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Your Baby at 7 Months Old

What to expect for your baby’s development, milestones, eating, and sleeping in the seventh month

 

This is an exciting time: your baby is beginning to notice the world beyond you, and s/he’s ready and eager to start exploring. It can also be a bit of a shock to parents, who now have a rolling, possibly crawling, soon-to-be creeping, highly mobile baby on their hands. Those days of being able to put your baby down, walk away, and return to find baby in the same spot are numbered. One word: Babyproof!

Seven-Month-Old Development 

After six months of explosive growth, babies’ growth begins to slow in the seventh month. Expect weight gains of slightly less than one pound, and just 3/8ths of an inch in length this month. Your baby will never grow as quickly as s/he did in the first half year of life. But there are still plenty of changes to come as your baby makes the transition from a dependent baby to independent toddler in the coming months.

Movement Development

Motor

In the coming days and weeks, your baby will be perfecting the art of sitting unsupported. That involves keeping a steady head and a straight back for balance, and using the arms for side support to keep from toppling over. It’s hard work!

Between now and nine months, babies work on their pincer grasp using their thumbs and index fingers. They gain this skill gradually as they refine their current way of picking up small objects by pressing all the fingers against the thumb. Your baby is also improving on the ability to transfer objects from one hand to the other, and might even be able to hold a toy in each hand. If s/he hasn’t already begun banging toys against other surfaces, just wait, that’s coming soon!

Senses Development

Sight

At seven months, your baby’s sight is nearly mature. Baby’s distance vision continues to improve. And if you roll a ball to your baby, you’ll see your baby’s increasing ability to track moving objects: s/he will follow the ball’s movements and put out a hand when it gets near. 

Hearing Like baby’s sight, hearing is almost fully developed. S/he can quickly locate mom when she speaks, and reacts more selectively to the many other noises in a baby’s world. If your baby doesn’t respond to any sounds, speak to your care provider as that could indicate a concern.

Social and Mental Development 

Around seven months, babies often begin showing some shyness toward strangers, as they become aware of who is familiar and who is not. Your baby might become clingy and reluctant to let go of you. Separation anxiety peaks between 10 and 18 months, but shyness toward strangers can last for years, depending on your child’s temperament.

Listen carefully to your baby’s babbling this month. With pauses between “sentences” and ending strings of sounds with an upward tone, as we do with questions, your baby is practicing the patterns of speech s/he’s learning from listening. To help baby’s understanding of how communication works, engage in back-and-forth conversations with your baby. S/he’s increasingly able to understand what you’re saying by the tone and inflection in your voice. 

About that babbling: this month you’ll hear some consonant sounds joining the vowel sounds. Babies often discover one or two at a time, like bababa or gagaga, and then say them on repeat. Babies work on mastering one thing before moving on, and they love to practice! 

You’ll notice baby experimenting with limits, feeling both confident and cautious as s/he explores the world. Support this growth by providing a secure environment and giving warm praise while also setting firm and gentle limits. Your baby is also getting well experienced at expressing emotions through laughter, tears, coos, shrieks, and squeals.

Help Your Seven-Month-Old’s Development

It's possible to help your baby's development. Try to:

  • Sing or recite nursery rhymes and play rhyming games. Games like Pat-a-Cake or This Little Piggy can help promote both memory and listening skills.
  • Roll a ball backward and forwards to your baby. This helps develop his motor skills, as well as understand cause and effect.
  • Buy toys that help your baby distinguish between shapes. Use shape sorters and a jack-in-the-box to help develop both motor and cognitive skills.
  • Encourage your baby to move by playing with toys with sounds.

Milestones this Month

Here’s what you can expect your newborn to be doing by seven months old.

  • Baby begins sitting unsupported
  • Baby might support self in a crawling position while reaching with one hand
  • Baby uses hands to rake small objects, while developing better use of thumb and fingers
  • Baby begins to transfer objects from one hand to the other
  • Baby visually tracks fast moving objects like a ball rolling across the floor
  • Baby easily responds to sounds and looks for noises heard outside of his or her line of vision.
  • Baby combines different sounds and imitates patterns of speech

Feeding at Seven Months

While seven-month-old babies’ primary nutrition comes from breast milk or formula, they should be sampling solids two or three times a day. Let your baby determine how much s/he wants to eat; it might be as little as one or two tablespoons or as much as nine. Right now solids are about practicing eating and discovering flavors. Remember to introduce one food at a time to watch for allergic reactions.

Sleeping at Seven Months

Babies at this age are logging nine to 11 hours of sleep a night and three to four daytime hours spread across a morning and afternoon nap (and possibly a third, late-afternoon snooze). Settle baby down at night with a soothing routine and s/he has the capacity to sleep six to eight hours straight. Some babies will still waking up to eat in the night, although they don’t need to feed. 

Common Concerns at Seven Months

Waking at night

Babies who were previously sleeping through the night may start waking up again around seven months. This is especially true if he is experiencing separation anxiety. Try to help your child by giving him a special lovey, such as a blanket or stuffed animal. This object could help reduce separation anxiety throughout the night.

New Parent Help: Babyproofing

The world can be a dangerous place for a baby on the move. Before your little one takes off crawling, you'll want to do some serious babyproofing to make your house a safe place for your curious new explorer. Get started by tackling these 10 baby hazards. Next get down on your hands and knees to see the world from your baby's eye view, and make sure you haven't missed anything.

Finally, prepare yourself: Expect to spend the next couple of years watching your little crawler-walker-runner's every move (and do some more babyproofing).

See what’s next with our month to month guides

There are so many exciting developments and changes in store for your baby in just the next few months! Take a look at what to expect at eight months and beyond with our month to month guides.

 

 

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