Your 7-Month-Old Baby's Development and Milestones

Daily life for you and your baby is full of surprises and challenges, big accomplishments, and small wins. Being open and flexible is the key to getting through the joys and the hiccups together. Learn what a 7-month-old baby “should” be doing this month, including which development milestones you might see, and pick up some strategies on introducing solid foods, car seat safety, and using antibiotics.

Baby Development Milestones

There are many exciting milestones to keep an eye out for once your baby is 7 months old. Here are some of the highlights:

Growth and Physical Development: More Than Double Their Birth Weight!

This month, your baby will probably continue to gain about 1 to 1 1/4 pounds. By the end of this month, they may even weigh about 2.5 times their birth weight. If you take your baby in for a checkup this month, your baby’s healthcare provider will make sure that your 7-month-old baby’s weight, length, and head circumference are on track by plotting these measurements on a baby growth chart.

Senses: The Imitation Game

You may have an extra special role to play in your 7-month-old baby’s language development as your little one slowly starts to imitate the sounds in your speech. Encourage their efforts by talking to them often and by repeating easy words like “mama,” “dada,” and “ball.” Your baby can probably pick up on and respond to the different tones you use. For example, if you raise your voice they may cry, whereas if you speak to them in a soothing voice, they may feel comforted and stop crying. Your baby talking is still a few months away, but all this effort on your part will greatly help their development.

Movement: More Coordinated and Independent

One of the most striking changes you could see this month is an improvement in your baby’s ability to coordinate their movements:

  • Your baby may be able to transfer objects from one hand to the other. You might even see them turn things side to side and upside down as they investigate the objects.

  • They can probably roll over both ways. Most children learn to roll from their stomach to their back first. With this change you’ll have to be extra careful when they’re on a high surface, such as a changing table. Make sure to keep an eye and hand on them!

  • When your baby is sitting, they may lean forward onto their hands in a "tripod" position to support their upper body. Try giving them a toy to focus on to help keep them balanced. Soon enough they won’t need to use their arms for extra support, and they’ll be able to sit upright unassisted.

  • When your baby is lying on their back, they may reach for and grab their toes. They’re slowly learning what their various body parts can do and getting used to new sensations.

  • Each baby is unique, but at 7 months old, some babies may even start crawling.

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Cognitive Development: You’ll Know When Your Baby Wants Something!

Your 7-month-old has their own personality and is more and more able to express their point of view. For example, in earlier months your baby would have cried only when they were hungry or uncomfortable, but now they’ll cry for all sorts of reasons.

Your baby may cry to tell you that they want a different toy, or that they’re bored and wants to do something different, or that they’re feeling anxious about being held by someone new.

It’s true, you won’t always love that your baby’s crying or dropping something to get your attention. But the upside about your 7-month-oldbaby’s intellectual development is that they're becoming better at communicating and are revealing their personality and temperament.

Everybody is unique, so try to find out what works for you and your baby. For example, if they need extra comforting before going to bed at night, give it to them.

Alternatively, if they prefer some calm, alone time then go with the flow and give them some space. Keep in mind that your little one’s preferences can change from one month to the next; they’re figuring out the world and their place in it.

Want to know more about your baby’s personality? Find out by taking our quiz.

Activities for Supporting Your 7-Month-Old Baby’s Development

Seven-month-old babies love objects and toys that have different shapes, colors, sizes, and textures. They also love things that make sounds when handled. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to buy your 7-month-old baby lots of toys to encourage their development.

Your baby may be just as interested in ordinary household items such as pots and pans, wooden spoons, and magazines with colorful pictures. Just make sure whatever they want to handle is safe, and that you provide supervision when they're playing or engaged in other activities.

Looking for things to do with a 7-month-old? Talking and reading to your baby, listening and responding to their babbles, and taking them on walks or other outings are all great ways to help them learn and grow. You could also sing to your baby or hold them while dancing together to music. If you speak a foreign language, feel free to use it with them.

