Baby Development And Milestones: Keeping Your 7-month-old On Track

Baby Development And Milestones: Keeping Your 7-month-old On Track

Your baby is now more than halfway to her first year! Check out which developmental milestones your 7-month-old may be hitting!

Firstly, congratulations! Your baby is now more than halfway to his/her first year and is a bubbly 7 month old cherub! You will find your 7 month old little one becoming more independent and mobile by the day, and developing his/her own unique personality.

7 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Baby on Track?  

7 month old

Physical Development

Your 7 month old baby will try to get around in his/her own way. Every baby is different, so while some babies may start crawling, others may have just mastered rolling over.

Expect to see your little one creeping, scooting, rolling (front to back or back to front), crawling, or even combining all four movements, in the quest to grab out-of-reach objects.

Apart from that, your 7 month old baby can now support some or most of his/her weight on his/her legs, and loves to bounce. He/she might even be able to stand while holding onto something!

Your baby is probably able to sit unsupported (although, don't worry if he/she can't yet); he/she may even be able to get into a sitting position from lying on his/her stomach, by pushing up on his/her arms. Later this month, your baby will graduate to sitting without the support of his/her hands. 

Speaking of hands, your baby is also getting much better at using them! Watch him/her enter this crucial stage of fine motor skills, as he/she passes toys from hand to hand; drops them and picks them up repeatedly. Your baby is also getting much better at holding, and drinking from a cup, and using a spoon.

He/she also uses the raking grasp (wherein the baby will use all the fingers and the thumb to pick up objects from the ground or any other flat surface.)

Has your baby started clapping yet? Watch out for this super-cute milestone! This is also the month when your little one develops full colour vision. 

Some babies start teething now. The two bottom central incisors are usually the first to arrive. Again, don't worry if you can't see any teeth yet. Some babies don't start teething until they are over a year old.

At this stage, your child’s median length and weight* should be as follows: 

  • Boys
    – Length: 69.0 cm (27.2 inches)
    – Weight: 8.3 kg (18.3 lb)
  • Girls 
    – Length: 67.3 cm (26.5 in)
    – Weight: 7.9 kg (17.4 lb)

And your child’s head circumference* should be:

  • Boys: 44.0 cm (17.3 inches)
  • Girls: 42.8 cm (16.9 inches)

Tips:

  • Considering how much your little one is enjoying sitting unsupported, keep those cushions nearby in case he/she topples!
  • To encourage movement, place a toy just out of your baby's reach and watch him/her try to get it.
  • With baby becoming more mobile, it is time to do some serious baby proofing. Cover electrical plugs, and ensure that breakable or sharp objects are out of the baby's reach. You might also want to consider gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Try not to rush in and help when your baby can’t do a task that he/she really wants to do. You will find that he becomes more independent if you don't make everything too easy for him/her.
  • Many babies cut their first teeth at this age, so don't be surprised to find a drooling, extremely fussy baby. To soothe his/her discomfort, try offering a cold washcloth or teething toy to chew on.

When to Talk to a Doctor:

If baby: 

  • Seems very stiff, with tight muscles.
  • His head still flops back when body is pulled up to a sitting position.
  • Does not actively reach for objects.
  • Shows persistent tearing, eye drainage, or sensitivity to light.

7 month old development and milestones

Cognitive Development

You will find that your 7 month old baby's memory has improved significantly. He/she can now distinguish between people he/she knows and doesn’t, and may prefer to stay away from strangers.

The concept of object permanence is becoming clearer to your baby. He/she realises that people and objects might be out of view temporarily, but they still exist. Which is why, he/she suddenly loves playing peekaboo!

As your baby's brain develops, he/she starts taking greater interest in observing objects. His/her ability to sort and group simple objects by size and shape, will delight you! You will notice your baby exploring objects with his/her hands and mouth, so keep the soap and water handy!

Your baby also loves repetition and predictability, so he/she is never going to tire of listening to the same rhymes over and over again, especially songs that have actions associated with them.  

As the little one starts showing more attachment to people and things, he/she might even start protesting loudly when you take toys and other things away.

