Baby’s First Year: Month 7
- April 29, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hello, moms and dads, and welcome to Month 7 with your baby and Month 7 with my baby, Bracey. Bracey is now 30 weeks old, but only 20 weeks old in terms of his corrected age, so in terms of milestones he’s closer to a 5-month-old baby than a 7-month-old. Yet, with each passing day, he is catching up. With premies, doctors advise calculating a “corrected age” by subtracting the number of weeks by which a baby was premature from their actual age. The corrected age provides a better guideline for developmental milestones until 2 years of age. Doctors hope that by age 2, premature babies will catch up and be on track with other babies who share their birth date.
Growth and Development of a 7 Month Old Baby
Bracey’s 7 Month Checkup with the Pediatrician
Most babies will not see their pediatrician for a 7 month old checkup. Bracey did, however, since he was born 10 weeks premature. At his appointment, Bracey’s doctor checked his ears and throat, measured his length and the circumference of his head, weighed him, and then assessed his back and neck strength and responsiveness by sitting him up. The doctor was thrilled with Bracey’s progress, as was I.
Growth of a 30 Week Old Baby
Between six months and one year, weight gain for babies slows down a little. Most babies double their birth weight by five to six months of age and triple it by the end of year 1. The average 7-month-old baby boy weighs 18 pounds 5 ounces (8.3 kilos) and the average baby girl weighs 16 pounds 14 ounces (7.6 kilos). At his 7 month checkup, Bracey weighed 6.3 kilos (13.86 pounds), up from 1.490 kilos (3.278 pounds) at birth, so he has gained 4.9 kilos or 10.6 pounds since birth. Bracey’s position on the Spanish growth charts shows him inching up towards the bottom of the curve with a trajectory that is steeper than the curve. This indicates that Bracey is catching up!
Developmental Milestones for a 7 Month Old Baby
Baby’s Neck, Back, Chest, and Leg Strength at 7 Months
By 7 months, most babies are holding up their heads securely and turning them 180 degrees without wobbling. Many babies are rolling from tummy to back and back to tummy. Some can get to a sitting position from their tummy and stand while holding onto someone or something. Some babies are beginning to creep, crawl, or cruise, with the average age for crawling being between 6 and 7 months. Since the amount of time babies spend in Tummy Time varies tremendously, many babies do not crawl until 9 months.
Baby’s Vision and Coordination at 7 Months
By 7 months, your baby likely will be getting better at holding their own bottle and reaching and grabbing for things, and will have perfected playing with their own hands and feet — what better toys could there be? Many babies can pass objects from one hand to another and others can reach out and grab objects. Practice doing this with your baby throughout the day allowing them to reach for, grip and grab whatever comes their way (including your hair — ouch!).
How Much do Babies See, Talk and Hear at 7 Months
Seven-month-old babies can see much further than they did a few months ago, and will tend to observe their larger surroundings with more interest. Your baby will begin smiling at your from further away, perhaps when you enter the room. Seven-month-old babies can see a wider away of colors and visually digest more complex patterns. Read books with large, brightly-colored pictures and patterns to your baby. While doing household chores, keep your baby beside you in a bouncer seat and talk to them, pointing out the household objects you use and narrating what you do. Take note of colors and textures, describing the look and feel of the objects you use in your everyday life.
At 7 months, babies continue their babbling with sounds like “ba-ba” or “da-da.” Some babies will employ only vowels at this point and others will begin pulling in consonants. Although the vast majority of babies will not be associating these sounds with actual people or things (they cannot yet comprehend that sounds have meanings) they are, in fact, developing an the important awareness: that when they emit sounds, others respond. To encourage this awareness, talk back to your baby as if you are having a real conversation, employing animated facial expressions. Your baby will hear and observe your responses and will counter back with new expressions and sounds of their own. Although your baby cannot exchange words with meanings as of yet, this back and forth of sounds and expressions (the cornerstone of communication) constitutes your baby’s first experience of language.
In terms of hearing, between 7 and 12 months, some babies will respond to their own name, look or turn in the direction of sounds, listen when spoken to, respond to simple requests like “come here,” look at things you talk about and begin to repeat sounds.
How do I play with my 7 Month Old Baby?
Including your baby in your every day activities by narrating what you do remains a terrific activity. Reading books and playing with large wooden blocks, stackable toys and different colors, patterns and textures will stimulate your baby. Tummy Time remains a must. Continue to practice sitting up with your baby and hold your baby up, encouraging them to put weight on their feet. Hold you baby under the arm pits and begin walking around with them gently placing a small amount of weight on their feet.
What Solid Foods do I Give a 7 Month Old Baby?
If your baby has been on solids for one month, they can begin to expand their repertoire at 7 months. My doctor expanded Bracey’s diet to include meat, infant yoghurt and a wider array of fruits and vegetables. He also suggested popping in a fourth meal or adding cereal to Bracey’s “top off” bottle.
How Much Solid Food Do I Give to a 7 Month Old Baby?
The amount of solids babies this age consume varies greatly. Generally, it is recommended that seven-month-old babies eat 4-9 tablespoonfuls of cereal, fruit and vegetables a day and 1 to 6 tablespoons of a meat of other protein (my doctor recommended chicken, beef and yoghurt but you can also introduce cottage cheese or egg). You can spread your baby’s food out between three meals; my doctor suggested four.
As I advised last month, my biggest tip when it comes to solids remains to always give the milk first. Your baby will be calmer because they won’t be starving and this entails a more relaxed feeding experience. And that way you ensure that baby is getting the quantity of breastmilk or formula they need.