As your baby gets more mobile, make sure they have a safe space for exploration. For example, you might set up a playpen where they can enjoy supervised playtime.

Feeding Your 7-Month-Old Baby

Around this time, you can start introducing your baby to solid foods. You may be wondering what can babies eat at 7 months old, or even how much. Here are some tips and insights on what to feed your baby and how to slowly add solid foods to their diet to grow their menu:

  • At this stage, solid foods are just a supplement—your baby’s nutritional needs are still met chiefly by breast milk and/or formula. The aim now is simply to introduce them to the art of eating food from a spoon. Don’t be surprised if most of the food ends up on their face and bib, or the floor.

  • Use a small-sized spoon, and start by offering half a spoonful of food, or less.

  • Make sure your baby is sitting upright—for example, in your lap or in a high chair.

  • Choose a time when your baby is not tired, cranky, or overly hungry.

  • Perhaps try offering the spoon after breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. This helps them associate spoon-feeding with the comfort of nursing.

  • Offer your 7-month-old baby single-grain cereals mixed with formula, breast milk, or water, or pureed vegetables or fruits.

  • If you want to make an individualized menu for your baby, you could make baby food using a baby food maker, food processor, blender, or even a fork to mash fruits and vegetables. Just make sure the food is well cooked, soft, unseasoned, and unsalted.

  • Keep in mind: Your 7-month-old baby may not be ready for solid foods yet and may try to show you if this is the case. For example, if your baby turns away or starts crying when you try to give them a spoon of puree, it may be best to leave it for now and try again in a few days or weeks.

  • Once your baby can sit up by themselves, you could give them finger foods so they can try to feed themselves. (This method of introducing solids is sometimes known as baby-led weaning (BLW).) Finger food meal plan ideas for lunch or dinner could include small pieces of soft sweet potato, chicken, and/or whole-grain crackers.

  • Given that each situation is unique, ask your baby’s healthcare provider about whether your baby needs vitamin D or iron supplements as part of their diet.

How Much Solid Food to Give Your 7-Month-Old Baby

At 7 months old, your baby’s feeding schedule will include learning how to eat small bites of solid food from a spoon and/or trying finger foods. But continue with your breastfeeding and/or bottle-feeding the same amount as you have been recently. Not that much solid food will actually end up in your baby’s mouth at this stage, as this period is more about slowly introducing new flavors and textures.

It’s always best to check with your baby’s healthcare provider to make sure your baby’s nutritional needs are being met and that their growth is on track. If you’re worried about overfeeding, you should check with the provider first before adjusting your baby’s food intake.

How Solid Foods May Change Your Baby’s Poop

When you start giving your baby solid foods, you may notice that the color and consistency of their poop changes. It may become more solid and smelly! If you notice extremely loose, watery stools, contact your baby’s healthcare provider, who’ll look into what may be irritating your little one’s digestive system.

As your baby grows, you’ll need to change diaper sizes, too. This diaper size and weight chart can help you find the right Pampers diaper for your baby. Plus, as you change all those diapers, it might help to know that you could actually be getting great rewards in return! (And we’re not just talking about a clean and happy baby!) Download the Pampers Club app!

How Much Sleep Does a 7-Month-Old Baby Need?

Most babies at 7 months old sleep about 12 to 16 hours in a 24-hour period, including about 2 to 3 naps during the day. Don't worry if your baby has a different sleep schedule.It’s best to let your baby nap for as long as they want unless it creates trouble falling asleep at night. If that’s the case, wake your baby earlier from their afternoon nap or cut out the third nap entirely.

To help your 7-month-old baby wind down and fall asleep more easily, you may want to create a short, relaxing bedtime routine. This could include giving them a warm bath, singing them a soothing lullaby, and breast- or bottle-feeding them.

Place your baby in their crib on their back while they’re still awake, which helps them learn to fall asleep on their own. If your baby cries when you leave the room, you can return briefly, say a few soothing words, and then leave again. As the weeks go by, they’ll likely cry less and less each night.

