As a mom, it's exciting to watch your baby grow and develop each month. At 7 months old, your little one has made significant progress since their birth and is reaching new milestones every day. From physical development to social and emotional growth, there is a lot to look forward to in your baby's first year. In this article, we'll explore the key developmental milestones your 7-month-old may be reaching, and provide tips on how to support their continued growth.
A Guide to a 7-Month-Old Baby’s Sleep Milestones
At 7 months old, your baby may be experiencing some changes in their sleep patterns. As they grow and develop, they may start sleeping for longer stretches at night. However, it's not uncommon for 7-month-old babies to still wake up for feedings or comfort during the night. It's important to establish a consistent bedtime routine , including a bath, a lullaby, and a kiss goodnight, to help your baby feel calm and relaxed before bed. Offer plenty of physical activity during the day to help your baby sleep better at night and avoid over-stimulation before bedtime.
This is also around the time that your baby will start to transition from 3 to 2 naps. This means dropping that 3rd cat nap. To help with this adjustment, shorten the last wake window of the day by moving bedtime earlier until they settle into their new routine.
Sample Sleep Schdule for a 7-Month-Old Baby with 3 naps:
The Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™ app offers step by step support for this schedule adjustment and can help you encourage self soothing techniques as your baby becomes a strong independent sleeper.
How much should my 7-month old sleep?
About 14-15 hours a day on aerage, with 11-12 hours happening overnight and across 2-3 daytime naps lasting 45mins to 1.5 hours each.
How many naps should my 7-month old take?
3 naps, transitioning to 2 naps by 8 months. Each nap should last between 45mins and 1.5hours – but not longer than 2 hours.
Should my 7-month old sleep through the night?
While it’s possible for your 7-month old to sleep through the night, many babies this age still need to wake to feed 1-2 times a night. You can help manage those night feeds by establishing ‘ok to feed times’ for help with that and all things sleep, download the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers.
Major 7-Month Development Milestones
Physical Development As Your Baby Becomes More Active
At 7 months old, your baby is becoming increasingly active and playful. They may be able to:
- Sit up independently
- Crawl or scoot around on their tummy.
- Pull themselves up to a standing position, using furniture or your legs for support
Your baby's newfound mobility will lead to more exploration and discovery, as they interact with their environment in new ways. This is a big step in their physical development and will help them gain the strength and coordination they need for walking.
However, it's important to remember that every baby develops at their own pace, so don't worry if your baby isn't quite there yet. Just keep providing plenty of opportunities for them to practice and play, and they'll get there eventually.
Cognitive Development: Understanding the World Around Them
Your baby's brain is making new connections and learning at an astonishing rate. They may be starting to
- Understand the concepts of "mine" and "yours,"
- Point to objects they want
- Show an interest in simple puzzles and stacking toys, as they work on developing their problem-solving skills.
How to Support Your 7-Month-Old’s Development
Reading & Playtime: Encourage your baby's cognitive development by reading to them, playing with toys that inspire exploration and discovery.
Exploring: Get plenty of outside time and expose them to a variety of experiences and sights and sounds. For example, you could take them for a walk in the park to see the trees, birds, and other sights and sounds of nature. This will not only help with their cognitive development, but it will also provide a much-needed change of scenery from the indoors.
Peek-a-boo: Your baby should be starting demonstrate an understanding of object permanence, which means they understand that objects continue to exist even when they can't see them. For example, if you hide a toy under a blanket, a 7-month-old baby may look for it, indicating that they understand that it's still there even though they can't see it.
This understanding is an important part of their cognitive development and helps lay the foundation for later problem-solving skills and reasoning.
That said, it can make your baby more upset when you leave and often disrupts sleep time – in fact, it’s at the heart of the 8-month sleep regression . If you notice your baby being more clingy at bedtime, this could be the culprit.
“Teaching your baby to be a strong independent sleeper before they fully get to grips with object permanence will make the 8-month sleep regression so much easier you and baby”
Says Mandy Treeby, Pediatric Sleep Coach.
Helping your baby come to terms with this exciting development requires some patience and consistency. If you stick to your boundaries while providing some extra reassurance, the 8-month sleep regression will pass quickly and soon sleep will get back on track. If you’re struggling with sleep, start your free sleep consultation now.
Talking to them: By 7 months old, your baby is becoming more communicative and may be babbling, giggling, and making a variety of other sounds as they attempt to communicate with you. They may also be starting to understand simple commands and gestures, such as pointing to a toy or coming when you say "come here."
“Encourage your baby's communication skills by talking to them regularly and responding to their sounds and gestures. For example, when your baby babbles, try to repeat the sounds back to them and see if they respond. This will help your baby understand that their sounds are important and can be used to communicate with others.”
Says Elissa Gross, Pediatrician and Lactation Consultant
Strengthen your emotional connection: At 7 months old, your baby is developing their own unique personality and may be showing signs of their own preferences and dislikes. They may get upset when you leave the room and show joy and excitement when they see familiar faces or objects. Respond to your baby's cues and offer comfort and support when needed to encourage their emotional development. For example, when your baby gets upset, try to pick them up and hold them close, talking softly and calmly to them. This will help them feel secure and comforted, which is essential for their emotional well-being.
Play dates: Your baby may be forming attachments to familiar people and may show signs of separation anxiety when away from their primary caregiver. They may also be starting to show an interest in other babies and may enjoy playing and interacting with other children. Encourage your baby's social skills by exposing them to other babies and children and encouraging play and interaction. Regular play dates are a great way to do this. While your baby won’t necessarily ‘play’ with another child at this age, they will certainly benefit from the exposure to others from an early age.
Feeding your 7-Month-Old, What’s New?
At 7 months old, your baby's feeding habits are changing as your baby becomes more active and mobile. They may be showing an increased interest in solid foods and may be ready to start trying new textures and flavors. It's important to continue breastfeeding or offering formula in addition to solid foods to ensure your baby is getting all the nutrients they need. When starting solid foods, be sure to offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, and avoid foods that are high in sugar, salt, or added chemicals. It's also important to introduce new foods one at a time, in case of any potential food allergies. There is a particular order in which to introduce foods, be sure to check on the latest guidance with your pediatrician. Offer your baby foods that are soft and easy to chew, such as mashed fruits and vegetables, and avoid foods that are choking hazards, such as popcorn.
Your 7-month-old baby is reaching a number of exciting milestones and is on their way to becoming a more active, curious, and communicative little person. Encourage their growth and development by responding to their cues, providing plenty of play and exploration opportunities, and offering plenty of love and support. If you have any concerns about your baby's development, don't hesitate to speak with your pediatrician.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2021). Developmental Milestones: 7 Months. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Developmental-Milestones-7-Months.aspx
National Sleep Foundation. (2021). Your 7-Month-Old Baby's Sleep. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/your-7-month-old-babys-sleep
KidsHealth. (2021). Solid Foods: What to Give and When. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/solid-foods.html
Mayo Clinic. (2021). Introducing solid foods to your baby. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/introducing-solid-foods-to-your-baby/art-20048695
How We Wrote This Article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.