By now you are probably starting to get into a really good rhythm with your baby. Nighttime sleep is much more predictable, naps are reliable, and both you and baby are settling into a good routine. Playtime is fun and engaging, and you can actually see your baby make new connections to their world at every stage. By seven months, your baby is really showing their unique and social personality and finding new ways to express their wants and needs each day!
At seven months of age, your baby may…
Conquer the raking reach. Your baby has been reaching for toys and other objects for a while now. However, as she matures, she will exhibit a few new skills in the fine motor department. Around 7 months old, your little one will master the reach and rake motion, where she uses her hand to rake an object across the ground and closer to her body. This fun new skill is useful for playing, eating, and snatching up anything within a ten-foot radius!
Have full-color vision. By now your baby sees the world in every color of the rainbow. He sees objects in the colors they actually are, with bright and vivid tones. His color vision will sharpen as time goes on, but seeing in full color opens up a new world of interesting things to look at.
Appear joyful and happy most of the day. Everyone knows that infants have good and bad days. But as your baby gets older, she will tend to have far more good days that cranky ones. She will likely begin to appear happy and joyful through most of the day, pausing to cry only when she is unable to communicate her needs in a more effective way.
Begin to understand object permanence. Before now, your child did not understand that an object still existed when it was not in sight. This goes for people, animals, favorite toys, foods… everything. As he starts to gain an awareness of object permanence, huge cognitive developments are taking place. This new comprehension leads to many of the other milestones that he will experience over the next few months.
Love playing games. The first instance where object permanence comes in! Now that your baby knows that a toy or funny face exists even when she can’t see it, peek-a-boo will become a new favorite game. Or try dropping a shiny toy on the ground and covering it with a blanket, and watch her anticipate the moment when you will pull the covers off for the big toy reveal! You will likely get an eager request to play these same games over and over… and over and over and over again. Go with it! Your baby craves repetition at this age.
Experience separation anxiety. As your child begins to understand that people still exist even when they leave the room, he will possibly start to experience separation anxiety when a parent or most-loved caregiver is out of sight. Luckily, most babies don’t stay in this stage for too long, since it can be hard for everyone when your little one screams each time you aren’t near.
Get around town. Some babies have already mastered crawling, some are doing an arm-powered scoot, and some are rolling from place to place. But most seven month old babies are getting around the house somehow! No longer content to stay in one place, your baby will use whatever means necessary to explore a new room.
Determine emotions by tone of voice. This huge cognitive milestone is the start of a greater awareness that your baby will start exhibiting over the next few weeks and months. Around this time, she will understand that there is a difference between a stern voice, a happy sound, or sad words. Look for her to show those first signs of empathy soon.
Babble consonant sounds. Oohs and ahhhs have probably been your little one’s sole vocabulary until this point. By seven months old he will probably start adding in some consonants to the epic babble repertoire. This isn’t just repeating sounds, your child is now actively communicating, and coming up with sounds and patterns on his own.
Drop a nap. Babies tend to get into a very regular napping schedule around this time. Now that baby is taking 2-3 naps each day, you will be better able to plan outings, play groups, and park visits. Definitely take advantage of this new schedule by making time to get outside every day!
Over the last month or so, your baby has gone from a stationary infant to a social butterfly who can likely get around on their own. With all of these cognitive and motor developments taking place so rapidly, there are bound to be bumps in the road. Try not to get discouraged if your little one gets frustrated when unable to really communicate their needs with you. Since your baby’s social skills are blossoming, take advantage of local events where other families will be present. Look for lap-baby storytimes, parent and me park dates, or even mama and baby yoga classes. Being around other babies and parents will help both of you navigate this new stage of social development!