Baby development at month 7
A 7 month old baby is showing an increasing interest in themselves and their world. They’ve realized that their hands belong to them, and are likely to be fascinated by what they can do – from making a fist, to clapping.
They’re also learning how to control their environment, and enjoying seeing reactions to their actions. Now’s a great time to encourage your baby’s mobility and curiosity, so they can discover even more in the second half of their first year. They’ll love having plenty of things around them to touch, mouth and manipulate, but be sure to provide a safe environment for baby to explore with your supervision.
Here are the 7 month milestones to watch for, although some babies will hit these earlier or later than average. If you have any concerns about your baby’s development, talk to your doctor.
Your 7 month baby weight should continue to increase at a steady rate of around 450–560g a month. They’ll also be growing by approximately 1–2cm a month in size.
If your baby lost his hair after birth, it’s likely that it’s started to grow back – don’t be alarmed if it’s a completely different color!
Most babies will have started teething by 7 months old, and symptoms can include drooling more than usual, trouble sleeping, irritability, loss of appetite, and having flushed cheeks or red gums. You can help to ease your baby’s pain with safe teething toys – and ones that can be chilled in the refrigerator may bring extra relief.
By seven months old, most babies will have the core strength and balance to sit unaided for a short period. Half of all seven month old babies will have started crawling, but don’t be concerned if yours isn’t quite there yet. Some prefer to roll or bum-shuffle to get around!
Some babies might even be standing while holding on to something at this stage. It all depends on their leg strength and inclination!
Your baby is getting much better at using his hands and will have the motor and hand/eye coordination skills to reach for objects with a sweeping motion. Games such as rolling a ball to your baby can help to develop motor skills and encourage his understanding of cause and effect. Before long, you might even see him bringing his hands together to clap!
Baby-led weaning can be a great way to help your baby practice his motor skills – he’ll enjoy grasping and holding finger foods, which will go straight to his mouth. Recommended 7 month baby food includes finger foods that are soft but not mushy. Steamed vegetables, fingers of bread, rice cakes and batons of banana, pear and steamed apple are ideal, although you should always be mindful of possible allergic reactions when trying your baby with any new food.
Spoons, cups, plates or bowls used will also become a plaything to your baby, so expect lots of grabbing, banging and maybe even some throwing as they explore these curious new toys (plastic baby items are best)! Hopefully your baby will quickly learn to use a two-handled cup for drinking, but non-spill sippy cups will keep mess to a minimum in the meantime.
You can help your baby to further develop his new motor skills by placing a toy or safe object just out of reach, and letting him figure out a way of getting it. Not making everything too easy for baby will help him to become more physically confident, with gentle encouragement from you.
Your baby will really be developing their communication skills now, including both verbal and non-verbal types. Most babies will be babbling and imitating speech, while some will even be combining syllables into word-like sounds.
Their non-verbal communication skills will also be improving, and they may be able to understand how you are feeling by the tone of your voice and your facial expressions. You can also show your baby how to wave goodbye – they’ll quickly learn to understand the meaning of the action!
Now that your baby has better concentration, he’s likely to spend more time playing with toys and examining objects that interest him.
You could help your baby to develop his sense of object permanence by playing games that involve hiding (or partially hiding), then revealing, various objects.
If you’re weaning your baby the traditional way, they may be ready to explore some chunkier food textures. Ideas for 7 month baby food could include mashed fruits and vegetables, instead of pureed or blended foods.
While your baby will still be using their mouth-sense, the other senses will be playing a bigger part in discovery now. They might like to see themselves in a mirror and use their hands to explore their body. Musical toys and games will continue to delight him, especially things like clapping games, which allow baby to make sounds himself.
Your baby’s depth perception should also be advancing, allowing him to tell whether an object is near or far away, in relation to another object – whether one toy is further away than another.
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