Your 7-month-old baby is curious about the world around them—and the ways they are focusing their energy is proof they are eager to explore. Unlike those earlier days of parenting when “playing” with your baby seemed slightly one-sided, your active and engaged 7-month-old loves interacting with you.

Although your baby may not be on the move quite yet, you probably realize that the developmental milestones of crawling and walking are right around the corner. That makes this the right time to baby-proof the house! By keeping track of what milestones your 7-month-old baby is working on reaching, you can support their development. Consult with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.

Related: A parent’s guide to car seat safety: Tips, rules & product picks

7-month milestones at a glance

Your little bub has been busy. From sitting up to starting solids, rolling over to recognizing faces, they’re building on all those amazing skills for some even bigger changes coming this month. Get ready for more moving and grooving, mama—your little one might be working super hard on starting to crawl, which means walking is around the corner, too.

But savor this stage: Baby might be able to recognize their own name now, sleep keeps getting smoother and there are even more fun foods to try and games to play with your cutie while they’re still (somewhat) stationary. So sweet!

An in-depth look at 7-month milestones

Read on to find out what you need to know about 7-month-old baby development this month to best support your little love’s growth.

7-month developmental milestones

Here’s what The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says about 7-month-old baby milestones.

(Editor’s note: The 7-month milestone guidelines were written to reflect the behaviors that 50% or more of children exhibit at a certain age. Note that milestones are not a perfect metric: It’s key to speak to your pediatrician if you have concerns about your unique child.)

Senses

  • Big news! At 7 months, your baby now has full color vision, the ability to track moving objects, and mature distance vision. Any uncoordinated eye movements (such as eyes crossing) should have self-resolved. If not, check in with your pediatrician.
  • Your baby has been listening since day 1, but now is developing more and more language comprehension. Not only can your baby distinguish emotions based on the tone of voice, but they should also recognize their name and understand the word “no.”

Motor skills

  • Your 7-month-old baby is increasingly steady while sitting independently and may not need to keep their hands on the ground for support.
  • While standing with support, your baby should be able to keep all of their weight on their legs.
  • Your baby can transfer objects from hand to hand and uses a raking grasp to grab things.

Social and emotional skills

  • Your little social being enjoys interacting with other people—and observing their actions.
  • Your 7-month-old baby uses their voice to express their feelings. They also feed off others’ expressions of emotion.

Related: 6 strategies to help your small child process big feelings

summary of 7-month-old baby milestones - sensory and motor development

Baby’s sleep at 7 months

Your babe is more active during the day, but plenty of sleep should still be front and center. As the American Academy of Sleep Medicine explains, a 7-month-old baby should get between 12-16 hours of sleep per 24 hours. This is generally divided into both nighttime sleep and around three naps during the day.

All that activity can actually be a little too exciting for some babies—and cause them to have more trouble settling in when it comes to sleep. “Because of this new phenomenon, you may notice that they become more easily distracted, which can sometimes interfere with sleep,” points out Rachel Mitchell, a certified sleep consultant and founder of My Sweet Sleeper.

“Your child should be getting about 3 to 4 hours of day sleep and 10 to 12 hours of night sleep in this stage,” she explains. “If they are getting less, it’s important to address any underlying issues or challenges that may be present, as the right amount of sleep is crucial for their brain development.”

What baby sleep looks like at 7 months:

  • Your baby may be taking 3 naps per day
  • Your baby may no longer need to eat at night
  • Your baby may be awake for 2 to 2.75 hours at a time

“At seven months, your child shouldn’t need a night feed as long as they are getting adequate nutrition during the day,” Mitchell shares. “So if your baby still wakes up looking for a feed, try to allow them to self-soothe or respond with other soothing techniques.”

Read more: How much sleep does a 7-month-old baby need?

Feeding a 7-month-old

Between now and when your child turns 18 months, they’re in a period of being very open to new tastes and textures. Embrace it! Now’s the time where you’ll really want to introduce a wide variety of foods, including vegetables, fruit, grains and proteins, to help encourage those tiny tastebuds to accept fresh flavors. The other good news? You can start to stretch out breast milk and formula feedings even more, too, as your baby’s feeding schedule starts to center more around family meal times.

