It can be so exciting watching your child grow and learn new things. Sometimes it seems like new developments are happening every day.
With all this growth and development, it can be tempting to start comparing your baby with other children, or even yourself at their age.
While it’s always important to remember that every child is unique and develops on their own timeline, how do you know what milestones your child should be reaching? What’s typical for their age?
When it comes to life with a 7-month-old, we’ve got the information you’re seeking. From typical schedules to common obstacles, allow us to give you an idea of what to expect… no personal comparisons necessary!
Around the time your child is 7 months old, you may notice that they’re:
- bouncing when held upright
- rolling from front to back and back to front
- responding to their name
- sitting without support
- passing objects from one hand to the other
- showing taste preferences
- beginning to develop an awareness of space and depth
With all these new skills, you may notice that your baby is more mobile and getting into everything! You may also notice that they’re more aware of their surroundings and showing some signs of separation anxiety.
From 6 to 12 months, babies usually grow 3/8 of an inch (1 cm) per month. This is less than the 1/2 to 1 inch they tend to grow each month in the first 6 months of life.
At 7 1/2 months old, the average male baby weighs 19 pounds (8.6 kg), while the average female baby weighs nearly 17 1/2 pounds (7.9 kg).
It can be easy to worry whether your little one appears to have missed certain milestones like crawling or teething by 7 months. However, there’s no reason to worry if your baby isn’t crawling just yet!
Many children crawl later or even skip crawling altogether. Instead of worrying, watch for whether your little one is supporting their head and pushing themselves up with their arms during tummy time.
Likewise, it’s OK for teeth to take a little time to pop above the gum line. There’s a strong chance that some teething might happen this month, so if you see some drool, have plenty of teething rings ready! And don’t forget to have a toothbrush ready to brush those teeth after they emerge.
As soon as your child has teeth, you should begin brushing them twice per day using a smear (about the size of a grain of rice) of non-fluoridated (safe-to-swallow) toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles.
To help your baby meet growth milestones, you can:
- Use baby sign language with them, so they have more ways to communicate.
- Sing songs that focus on specific sounds (e.g. “Baa Baa Black Sheep”).
- Offer sensory books and tables, so they can touch and explore the world around them.
- Play with stacking cups or blocks to build and knock down towers, helping them balance in a seated position.
- Push their high chair up to the table for family meals, so that they can engage in the conversation and practice eating solids at mealtimes.
Most 7-month-olds are sleeping around 14 hours per day. This typically comes in the form of one long stretch at night and 2 to 3 daytime naps, totaling about 3 to 4 hours.
While some babies are sleeping most of the night by 7 months, it’s normal for many babies to wake at least once. Remember that “sleeping through the night” really means a 6-to-9-hour stretch — not necessarily a 12-hour stretch.
You may also find your baby doesn’t sleep quite as well when they’re experiencing developmental milestones like teething, separation anxiety, sitting up, or babbling. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see temporary sleep regressions during big growth periods.
Solids are typically introduced around 6 months as a supplement to breastmilk or formula. Most 7-month-olds who eat solids do so 2 to 3 times per day. When choosing foods for your baby, it’s important to note that cow’s milk, juices, and honey are still discouraged!
The majority of your 7-month-old’s nutritional needs are met through breastmilk or formula. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), bottle-fed babies can be expected to drink up to 8 ounces every 4 to 5 hours during the day. This totals approximately 4 to 5 bottles per day depending on the amount offered at each feed.
Breastfed babies should still be fed on demand and will likely want to eat about 5 to 6 times per day. It may seem like your baby is less interested in nursing as they become more distracted by the world around them and interested in solid foods. Try to breastfeed in a quiet room before offering solids to ensure they’re getting their primary nutritional needs met each day.
By 7 months, your baby is likely always moving and touching things! As such, it’s important to sanitize and disinfect surfaces regularly. Here are some common ailments you might encounter:
- Colds. As your baby begins to explore the world around them with their hands and mouth, you may notice that they’re prone to more colds. You can expect to see at least a few runny noses, especially if they’re enrolled in group childcare or have an older sibling at home. If your baby develops a cough with their cold, it’s important to note that the use of cough medications is not recommended for babies.
- Ear infections. It can be hard to tell whether your little one has an ear infection. However, if they tug at their ears, have a fever with no visible symptoms, seem fussy when they lie down, or had cold symptoms 1 week prior, you should get their ears checked by their pediatrician.
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Common in the winter, it’s particularly important to keep an eye out for this virus, as it can often appear like a normal cold or flu but quickly develop into bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Be sure to seek medical attention if you notice signs of respiratory distress, such as trouble breathing.
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease. This viral illness is extremely contagious and common in the warmer months. It’s important to make sure to wash your little one’s hands and keep an eye on the toys going in their mouth if you hope to avoid this one!
Because your 7-month-old is likely becoming mobile, you’ll want to put some effort into babyproofing your home. Some common safety issues at this age include:
- Choking. Given that your baby is starting to explore more and eat solid foods, they’re at a higher risk of choking. You’ll want to make sure to keep their crib and play space clear of small objects. You’ll also want to make sure to monitor mealtime eating!
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Even though your child is rolling around and possibly crawling by now, they’re still at risk of SIDS, so remember to make sure that they’re always placed on their back to sleep in a safe sleep environment!
- Car accidents. As your child grows, it’s important to keep an eye on their car seat to ensure it still fits them correctly. Also, now that your little one is more mobile, it’s extra important to make sure that buckles are firmly buckled and straps are secure.
- Falls. With your baby moving and rolling more, it’s easy for them to take a tumble off of beds and elevated surfaces. Remember to always have a hand on them when they’re not on the ground.
Your 7-month-old is becoming more independent and starting to explore their world in new ways. This can be exciting but also lead to questions about their development.
If you have concerns about your child’s development, speak with your pediatrician. They can help connect you to resources for support, if necessary, and reassure you if their development is progressing normally.
Knowing what to expect can also help you relax. As you watch your baby grow more into an individual each and every month, celebrate all the ways their unique personality is taking shape.