The majority of infants can roll over in either direction by this point, including while they are sleeping. There are infants who are able to sit on their own, while others require some assistance. It’s possible that you’ll see your infant start to scoot, rock back and forth, or even crawl across the room at some point. There are some infants who can pull themselves up to a standing position at this age.
When your child is 7 months old, you can anticipate that they will have advanced further than they had been able to do when they were 6 months old. For example, they are probably getting better at sitting up on their own, reaching for and grabbing the toys they want, and possibly even taking the first steps toward crawling.
Your life has grown noticeably more hectic all of a sudden, hasn’t it? Not only are you probably on high alert with your baby’s new mobility and ability to bring things to their mouth, but you are also probably deep in the process of introducing solid foods, which can be both fun and messy. While you are probably on high alert with your baby’s new mobility and ability to bring things to their mouth, you are probably also deep in the process of introducing solid foods.
According to Marie Trace, MD, a specialist in developmental-behavioural paediatrics at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation, “When it comes to development at this age, every baby is different.” “Every infant keeps building upon the knowledge and abilities that they are acquiring in order to advance to the next level. At this age, however, we anticipate that the majority of infants will be able to sit without assistance, bear weight on their legs, reach out with both hands and use them in a symmetrical manner, and move objects from one hand to the other.”
The following is additional information about your baby that you should be aware of at the age of seven months. Everything from milestones and safety to milestones in development, sleep, and feeding is covered here. Continue reading to find out what the upcoming month has in store for you.
What to expect
Your baby will continue to grow and develop at his or her own pace. From ages 7 to 9 months, your baby is likely to experience:
- Advancing motor skills. By this age, most babies can roll over in both directions — even in their sleep. Some babies can sit on their own, while others need a little support. You might notice your baby beginning to scoot, rock back and forth, or even crawl across the room. Some babies this age can pull themselves to a standing position. Soon your baby might cruise along the edge of the couch or coffee table.
- Improved hand-eye coordination. Most babies this age transfer objects from one hand to another or directly to their mouths. Pulling objects closer with a raking motion of the hands will give way to more-refined movements, such as picking up objects with just the thumb and forefinger. This improving dexterity will help your baby handle a spoon and soft finger foods.
- Evolving communication. Your baby will communicate with you through sounds, gestures and facial expressions. You’ll probably hear plenty of laughing and squealing. Some babies might repeat the sounds they hear — or give it their best shot. Your baby’s babbling is likely to include chains of sounds, such as “ba-ba-ba.” You might even pick out an occasional “mama” or “dada.”
- Stranger anxiety. Many babies this age become wary of strangers. Your baby might resist staying with anyone other than you. If your baby fusses when you leave, have the person staying with your child create a distraction. Then say goodbye with a hug and kiss and a reminder that you’ll be back soon. Your baby will likely stop crying as soon as you’re out of sight.
- Teething. You can expect the first tooth anytime. You might notice your baby drooling more than usual and chewing on just about anything. Try gently rubbing the gums with one of your fingers or offer a rubber teething ring. When your baby’s first teeth appear, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean them twice a day. Until your child learns to spit — at about age 3 — use a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than the size of a grain of rice.
Promoting your baby’s development
For babies of any age, learning and play are inseparable. To support your budding adventurer:
- Create an exploration-safe environment. Keep only safe objects within your baby’s reach. Move anything that could be poisonous, pose a choking hazard or break into small pieces. Cover electrical outlets, use stairway gates, place cords from blinds or shades out of reach, and install child locks on doors and cabinets. If you have furniture with sharp edges, remove it from rooms where your baby plays. The same goes for lightweight objects your baby can use to pull himself or herself to a standing position, such as plant stands, decorative tables, potted trees and floor lamps. Anchor bookcases, televisions and their stands to the wall.
- Keep chatting. You’ve likely been talking to your baby all along. Keep it up! Narrate what you’re doing, and give your baby time to respond. Say something to your baby and then wait for him or her to repeat the sounds. Sing simple songs. Ask your baby questions that involve more than a yes or no response. You might not be able to pick words from your baby’s babble, but you can encourage a back-and-forth conversation.
- Teach cause and effect. Push the button on a musical toy and dance to the tune. Open the door on a toy barn and listen to the cow say “moo.” Help your baby do the same. Self-confidence will grow as your baby realizes he or she can make things happen.