Tips:

  • Toys containing different shapes help your baby develop motor and thinking skills. It’s a good time to introduce simple shape sorters. Your baby also loves games where people or things appear and disappear, like peekaboo and jack-in-the-box.
  • Make playtime a regular part of each day. "Itsy-Bitsy Spider", "Peek-A-Boo", "This Little Piggy", etc are wonderful ways to bond with your baby.
  • Sing action rhymes to promote memory and listening skills. Try "This Little Piggy" and "Pat-A-Cake" or classic nursery rhymes that you can act out together.

When to Talk to a Doctor:

If your child:

  • Shows no response and reaction to sounds.
  • Seems to have trouble focussing on objects.
  • Appears lost when looking around.
  • Does not bring his/her hand to his/her mouth.
  • Does not laugh or make squealing sounds.

7 month old development and milestones

Social and Emotional Development

You might notice that your 7 month old baby starts to experience separation anxiety. This is indicated by crying and clinging to you whenever you try to leave. You will notice that he/she gets especially anxious at night time, if you are not around. 

It may sound endearing that your baby can't bear to be separated from you, but it might also get frustrating at times. Do remember that this is just a temporary phase and that this too shall pass.

By now, your baby can possibly distinguish emotions by your tone of voice. And because baby feels more secure being around all things familiar, stranger anxiety might be another concern to deal with.

Baby would usually much rather be in your safe arms when around a stranger. Don't rush to hand him/her over to this new person. Allow your baby to warm up and get comfortable in his/her own way.

Tips:

  • To deal with separation anxiety at this age, it is best to schedule your departures when baby is already asleep.
  • Keep your good-byes short and sweet, and perhaps ask your caregiver to distract your baby with a toy or book until you've slipped out of the house.

When to Talk to a Doctor:

If your baby:

  • Doesn’t seem to enjoy being around people.
  • Shows no affection for the person who cares for him/her.
  • Is inconsolable at night.

Speech and Language Development

Your 7 month old baby will communicate with you through sounds, gestures and facial expressions. You will get to hear plenty of laughing and squealing. He/she might also be able to wave bye-bye or blow kisses! 

At this stage, some babies might repeat the sounds they hear. Your baby's babbling is likely to include chains of sounds, such as "ba-ba-ba"  or "da-da-da". So, don't be surprised to hear an occasional "mama" or "dada."

The little munchkin is slowly beginning to understand the meaning of language. He/she understands and responds when you say “No”. He/she can make out different tones and may burst into tears if you speak harshly. 

Your baby also responds with a head turn when he/she hears his/her name being called!

Tips:

  • Sing action rhymes to promote memory and listening skills. Try "This Little Piggy" and "Pat-A-Cake" or classic nursery rhymes that you can act out together.
  • It might be a one-way conversation but keep chatting to the little one! Your baby is listening to, and registering every single thing you say and do.
  • Read together. Reading, talking about pictures in books and telling stories develop your baby’s imagination, and language skills.

When to Talk to a Doctor:

If your baby:

  • Does not respond to sounds at all.
  • Does not babble.

Health and Nutrition

By 7 months old, your baby can eat about three tablespoons of food per meal (three a day) as well as two snacks (around 1/2 cup) between his/her milk feedings. 

Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:

  • Boys: 660.7 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 625.1 Kcal/day 

Their daily nutrition should be composed of the following: 

  • Protein

One serving equals one to three tablespoons of lean meat, chicken, turkey or fish, four to five tablespoons of dry beans and peas, or one egg (or two quail eggs). This is in total 18.75g of protein. When giving your baby fish, ensure you check carefully for small bones and remove them. 

  • Fruits 

Your child needs about 1/4 cup of fruits every day. 1/4 cup of fruit equals 1/4 of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, half (1/8) cup dried fruit, 1/4 of a large pear. Give fresh fruit whenever possible as dried and canned fruits have a high sugar content. 

  • Vegetables 

At this stage, your child requires 1/4 cups (25g each) of vegetables every day. 1/4 cup of vegetables equals 1/4 cup of cooked vegetables, half cup of raw leafy greens, 1/4 large tomato, or half a medium carrot. Try to give your child a "rainbow on a plate", meaning, fruits and vegetable of all colours. 

