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The First Year: 5 Month Milestones (page 2)

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Updated on May 25, 2012

Starts Sitting Up. As your baby's head and neck control improves and she gets a little steadier, she may be able to sit up while supported. While she might need the help of your hands or a pillow to help prop her up, yourn child's gaining control over her body and will soon be strong enough to do it herself.

  • Place your babe in a sitting position (facing out) when you're holding her. This way, she's able to take in new sights, and she'll be more than happy to have her hands free for exploration. Feel free to use special seats and pillows to prop up your babe, so long as you're supervising.
  • Never let your baby sit sans support until you're sure she doesn't need an extra helping hand. If she seems steady, you can still place pillows around her in case she topples; you wouldn't want her to crash onto the floor!

Easily Distracted. In the adult world, being easily distracted could mean serious trouble in your professional and personal life, but for babies, it's a great relief for parents everywhere. Now that your curious kid's older, it's easier for her to be distracted by sights and sounds. When she's in the throes of an inconsolable tantrum, use toys and music to get her to focus on something else.

  • Keep an arsenal of distraction gear on hand to make sure that you've always got something to capture her attention. That way, when she fusses, you've prepped with equipment that'll make her stop—at least momentarily.
  • Don't distract your little one with solid food just yet. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against starting solids until your baby is at least 6 months old. While popping your baby a fruit puff could help her to calm down, infants who start solids earlier are more likely to have food allergies. Stick to the breast or bottle to calm your crying tot until your pediatrician gives you the go ahead to start solids.

Starts Making Sense. You've probably gotten used to all of that babbling that your baby does while she's playing, but this month, her sounds go from totally random to having more of a purpose. You'll hear short-vowel sounds, like "ba" or "da" and they might even sound like first words. However, it's just how babies start to dabble in language.

  • Experiment with gestures and language together. Pediatric speech language pathologist Melisa Brown says, "The infant will begin to respond to gestures, and [her] babbling should be more varied such as 'da da', 'ta ta', 'ga ga', 'ma ma', and begin to wave bye." Tag-team your language with gestures—your babe will love it and might even test it out on her own!

As your little one grows and develops, so do your parenting instincts. Gone are the clueless first weeks of being a new mama—your confidance has grown with your baby's blossoming personality. Sure, developmental changes means your child grows a little more each day, but the more she develops, the better you become at parenting your little one.

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