5-Month-Old Sleep Schedules

5-Month-Old Sleep Schedules

Goodbye four month sleep regression and hello five month sleep progression! Well, at least we hope. If your little one is still experiencing a bit of a wonky sleep schedule, that’s okay. Some sleep regressions can last up to six weeks (1), hang in there! Around the time your baby is five months old, they may be going through a transitional period where sleep and wake windows are adjusted to better suit their developing circadian rhythm. Many babies drop down from four naps to three this month. (2) This is good news for you, in theory, as they may begin to sleep for longer stretches of time. You can help facilitate good sleep hygiene by establishing a sleep schedule for your baby. Flexibility is key at this age though, as your baby is adjusting to their developing sleep needs. Keep reading to learn what a sleep schedule may look like for a five month old and how we can give that schedule the best shot at success. 

Can you sleep train a 5 month old?

Sleep training is not something that is universally “right” for every family. But, if it works for you, there are some sleep training methods that may be effective for a five month old. First off, what is sleep training? Sleep training is a chosen method, or combination of methods, that can be implemented in an effort to help babies fall asleep independently. Here are a few popular methods:

Cry it out: This may be the most talked about sleep training method. It is not effective for all babies - but, if your baby gets more worked up with frequent check-ins, it may be an option for your family. This method works pretty much exactly as it sounds. The key is to set your baby down “drowsy, but awake” and let them self soothe to sleep (hopefully). In time, it may be more effective. Cry it out is not generally recommended by sleep experts for five month old babies. 

The Ferber method: Much like the “cry it out” method, the Ferber method involves letting your baby self-soothe without your presence. The difference is, when implementing the Ferber method, you do pop back in in set-timed intervals (if needed). The length of time between check-ins, ideally, would gradually increase until your baby falls asleep independently. 

The chair method: This method of sleep training involves gradual movement of a chair (that you are sitting on) farther away from your baby’s crib each night. As they fall asleep, each night you will be farther and farther away until your presence is eliminated. This is one of the gentler sleep training methods. 

There are other sleep training methods out there, but remember, do what works for you and your family. There is no right or wrong way to get to sleep. 


Do babies fight sleep at 5 months?

YES! Many babies won’t even begin to sleep independently (at all) until they are older than six months. Additionally, factors such as hunger, being overtired, overstimulated, etc may have a more prominent effect on younger babies - keeping them awake. Many five month olds are not yet weaned from night nursing or feeding (which is developmentally appropriate), so sleeping all-night may not be possible just yet. (3) 

If your five month old is fighting sleep, there are a few things you can do to facilitate a more restful environment. 

Sleep routine: Babies thrive on routine. A good sleep routine for a five month old may consist of a bath, reading a story, and tucking in with a Dream Weighted Transitional Swaddle. A consistent routine acts as a sleep cue for your baby. 

White or pink noise: White noise and pink noise can help your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Not only does ambient noise block out external noises (such as a garbage truck, siblings arguing, etc), but it may also remind your baby of life inside your womb. Babies are used to a symphony of organs, digestive gurgles, and other bodily functions while they develop in utero. Even at five months old, and beyond, this constant ambient noise may be soothing for them. (4) 

Full belly: But, not overly full - as this can cause indigestion and discomfort. Having a full belly may help your baby feel more ready for sleep. 

What time should a 5 month old go to bed?

There is no “right or wrong” answer here, and what works for your family may not work for the Jones next door. What is important is that your five month old gets roughly 14.5 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. This includes naps. Assuming your schedule is much like many others’, wake up time is probably somewhere around 7 in your home. Between night sleep and 2 or 3 naps, this may mean that an appropriate bedtime for your five month old may fall somewhere between 6PM and 8PM. (5) 

How often should a 5 month old wake up at night?

At five months old, roughly half of babies begin to sleep through the night. (5) This sleep milestone comes with a sigh of relief for tired parents. For those babies who are not sleeping through the night just yet, they may wake for a night feed (or two). If your baby is waking more frequently than once or twice per night at five months old, speak with their pediatrician to rule out problematic causes. (5) 

What is a realistic schedule for a 5 month old?

“Ideal” sleep schedules may have gone out the window, but realistic sleeping schedules for a five month old may look something like this:

7AM-9:30AM Wake up! Eat, play, and start the day. 

9:30AM-11AM Nap number 1 

11AM-1:30PM Eat and play

1:30PM-3PM Nap number 2 

3PM-6:30PM Eat, play, repeat. Your baby may take a third nap during this period. 

6:30PM Begin bedtime routine

7PM Goodnight!


How long should a 5 month old sleep at night without eating?

By five months old, your baby may be able to get in 10 hours of sleep before needing to wake for a feeding. All babies develop differently though, so don’t feel discouraged if your baby wakes after 5 or 6 hours with a grumbling belly still. 



Better sleep is on the horizon, we promise. For now, stick to a sleep routine and do your best to encourage a schedule. Dreamland Baby’s gently weighted sleep solutions can help facilitate better sleep through deep touch stimulation. to soothe your baby’s developing nervous system so they - and you - can get better sleep!  

  1. https://www.littledipperwellness.com/blog/2022/1/11/the-4-month-sleep-regression-why-it-happens-and-how-to-survive-it#:~:text=For%20most%20babies%2C%20the%204,be%20some%20sweet%20moments%20too.
  2. https://www.babycenter.com/baby/sleep/5-month-old-sleep_40009950
  3. https://huckleberrycare.com/blog/sleep-training-tips-for-5-month-olds
  4. https://huckleberrycare.com/blog/white-noise-for-babies-sleep
  5. https://cradlewise.com/blog/5-month-old-baby-sleep-guide
  6. https://www.parents.com/baby/sleep/basics/understanding-baby-sleep-4-6-months/#:~:text=During%20this%20time%2C%20babies%20need,over%20two%20to%20three%20naps.

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