7-month-old baby: Milestones, development & growth

Nikki Stevenson

Nikki Stevenson

Nikki is a parenting writer and a mom to three wild boys who keep her on her toes (and occasionally make her question her sanity). With over 15 years of experience in the parenting industry, she has more tips and tricks than Mary Poppins on speed dial. When she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can find her sipping on coffee, hiding in the bathroom for five minutes of...
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Updated on Jul 01, 2024 · 11 mins read
7-month-old baby: Milestones, development & growth

You now have a 7-month-old – the age where your little one is a delightful mix of curiosity, charm, and let's be honest, a bit of chaos. If you've ever wondered what it's like to have a tiny tornado in your home, you're probably living it right now.


As your baby navigates this whirlwind phase of life, you’re in for a ride filled with new milestones and plenty of “Did they just do that?” moments. So, sit back, relax, and let’s explore the adventures that await you and your 7-month-old superstar.

Your 7-month-old baby's developmental milestones


As a 7-month-old, your baby is likely becoming quite the little explorer. Every day brings a new trick, whether it’s figuring out how to roll across the room or discovering the sheer joy of banging toys together.

Fine motor skills
Gone are the days when your baby was content just lying around. You’ll notice most babies reaching out to grab everything in sight, from toys to your hair (ouch!). This grasping and grabbing are thanks to the rapid development of the brain’s motor cortex, which controls movement. 

They’re mastering the art of passing objects from one hand to the other, and some might even start using the pincer grasp – picking up small items between their thumb and forefinger. It’s like watching a tiny, adorable scientist at work.

Language development
Get ready for a babble fest! Your baby is starting to experiment with sounds, and you might hear plenty of “ba-ba,” “da-da,” and “ma-ma” noises. While they might not know what they’re saying just yet, these vocalisations are a crucial part of their language development. The brain’s language centres, particularly Broca’s area, are hard at work, laying the foundation for future speech. Encourage their chatter by talking back and naming objects around the house. Your little one is soaking it all up like a sponge.

Emotional development
Your baby’s personality is really starting to shine through now. You’ll notice a range of emotions through facial expressions like cheeky grins to grumpy faces. They’re becoming more attached to you and may show signs of separation anxiety when you leave the room. 

This behaviour is due to their growing cognitive abilities, specifically the development of object permanence – the understanding that objects and people still exist even when out of sight. It’s all part of their growing awareness and attachment, which is both heart-warming and, let’s face it, a bit exhausting. Just remember, your little one craving reassurance and dealing with separation stress is a sign of their love and trust in you.


Your 7-month-old baby's growth


Your little one is growing faster than you can say “Where did my tiny newborn go?” 

By now, your 7-month-old baby might have doubled their birth weight and then some. Those chubby cheeks and adorable rolls are all part of the package. Expect your baby to be around 7-8 kg and about 65-70 cm long. This growth spurt is fuelled by an increase in their muscle mass and bone density, which is why your little one might seem heavier and sturdier than before.


7-month-old baby health and safety


Baby-proofing your home
At seven months, your baby is likely on the move, whether rolling, scooting, or for a few babies, maybe even crawling. This newfound mobility means it’s time to baby-proof your home. Start by securing furniture that could tip over and covering sharp corners. Electrical outlets should be plugged in, and any small objects that could pose a choking hazard need to be out of reach. Your baby’s tiny hands are quick, and their curiosity knows no bounds.

Nutrition and feeding
As your baby’s weight and height grows, their nutritional needs evolve too. At seven months, they’re probably enjoying a mix of breast milk or formula and solid food. Make sure their diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, animal or plant protein, and grains to support their rapid growth. Dairy, wheat, soy, nut, and fish, are also recommended. 

Introduce different solid foods individually to monitor for food allergies, and be mindful of choking hazards; foods should be soft and cut into small pieces. It’s also a good time to introduce a sippy cup for cooled boiled water to help them transition from bottle to cup.

Sleep safety
Sleep remains crucial for your baby’s development, but with increased mobility comes new challenges. Ensure their cot is safe – the mattress should be firm and fit snugly, and free from pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals that could pose a suffocation risk. Placing your baby on their back to sleep remains the safest position to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Regular check-ups and vaccinations
Keep up with regular Child and Family Health Nurse visits to monitor your baby’s growth and development. These check-ups are vital for catching any potential issues early, monitoring baby’s health, baby’s progress and keeping up with their vaccination schedule. At 6 months they should have already received vaccines such as Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). If your baby hasn’t, speak to your doctor about how to catch up. Vaccinations protect your baby from various illnesses, helping them build immunity during this vulnerable stage of life.

Teething and oral health
At seven months, many babies begin to show signs of teething – expect drooling, fussiness, and the urge to chew on everything (but not all babies). Teething toys can provide relief, but avoid those filled with liquid that could leak. Start cleaning your baby’s teeth and gums with a soft, damp cloth or a baby toothbrush to establish good oral hygiene habits early on.

7-month-old baby sleep


Sleep – the holy grail of parenthood. By now, you might have a better sleep routine, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect with your 7-month-old’s sleep and how to help them (and you) get some quality rest.

Sleep patterns
At seven months, your baby may be sleeping about 14 hours a day, including two to three naps. Night-time sleep typically lasts around 10-11 hours, often with one or two wake-ups. Consistency is key, so try to maintain regular nap times and a bedtime routine. Babies and infant development thrive on predictability, and a calming routine before bed can work wonders. Think warm baths, gentle massages, and a lullabies.

