5 Month Old Sleep Schedule: The Secret To Peaceful Nights

Author Image By Paula McLaren BA (Hons) Early Years Development & Learning •  Updated: 04/01/23 •  Baby » Baby Sleep

Healthy sleep patterns start with a schedule. Here’s how and when to get your baby on a regular 5 month old sleep schedule with top tricks to make it as easy as possible.

How Much Should A 5 Month Old Sleep?

REMEMBER: Some 5 month old babies will be sleeping for 6-8 hours at night while others will still need to wake for a few feeds to get them through the night.

What Is The Wake Window For 5 Month Old?

The wake window for a 5 month old is around 2 hours long.

The first awake time of the day is usually the shortest and may only last 60 minutes… but on average, your 5 month old’s wake window is usually around 90 minutes long.

Sample 5 Month Old Sleep Schedule

By 5 months old, your baby should be getting into the flow of things and establishing a solid 5 month old sleep schedule will definitely help you keep to a consistent sleep routine in your day.

Here’s a sample 5 month old sleep schedule that shows 3 and 4 nap options:

5 Month Old Sleep Schedule Sample

REMEMBER: This 5 month old sleep schedule is only a guideline and will differ from baby to baby. The most important thing to focus on is how much sleep your little one requires in 24 hours and work from there.

Nap Schedule For A 5 Month Old Baby

At 5 months of age, there are no hard and fast rules about nap times and you should never force your baby to stay awake if they are tired.

Remember to keep an eye out for your baby’s sleep cues and follow their lead by taking naps at regular intervals.

Here is a sample nap schedule for a 5 month old baby to give you an idea of how their day can flow:

Nap Schedule For A 5 Month Old Baby

How Many Naps Should A 5 Month Old Take?

For a 5 month old sleep schedule, your baby will take their daytime sleep split between 3-4 naps a day depending on their feeding schedule and how busy their day is.

How Long Should A 5 Month Old Baby Nap For?

In total, your 5 month old should nap between 3 and 4 hours a day.

The first of the morning naps and the last afternoon nap will still be needed at this age but they’re usually very short and only last for around 30-45 mins. The other daytime naps, however, will last between 1-2 hours.

Bedtime For A 5 Month Old

A regular and healthy bedtime routine is essential to your baby’s good night’s sleep as they are proven to improve sleep and reduce nighttime wakings.

A simple 5 month old bedtime routine will consist of:

  • Having a bath,
  • Followed by a massage,
  • Getting dressed and into a sleep sack,
  • Cosying up together with a suitable baby book and singing a lullaby,
  • Having a feed,
  • And finally, settling down to sleep in their crib.
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The bedtime routine should start between 6pm and 6.30pm and take no longer than 30 minutes.

REMEMBER: An ideal bedtime routine should follow the same steps and be repeated at the same time every evening to ensure your 5 month old can recognise the signs that bedtime is coming to help them settle and fall asleep more easily.

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

What Time Should A 5 Month Old Go To Bed?

Your 5 month old baby should be asleep in their nighttime sleeping space by 7.30pm after their bedtime routine is complete.

If you want to adjust the 5 month old sleep schedule to make bedtime a little later you must change your daily nap times accordingly.

If your baby is still waking for night feedings, I would recommend having a dream feed before you go to bed to maximise the amount of sleep you can have before having to feed them again.

But no matter what… your baby should not be in bed any later than 8.30pm to ensure they get enough sleep to support their brain’s growth and development as well as their physical development.

Can You Sleep Train A 5 Month Old Baby?

In short: yes, you can sleep train a 5 month old baby.

After all, the best time to gently sleep train your baby is between the ages of 4-6 months. This is because it’s before any bad sleep habits become too heavily ingrained which can make sleep training very hard to do.

TOP TIP: Whatever sleep training technique you use, remember that a 5 month old baby should never be left to cry it out to the point where they’re very distressed.

5 Month Old Sleep Tips

Establishing and maintaining a 5 month old sleep schedule will make your day much easier to manage because after all… Everything starts and ends with sleep!

Here are some of my top sleep tips to make creating a 5 month sleep schedule as simple as possible to maintain:

  • Put your baby down when they are drowsy. I know this is hard to do as we all love cuddling our babies… However, getting your baby used to falling asleep alone is essential to their development and doing this at a young age will be easier on them and you than if you leave it until they are older and the habit becomes so much harder to break.
  • Have a regular bedtime routine. I know I have already mentioned this, but I cannot emphasise how important it is to have a consistent bedtime routine by 5 months old. Start the routine at the same time every day and aim to end it at the same time every evening too.
  • Have a pre-nap routine. Having a nap routine as a part of the 5 month old sleep schedule will also help your baby establish good sleep habits and give them strong sleep associations to be ready for sleep. Sing the same lullaby with a cuddle and then settle them in the same place to sleep every time.
  • Lower the energy at the end of the day. By 5 months old, your baby is more aware of what is happening around them and can be more easily distracted… So prepare your baby for sleep by not letting things get too exciting before bedtime. Keep your interactions calm and low-key. 
  • Take as many naps as possible at home. Now that your baby is more aware of their surroundings they will become easily distracted during awake times. While your baby will be able to fall asleep on the go, most of their naps must be taken at home in their familiar sleep space to build up their strong sleep associations. Unless you’re travelling, try to keep naps away from home to a maximum of one a day.
  • Get some fresh air every day. Fresh and natural light will help to regulate your baby’s melatonin levels and circadian rhythm. Taking your baby outside every day for a walk or simply sitting in the garden to play on a blanket will definitely help establish a healthy 5 month old sleep schedule.
  • Introduce a night light. Introducing a night light can help alleviate separation anxiety and help your little one to self-settle. Some white noise machines come with built-in night lights but there are some lovely night lights out there that can also project onto the ceiling, like this one:
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Common 5 Month Old Baby Sleep Problems

