This article outlines the average 5 month old baby schedule, including feedings, solids, naps and night sleep.
5 month old baby’s sleep
At this age, if you are not lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps through the night, many 5 month olds are still waking 1-3 times to eat at night. Anything more and likely you have a sleep association problem. Your 5 month old should be taking 3-4 naps per day for a total of 3-4 hours per day plus 11-12 hours at night. If you’re having trouble with naps, you might be interested in helping your baby nap.
Obviously, all babies vary, but here are some sample schedules you can use to make your own for your unique baby. Schedules are iffy at this age because many babies simply cannot stay up past 2 hours to get to the next scheduled nap-time, so at this age, it’s likely naps are still on the short side, but come frequently. Over the next several weeks, you can work on getting down to just 3 naps to get closer to the 6 month schedule.
I should warn you that I am in the camp that breast milk or formula should be the primary nutrition for the first year and solids come secondary. Below are the amounts we recommend. For more information on starting your baby on solid food, visit our sister site, Your Baby’s Start To Solid Foods. It includes recommendations about how and when to start solids, as well as helpful information on food allergies, recommended products, baby-friendly recipes, and more.
Amounts per day:
• At least 7-10 breastfeeding sessions per day (5-6 during daylight hours, and 2-4 at night) or 24-32 ounces formula or combination (decrease solids if your baby is not taking in at least this much)
• Water is unnecessary (breast milk and formula have plenty of water in them). If your baby has any constipation issues, focus on P-foods (pears, prunes, etc.)
• 1-2 servings baby cereal (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons dry)
• 1-2 servings fruit (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons)
• 1-2 servings vegetable (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons)
Note: If you did not start solids until 6 months (I did not start until 6 months), you will work your way up to the amount of servings above. Don’t worry about feeding this much right away!
This first schedule works best for babies who become overtired quickly and can stay awake for about 1.5 – 2 hours between naps:
6:30 – Wake and Breast milk or Formula
7:15 – Breakfast
8:00 – Morning Nap (at least 1 hour)
9:00 – Breast milk or Formula
11:00 – Nap (often 30-60 minutes at this age)
12:00 – Breast milk or Formula
1:30 – Breast milk or Formula
2:00 – Nap
4:00 – Breast milk or Formula
5:00 – Catnap (30 minutes)
6:30 – Begin bedtime routine
6:45 – Breast milk or Formula and Bedtime
7:00 – Goal to be asleep
+Plus possibly 1-2 nighttime feedings
If your baby is able to stay up longer between naps, and is not as sensitive to over tiredness, you may want to take a look at our 6 month schedule, and modify the schedule above to more closely match the 6 month schedule.
Note: Many people prefer to follow an eat-play-sleep routine, which is a good routine to follow, however, sometimes hard to implement at this age when the amount of time between naps is not long enough and your baby wakes too early from his nap because of a feeding. I take all of that into consideration when making my schedules. The most important part is to be careful not to create sleep associations with feedings too close to sleep times, which we saw become important at 4 months old.
Need Baby and Toddler Sleep Help? We Have the Resources You Need!
If you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
Or, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
If you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.