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How to Stimulate a 5-Month-Old's Physical Development

By Stacy Zogheib ; Updated April 18, 2017
Play on the floor with your baby.

At 5 months old your little one is exiting the sleepy newborn stage and entering the next stage of development. She is becoming more aware of her surroundings and more interested in interacting with her environment. This is the stage where your baby becomes interested in the objects and people that surround her every day. She may be starting to roll over and reaching out to grab at objects. Her head control will also begin to improve and she may begin sitting up and using her hands to prop herself up. You can help her by interacting with her and encouraging her to reach for toys and use her muscles.

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Floor Play

Lay your baby down on a blanket on her belly.

Lay down in front of her and encourage her to pick her head up and push up on her hands to look at you. This will help her strengthen her neck muscles and improve her control of her head.

Place a rattle or other toy just out of reach in front of your baby and encourage her to scoot or roll to get to the toy to work on her fine motor control. This activity also helps her improve her hand-eye coordination.

Place a toy or rattle next to your baby and encourage her to roll over to get to the toy. This activity helps her work on gross motor skills as she learns to control her body movements and discovers what her arms and legs can do.

Toy Play

Sit your baby in your lap or lay her down.

Hold a rattle or other toy in front of her and encourage her to grab it. If she holds on to the rattle, help her shake it. This activity encourages the development of fine motor control and introduces her to the idea that her actions cause things to happen

Offer her a rattle or other small toy for each hand and encourage her to bang them together to help her work on her fine motor control and hand-eye coordination.

Things You Will Need

  • Blanket or mat
  • Rattles or noisy toys


At this stage of development, your baby will be content with simple toys and ample amounts of time on the floor to play.


If your baby is not holding her head up when on her belly, or if you have any other concerns about her development, talk with your pediatrician.

Your baby is at an age where she may put toys in her mouth, so avoid any toys that could be a choking hazard.

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About the Author

Stacy Zogheib's writing has been published in various online publications. She is a teacher and developmental specialist with experience teaching first grade, special education and working with children ages 0 to 3. She has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary and special education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University.

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