The most common sleep problems that your 5 month old baby may encounter include:

Frequently Asked Questions About A 5 Month Old Sleep Schedule

Looking for more help with creating your baby’s 5 month old sleep schedule? Find answers to the most common questions here.

Is There Such A Thing As The 5 Month Old Sleep Regression?

Yes and no. In truth, sleep regressions can happen at any age as they are a result of baby’s development and changing daytime sleep needs.

Sleep regressions are more common at 4 months, 6 months, between 8 and 10 months, 12 months old and around 18 months old

But that does not mean that a 5 month sleep regression can’t happen.

And teaching your baby to fall asleep independently will go a long way to forming healthy sleep habits and breaking unwanted waking habits in order to get you through the regression far quicker.

Read my post on Sleep Regressions and the 4 Month Sleep Regression to learn how to spot and handle sleep regressions before they ruin your hard work of getting your baby into a 5 month old sleep schedule.

Can I Teach My 5 Month Old To Self-Settle?

Yes, you can teach your 5 month old to self-settle.

But whatever sleep training method you use, it is important that you do not let your little one get distressed and you will need to gradually train them to settle themselves to sleep.

  • Start by trying to put your baby down to sleep before they are fast asleep.
  • If they fuss then some gently rocking of the crib or putting your hand on their tummy to help to settle them.
  • Try to avoid picking them up again unless they become really upset.
  • Repeat.

This may not work every time but be patient and eventually, your baby will learn to fall asleep without you having to rock or hold them.

Watch this video to learn more about teaching your baby how to self-settle.

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How Much Nighttime Sleep Is Appropriate For A 5 Month Old?

A 5 month old should sleep between 10-11 hours in their nighttime sleep space.

Most 5 months old will still need to wake for 1 night feed (possibly a dream feed), but they should sleep for 6-8 hours through the night.

TOP TIP: Keeping your baby in their nighttime sleep space for the appropriate amount of time and keeping interactions low-key during this time, will ultimately help to establish a healthy 5 month old sleep schedule.

Why Does My 5 Month Old Only Nake Short Naps?

Short naps are common during this stage of baby development, as it can take time for your little one to learn to link sleep cycles during the day and find the balance between daytime and nighttime sleep.

You can try extending their awake time by 10 minutes by stimulating baby with some gentle activities such as tummy time under a play gym to see if that helps.

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How Do I Get My 5 Month Old To Sleep Through The Night?

Most babies will sleep through the night by the time they are 6 months old but some will reach this milestone earlier.

Here are some tips to help your 5 month old to sleep through the night:

  • Ensure their sleep environment is conducive to uninterrupted sleep
  • Make sure they are wearing the appropriate nightwear
  • Have a regular bedtime routine
  • Help your baby to self-settle by putting them down when they’re drowsy rather than fast asleep
  • Give your baby time to resettle when they wake at night even if they fuss for a little while
  • Have a healthy 5 month sleep schedule for daytime naps to avoid overtiredness.

TOP TIP: Using a white noise machine can help your baby settle more easily and prevent ambient noise from waking them. This one from Dream Egg is one of my favourites.

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Sleep Schedules Further Reading

Here are some more sleep schedules to help you get the most out of helping your little one sleep as best they can.

After all… Sleep breeds sleep!

Need More Parenting Help?

  • Download our FREE Perfect Sleep Cheat Sheet. It’s a free, easy-to-use and proven formula designed for parents of 0-5 year olds to master the art of consistently undisturbed and restful sleep without the yelling, nagging or exhausting long-winded evenings.
  • Check out our Parenting Toolbox. You’ll get access to expertly-chosen products that you can guarantee are the best for your little one and your wallet.
  • Ready to create the calm, peaceful evenings you deserve? Then checkout our most popular course - The Bedtime Battles Masterclass
Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren - The founder of Teething to Tantrums has been in the childcare industry as a Norland Nanny and Childcare Expert since 1982. Her qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) plus the highly prestigious Norland Diploma, recognized as the best early years practitioner qualification in the world. During her 40+ years of experience, she has worked as a night nanny (specializing in solving sleep issues), run a very successful daycare center in London, and raised almost 100 children, including her son, to be kind, healthy, and happy individuals with her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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