To learn more about the intricacies of baby sleep, download the Smart Sleep Coach app by Pampers. Cocreated by pediatricians and sleep experts, this easy-to-use app can help you track your baby’s daytime and nighttime sleep as well as help you tackle sleeping difficulties as they arise.

A Day in the Life of Your 7-Month-Old Baby

Wondering what to do with a 7-month-old baby all day? Your baby’s daily schedule may include sleeping, feeding, bathing, and playing. Here’s an example of what a day in your baby’s life might look like:

Your Baby’s Health

From time to time your baby might catch a cold or develop a cough. Always consult your baby’s healthcare provider if you think your baby may be ill. Here are some health concerns worth knowing about:

  • Croup. During the fall and winter months (but even at other times) your baby may develop a barking cough or a wheezing sound when they inhale. This may be caused by an inflammation of the voice box and windpipe, which is a condition called croup. This viral infection usually affects children aged between 3 months and 3 years. Inhaling steam may help ease coughing if it’s only mild. To try this, turn on the hot water in the bathroom and shut the room’s door and windows for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then sit in the steamy room with your little one for a few minutes, making sure your baby doesn’t get overheated or burned by hot water. In appropriate weather, another option is to take your baby outside to inhale cool, moist evening air. Croup can lead to the swelling of the airways, so if you notice your baby struggling to breathe, seek medical care right away.

  • Pneumonia. An infection of the lungs, pneumonia is more common during the cooler months when little ones spend more time indoors and around other people. Symptoms include your baby having a cough, having difficulty breathing, having a fever, or being lethargic. If you think your baby has pneumonia, take them to their healthcare provider, who can determine whether the infection is due to a virus or bacteria and prescribe appropriate treatment.

  • Sore throat. It might be tricky to tell if your baby has a sore throat because they can’t tell you with words what they’re feeling, but you might notice they have difficulty swallowing or seem fussy. Sore throats can be caused by viral and bacterial infections, but typically a virus is the cause with babies and young children. Your little one should recover within about a week or 10 days. If you suspect your baby has a sore throat, it’s a good idea to take them to their provider for diagnosis and treatment.

  • Colds. These upper respiratory infections are the most common childhood illnesses. Infants typically come down with 8 to 10 colds in the first 24 months of life. The best way to reduce the risk of your baby catching a cold is to keep them away from people who are already sick. Of course, it’s not always possible. For example, children can easily catch colds from other children when they’re in close contact, such as while in child care. Fortunately, most colds go away by themselves within about 7 to 10 days. Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, mild fever, sore throat, and slightly swollen glands in the neck. It’s always best to ask your baby’s healthcare provider for advice on how to relieve some of the symptoms.

How to Take Your Baby's Temperature

Medical experts recommend using a digital thermometer. Typically, a reading of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit indicates a fever, but always consult your baby’s healthcare provider for advice.

The safest way to take your baby’s temperature is in their bottom (rectally). Follow these three steps:

  1. Put a small amount of lubricant (like petroleum jelly) on the tip of the thermometer

  2. Rest your baby on their back and raise their legs up to their chest

  3. Insert the tip about 1/2 to 1 inch and keep it there for a minute or until the thermometer signals the reading has been taken.

Important Information on Antibiotics

Antibiotics are useful and powerful medications for treating bacterial infections, but they are ineffective against common viral infections, such as the viruses that can cause colds and the flu. Your baby’s healthcare provider will diagnose your baby's illness and determine whether antibiotics are needed to treat your baby’s specific condition.

In some cases, viral infections can lead to bacterial infections. If your baby’s healthcare provider prescribes antibiotics, it’s very important that your baby takes the whole course as advised by the provider, even if your baby seems better before the entire course of treatment is finished.

Car Seat Safety

Every time you travel by car, your small passenger needs to ride in a correctly installed car safety seat. Here are some safety tips to follow:

  1. Double-check that your baby car seat is appropriate for your baby’s age, size, and weight by reading the manufacturer’s instructions.