- Take time to play. By now, you and your baby might be old pros at classics, such as peekaboo, patty-cake and itsy-bitsy spider. Get creative. Arrange cushions and pillows on a carpeted floor and encourage your baby to creep or crawl over them. Stack blocks and invite your baby to knock them down. If you’re up for a mess, smear applesauce on the highchair tray and let your baby “paint” with the mixture. At bath time, provide small containers and plastic utensils for pouring and mixing.
- Pull out the books. Set aside time for reading every day — even if it’s only a few minutes. Reading aloud is one of the simplest ways to boost your baby’s language development. Make it more interesting with facial expressions, sound effects and voices for various characters. Store books within easy reach so that your baby can explore them whenever the mood strikes.
When something’s not right
Your baby might reach some developmental milestones ahead of schedule and lag behind a bit on others. This is normal. It’s a good idea, however, to be aware of the signs or symptoms of a problem.
Consult your baby’s doctor if you’re concerned about your baby’s development or your baby:
- Doesn’t roll over in either direction or sit with help
- Doesn’t bear some weight on legs
- Doesn’t try to attract attention through actions
- Doesn’t babble
- Shows no interest in games of peekaboo
Trust your instincts. The earlier a problem is detected, the earlier it can be treated. Then you can set your sights on the milestones that lie ahead.
7 Month-old Baby Intellectual Development
Imitate your expressions on your face and even your manner of speaking. They “converse” with their parents, siblings, and whoever else is caring for them by babbling their way through the exchanges. To begin, try out different vowel sounds (like “oh!” and “ah! “), as well as different consonant sounds (like “b” and “m”). Build your recollection of the most recent happenings.
As your baby becomes more mobile and inquisitive, infant development takes off. It might seem that your baby learns something new every day. Understand your baby’s next milestones and what you can do to promote his or her growth.
At This Age
- Development: Your baby continues to build on the skills they were learning at 6 months including being able to sit up, move around, and pick things up with a raking grasp.
- Sleep: At this age, your baby will continue to consolidate their sleep including sleeping more at night and taking about two naps a day, which totals about 14 hours of sleep a day.1
- Food: When your baby is 7 months old, breastmilk or formula is still their primary source of nutrition with some babies consuming as much as 32 ounces a day or nursing three to five times a day.2
7-Month-Old Baby Development
As your baby approaches the 7-month mark, it can help to think of this time in their life as a transition time. Some babies will be crawling already and some will need more time to perfect this skill. Likewise, some babies may love eating solid foods and others might still prefer breastfeeding or taking a bottle.
“At 7 months, your baby will be improving on the things they started developing at 6 months of age,” says Benjamin Levinson, MD, a primary care pediatrician with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Typically, they can sit upright without support and should be able to move around the room whether that is just rolling around, creeping, or even crawling.”
Many pediatricians, like Dr. Levinson, encourage parents to not get caught up on comparisons or to push their baby to hit milestones before they are ready. Your baby will develop at the pace that is right for them. Of course, if you are concerned about your baby’s growth and development talk to their pediatrician.
One of the highlights of your baby’s development at this age is how social they are becoming. They enjoy interacting with others—especially their family members—and often laugh and babble. Because this carefree and uninhibited joy is so contagious, you may find yourself laughing right along with them.
“At 7 months some babies are even beginning to respond to their own name,” adds Dr. Trace. “Although this is not a milestone that as a pediatrician or as a mother is talked about a lot, it is still an important social skill for kids to develop.”
So, call your baby by name often. You also can use their name in games and while reading books as well. Most babies are delighted at the sound of their own name and will reward you with a huge grin.
The average weight for a 7-month-old baby boy is 18 pounds, 5 ounces, with a range in weights from 14 pounds to 22 pounds. For girls, the average weight at 7 months old is 16 pounds, 14 ounces with a range of 13 pounds to 21 pounds, 4 ounces. Meanwhile, the average length for boys and girls is around 27 and 26 inches, respectively.3
7-Month-Old Baby Milestones
Once your baby reaches 7 months old, they are likely a lot more active than in months past and will require more hands-on care from you or others. They are becoming more mobile and exploring the world around them with their newfound skills.
One of those skills that starts to emerge at this age is crawling. Although there isn’t a magical age when this skill emerges—and it may never emerge for some kids—most babies begin crawling in some form between 6 and 10 months of age.4 Some babies will crawl earlier, some will crawl later, and some will skip it altogether.
