Last Updated on May 25, 2023
Welcoming your baby into their 5th month is a journey filled with growth and new routines, especially when it comes to sleep. As they leave the 4-month mark behind, you'll notice more distinct sleep patterns emerging. They're inching you closer to those longer stretches of restful nights, at last!
However, this new phase also brings its unique set of sleep challenges. Outlined in this article are the ins and outs of a 5-month-old sleep schedule, offering a foundational understanding of expected sleep patterns at this age.
It's important to remember that every baby's needs are unique. For a sleep schedule tailored specifically to your little one, don't hesitate to contact us!
Finding the best approach to ensure your baby can comfortably fall asleep may feel a little overwhelming. You may still be spending nights lulling your baby with soft melodies all while trying to decipher their subtle sleep cues — the telltale yawns and eye rubs.
This sample sleep schedule for a 5-month-old gives a glimpse into structuring your baby's sleep during nighttime and daytime sleep in a conducive way. It's meant to align with the typical sleep patterns of babies this age and ease the bedtime process.
|Wake up and diaper change
|Playtime and stimulation
|Naptime (duration varies)
|Wake up and diaper change
|Interactive activities and exploration
|Naptime (duration varies)
|Wake up and diaper change
|Calm and soothing activities
|Bedtime routine (bath, massage, storytime)
|Evening feeding and winding down
|Night feedings and diaper changes as needed
At the age of 5 months, babies hit a crucial milestone in sleep development, making it an optimal time for sleep training. The purpose of your baby's sleep schedule goes beyond just getting through the night; it's about establishing lasting sleep habits that are vital for your child's overall growth and development. Sleep training can be an extremely helpful tool in guiding your child toward lifelong healthy sleep habits.
At this age, your baby is likely to adapt to and thrive on a consistent routine that mirrors their inherent sleeping rhythm. Keep in mind, that sleep schedules should be seen as a guideline rather than a strict rule. Every family is different, and a baby's sleep schedule is meant to be a flexible guide that complements your situation.
Ultimately, the aim is to cultivate a rhythm that allows your baby to sleep independently, ensuring peaceful nights for the entire family unit.
For a 5-month-old, being able to nail down an appropriate wake window is key for a smooth day. This span, where your baby is wide-eyed and ready to explore, typically lasts 2 to 3 hours.
In the morning, wakefulness is usually pretty low-key, usually not exceeding 2 hours. As the day progresses, your baby's capacity to remain awake gradually increases, reaching its peak just before it's time for their night sleep.
Generally, a 5-month-old's sleep schedule will have them up for around 2 hours before they're ready for the first nap, then up to 2.5 hours before the next, and so on.
Adjusting to your baby's sleep needs means keeping an eye out for that sweet spot—tired enough to fall asleep without fuss but not so exhausted that falling asleep becomes a struggle.
Overextending a wake window risks an overtired baby, complicating their ability to fall asleep. On the other hand, a wake window that's too short may result in a baby who's not quite ready to sleep or who only manages brief naps.
Observe your baby's natural sleepy signals to fine-tune their nap times. While one baby may start yawning after an hour and a half, another might be full of energy for three hours.
These wake windows offer a guideline to navigate the day's routine, particularly when your baby wakes from sleep refreshed and ready for interaction.
The nap schedule is a critical part of a daily routine, as it's one of the factors that shape their days and influence their nights. These daytime sleep sessions are also essential for continued growth and development.
Most 5-month-olds are primed for their first nap after approximately 2 hours of awake time in the morning. As the day progresses, each wake window gradually extends. This allows your little one to absorb the world and tire themselves out just enough to fall asleep again.
Typically, the last wake window before bedtime is the longest, around 2.5 hours. By this time, your baby is ready for the night.
If needed, adjust your nap schedule according to your baby's cues and behavior. Over-tiredness can disrupt your baby's ability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Responding to these cues promptly prevents this.
Find out what other parents are asking about their 5-month-old's sleep schedule!
On average, most babies at this age should get about 11 to 12 hours of nighttime sleep and an additional 2.5 to 3.5 hours of daytime sleep. Daytime rest is typically spread out across three naps.
It's important to balance your baby's sleep schedule so they get enough rest without oversleeping. If they sleep too much during the day, it might become challenging for them to fall asleep on their own at night.
