How Much Should a 5 Month Old Sleep?

You don’t need us to tell you that your 5 month old baby goes through amazing changes; both of you are experiencing them each day. One moment your baby is quiet, and the next is babbling, gurgling, and cooing – in that way experimenting with sounds and imitating speech. And while your little one becomes more and more active during playtime, their sleep pattern changes as well.

Your 5 month old baby’s sleeping needs slightly decrease, but they might still spend more time sleeping during the night, or snoozing during the day. 

So, if you’re wondering how much sleep your little one needs, in this article, you’ll find everything about the sleep needs of your 5 month old baby, including some tips for a better nighttime and daytime sleep. Let’s get started.

How Much Sleep a 5 Month Old Baby Needs

In regards to a 5 month baby’s sleep schedule, expect your little one to have short naps during the day and long sleep periods during the night. This is the time when you should establish a bedtime routine and a consistent sleep schedule to prevent long naps during the day (so that your baby is less confused between nighttime and daytime). Combining the daytime naps and the night time sleep, a 5 month old baby will be asleep approximately between 14 and 16 hours per day.

If you decide to practice a bedtime routine, experiment with different calming activities, such as reading a story, listening to music, and so on, in order to see what works best. Remember to put some time aside to practice your bedtime routine and be as relaxed as you can possibly be.

Another thing that you can do when your baby is 5 months old is to help your little one learn how to fall asleep without your help. Your baby might not be able to go to sleep on its own constantly yet, but you can start establishing consistent sleeping habits.

A 5 Month Old Baby’s Sleep Schedule

Given that the circadian rhythm of a 5 month old baby is already developed to a certain point, your baby starts to develop the habit of waking up approximately at the same time every morning and going to bed approximately at the same time every night.

As per most pediatricians’ recommendation, a 5 month old baby should wake up somewhere between 6 am and 8 am, and go to sleep between 6 pm and 8 pm. This is considered normal for a 5 month old baby’s circadian rhythm, and the night time sleep should last approximately from 10 to 12 hours. 

If you think that your baby’s day to day sleep schedule is inconsistent, try to wake your little one approximately at the same time every morning, which should stabilize your baby’s bedtime and naps. After a while, your little one should start waking up on its own during that time in the morning.

When it comes to naps, a 5 month old baby’s nap schedule usually includes 3 to 4 naps, which is around 3 to 4 hours of daytime sleep. A 5 month old baby’s average awake time should be around 2 hours between two naps, maybe a little bit more if your baby is a pretty good sleeper.

Feeding Schedule for a 5 Month Old Baby

A 5 month old baby is usually breastfed or formula-fed every 3 to 5 hours, and this is the perfect age to start eating solid food approximately 3 times a day.

If you’re formula-feeding your baby, you probably know that a 5 month old baby can eat 4 ounces of formula approximately 6 times per day. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll have to nurse your baby every 3 to 4 hours, however, every breastfed baby is different. What’s really important is for your baby to be content, your breasts to be emptied, so that your 5 month old baby can gain a healthy weight.

In case you’re pumping breast milk, you’ll have to give your baby approximately 25 ounces of breast milk a day. This means that if you’re feeding seven times per day, you should give them approximately 4.5 ounces of breastmilk per feeding.

Here’s an example for a feeding and sleep schedule for a 5 month old baby:

  • 6:30 am – waking up and feeding;
  • 8:00 am – first daytime nap which can be around 45 minutes;
  • 8:45 am – waking up from a nap;
  • 10:00 am – feeding;
  • 11:00 am – it’s time for the second nap;
  • 11:45 am – waking up;
  • 1:30 pm – it’s eating time;
  • 2:00 pm – time for the third nap;
  • 2:45 pm – waking up;
  • 4:45 pm – it’s time for the last daytime nap which should be around 30 minutes;
  • 5:15 pm – waking up and feeding;
  • 6:45 pm – last daytime feeding;
  • 7:00 pm – time for a bedtime routine;
  • 7:15 pm – your baby should be asleep by now

During the night, it’s best if your baby has only one night feeding.

