs include consistent night wakings, trouble sleeping at bedtime, waking up earlier than usual, and increased sleepiness during the day.
You don’t have to worry though, these are only temporary! To assist your baby during this period, encourage them to follow healthy sleeping habits that should minimize the occurrences of interrupted or reduced sleeping time.
Sleeping tips and tricks for your 5-month-old
- Always observe for signs of sleepiness. Yawning and rubbing their eyes are both signs that you baby is ready for naptime or bedtime. Avoid stimulating them by presenting more toys or brightening up the room so it will be easier for them to fall asleep.
- Stick to a sleep routine. Make sure that they sleep at the same time everyday. Be consistent with your bedtime routine.
- Allow them to practice their new skills during the day. Let them move about and try out new things during the daytime so when it’s time for a nap or bed, they have already spent all their energy and will be in the right mood to sleep.