Observing and tuning into your baby’s cues for sleepiness will guide you in perfecting their nap schedules. This is an integral part of sleep training. This way, they get the total sleep they need.
It's quite normal for a 5-month-old to wake during the night, with around 25% of babies at this age unable to sleep a 6-hour stretch.
Night waking, often one of the signs of sleep regression, tops the list of sleep challenges in a baby's first year. This variability in sleep patterns reflects their unique development stage, temperament, and individual needs.
At 5 months, you should be aiming for 3 naps daily for your little one. These naps are spread out to complement their natural sleep rhythms, providing much-needed rest between periods of wakefulness and play.
For a 5-month-old, nap durations can vary, but they generally last anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours. These naps are little retreats of restfulness to get them through their day and are essential for their growth and development.
The first nap might be the longest while subsequent naps may be shorter, though this may vary from day to day.
Your little one is growing and learning rapidly, and their ability to stay awake between naps reflects this.
Generally, babies at this age can comfortably stay awake for about 2-3 hours. The first wake window after waking in the morning is usually the shortest, gradually extending as the day progresses.
Starting a bedtime routine for your 5-month-old is a wonderful idea. A predictable daily bedtime routine signals to your baby that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
An ideal bedtime routine can include a soothing bath, a calm story, or some lullabies. Establishing this nightly ritual not only helps your baby settle into sleep more easily but also fosters a sense of security and comfort.
Over time, this routine will become a cherished part of your evening, supporting a smoother transition to restful nights.
Encouraging your 5-month-old to sleep longer stretches at night involves a blend of consistency and comfort.
Tips for longer sleep at night:
Their sleep environment should be calm, dark, and quiet with the exception of a noise machine.
During the day, engage in stimulating activities to help them use up energy.
Be attentive to their nap schedule, as overtiredness can disrupt nighttime sleep.
Lastly, if they wake up at night, give them a moment to get themselves back to sleep on their own before intervening.
Yes, it is common for a 5-month-old's sleep patterns to change. Babies go through various developmental milestones and growth spurts that can affect their sleep. It's normal for sleep patterns to evolve, and it's important to be flexible and adapt to their changing needs.
Yes, it's quite common for a 5-month-old's sleep patterns to change. As they grow and develop, their sleep needs can shift. This leads to changes in their nap lengths and nighttime sleeping habits.
These changes are completely normal and expected.
To help your 5-month-old transition to a consistent sleep schedule, establish regular nap times and bedtime. Additionally, whatever bedtime routine you've chosen for your child should remain consistent each day to signal them that it's time for sleep.
Consistency and patience are key in gently guiding them into a more predictable sleep routine.
During a 5-month sleep regression, maintaining a consistent routine, offering comfort without creating new sleep associations, and being patient are important tips for getting through this phase as smoothly as possible.
For those who have done formal sleep training, it's important to stick close to what you've implemented, as it oftentimes will help to speed up the regression with fewer lingering issues.
"EAT-PLAY-SLEEP" is a routine where your baby eats after waking, has playtime, and then goes to sleep. It's most definitely suitable for 5-month-olds and is a great way to set up their schedule.
This routine promotes good sleep habits by separating feeding from sleeping and helps prevent sleep associations with eating. This will help to encourage them to fall asleep independently.
Short naps in a 5-month-old can be completely normal.
If they fall asleep independently and aren't hungry, consider adjusting the wake window or sleep environment. Sometimes, developmental stages or overstimulation can also affect nap length. We suggest giving it some time, as often naps are the last thing to improve.
Luna Leaps, a Los Angeles based baby sleep consultant, can certainly assist with your 5-month-old's sleep routine!
We offer tailored guidance and strategies to improve your little one's sleep habits. Our team has helped many kids of different ages to develop the habits for restful sleep.
Reach out to Luna Leaps for compassionate support in establishing a healthy sleep routine for your baby. Contact us today!
Hi, I'm the founder of Luna Leaps. As a certified sleep consultant with the Institute of Pediatric Sleep and Parenting, I bring expertise and compassion to helping families establish healthy sleep habits. As a mom of two, including one with special needs, I understand the struggles of sleepless nights and the toll it can take on the whole family. But with a personalized plan tailored to your child's unique needs, we can work together to improve sleep and overall well-being. Let's start this journey towards better sleep together.
Located in Los Angeles, CA and helping families nationwide.