The AAP and La Leche League (LLL) recommend the following feeding timeline and amounts for 7-month-olds:

  • Solids: Offered two times per day or at family mealtimes
  • Breast milk: Up to eight ounces every four to five hours
  • Formula: Six to eight ounces every five to six hours

While offering solids, the recommended serving sizes for a 7-month-old are:

  • Infant cereal (single grain) mixed with breast milk or formula: three to five tablespoons (optional)
  • Fruits: two to three tablespoons
  • Vegetables: two to three tablespoons
  • Shredded meats, eggs, yogurt and soft-cooked plant-based proteins, such as lentils: two to three tablespoons

Read more: 7-month-old baby feeding schedule & amounts

Activities for 7-month-olds

Your 7-month-old is getting even more competent at using their hands. Now’s a great time to work on learning some nursery rhymes and simple songs with hand motions they can copy, as well as introducing a new board book or two—they can work on turning the pages themselves!

Here are a few activities to do with a 7-month-old baby:

Baby-friendly books: Stack up a few new board books or fabric books for your baby to explore. Looking at the colorful pictures, turning the pages and pressing buttons for sounds will delight all their senses.

Make a baby playlist: Music is so powerful in encouraging language development as well as rhythm and movement. Create a playlist of baby-friendly songs your little one loves, and focus on ones where you can add in hand motions to do together in time (psst: you can even make them up).

Busy bee: Your little one loves to push buttons (like your laptop keyboard)—and helping them keep those finger busy in a not-potentially destructive way can be a game-changer. An activity cube is a baby-proof way to test out cause and effect—and keep those tiny hands tinkering.

Our favorite products for 7-month-olds

Baby Banana

Baby Banana

$8.49

Banana Toothbrush

The super popular Baby Banana offers little ones a soothing, nubby surface to chew as well as their first introduction to oral hygiene. The silicone bristles are a satisfying texture for sore gums while the “peels” provide an easy way to grasp. It can also be popped right into the dishwasher!

Easy Squeezies Bath Toys

Sassy

$12.99

Easy Squeezies Bath Toys

Bathtime is the perfect opportunity for STEM learning. These colorful toys are actually two interchangeable parts, allowing for different color and texture combos and stream patterns.

Babepai Outlet Covers

Babepai

$8.99

Outlet Covers

Before they’re really on the move it’s a good idea to get a start on baby-proofing! Outlet covers are a baby-proofing staple. This clever design keeps little people safe but is easier for you to take out than the more traditional styles.

Supporting your 7-month-old baby’s development

Ready to make the most of those wake windows? These 7-month-old baby activities can support your cutie’s development.

  • Help your 7-month-old baby understand emotions by occasionally making exaggerated happy or sad faces when reacting to them.
  • Play with your 7-month-old baby by hiding a toy under a small blanket or towel and encouraging them to find it. With a sense of object permanence, they can be “in” on the game now.
  • Engage your 7-month-old baby’s senses by looking through a family photo album and naming the people. Or read a familiar book they love to encourage memory and recall.

Related: It’s science: Reading the same books to your child over and over makes them smarter

It’s science: Your baby loves ‘talking’ to other babies

According to a study from the Acoustical Society of America, 5-month-old babies had 40% longer attention spans when listening to other babies “talk” than adult vocalizations of the same vowels. Not only are babies more interested in talking with each other, but these early conversations also promote the development of more advanced language skills. (Don’t take it personally! The researchers stress that it’s still important for parents to talk with their babies, too.)

A note from Motherly: 7-month milestones

With a 7-month-old baby, it can simultaneously feel like just yesterday when they were a teeny newborn—and so long ago when you consider how much they’ve developed. While they are focused on learning and playing, we know you may feel pressure to help them hit every baby milestone “right on schedule.”

But the truth is that babies progress at different paces and that milestones are just general guidance but not hard-and-fast rules. Bring up any questions with your little one’s pediatrician.

Look ahead: 8-month-old baby milestones

A version of this story was originally published on Oct. 16, 2021. It has been updated.