Night-time waking
Yes, night-time wake-ups are still a thing. Your 7-month-old baby might wake up due to hunger (for breast milk or formula milk), teething discomfort, or the need for a cuddle. While it can be exhausting, it’s perfectly normal. Responding calmly and consistently can help your baby feel secure and eventually learn to self-soothe back to sleep. Try to keep night-time interactions quiet and brief to reinforce that it’s time for sleeping, not playing.

Sleep regressions
Just when you think you’ve got a handle on things, along comes a sleep regression. Around seven months, many babies experience disruptions in their sleep patterns. This could be due to developmental milestones, such as learning to crawl or sit up, which can lead to more wakefulness at night. It’s temporary, so hang in there! Staying consistent with your sleep routine will help your baby get back on track.

Safe sleep environment
Creating a safe sleep environment is crucial. Ensure your baby’s cot meets safety standards – a firm mattress with a fitted sheet is all they need in their cot. Avoid pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals that could pose a suffocation risk. Keeping the room at a comfortable temperature and using a sleeping bag instead of a blanket can help your baby sleep more soundly and safely.

Encouraging self-soothing
Teaching your baby to self-soothe can make a significant difference in their ability to sleep through the night. Encourage them to fall asleep on their own by placing them in their cot while they’re drowsy but still awake. This helps them learn to settle themselves without needing to be rocked or fed to sleep every time.

Development tips for your baby this month


Navigating the seventh month with your baby can be as thrilling as it is challenging. With all the new skills they’re acquiring, you might wonder how best to support their development. Here are some tips to help your little one thrive during this exciting stage.

Encourage exploration
Your baby is a budding explorer, eager to discover the world around them. Encourage this curiosity by providing a safe space for them to move around. Scatter a variety of toys within their reach to stimulate their senses and motor skills. Simple activities like tummy time can help strengthen their neck, back, and arm muscles, preparing them for crawling and beyond. 

Talk and read to your baby
Making sounds and speech development is in full swing at this age. Boost your baby’s budding communication skills by talking to them throughout the day. Describe what you’re doing, name objects, and respond to their babbles. Reading books together is also a fantastic way to expose them to new sounds and words. Choose colourful, interactive books that capture their attention and make story time fun.

Play peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo might seem like a simple game, but it’s a powerful tool for your baby’s cognitive development. This classic game helps them understand object permanence – the concept that objects and people still exist even when they can’t see them. Plus, it’s a great way to bond and share giggles.

Encourage fine motor skills
Strengthening those tiny fingers is crucial for your baby’s development. Offer toys that promote them using their fingers like blocks, stacking rings, and soft balls. Activities that involve grasping, passing objects from hand to hand, and picking up small items will enhance their coordination and dexterity.

Foster emotional development
Your baby’s emotional world is expanding rapidly. Show them love and security through plenty of cuddles, eye contact, and soothing words. Be responsive to their needs and emotions, helping them feel safe and understood. Playtime, smiles, and laughter are all essential for building a strong emotional bond.

Introduce new textures and tastes
As your baby gets more comfortable with solid foods, introduce a variety of textures and tastes. This not only makes mealtime more exciting but also helps develop their palate. Offer small pieces of soft fruits, cooked vegetables, and finger foods. Always supervise mealtimes to ensure safety and prevent choking.

Establish a routine
Babies thrive on routine. Establishing regular times for meals, naps, and play can provide a sense of security and predictability. A consistent bedtime routine, including a bath, story, and lullaby, can signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down and sleep.

Encourage social interaction
Social skills are blossoming at this age. Encourage interactions with other babies and family members. Playdates, visits to the park, and family gatherings provide opportunities for your baby to observe and engage with others, aiding their social development.

Items you will need this month


  • Teething toys: To soothe those aching gums as new teeth come in.
  • High chair: For introducing more solid foods and encouraging self-feeding.
  • Sippy cups: To help transition from bottle to cup.
  • Baby-proofing supplies: Outlet covers, cabinet locks, and corner guards to keep your little explorer safe.
  • Interactive toys: Blocks, stacking rings, and soft balls to enhance fine motor skills and cognitive development.
  • Board books: Colourful, sturdy books for story time and speech development.
  • Baby monitor: To keep an eye on your baby during naps and night-time sleep.
  • Sleeping bag: A safe alternative to blankets for keeping your baby warm at night.

Checklist for this month


  • Baby-proof the House: Ensure all potential hazards are secured.
  • Schedule a check-up: Keep up with regular doctor visits and vaccinations.
  • Encourage exploration: Provide a safe space for your baby to move and explore.
  • Talk and read daily: Boost speech development with regular conversations and reading.
  • Introduce new foods: Offer a variety of textures and tastes to expand their palate.
  • Establish routines: Maintain consistent meal, nap, and bedtime routines.
  • Monitor sleep patterns: Ensure your baby is getting enough sleep and create a safe sleep environment.

Sources


6-7 months development tracker, Raising Children. Available at: https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/development/development-tracker-3-12-months/6-7-months

Your baby’s growth and development – 7 months old, Pregnancy, Birth & Baby. Available at: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/babys-growth-and-development-7-months-old

 

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