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Milestones: 5-7 Months: Emotional Development

Despite the huge changes your baby has undergone since birth, development is still happening in very fundamental ways by 5-7 months. Emotionally, your child is learning to express the most simple of feelings — hunger, frustration, joy — but complex emotions are still beyond your child’s limited understanding. The one thing common to all babies of this age, however, is their desire to be cuddled, talked to, and fussed over, which will make them feel secure and loved and lay a solid groundwork for their future emotional development. Don\’t be surprised if your baby mirrors your own mood: if you\’re grumpy, they’re probably cranky, too. If your baby is in a bad mood, you may be able to use smiles and hugs to fix it. Don\’t be too worried if your child fails to meet 2-3 of the milestones listed, but do consult your pediatrician if your child consistently seems overly withdrawn, unresponsive, and unaffectionate.

By 5-7 months, most babies will:

Play simple games like peek-a-boo or “where are your toes?”

Enjoy being cuddled, kissed, and rocked from side to side.

Smile readily and squeal when they\’re amused, surprised, or happy.

Respond to, and often imitate, a parent\’s emotions.

Show affection to parents and caregivers.

Speak in a “happy” or “angry” voice, depending on the situation.

By 5-7 months, some babies may:

Be capable of recognizing when someone is a stranger.

Blow bubbles or make “raspberries” to amuse themselves or others.

Hold out their arms when they want to be picked up.

By 5-7 months, some babies can:

Share their toys with siblings or other infants.

More in milestones:

5-7 Months: Cognitive Development

5-7 Months: Physical Development

Why developmental milestones will make you crazy

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, December 2018


  • Mayo Clinic
  • Infant Development: Milestones from 4 to 6 Months.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Important Milestones: Your Baby at 6 Months.
    American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Developmental Milestones: 7 Months.

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