You also may notice that your baby has a different type of crawling than you might have originally expected. In addition to more traditional crawling, it is completely normal to see babies use an army crawl, a backward crawl, a crab crawl, and even a scooting crawl. As long as your baby can move around and explore you probably have nothing to worry about, says Dr. Trace.
To promote your baby’s movement, give your baby plenty of opportunities to explore the world around them. But be sure to stick to their nap and bedtime routines as best you can so that you both can get the rest you need. Plus, most of your baby’s growth happens while they are sleeping, so sleep is essential at this age.
Another milestone your baby will expand on this month involves language and communication. Your baby will continue to babble as they did at 6 months, but they also may make specific sounds tied to emotions like happiness or frustration.
They also will “talk” with you by making sounds, string vowel sounds together like “oh” and “ah” and babble consonant sounds like “mmm” and “bbb.” They may even recognize specific words like ball and dog.4
“At 7 months, we are expecting to hear vowel sounds and they should be starting with some consonant sounds,” says Dr. Trace. “There also is a clear response to sounds, noise, and visual stimulation.”
- Passes objects from one to the other
- Rolls from front to back and back to front
- Sits without support
- Bears more weight on legs and bounces when in a standing position
- Recognizes familiar faces
- Responds to strangers by reaching for caregiver or crying4
7-Month-Old Baby Food
During this month, you are likely continuing to introduce new foods and textures to your baby. But keep in mind, there is no rush. Some babies need time to adjust to the concept of solid foods. For this reason, many pediatricians recommend following your baby’s lead when it comes to eating.
At this point in their life, most of their nutrition comes from breastmilk or formula (or a combination of both), so there is no need to push them into eating solids before they are ready.2 Instead, focus on having fun with it.
“There is nothing more enjoyable than exploring food and allowing them to get messy,” says Dr. Trace.
Allow your baby to experiment with self-feeding too. Even though they may not have the skills or coordination to feed themselves right now, giving them a few spoons with pureed food already loaded on it helps create autonomy and independence when it comes to eating.
“By 7 months, you are probably still expanding your baby’s diet and can offer some small, extremely soft finger foods because they do not yet have the pincer grasp,” says Dr. Levinson. “You also can start giving them greater quantities of food if they seem interested. And if your baby doesn’t seem to like baby food, it is OK to give them table food as long as it is soft enough.”
You also can offer your baby a cup with some water. Even though they are getting all the fluids they need from breastmilk or formula, introducing a cup at this age allows them the opportunity to practice and makes the transition smoother when they get older.
“It is also helpful to reintroduce foods that your baby did not like initially,” Dr. Levinson says. “Just wait a few days and try again.”
It is important not to give up on a food if your baby dislikes it at first. With time, they may come to appreciate the flavor or texture. However, if after a few tries your baby still refuses the food, move on. There is no point in forcing a baby to eat something they do not like. It just causes frustration for both of you and makes mealtimes stressful instead of enjoyable.
7-Month-Old Baby Sleep
At this age, your baby probably has a more predictable sleeping schedule than they did in the first few months of their life, but there are still things that can disrupt their sleep at this age like teething, the beginnings of separation anxiety, and even waking up to practice developing skills.
“It’s normal to see a change in their sleep cycle or how they fall asleep,” Dr. Trace says.
But it’s also not something you should worry too much about. If your baby seems to be regressing with regard to sleep or if they are waking up quite a bit, you may want to talk to their pediatrician. It is possible that there is something else causing them to wake at night and they can help you identify what that is.
If, however, you are just having sleep struggles in general, there are some things you can do to establish more consistent sleep like developing a bedtime routine and putting them to bed earlier. Sometimes parents wait too long to put their baby to bed and by then the baby is overtired and has trouble falling asleep.
“I recommend putting your baby in their crib while they are still awake but sleepy,” Dr. Levinson says. “If you put them down asleep, they will wake up scared when you are no longer with them.”
It is also important to still implement safe sleep practices like putting your baby to sleep on their back in a crib with a firm mattress. They also should not have blankets, crib bumpers, or toys in the crib at this age either.5
“You also should move the mattress down to the lowest level as they start trying to pull up,” Dr. Levinson adds. “You also should still be following the ABCs of safe sleep (alone, back, crib) at this age and putting them down on their back.”