Is There a 5 Month Sleep Regression?

Sleep regression is always associated with progress, and your little one is growing neurologically, as well as physically. Sleeping can be interrupted during this period because a 5 month old baby is diverted by physical irritations, including teeth growing, or neurological developments, like walking, pulling up, and rolling. Both of these things are distracting your 5 month old baby from a good night’s sleep.

You might see your baby wide awake in the middle of the night, happily hanging out in the crib as it’s learning to pull up. Pulling up can occur as early as four months, however, five months tend to be an average period for this to happen. This can be manifested with 4 am wake ups, as well.

Overall, a 5 month sleep regression per se isn’t pointed out by most literature. However, every time a 5 month old baby is disturbed or excited by its daily life, nighttime sleep can be disrupted. This is the reason why it’s crucial to establish a sleeping schedule and teach your little one to become an independent sleeper, so it can put itself to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night.

Sleep Tips for 5 Month Old Baby

Here are some tips that’ll help both you and your 5 month old baby in the sleeping process:

  • Notice the signs for sleep readiness. It’s crucial to notice when your baby is ready for sleeping as this will make the sleep process much easier. If your baby starts to fuss, sucks its thumb, yawns, or rubs its eyes, it’s probably ready for bed or a quick nap. These signs can be different for every baby, so if you’re able to notice the specific sleepy signs of your baby, you’ll be better at putting your baby to sleep once it’s ready.
  • Stick to a bedtime sleep routine. A consistent routine before going to bed, such as listening to music, taking a bath, or reading a story, is very helpful for putting your 5 month old into the right bed mood.
  • Take time for daily naps in its crib. There will be days when you won’t be able to put your baby for a nap in its crib, but try to make an effort so your baby can have at least one nap in its crib.
  • Help your baby to try new skills while it’s awake. Due to the fact that sleep regression usually happens around the same period when your little one approaches an important development milestone, you should encourage your baby to practise its new skills as much as possible (so it won’t be tempted to do them when it’s time for bed). Flipping and rolling over, creeping, crawling, or babbling are some of the new abilities that your 5 month old baby will try to practice.

5 Month Old Baby’s Sleep Issues Explained

While some babies don’t want to go to sleep for no obvious reason, there are some sleeping issues that are characteristic for a 5 month old baby and this level of development. Here are some of the most common sleeping problems and some tips on how to cope with them:

  • Your baby might start being a little bit cranky. At this age, your baby might start teething, and even though you might not see the teeth yet, they are knocking on the door. One of the common symptoms of teething are crankiness, drooling, rash on the chin, pulling the ears, and biting. So if your 5 month old is cranky, the sleeping process will be a little bit harder. In order to relieve the pressure, you can give your baby a ring for teething, and if that’s not helpful, you can ask for advice from your baby’s pediatrician.
  • Your baby might start waking at night. Up until recently, you were able to say that your baby is sleeping very well. However, at 5 months old, your baby might start waking up in the early morning hours without knowing how to go back to bed. It’s pretty common for 5 month old babies to wake up at night due to the fact that they’re settling into a new sleep pattern and might be into a sleep regression period. This is why you should try and leave your baby to fall asleep on its own. Don’t pick your baby up unless you think it’s hungry, ill, or needs a diaper change.
  • Changing nap schedule. A 5 month old baby needs less naps during the day, and this can make your baby more tired. If you think that a change of routine is what makes your baby fussy, you can implement an abbreviated version of your baby’s bedtime routine as a naptime routine, including closing the blinds and turning off the lights in the room, listening to quiet music, or reading a story.

Concluding Thought

Your baby will experience changes with every month that goes by – and in the fifth month of age, sleeping is one of the major ones. So, when your baby is shifting its sleep routine and is a little bit fussier than usual, the best thing you can do is to continue encouraging healthy sleep habits, because they can be very helpful for your entire family to go back on track.