Baby development and milestones: your 7 month old

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

Firstly, congrats! Your baby is now more than halfway to his 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 own unique personality.

7 Month old development and milestones: Is your baby on track?  

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Physical Development

Your 7 month old baby will try to get around in his 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/ 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 weight on his legs, and loves to bounce. He might even be able to stand while holding onto something!

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

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

He 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.

Tips

  • Considering how much your little one is enjoying sitting unsupported, keep those cushions nearby in case he topples!
  • To encourage movement, place a toy just out of your baby's reach and watch him 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 really wants to do. You will find that he becomes more independent if you don't make everything too easy for him.
  • Many babies cut their first teeth at this age, so don't be surprised to find a drooling, extremely fussy baby. To soothe his 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

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Cognitive Development

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

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

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

Your baby also loves repetition and predictability, so he 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 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 hand to her mouth
  • Does not laugh or make squealing sounds

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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 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 over to this new person. Allow him to warm up and get comfortable in his 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 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 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 understands and responds when you say “No”. He can make out different tones and may burst into tears if you speak harshly. 

He also responds with a head turn when he hears his 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

According to the WHO, the average weight of a 7 month old is 7.6 kg for girls, and 8.3 kg for boys. Average length is 67.3 cm for girls and 69 cm for boys.

By 7 months old, your baby can eat eight to 12 tablespoons (about 1/2 to 1 cup) of solid food as "snacks" between his milk feedings. Offer around two to three tablespoons of fruits and vegetables three to four times a day. Some good options are avocados, carrots, brocolli, red rice and bananas. 

If you are opting for traditional pureed foods, then remember to gradually decrease the time you puree these, increasing texture.

However, 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. 

These are the vaccines your baby should have received 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)

Tips

  • Encourage self-feeding. Introducing a high chair is a great idea. It will encourage baby to feed himself and enjoy his meals with the whole family,
  • Also, as the little one gets better with his grip, it might be a good idea to let him feed herself using a spoon or his fingers/hands, and drink from a two-handled cup on his own. Do be prepared for mistakes, and a whole lot of mess though, it's all part of the learning process. 
  • Avoid foods that can be hard to chew and swallow, including raw vegetables such as carrots and apples, nuts, grapes, popcorn, hard candies etc, to prevent choking
  • If you are following baby-led weaning, ensure you cut foods into manageable chunks/ fingers. 

When to talk to a doctor

If your child is: 

  • Underweight or very small for their age

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.

Your baby's previous month: 6 Months

Your baby's next month : 8 Months