Your 7-month-old baby is now in the second half of their first year - isn't time flying? It's crazy to watch your child work their way through different baby milestones and think that just a few months ago they were your tiny newborn. But although they may not be as small as they once were, as your baby grows, so does their world and it's full of lots of exciting experiences and encounters. Here's what you and your 7-month-old baby can look forward to this month...
7-month-old baby development
Sleep - "Sleep patterns can really vary at this age (and any age really!), but on average a 7-month-old baby will have 2-3 naps during the day and have around 2-4 waking’s during the night," says midwife and co-founder of The Baby Academy, Susan Hogan. "It's always a good idea to establish a bedtime routine to help your baby settle at night. This could include a bath, feeding them in the same chair/same room, a lullaby or a story, a cuddle and a kiss goodnight (I always felt the kiss goodnight signalled to my children that this was the end of the routine… time for bed, Mummy is leaving the room now)." A consistent routine can make a big difference in helping your baby feel secure which in turn may be helpful in getting a good night's sleep.
Cognitive development - Your 7-month-old is starting to try to talk and are becoming more expressive. "They may make babbling sounds, say "mama" or "dada", or even start gesturing to get their point across. It's important to talk to your baby and respond to their sounds to encourage their language development. You can also play with them, sing to them, and read to them to help them develop their communication skills," says Susan.
Physical development - You will notice that your 7-month-old baby is now really developing both physically and developmentally-people will notice that your baby is getting bigger and more mobile. "Your baby may begin to sit up on their own at around 7 months, which is a great milestone. They may also be trying to crawl, roll over, or even try to stand while holding onto something," Susan explains. "They are also becoming more coordinated with their hands-you will notice that they can pick up and play with toys more effectively. As a midwife, I always recommend that parents provide a safe and stimulating environment for their baby to play and explore in."
Feeding - At seven months old, your baby will still be primarily drinking milk, whether that be breastmilk or formula-and they usually drink around 600-700ml per day. "As for solid foods, you may have started introducing solid foods at around six months of age. You should find that at 7 months, milk is still your baby’s main source of nutrition. Although, you will notice that your baby should be getting comfortable with solid foods and may even be eating three small meals a day," Susan advises.
7-month-old baby growth
"When it comes to physical growth, every baby is different and all babies grow at a slightly different pace," Susan reassures. "However, according to the NHS, on average, a 7-month-old baby weighs around 12.5 kg and measures 68cm from head to toe. The most important thing to remember is that your baby is healthy and happy, not how much they weigh or measure."
7-month-old baby health
Dehydration - As babies can't store a lot of fluid, it's easy for them to become dehydrated. This might be due to various reasons such as diarrhoea, sickness or low milk supply. Signs of dehydration include crying with no tears, fast breathing and a dry mouth or nappy for six or more hours.
Food allergies - If your child is now eating solid food, it's wise to be aware of the signs of food allergies. Food allergies occur when your baby’s immune system has a bad reaction to what is usually a harmless food, and tries to fight it by producing an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). It’s the production of these antibodies that causes the distinct symptoms which include side effects like hives, itchy skin, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Things to think about at 7 months
Diet - While you're most likely in the thick of baby weaning, don't forget to offer a variety of foods from the main five food groups to ensure a balanced diet for your little one, as recommended by the NHS.
Introduce water - If your baby has started on solids, you can give them water as a drink. This can help them digest their food easier to ease constipation. Tap water for babies over six months doesn't need to be boiled and cooled before they drink it. You should only give them small amounts of water (no more than 4-6 ounces).
Have fun - "Your baby is growing and changing every day and it's important to cherish these moments," reminds Susan. "Remember to take lots of photos, make lots of memories, play with them, and provide a safe and stimulating environment for them to explore and grow in."
About the expert
This article contains expert advice from midwife and co-founder of The Baby Academy, Susan Hogan. Sue’s main mission in all of the work she does is "supporting new families, helping them to feel confident and in control during their pregnancy, their birth and as they grow as a family unit."