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    Baby Development: Your 7-Month-Old

    Seventh Month Baby Milestones: Eating

    Your 7-month-old should have already started to eat solid foods. Now you can probably introduce chunkier foods -- mashed fruits and vegetables instead of pureed. Adding these thicker foods will help your baby adjust to new textures and learn how to chew. Anytime you introduce a new food, wait a few days before trying anything else and watch for signs of an allergy such as diarrhea, vomiting, rash, or wheezing.

    Seventh Month Baby Milestones: Communication

    Seven-month-olds are starting to understand the meaning of language. Your baby should respond when you say “no,” although babies at this age don’t always follow that command. You should also get a response -- at least a head turn -- whenever you say baby’s name.

    At seven months, babies are getting to be experts at nonverbal communication. They can make a wide variety of expressions with their face -- from big grins to frowns -- and they can understand how you’re feeling by the tone of your voice and your facial expressions. Your baby should also communicate vocally by making a lot of different sounds -- laughter, blowing bubbles or raspberries, and babbling in chains of consonants such as “da-da-da.”

    A 7-month-old’s memory has developed significantly, and along with it comes the concept of object permanence. Just a few months ago, when you hid an object or your face during a game of peek-a-boo, your baby thought it was gone forever. Now, he realizes that people and objects still exist, even when they are hidden.

    Object permanence means that when you are out of sight at work or running errands, you are not out of your baby’s mind. At seven months, your baby may start to have separation anxiety, crying and clinging to you whenever you try to leave or resisting being left with a babysitter. Because the familiar is more comfortable to your baby, stranger anxiety may also start to become an issue at this age.

    Your baby will probably grow out of separation anxiety by age 2 or sooner. For now, try scheduling departures when your baby has already napped and eaten and is less cranky to begin with. Keep good-byes short and sweet, and ask your caregiver to distract your baby with a toy or book until you’re out the door. And don’t feel guilty -- your baby will likely stop crying a few minutes after you leave.

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