This month you can expect to get more exercise following your baby around, constantly wondering what she will be into next. She will begin to understand your meaning and feelings from your tone and recognize the word “No” as well as her name. Among the 7 month baby milestones, you will also likely need that dribble cloth more and more as those first cute pearly white teeth cut their way through poor baby’s gums.
Movement and Motor Skills
Most 7 month babies can sit without support. Now that she is stable when sitting, she can twist round to look at things and reach for them. She can grasp with one hand at a time and may develop the pincer grip this month. Holding things between thumb and forefinger gives her much better control.
Many babies like training you to “fetch” around now. You are used to picking things up and giving them to her with goodwill and patience. Now she is going to drop them on purpose and expect you to pick up and return her toy or cup or pacifier. How long will your patience last? Expect some complaining when you stop this game. You will surely get tired of it long before she does, especially if you are out with her in the stroller.
Comfort yourself with the knowledge that she is learning about object permanence, and that things still exist when she can’t see them.
- Play Peek-a-boo. This is still fun.
- Hide a toy under a cloth or in a box while she watches. See if she pulls the cloth off or opens the lid to find it.
- When she is looking in a baby mirror, appear in the mirror behind her, she will look round to see where you really are.
- Get a Jack-in-a-box.
- She will enjoy shape sorter toys. Help her to find the shapes inside afterwards.
- Sing clapping songs and see if she joins in.
- Give her small cubes of soft cooked foods like sweet potato so she can practice using her pincer grip to pick them up. Remember babies can choke on small objects, so only do this with soft foods.
If she wasn’t crawling or scooting about already, it is likely that she will start now as one of her 7 month baby milestones. You have been exercising her back and neck with tummy time, and her arms have been busy since birth, but those little legs haven’t done much more than kick and wave about.
It is a very funny sight when a baby’s first crawl is backwards! Don’t be alarmed though, within a week or two those little legs will get some muscle tone and she will start going forward. Some babies never crawl at all but instead scoot around on their behinds. This isn’t a worry though, and she will walk just as well either way.
Now you need your wits about you. Look away for a moment and she will be gone, and maybe up to mischief. You should already have thought about baby-proofing your home, but now you will need to remember to close that stair-gate every single time you go through it. Watch out too for tables and other furniture that could be wobbled or pulled over by your little explorer. A hanging table cloth or drapes will be great fun to tug at, and they are no longer out of reach. You will be amazed at how fast she can go.
Your baby will not be content to explore under her own steam. She will want to be bounced on your lap with her feet down. It’s time for some cardio exercise for your arms. How many bouncing songs and rhymes do you know? Not many? That’s ok, because at 7 months she will love repetition too.
7 month old baby talking
Around 7 months expect to hear more Ma-ma and Da-da as she puts vowels and consonants together. She probably isn’t saying your name, but still, if her grandparents are alert they will have chosen to be called Nana and Papa just to be sure that baby’s first real word is their name.
Now your baby will recognise her name and pay more attention when you say it. She will also probably know what “No” means, and some other words that are important to her.
Emotions and anxiety
Even without knowing what you are saying, your baby will get an idea from the way you say it. She is becoming more attuned to emotions, and affected by them.
Around now she may begin to get separation anxiety, and cry when you leave the room, or leave her with someone else. She might also start waking in the night if she sleeps separately. It is good to make a routine for when you have to leave so that she gets used to the idea that you will come back and that everything is still safe and normal. Give her cuddles and kisses so that she knows you still love her even though you are going away for a while.
This is another prominent part of 7 month baby milestones. Most babies will be cutting their first teeth in the next few months. Your poor baby’s mouth will be hurting a lot of the time even before you see any teeth. You can help soothe her gums with a choice of teethers.
Water filled teethers can be put in the refrigerator and cool baby’s gums as she chews. Have 2 and alternate them. Other teethers have squeaks or can be stacked and have bumps or brushes that feel nice to chew on. Have several types to help distract her from those sore gums.
A very simple teether is a cold wet washcloth. It can be made cold again instantly by rinsing out under cold water.
Cold soft foods like applesauce or yogurt are very soothing too.
She will dribble a lot so put a bib on her. You can even get bibs with teethers attached!
Baby oral care
Get a baby toothbrush and start brushing her teeth and gums very gently at night and in the morning. You can use a tiny smear of toothpaste for fluoride, but be careful not to use more than a smear as she cannot spit it out yet. A little fluoride helps harden teeth, but too much can cause fluorosis. This shows as white or brown marks on adult teeth, which are forming in your baby’s jaws right now. In some areas fluoride is added to all drinking water, so toothpaste may not be needed yet.
Even if no teeth are showing yet you can wipe her gums with a damp cloth at night time, to get her used to the idea.
To protect those beautiful pearly white teeth move away from putting your baby to sleep with a bottle or breast feed. Milk will pool around her teeth and cause much more decay than if she were awake and dribbling and swallowing. If you are lucky she will be sleeping through the night now. Even if she still needs a night feed it is worth being sure she has a clean mouth for the first half of the night.
Decide on a bed time routine for after the evening feed and tooth brushing.
It can be simple or elaborate, but should end peacefully in her bedroom and be the same every night, even when you are away from home. This helps babies to feel secure and fall asleep more easily at the right time.
Some favorite bedtime routines include:
- Bath time
- Saying goodnight to family members, pets and even favourite toys
- Saying goodnight to the moon or sun or tree outside the bedroom window
- Sitting by her bed and reminding her of what she has done that day
- Reading a story
- Singing songs, ending with a special goodnight song
- Promising to come back and check in 5 minutes (be sure to do it)