Your baby: Week 19

Your baby's physical and emotional milestones

You're heading for a honeymoon period with your baby. You're now much more familiar with each other and you're a
more confident mom – and hopefully less tired because your baby is sleeping well at night.

The best part is that your baby is also starting to interact with you. He will hold up his arms to be picked up 
and he'll make a fuss when you want to leave him. But he will be full of smiles and laughter when you play with
him and he really does love to laugh at your little jokes (like hiding a toy behind your back and suddenly bringing
it out again with a flourish).

Your baby can now stay engaged with you for a little longer, so time together will be longer and more rewarding for
your both. Now is a good time to start reading to your baby if you haven't already. This is a crucial time for 
language development and your baby will just love the attention he's getting, cuddled up as you read a book.

Your baby may roll right over from front to back and vice versa this month. Be careful of leaving your baby 
on any surface unattended. The best news is that your baby may start to sit now too – but not for long as
his core strength isn't yet developed enough to stabilise his body when he sits. You can try propping him with
pillows for a little while if he's happy in that position.

Stimulating your 5-month-old baby

By now you will probably have had enough time to establish a routine based on your baby's patterns of 
sleep/wakefulness/hunger and have ensured that your day is organised accordingly.

During the day, he will probably require two to two and a half hours of wakefulness approximately four times a day.
He will need 10 to 12 hours of sleep each evening, which may or may not be interrupted by feeding.

It may seem like a lot of boring repetition at this stage but in order for your baby to build the muscles he 
needs to be able to sit up unaided; time on his tummy is the best thing you can offer him.

If you've already been incorporating regular tummy time into your baby's routine, add a little more and offer him
a few toys he can reach for when he's on his tummy to keep his interest. If this doesn't work offer him a mirror to
look into or get down onto the floor with him and interact face to face.

Go back to the complete list of Baby week-by-week updates.

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