What you'll want this month:

How your baby is developing: By the fourth month your baby is beginning to recognize those people they see regularly. Your baby definitely knows who you are now and can pick out mom and dad from a crowd of people.

Motor control and strength continues to improve. Your baby can lift and move their head in all directions. By the end of the month, your baby may be sitting upright for 10 minutes or more with support from you.

Your baby's reaching and grasping skills are getting better. They are slowly growing out of the need to find their hand before grabbing for a toy. By the end of the month, your baby will be grabbing for a toy or rattle without looking at their hand first.

This month also marks the beginning of world exploration by mouth. Your baby will start to stick anything they can in their mouth: fingers, teethers, and small toys.

Your baby is also moving around more. By the end of the month, your baby will be rolling from side to side more often, and may be rolling from tummy to back quite easily.

Your baby is also beginning to understand the relationship between actions. When your baby hears you in the kitchen, they may have an open mouth or look at your hands expecting to be fed.

Although most babies begin teething closer to six months, some start early. If you notice your baby drooling a lot more than normal or more occurrences of rosy cheeks and red gums, your baby may be getting ready to cut their first teeth. Watch the lower gums, front and center; these are the teeth that usually cut first.

Fun games and activities to play: Your baby is more attentive when you talk and enjoys being active. Try games that encourage your baby to move all parts of their body.

  • Lay your baby on the floor and hold both of your baby's arms. Gently pull your baby upright and lower them down. Tell your baby what you're doing by saying "Up and down, up and down." Soon your baby will try pulling themselves up.
  • Read rhyming stories, either nursery rhymes or Dr. Seuss. Babies love the rhythm of rhyming pentameter.
  • Play "This Little Piggy Went To Market" with your baby's fingers and toes. Watch their bodies curl up and listen to their giggles and grunts.
  • Lay your baby on their belly, and then sit on floor beside them. Choose a toy that your baby likes and hold it in front of your baby. Slowly raise the toy above your baby's head towards the left, bring the toy over the head towards the right for your baby to follow with their eyes and hopefully, their body. If your baby is beginning to roll, this exercise will help them to roll over.

Your baby is learning a lot about the world this month. Here are a few baby products you can use to encourage the learning process.

Nursery
  • A Diaper Genie to protect your nursery from the smell of stinky diapers.
Feeding
  • If you are introducing your baby to infant cereal, you will want a few baby dishes, particularly bowls and spoons.
  • A few stylish baby bibs will protect your baby's clothes from drool, spit up, and first stage infant cereal if you can't resist feeding your baby.
  • A high chair, preferably with a reclining back to offer extra support for your newly upright baby.
Baby Care
  • A skid-resistant bath mat for bathing your baby in the family tub.
  • A terry cloth bath mitt puppet to bathe and entertain your baby.
  • A hooded terry cloth towel is a nice way to wrap your baby and keep them warm while drying them off after the bath.
Playtime
  • Rhyming books such as Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss are sure to keep your baby's attention.
  • A soft book with bright colored pictures and textured rubber edges to bite on.
  • Toys that blink, flash, play music, and rock when you hit them will inspire your baby to reach out and hit them, such as an interactive baby activity gym with overhead toy bar.
  • A rubber, squeaking duck for the bath is always a fun toy for this age group.

Active toys create active babies with active minds. Check out the baby gear you'll want for an active five month old.

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