7-Month-Old Baby Schedule
During your baby’s awake times—which occur between naps and nighttime sleep—you will notice that your baby is very curious and engaging. Your little one is also likely gearing up to become more mobile—if they aren’t already—so it is time to make sure your home is baby-proofed.
Babies this age still explore their environment by bringing things to their mouth but they also are developing hand-eye coordination and will reach and grab for things quite a bit. These changes will require a lot more hands-on care from you.
One way to keep your baby safe is to engage with them on a regular basis during their wake windows, says Dr. Trace. While it is important to allow them some freedom to safely explore, this also is a good time to read books and play with toys together.
“Typically at this age, babies will enjoy social play such as peek-a-boo,” she says. “They also are seeking out others’ eyes to make eye contact so they can smile.”
You also can cover objects like a ball or stuffed animal with a blanket and then remove it. Because your baby is on the cusp of developing object permanence skills, they will delight in this game.
“[Also] give them toys that involve movement so they can move around and get the toys,” says Dr. Levinson. “It is also helpful to have actual bedtime routines at this age if you have not established one already.”
7-Month-Old Health and Safety
As mentioned earlier, your baby may begin teething at this age if they have not done so already. Be prepared for this development by having pain reliever on hand and teething toys.
Your pediatrician will advise how much pain reliever to use and how often. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t give your baby a pain reliever without discussing it with their pediatrician because dosing is often based on weight.
“Babies this age are at an increased risk for falls, burns, and choking,” says Dr. Trace. “If you are holding a cup of coffee with a 7-month-old, they are going to be grabbing for that, so you need to be aware and avoid holding them with hot things in your hands.”
You also should also be sure your home is safe for your growing baby. In addition, to baby-proofing your home, you also want to watch for things that your baby could grab or pull on and injure themselves like hot pans and cords to blinds. You also should gate off unsafe areas like the cat litter box, dog food, and house plants and make sure you are using secure baby gates near stairs, around fireplaces, and other dangerous areas of the home.
Finally, your baby should still be riding in a rear-facing car seat. You should check the car seat at this age to ensure that your baby has not outgrown it, that it is still in good working order, and that it is still securely installed in your vehicle.
7-Month-Old Baby Care Basics
Caring for a 7-month-old is a lot of work. In addition to introducing sold food and managing short windows of awake time between naps, you likely have a lot on your to-do list as your prepare for the next stages of your baby’s life.
For instance, you may be busy with baby-proofing, car seat checks, and moving baby gates around that you have very little time for yourself. But now is not the time to resort to screen time as a way to carve a few minutes of me-time. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screens for children under 18 months, so it is best to put this option off for as long as you can.6
Instead, ask a friend or family member to help out when you need a break. And, if you are at home with your baby, make use of those nap times to do something for yourself like reading, napping, or listening to music.
As for other baby care details, you may find that you need to bathe your baby more frequently especially as they experiment with eating solid foods. You may find that they end up with as many peas in their hair as they do in their mouth.
Along with that, you may experience some noticeable changes in their diapers as their menu expands. Most of what you experience will be normal—even green poo can be perfectly normal especially if your baby had a number of bright green vegetables that day. If anything seems out of the ordinary or concerning, a quick call to your child’s pediatrician may be all you need to alleviate your concerns.
What Else to Know About Your 7-Month-Old
As your baby becomes more social, look for signs of their unique temperament, suggests Dr. Trace. Your 7-month-old’s temperament is likely beginning to emerge and you will see signs of who they are at the core.
“It’s important to recognize that your baby has a unique temperament that you can work to accommodate versus change,” she says. “This is good to know early on because there are times when your child’s temperament may require a little extra patience.”
Some of their temperament is out of your control and you won’t able to change it, Dr. Trace adds. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Recognizing your child’s unique temperament allows you to see who they are and can make you a better parent.
“Instead of fighting against it, think about how you can work within your child’s temperament,” she says. “Some parents assume when things get challenging that they must be doing something wrong and then resolve to try harder. That’s why it is important to know there is already a piece there and that we are not creating their temperament with our parenting.”
This knowledge can come in particularly handy if your baby shows signs of stubbornness or is bothered by certain textures. You can come to accept these traits and parent in a way that allows your child the freedom to be who they are. These early skills in recognizing your child’s uniqueness and studying what makes them tick will help you become a better parent and more in tune with your baby’s needs.