  2. Experts recommend that babies and toddlers ride in an approved, properly installed rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.

  3. The baby car seat should always be positioned on the vehicle's back seat (ideally in the middle), and your baby must be securely fastened into the seat each time they travel, even for short trips.

  4. The car seat also needs to be correctly installed, no matter whose car your baby is in. So, make sure that grandparents, babysitters, and any others who care for your baby know how to install and use the car seat.

  5. Another key car safety rule is to never leave your baby alone in the car—not even for a minute.

Development Tips for Your Baby This Month

Consider the following activities and tips to promote your 7-month-old baby’s development this month:

  • Play with your baby every day. Wondering how to play with a 7-month-old? It’s easy: just get on the floor with them! Offer your baby toys; let them reach for objects. Playing together can help promote hand-eye coordination, boost fine motor skills, and help strengthen the parent-child bond.

  • Talk and sing to your baby. Use every opportunity to talk or even sing to your baby. Narrate your actions whether it’s in conversation or in a sing-song way. All this “conversation” can promote your baby’s language development.

  • Have your baby meet people. Let your baby meet other parents and their children, including babies of a similar age. Be prepared to make a quick exit if your baby gets overstimulated or shies away from meeting new people.

  • Arrange good quality child care for your baby. When you search for day care or a babysitter, make sure that whoever looks after your baby follows your guidelines for safe, comforting, and responsible caregiving.

Items You Will Need This Month

Here’s a list of baby gear items you may be purchasing or reaching for this month:

  • High chair. Now that your baby’s ready for solid foods, it’s time for a high chair to make feedings that much easier.

  • Car seat. Having a safely installed car seat is important for whenever you need to take your little one in the car. Make sure that the car seat is new and hasn’t been recalled. Also, follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

  • Baby toys. At 7 months old, your baby is becoming more playful and curious. Be sure to choose toys that are safe and appropriate for your baby’s age and developmental stage.

  • Baby books. Head to the library or the bookstore for classics or new titles for your daily reading sessions. Board books and other sturdy formats are good choices.

  • Diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream. It’s never a bad idea to have more than enough diapers and wipes at home, along with diaper rash cream.

  • Baby thermometer. Your baby may catch a cold or another infection at this age just from coming into contact with other sick children or caregivers in child care. So, it’s best to be prepared to take their temperature whenever you suspect a fever. Keep a baby thermometer handy in your first-aid kit.

Your Life as a Parent: Tips for Reducing Stress

Like all parents, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Stress may not disappear altogether, but there are some things you can try to help manage your stress levels:

  • Get help. Can you find someone to pitch in with household chores or child care?

  • Stay flexible. You might have specificdailyplans or everyday routines, but a baby can throw them off. Be prepared to deviate from your plans or to-do lists if need be.

  • Don’t compare your life to others. Reduce the time and energy spent feeling guilty and try to avoid comparing yourself to others on social media.

  • Enjoy a little “me-time.” Catch up with friends, plan some one-on-one time with your partner, or simply block out some alone time. It may take a little coordinating with a babysitter or a relative to make sure you have child care arranged, but having a chance to recharge your batteries will do wonders for how you’re feeling.

  • Limit how much you take on. It might help to delay a project like renovations or say “no” instead of “yes” to helping a friend with something. With so many changes going on in your baby’s first year, now may not be the best time to make your life more complicated. However, if you think that taking on something a little different—like a creative hobby or a personal goal—might help you feel less stressed, then do it!

  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Eating well, getting as much sleep as possible, and getting regular exercise can reduce stress levels.

Checklist for This Month

□ Double-check that your baby’s car seat is still right for their weight and height.

□ Start looking ahead—check out what kinds of things may happen when your baby is 8 months old.

□ Turning 8 months old is a big day for your little one. Download and print these milestone cards to celebrate and share this news with friends and family.

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