Breastfeeding, Solid Foods and Sleeping Schedule for a 7 Month Old Baby
How Much Breastmilk does my 7 Month Old Baby Need
My pediatrician advised that given the introduction of solids, babies this age need less breastmilk than previously. He advised that they need to consume between 16 and 24 ounces (480-720ml) of breastmilk a day divided between 4-5 feedings, so figure 4-6 ounces (120-180ml) per feeding if you are feeding four times a day, and 3.2-4.8 ounces (96-144ml) per feeding if you are feeding 5 times a day. He explained that babies naturally begin to make the transition from breastmilk as the primary source of nutrition to food once solids are introduced and that they self-regulate based on their needs.
How to Breastfeed a Distracted 7 Month Old Baby
The information that that breastfed babies begin to consume less milk at this age came as welcome news to me this month since I found myself struggling to keep Bracey on the breast for long periods. Seven-month-old babies can get very distracted while nursing. They tend to sip a bit, and then rip off the breast in order to examine the outside world. It’s hard to feel as if your baby is getting a full feeding in. Add to this that your baby is drinking less breastmilk given the introduction of solids, and now eats more quickly than previously, and you you can find yourself asking yourself whether your baby is getting enough breastmilk. When it comes to nursing, be patient and keep putting your baby back on your breast, making sure to burp frequently. Try feeding your baby privately without all the stimuli of the outside world. Also try (if you have the energy) moving your baby into different positions to try to allow them to face the outside world. On occasion, I’ve even fed my baby while standing up and offering a toy. Try all sorts of things until you find a recipe that works for you. Another tip is to feed when your baby awakens from their nap, to give the solids meal, and then to wait a bit and breastfeed again before putting your baby back down to nap again.
Breastfeeding, Solids and Sleep Schedule for 7 Month Old Baby
During Month 7, you will continue incorporating solid foods into your daily schedule. Here’s the schedule that is working nicely for us. I am giving Bracey a wider array of vegetables, fruits and proteins and more mixtures. I’ve adjusted the amounts below to comply with American guidelines.
- 7am — sleep 9:30-11am.
- 11am – breastmilk then 2-3 tablespoons of single food vegetable puree. Sleep 1:30-3pm.
- 3pm — breastmilk then 2-3 tablespoons of single food fruit puree. Sleep 6-7pm.
- 7pm — breastmilk then 2-3 tablespoons of corn or rice cereal mixed with breastmilk. Sleep 8:30-11pm.
- 11pm — breastmilk with cereal or mix cereal into bottle. Sleep at 11:30pm. This can be called the “top off” feed.
How to Feed Solid Foods to a Baby
Do I need a High Chair?
With my earlier babies, I put them in a high chair when I introduced solids. With Bracey, we tend to hold him in our laps. We did purchase a high chair last week that eventually will make its way out of the box, but if you are short on space, you feed your baby solids while holding him on your lap and then find an insert for one of your dining table chairs. High chairs are convenient since babies this age tend to eat and then put their hands into their mouths, so if you are not careful they will swipe all that lovely gushy food onto you.
What Quantity of Solids should my Baby be Eating?
From the beginning, Bracey wanted a higher quantity of food that the one I set forth above. After 2-3 tablespoons, he was ready for more. When feeding Bracey, I keep going until he pushes the food out of his mouth. Keep in mind that babies this age don’t gobble up every spoonful. Rather, they take the food in, swish it around and push out a bit. Keep sweeping up that food from around your baby’s mouth and putting it back in. To curtail the amount of waste, put small quantities of the solid food into a serving bowl before giving it your baby. Since your spoon will come into contact with bacteria from your baby’s mouth, once you dip it back into the food, the food is no longer sterile and cannot be stored and fed to your baby during another feeding. So always start with smaller quantities and then add more.
Bottle Feeding a 7 Month Old Baby
How Much Formula to Give a Seven-Month-Old Baby
As is the case with breastmilk, at 7 months, the amount of formula your baby consumes likely will begin to decline based on the introduction of solid foods. Seven-month-old babies should be consuming about 6-8 ounces (180-240ml) of formula per feeding over four-five feedings (likely four) . Pay attention to your baby’s cues and if your baby is burped and rejecting more formula — as long as your baby has wet and dirty diapers and is gaining weight — you should not continue to feed them when they indicate they are full.
Formula Feeding, First Foods and Sleeping Schedule for a 7 Month Old Baby
- 7am bottle — sleep 9:30-11am.
- 11am bottle followed by 2-3 tablespoons of single food vegetable puree. Sleep 1:30-3pm.
- 3pm bottle followed by 2-3 tablespoons of single food fruit puree. Sleep 6-7pm.
- 7pm bottle followed by 2-3 tablespoons of multigrain cereal mixed with formula. Sleep 8pm.
- 11pm – bottle with cereal mixed in (check with your doctor). Right back to sleep
Over time your baby will drop the 11pm feeding, as well.
At his 7 month appointment, Bracey weighed 6.3 kilos (13.86 pounds). He’s more interactive and strong and is beginning to sit up on his own for a few seconds at a time on his own. Burping him on my lap has been helping him gain neck and back strength. Bracey continues to smile and babble at us and appeared to say hi twice to my oldest, Hedley, the other day. He’s begun turning to the side while on his back and appears to be on his way towards flipping from back to front.
He is breastfeeding and feeding well and sleeping at night from around 11pm to as late as 9 and sometimes even 10 in the morning. Thank you so much for reading and watching and see you back soon for Month 8.