  • Grains 

Introduce up to 1 ounce of grains in your child’s meals. One ounce of grains is contained in one slice of bread, one cup of cereal, or half (1/2) cup of cooked pasta or cooked cereal. Choose whole grains and limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice.

  • Milk/Dairy 

Your child should drink a minimum of 700 to 1000mL of milk. Cow's milk is not suitable for your child until he/she turns one year old. 

In a nutshell, here’s what your child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):

  • Fruits: 1/4 for boys; 1/4 cups for girls
  • Vegetables: 1/4 cups for boys; 1/4 cups for girls
  • Grains: up to 1 ounce for boys; up to 1 ounce for girls
  • Proteins: 18.75g for boys; 18.75g for girls 
  • Milk: 24-36 ounces of breast milk or 24 ounces of formula for boys; 24-36 ounces of breast milk or 24 ounces of formula for girls
  • Water: Your baby needs anywhere between 2 to 8 ounces of water. The amount depends on factors such as how much milk your baby drink, how hot the temperature is, whether your baby is constipated or not, and so on. 

Tips

  • If you are opting for traditional pureed foods, then remember to gradually decrease the time you puree these, increasing texture.
  • If you are going down the baby-led weaning route, then by all means offer age-appropriate finger foods. Some examples are banana, soft crackers, noodles and "fingers" of soft-cooked/steamed veggies like carrots or sweet potato.
  • Avoid foods that present choking hazards like grapes or nuts and omit salt and sugar in your 7 month old baby's meals.
  • As always, try one new food at a time, and wait for a few days for any signs of allergy or reaction such as diarrhoea, vomiting, rash or wheezing.
  • Ideally, you should still be breastfeeding your baby as your breastmilk is nutrient-dense and high in natural dietary fat – essential for your little one to grow well. 
  • Honey is not suitable for babies under the age of one as there is a slight risk of contracting deadly botulism. 

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses

Your baby should have got the following vaccinations by now. 

  • BCG
  • Hepatitis​ B (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • DTaP (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • IPV (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • Hib (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate (1st and 2nd dose)

To learn more about your child's vaccination schedule, click here.

When it comes to common illnesses, it's inevitable that your little one will get the common cold or even Hand Foot and Mouth disease at some point. Tummy bugs might also be more frequent since your baby is crawling and may often put objects in his/her mouth.

While you can't prevent your baby from getting such illnesses, you can help him/her fight them off more effectively by continuing to breastfeed and giving food that is rich in nutrients, especially antioxidants. 

If you child contracts a common illness, please don't attempt to medicate your little one yourself. You should bring your baby to a paediatrician who will advice you what to do.

However, you can ease a symptom like a blocked nose with saline drops, and reduce your baby's fever by applying lukewarm compresses to his/her forehead, armpits and groin. Only give fever medication that is approved by a doctor, and stick to the correct dosage and timings. If your child is vomiting or has diarrhea, ensure he/she drinks adequate liquids to prevent dehydration. If the vomiting and/or diarrhea continue for more than a day, seek medical help. 

Tips:

  • Speak to a doctor about giving your baby the flu vaccination. 
  • Practice good hygiene habits at home, such as hand-washing before meals, after going to the washroom and after diaper changes. 
  • It's quite normal for little ones to lose their appetite when they are sick. Don't fret too much about this. But it is important for baby to drink enough liquids to prevent dehydration. Try light broths and fresh orange juice along with water and breastmilk/formula. 

When to Talk to a Doctor:

  • If your child is underweight or very small for his/her age.
  • If your child breaks out in severe rashes or has swelling after eating a new type of food. 

Ultimately, it is important to remember that these are just guidelines; all babies are different and will do things at their own pace and in their own time. Also, premature babies may reach milestones slightly later than a child who is born full-term.

Still, if you are really concerned about your baby's development, it is best to consult a paediatrician about it.

The coming months will see more developmental achievements. Celebrate and take pride in your little one’s triumphs.

*Disclaimer: This is the median length and weight, and head circumference according to WHO standards.

Your baby's previous month: Baby development and milestones: your 6-month-old

Your baby's next month : Baby development and milestones: your 8-month-old

Reference: Web MD

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Written by

Jaya

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