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Baby Care: Your 7 Month Old Baby

Feb 24, 2022 | 3 minutes Read

This is an interesting month. Just when you think you have your baby all figured out and their routine established, they are likely to do something which fills you with doubt. Your baby’s sleep routine may change, they may become clingier, perhaps they won’t want to eat what they have loved previously, or they just change in some other small way.

Seven months is kind of a transitional age when your baby will have some mobility but not enough to really get into mischief. There will be times when they see a toy that they want but can’t quite get to it. This can lead to frustration and protests—the first of many in the years to follow. At 7 months, your baby is learning what it means to want something but not have the skills to obtain it. Try not to be too quick to help your little one out. Skills grow from challenges and even though it can be very tempting to quickly satisfy their wants, this won’t support them in the long term.

Feeding and sleeping at 7 months old

If your baby is breastfeeding, they may still be waking overnight for at least one feed. Once solid food is introduced at around 6 months, many babies start sleeping though the night. Sleep is a very individual and every baby will have their own sleep needs and patterns. If you are wanting to change some aspect of your baby’s sleep pattern, think first about your own routine and if you always help them to fall asleep by holding, rocking, or feeding them to sleep. Some of these early habits may now be making it difficult for your little one to fall asleep on their own. Developing healthy bedtime routines and habits can be key in teaching your little one to go to sleep and go back to sleep on their own.

Your baby will be eating a range of solid food by now and they are exploring tastes and textures, flavors, and even different colors. Unless your baby has a proven food allergy or there is a diagnosed food allergy in your family, try not to be too hesitant in introducing new foods. Babies benefit from having a range of foods in their diet. Offer the same food a few times before deciding they don’t like it. Your little one will often accept a taste or texture after a few tries, so be patient and persistent.

Aim to model healthy eating behaviors and avoid seeing your baby’s food intake as under your direct control. Your job is to provide, prepare, and serve their food; whether they eat it and how much they eat is entirely dependent on your baby.

Behavior at 7 months old

Your baby may protest a little now when they are going down for their naps. At 7 months, babies can be loud and noisy, making it clear they are not happy. Use your voice to quiet your baby, your facial expressions to reassure them, and cuddles when they are feeling unsure.

Try not to see your baby’s behavior as being deliberately challenging. Babies are incapable of forming intentional thoughts designed to make their parent’s lives hard. Your baby is still learning and there will be times when they don’t even know what they want themselves.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you are struggling. The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child has some real truth to it! Parenting is hard work and parents are not meant to raise their children in isolation. We all need some help at some point or another.

Developmental milestones at 7 months old

Seven months is a delightful age, full of wonder and exploration. Although your baby still won’t be crawling, they will be able to maneuver themselves into all sorts of positions when you place them on the floor. Try not to limit their mobility by leaving them in their crib, car seat, or stroller for long periods.

This month your baby is well on the way to learning how to sit without much support. You’ll need to watch them closely still; they’re learning what’s involved in balancing and maintaining a steady position. If your baby still isn’t showing too much interest, don’t be concerned. Many babies don’t become proficient at sitting until after they have learned to crawl.

Seven months is an important age for babies because they have become very familiar with their primary caregivers. They are developing social and emotional skills and are learning who they can trust and who can best meet their needs. If you find your baby just wants to be held and cuddled by you, isn’t too interested in getting to know new people, and cries when you aren’t in sight, try not to become frustrated. Instead, be reassured that you have done a good job in supporting your baby’s sense of security. They love you and want you to be nearby.

Your baby will be responding readily to a friendly voice now, turning their head in the direction of sound and be able to talk and chat to themselves. Play peek-a-boo with your baby this month and make sure to read to them and show them books every day.

Growth at 7 months old

Your baby is likely to have more than doubled their birth weight by now. You’ll see their head, length, and body shape change as they become more like a compact little person. Seven-month-old babies are easier to hold; they can support their own head and can sit on a parent’s hip without needing too much support other than under their bottom of course.

You may need to dress your baby in the next clothing size as you find their legs are getting longer. Girls are often longer in the legs than boys at this age, but individual factors play a strong influence that there is no one way for babies to appear.

Keeping well at 7 months old

No immunizations this month so unless your baby is sick, you won’t need a well-child visit. Remember to wash your baby’s hands before they eat if they have been playing on the floor. Sensible hygiene precautions are important but try not to become overly concerned about maintaining an ultra-clean environment for them. Their immune system is designed to deal with fighting infection and needs to be exposed to a range of microorganisms to work effectively.

Play and interaction at 7 months old

Discover your own inner child as you play and interact with your baby. They won’t be critical of your attempts and will only thrive on the attention and pleasure you bring to your play sessions. Try to match your body language with the words you use when you talk with them. Speech and language are learned through linking actions with sounds and it is through many hours of communication that babies learn what is involved. Try not to insulate your baby’s world too much or limit their experiences. As long as they are safe and loved they will only benefit from being exposed to noise, color, games, and movement.

Look for toys that make a noise and are interactive. At 7 months, the concept of cause and effect is developing and your baby will enjoy learning how they can influence change and movement in their toys.

When you are playing with your baby, watch them as they look for something they may have dropped. They are learning about an important concept this month known as object permanence. Try hiding their favorite toy under a blanket and watching them as they seek it out.

Your baby will love to play with water at around 7 months. If it is summer, having water play each day is a great way to spend some time together. A wading pool can be great fun, especially when there are some brightly-colored toys suitable for pouring. Just remember your water safety: always stay with your baby whenever they are around water and never leave them unsupervised, not even for a moment.

What about mom?

This is the time for a little more payback for all your hard work. When babies are 7 months, there is a lot of joy to be had for parents. Even though you are still likely to be feeling tired, the exhaustion of the first few months should be decreasing. Your baby will be more portable now, more predictable, and a little more regular with their feeding and sleeping routine. This means you will be able to plan for outings and have some windows of time when your baby won’t need as much attention.

If you have put your own needs on hold since the baby’s birth, a couple of hours of “me” time can be incredibly restorative to your wellbeing. However you choose to spend this time, make it about you. Go for a walk or go shopping, see a movie, go out for lunch with a friend, get a haircut or get your nails done, or make time to pamper yourself at home. Find a trusted person to watch your baby for a time and enjoy the feeling of doing something for you, even if only for a few hours.

Your emotions
If your moods have been unstable, more sleep will most likely help. If you still aren’t enjoying motherhood as much as you feel you should, see your healthcare provider. Hormonal fluctuations in the first few months account for a lot, but at 7 months it is generally expected that you would feel more stable with everyday emotions.

Your sleep needs
You may look back and wonder how you coped with so little sleep. If you are still tired in the afternoons, put your feet up and give yourself a break. Make sure you are eating well and not snacking on junk food. Your energy level is directly influenced by your dietary intake and if you aren’t eating quality food, you will not be able to get through the day without struggling. Occasional treats are fine but make a point of investing as much time and energy into feeding yourself as you do your baby.

Your relationships
Try not to keep your baby all to yourself. Share them with your family and trusted friends! Babies can often unite families. Although you may not always agree with the recommendations of your older relatives, try to accept them with good grace. If your parents or your parents-in-law are watching your baby, try to look at the big picture in terms of what you are all gaining. Babies benefit from being exposed to diversity and often have something to teach us in terms of being flexible.

The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.