Caring for Baby

Starting to Express Myself

Starting to Express Myself

Your baby is probably showing off a little personality now and learning new ways to communicate with you every day. He may blow bubbles, play with his toes — or even put his toes in his mouth! He may imitate speech and express excitement or frustration in his voice.

Remember: Babies grow and develop at their own pace, and you should ask your child’s doctor if you have questions or concerns.

5 Month Milestones

Look what I can do …

  • Babble, gurgle and blow bubbles
  • Try to copy sounds such as “m” and “b”
  • Mimic some movements or facial expressions like smiling or frowning
  • Let you know if I’m happy or sad
  • Recognize my own name
  • Turn toward new sounds

How Family Can Help

  1. Sing songs together. Favorite children’s songs have lots of fun sounds and repetition, like “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Hickory Dickory Dock.” Make up your own silly songs with your child’s name in it: “Janie’s flying in the kitchen, zoom, zoom, zoom, Janie’s flying down the hall, zoom, zoom, zoom!”
  2. Don’t forget introductions. At this point in his life, your baby has probably seen lots of new faces. They all know his name but he’s still learning who they are. Make a habit of greeting visitors by name and telling your baby who they are. “Jack, this is my friend Sharon, and she lives down the street.” Children will eventually pick up on what to say when they greet a familiar person or meet someone new.
  3. Validate baby’s attempts to communicate. You may not know what baby is trying to tell you when he makes gurgling sounds or says “ba ba,” but when you respond it helps him learn the basics of communication. He also begins to understand how to use his voice in different ways for different wants/needs.
  4. Tickle toes. Baby may be able to reach her toes when lying on her back in a “frog” position. Encourage silly playtime with toes, like “This Little Piggy” nursery rhyme and counting toes.

Record Baby’s Firsts

Who can resist taking photos of those first gummy grins? Or recording video of baby babble and belly laughs? Keep track of the new things baby can do and questions you have for your child’s doctor, too. This may be helpful when it’s time for your baby’s next checkup.