Motor skills at 5 months

Motor Skills   |   Age: 4 months 4 weeks

Motor skills at 5 months

Every 5-month-old is different, and every 5-month-old’s motor skills probably have some unique quirks to go right along with those personality differences, but there are a few general guidelines for what your 5-month-old is probably ready to start doing in terms of motor skills. If your little one isn’t doing these things yet, she probably isn’t far from it. If she is already a pro at them, she is speeding ahead of the class.

What her motor skills might look like 

Though she is still a little ways away from the delicate precision of pincer grasp, when she will begin to be able to pick things up between her thumb and forefinger, your baby’s grasp is already getting more refined. At the beginning of the first month, she is probably just reaching out with her whole arm and grabbing for things with the pinkie side of her fingers, but by the time she starts moving closer to her sixth month, she is probably starting to use her thumb to grasp things, too.
As your baby’s fine motor skills chug along, getting stronger and stronger each day, there’s a good chance that, sometimes, these smaller skills get overshadowed by the bigger-looking advances of her gross motor skills - by month 5, your baby may be able to sit up on her own with waist and lower-back support. She may be rolling from her tummy to her back, or even from her back to her tummy, which can make parents worry, since safe sleep recommendations specify that babies should be put to bed on their backs.

The fact that your baby is able to roll onto her tummy on her own is good proof of her growing body control, though. As long as her sleeping space is still safely set up - without blankets, pillows, sheets, loose bedding, or soft toys, just a tightly-fitted sheet on a firm mattress - and she is put to bed on her back, she shouldn’t be at a heightened risk. In any case, around this time, the risk of SIDS, which back-sleeping is meant to decrease, drops significantly. 

These developments in gross motor skills are strong signs that your baby is getting closer and closer to being independently mobile, and her curiosity is growing with her, so be on the lookout - it might not be too long before your baby decides to go exploring!

What to do about it 

Toys like rattles, that make noise when your baby grabs them, and that she will want to be able to hold onto, are great for encouraging your baby’s fine motor skills at this point. Now that her grasp is evolving, it might be time to introduce her to the magic of art, too, with some carefully supervised time with washable, non-toxic markers or paints, if you’re up for getting a little messy together.

When it comes to your baby’s gross motor skills, as she gets closer and closer to independent mobility, the most important thing you can do to help her out is to make sure your home is safely baby-proofed enough that, when she does start moving around on her own, she can’t get into anything she really shouldn’t.


More articles at this age

What to do if you're having suicidal thoughts

If you're having thoughts of self-harm, there are a number of resources that are immediately available.

Napping on a trip

Even the most adventurous babies can be a little skeptical about mixing adventure and nap time, but with a bit of advance planning, many families can making napping on-the-go a reality!

Communicating your rules to other caretakers

Everybody has their own set of beliefs and rules that dictate how they raise their children, so how do you communicate these rules to other caretakers who might be watching your little one?

High chair safety tips

High chairs are one of those places that are assumed to be safe because they're so frequently used, and although they very, very mostly are, there are still some things to consider to ensure the safest sitting experience possible.

What is BPA? Should I be concerned?

Parents of young children have plenty to worry about just trying to keep up with their offspring, without adding anything else to the list. Unfortunately, there are a few common chemicals that it's better if your child doesn't come into contact with, including BPA.

Is genital play normal?

It can be an uncomfortable moment, the first time a parent notices their child becoming interested in her own genitalia, but 'uncomfortable' doesn't have to be a cause for concern.

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