Your Three to Five Month Old

Most three to five month olds have discovered their hands. Your baby’s eyes are probably very active, and may even follow sounds and moving objects.

Feeding Your Baby

Your three to five month old baby’s main source of nutrients should continue to come from breast milk or iron-fortified formula.


Breast-fed babies need to nurse every three to four hours during the day and may need one feeding during the night.

Bottle-feeding Formula

Formula fed babies need to eat every three to four hours and may need one feeding during the night. Put six to eight ounces of formula in each bottle. Your baby should drink about 30 to 38 ounces of formula in 24 hours.

Caring for Your Baby

  • Your baby can roll over now so take care to hold baby with one or two hands. Keep the water level low and the temperature warm.
  • Never leave your baby alone in the bath – even if they are in a bath seat.
Skin Care
  • It is okay to wash your baby’s clothes as you wash your own.
  • Keep your baby covered and protected from direct sunlight. Talk with your doctor or nurse before using any sunscreen or sun block lotions.
Mouth and Dental Care
  • Your baby’s first teeth may start to come in. If not, don’t worry, babies’ teeth come in at different times.
  • For teething, give your baby something cold and wet to bite on like a teething ring or a clean, wet washcloth.
  • Talk with your doctor or nurse before using teething gels or medications.
  • If your baby has teeth, clean them with a soft towel or small brush. If there are no teeth, use a soft washcloth on their gums.
  • Your baby should sleep about 14 hours a day.
  • Most babies sleep through the night at around six months of age.
  • Remember that for baby’s sleep safety always place your baby on its back to sleep (for naps and at night).

Health Care

Your baby needs a checkup and shots (immunizations) around four months. At the checkup, make sure to ask all of your questions.

Your Baby’s Development

There are lots of activities you can do with your baby to help your baby grow and develop. See How We Grow – Baby’s First Year can give you specific ways you can help your baby learn to trust, feel comfortable, communicate and become aware of how his or her body moves. If you can’t open the link above, try the plain text version.

Your Baby’s Safety

  • Do not put anything around your baby’s neck (no pacifiers or jewelry). String, ribbon or chains might strangle your baby.
  • Watch out for strings and drawstrings on clothing too.
  • Use an approved car seat on every ride.
  • Never leave your baby alone.
  • Keep your baby away from secondhand smoke. (For tips on how to deal with secondhand smoke, download Oh Baby! We want to keep you safe from secondhand smoke. If this piece downloads too slowly, try the plain text version.)

Additional Resources

North Carolina

Period of Purple Crying Website (Shaken Baby Syndrome):

This phrase is used to describe the point in a baby’s life when they cry more than any other time. Information based on scientific studies with articles written by authors who are the leading experts in their fields. An interactive site with video throughout for parents and caregivers to get more information about their baby who is crying a lot.

Vaccines for Children Program

The North Carolina Immunization Program (NCIP) works in conjunction with the federal vaccine supply program, called the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.

WIC Program Breastfeeding and Support

WIC strives to increase the incidence and duration of breastfeeding among women enrolled in the Program.

Carolinas Poison Center-1-800-222-1222


Catchup Immunization Scheduler (CDC)

An online vaccination history scheduler for children six years and younger. Enter child’s vaccination history, name and date of birth and receive a generated vaccine schedule

Milestones -Tracker

A printable chart with immunization dates as well as a milestone and growth trackers