At seven months, your baby is becoming independent and developing his own unique personality. From picking up a favorite toy to scooting or crawling from place to place, your 7-month-old is learning how to control his environment and finding out that being in control can be fun. During this next month, you should find plenty of opportunities to continue encouraging your baby’s mobility, creativity, and curiosity -- in safe ways, of course.
In this portion of WebMD’s month-by-month guide, discover what milestones you can expect your child to achieve in the seventh month.
Seventh Month Baby Milestones: Motor Skills
Seven-month-olds are learning to get around, although they don’t all do it in the same way. Your baby may creep, scoot, roll, crawl, or combine all four movements. You can encourage this new mobility by placing toys just out of your baby’s reach. Make sure baby is safe while exploring by putting away any toys or other objects that contain small or sharp pieces.
Because baby can now sit unassisted and reach for and pick up toys, playtime involves a lot more independence than in months past. The ability to hold and drink from a cup, and possibly eat from a spoon, means that he is also more independent at mealtimes.
Your 7-month-old should be strong enough now to hold himself up on his legs while supported. Practicing this skill will strengthen leg muscles and help him get ready for walking.
Seventh Month Baby Milestones: Teething
Between your baby’s fifth and seventh month, you should see those first tiny tooth buds emerge from the gums. You’ll know your baby is teething because he’ll drool more and will probably be fussier than usual. To soothe gum discomfort, give your baby a cold washcloth or teething toy to chew on. The FDA advises against using topical pain relievers rubbed on the gums that contain benzocaine because of the potential for dangerous side effects. Benzocaine can be found in over-the-counter medicines such as Baby Orajel.
You’ll probably see the two bottom middle teeth pop up first, followed by the two top middle teeth. The bottom and top two side teeth should fill in over the next 3 or 4 months. Don’t be alarmed if your baby is 7 months old and doesn’t have any teeth yet. Teething patterns vary widely from child to child. A few babies are born with teeth, while other babies don’t start teething until they are over age 1.
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. Offer him 4 tablespoons of iron-fortified cereal daily. 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.
Tips for Your Baby’s Seventh Month:
- Now that you’ve graduated to solid foods, make your baby part of family mealtimes by pushing the high chair up to the dinner table.
- Make playtime a regular part of each day. Itsy-bitsy spider, peek-a-boo, this little piggy, and other staples from your own childhood are wonderful ways to have fun with your baby.
- Get down on all fours and make sure the play areas are baby-proofed. if your baby is not mobile yet, he will be very soon.