Daily Routine for 5 Month Old

Updated on December 04, 2008
R.M. asks from Los Angeles, CA
7 answers

Hi Moms,

I'm looking for suggestions on a daily routine for my 5 month old. The every 2 hour eat, play, nap and repeat routine/schedule that he use to naturally fall into is changing and I can't quite figure it out how much napping and playing he needs at this age. He's eating around once every 3 hours now. Thanks in advance for your time and suggestions.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

Baby Center was the most amazing thing for me when my little guy was getting bigger and things were changing. He fell out of his needing as many feedings, and started teething and of course solid foods began for us at this age. He's also starting to discover his world and how it spacially relates to him.

My son's routine was like this 'most' days:

6-7am wake up: Morning feeding
8am breakfast (cereal at first just a few teasepoons)
9am nap until around 11am(ish)
1130am feeding and lunch (cereal added after week)
after lunch playtime/walk to park
130pm nap
330pm(ish) wake up and feed
5pm offered dinner (cereal added after two weeks)
7pm bedtime routine and nightfeeding

I would check out the link below for suggested routines...it's really about what works best for your rhythm with your kiddo and his needs. Our routine was never picture perfect, but it's always good to try to give some consistency and structure at an early age...yet, don't beat yourself up if the timing isn't perfect or on time!!

Good Luck.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

It's great he and you were/are pretty regular. It is good in the long term to keep his routine/nap/sleep consistent.

How about just changing it to a "3" hour eat/play/nap routine now?

At this age, and at about 6 months old, he'll hit a growth spurt and developmental/milestone changes. He's going to start to get more gross motor skills, rolling over if not already, sitting up if not already, crawling and what not.

At any developmental change and growth spurt, this DOES temporarily put a hiccup in their usual routine. But it passes, and just keep regular about his routines. And their eating/feeding changes too. Due to growth spurt and developmental changes. Phases.

At this age, they still need to nap... usually morning and afternoon. A baby will still get sleepy/tired after about 2-3 hours of awake time. Even a bath is an "activity" for a baby.

For my kids when they were about this age, their "awake" time was pretty much a bath, using the floor gym, reading to them, putting on music and carrying them in my arms and moving around to the beat of the music, rolling around on the floor, using different toys with sounds and holding it in front of them and making "faces" and just talking out loud "to" them.

As for "playing" anything they do when awake is an "activity"...it does NOT always have to be literally "playing" with them... it is often good that a baby/child is ALSO "let" to play on their own... to discover on their own and experience things. Of course with supervision. That is how they learn. "Learning" and playing does not always have to be parent-led... it is great for it to be "child-led" too...let them show you things and make noises and discover... instead of always being told "how" or "what" to do. Then it is self-motivating and stimulating for them. They are sponges and will be entertained with anything pretty much. Even just watching you cook dinner for example, they are learning and it is interesting. Get a box of baby safe things... and let him topple it over, grab things, shake it around, etc. It's fun for them. They also just LOVE Kleenex boxes and just pulling out tissue after tissue. This is playing too. Or unrolling toilet paper. Go outside and let him explore. My kids when babies loved to lay down on a blanket outside on the yard and look up at the clouds and leaves in the trees... and especially found it "neat" when they heard an airplane flying overhead and then "saw" it, or saw birds or butterflies around.

Just make it age appropriate. Anything is an experience and a play adventure. It does NOT have to be all planned out and methodical. Spontaneous is great too. Anything is what they learn from and have fun with.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Have you signed up for babycenter.com ?
If not, that's always been helpful for me as they send out weekly highlights of what to expect based on child's age.
Hope that helps!



answers from Los Angeles on

In my experience (mother of 3 and childcare provider), a baby's routine changes as his/her needs change. And a baby's needs change drastically and often between birth and two years old. You can try to keep your baby on a schedule, but your baby is changing so much from month to month. So really, you are on your baby's schedule. Not vice versa. And one five-month old baby is not the same as any other five-month old. They are all different. So one mother's advice for you might not work for your baby. All of my babies were different. I know this is not much help, but maybe you'll feel better about not having a "schedule".



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.. I to have a 5 1/2 month old son. We have tried from the beginning to get on some sort of routine but especially sleeping patterns always seem to change. I try to give him 3 naps a day. We wake up between 6:30 am and 8. Depending if he woke up or not for a feeding. Then we eat, also trying rice cereal at this time and we play. We go down for a nap between 9 and 11 for about an hour or more. Then we get up eat a play some more till about 2 or 4. Nap for about 30 mins or hour. Then he is with his dad ( I work 3-4 evenings a night for about 4 hours coaching gymnastics) which says he takes another nap around 7. We give him a bath around 8 and do the ritual for bed book, bath, massage and boob then bed between 9 and 10. We probably put him to bed later then most people but the routine works for us. You have to find what works for him and you and he will make adjustments to fit each other. I feed him what he wants. He is heathy and about 16 pounds. Every 3-4 hours I either pump or feed and I always have a bottle ready if he needs it. He is only on breast milk no formula yet so pumping is a huge pain. I think my son is every 3 hours too so don't worry about that that seems normal. Hope I have been of some help. Sounds like you are doing just fine.



answers from San Diego on

I think it was around 5 months that my babies were comfortable with a 4 hour routine and dropped the late afternoon nap. The eat, play, nap routine worked well for my babies, it is the length of the cylce that changed as they grew older. Typically, they would wake and eat, play for 1 to 1-1/2 hours then sleep for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. For the third, late afternoon nap it was usually only about 45 min and then they dropped that at around this age and were able to stay up until bedtime at 7 pm (though it was typically a fussy time of day so we would try to go for a walk, which both of my babies enjoyed).

The first 5-6 months is a time of rapid change and growth. From this time forward, my babies' routine was very consistent, then changed again around 15 mos or so (dropping the morning nap), then has remained the same through toddlerhood.

Hope this helps! If you are interested in any more detail about our particular routine, I would be happy to share, just let me know.



answers from Los Angeles on

Around 6 months both my kids went down to two naps. So our schedule was close to this...

8am wake up/bf
10:30 am nap
12pm bf/bottle
1pm solids
3pm nap
5pm bf
8pm bf
8:30 bedtime

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