Are you searching for the best 5 month old sleep schedule to help your baby get the activity and rest they need? Look no further, I’m here to help with your five-month old sleep schedule.
I think 5 months old is a great age for your baby because new parents start to gain more confidence, and whether things have actually gotten easier or not, it just feels different. It’s almost like coming up for air!
At this stage, you’ve probably already made it through some sleep problems (like the 45-minute intruder or the 4 month sleep regression). And not only has your confidence grown, you’re getting to know your baby better and better.
What’s also exciting is that your maturing baby is starting to engage with their surroundings a lot more! Unlike the sleepy newborn days, the 5-month-old baby sleep schedule includes a lot more awake time.
That means there’s more time during the day to play and babble. You might even see some signs that your baby is working on getting mobile.
Chances are, your baby is working on a lot of new developmental milestones that are so much fun to watch.
If you and your baby haven’t been able to settle into a reliable sleep routine yet, don’t worry. I’m here to help you create an optimal 5-month-old sleep schedule that will provide reliability and make it so your baby is getting all of the sleep they need each day.
And if you’re already in a routine, I can help you make slight adjustments to help the routine grow with your new 5-month-old.
The best way to establish an ideal routine with your baby is to stick to age-appropriate wake windows. Let’s talk about that first!
For the past month and a half or so, your baby’s wake windows have probably been between 90 minutes and 2 hours long.
But did you know that somewhere around the 5 month mark, your baby might be ready to extend their wake windows again?
If you’ve gotten into a groove with the 4 month old sleep schedule, don’t fret. You’re not in for any huge changes—wake windows are only going to extend slightly for now.
Your 5 month old’s wake windows can be between 2 to 2.5 hours long. However, the amount of daytime sleep they should get stays similar, spread between 3 naps.
If your baby hasn’t made the 4 to 3 nap transition yet, it’s probably time.
Not sure if your 5 month old is ready to extend their wake windows? The good news is they’ll typically let you know!
Feel Confident Tackling your Baby’s Sleep Schedule
Want to feel confident understanding wake windows and your baby’s sleep needs at every age and stage?
Get printable schedules for babies ages Newborn through 4 years old with my Baby Schedule Cheat Sheets. You’ll get sample schedules, and a roadmap for your baby’s wake windows and nap transitions through their first 4 years. Check it out here!
Signs That it’s Time to Extend Wake Windows
If you’re looking for the best time to extend your baby’s wake windows, here are some signs to look out for:
- It’s taking longer than usual (more than 15 minutes) for your baby to fall asleep.
- Your baby is taking short naps, napping less than an hour at a time.
- Bedtime has become a huge battle.
- All of a sudden, your baby is waking up early in the morning.
If you are consistently seeing any of these signs, it’s probably time to start increasing those wake windows.
How Long Should Naps Be at 5 Months?
If you’re feeling pretty confident in your daily routine, you’re in luck! There’s no major changes to the nap schedule at 5 months.
You’re still looking at 3.5 to 4.5 hours of daytime sleep for your 5 month old, spread across 3 naps.
Ideally, this breaks down to three naps, with the first two being about 1.5 hours long. The shortest nap should come at the end of the day and is typically a cat nap.
Naps are Impacted By Wake Windows
Babies typically don’t nap well if they don’t build up enough sleep pressure, or tiredness, during their wake window.
If a baby doesn’t have enough sleep pressure, it’s hard for them to fall asleep easily. Sometimes they also wake up too early from their naps.
But if babies build up too much sleep pressure, you might be faced with an overtired baby who will be too fussy and too tired to settle into sleep.
If this is sounds a bit like Goldilocks to you, you’re not wrong! You don’t want too much or not enough sleep pressure, it needs to be just right.
That’s why an understanding of wake windows is essential. It’s also why they need to be tweaked as your baby grows!
Sample 5-Month-Old Sleep Schedule
Here’s an example of what a 5-month-old sleep schedule could look like using the appropriate wake windows:
7:00 am: Wake up + nurse or bottle
8:45 to 10:15 am: Nap
10:15 am: Nurse or bottle
12:15 to 1:45 pm: Nap
1:45 pm: Nurse or bottle
4:00 to 5:00 pm: Nap
5:00 pm: Nurse or bottle
6:45 pm: Start baby’s bedtime routine + nurse or bottle
7:15 pm: Bedtime
Why Does My 5-Month-Old Keep Waking at Night?
It is not uncommon for your 5-month-old to wake up in the middle of the night. Even if they are capable of sleeping through the night at this age, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will.
There are all sorts of reasons (maybe more than one!) that your 5-month-old may be having frequent night wakings.
One of the go-to excuses you’ll hear for frequent sleep disruption at this age is teething.
While teething can cause some discomfort for your baby when they’re trying to sleep, it’s not typically a prolonged disruption. Usually your baby works through it in a week or less.
If teething is the cause of night wakings, see how to help your teething baby sleep.
Your baby is growing a lot! Their caloric needs are growing and they are busier while they’re awake.
This can mean feedings are a little more distracted, so try to make sure your baby is getting a full feeding in each time. Babies with full bellies are able to sleep longer!
If your baby is sick with something like a cold, they may wake up more until they feel better. There’s not much you can do for them except give them extra love and wait it out. Here are some tips to help your sick baby sleep.
At this age many babies have begun rolling over in their sleep. It’s a great new skill, but not super conducive for staying asleep.
Needless to say, rolling in your sleep can be startling, and often causes babies to wake up. Make sure you’re practicing these new skills during the day so they can sleep well and comfortably at night.
Dependent Sleep Habits
Just like adults, babies have a natural sleep rhythm where they slip in and out of deep sleep throughout the night. But as adults, we often take for granted our ability to just roll over and go back to sleep.
Your baby is still learning how to do everything, including how to sooth or calm themselves enough to get back to sleep.
If your 5-month-old is accustomed to nursing to sleep or being rocked to sleep every time, they haven’t had a chance to learn independent sleep associations. They need a chance to learn how to fall back asleep on their own.
Now might be a good time to choose a sleep training method to do formal sleep training. If you want help with the process, the Baby D.R.E.A.M. System is a complete system that walks you through the process of optimizing your baby’s sleep so everyone gets longer naps and better nighttime sleep. Check it out here.