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7th Month Guide
7th Month Guide
seventh month is often a very fun month for parents and babies;
possibly even more so that the previous couple of months. Since
last month, your baby may have developed many new abilities. Your
baby can likely understand a lot of what you are saying at this
point, and may have even been told “no” on occasion.
While this month is very fun and enjoyable, it
is also very busy. If your baby is crawling, you are likely chasing
him around the house on an hourly basis. Naptime probably doesn’t
last as long or happen as often as it used to, and you may find
yourself looking forward to it simply so that you can get a break
for a minute.
Physical Development and Appearance
While your baby’s size may not have increased
a whole lot over the last month, it is likely that her personality
has. It is also possible that she looks more and more like a little
kid every day, as opposed to just looking like a baby.
A baby’s weight can vary greatly, but the
average baby at the age of seven months is around 17 or 18 pounds.
The most important thing, though, is that your baby’s weight
gain stays consistent. For example, if your baby was in the 80th
percentile at three months of age, it isn’t necessarily a
good thing that your baby is now in the 30th percentile. This is
one of the key elements that doctors consider when determining whether
your baby is properly gaining weight. Yes, to a point, a doctor
does consider where your baby fits in on the growth chart of average
babies her age, but there are many factors that should be considered
when comparing your baby to others. This can include whether your
baby was born prematurely, the size of the baby’s parents,
There is no telling what your baby can do physically
during the seventh month. It’s possible that he can crawl
or scoot, or he may not have learned that yet. It is possible that
he is pulling up on things such as tables and chairs, or he may
not be. There are a variety of reasons why some babies can do stuff
at this age and others can’t, and it is very important to
not compare your baby to others.
Care for Baby
- Head care—it is getting closer and closer
to the time that you will not have to worry about your baby’s
soft spot, but you aren’t quite there yet. While your baby
may not have much of a soft spot left, it is still important to
make sure that your baby isn’t hit on the head (this may
seem like an impossible feat at times, but you should try to avoid
these types of injuries as much as you can). No parent will be
able to prevent their baby from getting hurt, but the less injuries
your child experiences, the better.
- Teething—your baby may have already
had a tooth come in, or you may experience your first tooth this
month, or you may have to wait another few months. If your baby
has already cut some teeth, you still may have to worry about
more. Even though there is an expected timeframe in which all
teeth come in, your baby may not stick to that. Your baby may
cut two teeth at a time, may be behind the average schedule or
ahead of it.
Wherever your baby is at in relation to the average age
of growth, you will still need to be prepared.
You will usually know that your baby is teething because he will
begin to drool more than usual, he will chew on things even more
than usual (even though you may not have thought this was possible),
he will be very cranky, he will possibly be running a low-grade
fever, and he might have diarrhea. If your baby displays all of
the symptoms above, you should check his gums. If they are red,
swollen, and he cries more than usual when you touch them, or
if you can see or feel a tooth coming in, then you will know that
he is teething. If, however, this isn’t the case, you need
to call his doctor just to be sure that he doesn’t have
some kind of illness.
If you can tell that your baby is definitely cutting teeth, there
are a few ways to you’re your little one with the pain:
give him cold or frozen teethers, apply a topical numbing cream
or lotion (or you can use teething tablets—some parents
say these are better than traditional ointments). In the place
of a teether, you can use a frozen waffle (take care to make sure
that your baby doesn’t bite any of the pieces off and take
it away before it gets soggy) or a frozen popsicle that is unwrapped
(this, of course, only applies to those kind in the plastic wrappers).
If your baby is going through the painful experience of teething,
it can seem like the crying and sleeplessness will go on forever,
but have hope. Usually, although every baby is different, the
severe pain will only last two or three days. Then, once the tooth
has broken the skin, while your baby may still be feeling some
discomfort, he will likely feel a lot better than before.
If your baby has already grown a tooth or two, there may be a
new problem that you have not yet experienced: biting. Babies
will bite their own tongue and lips, may hurt their gums with
their new tooth or teeth, and may bite you. If you stick your
finger in your baby’s mouth to feel around for the tooth,
to clean your baby’s gums, or for any other reason, you
might want to be prepared to be bitten. Since babies are very
experienced in sucking, this means they may have extremely strong
jaws, which can lead to quite a bit of surprising pain if your
baby does bite you.
Another problem with biting is one that only breastfeeding mothers
have to deal with: your baby may begin to bite your nipples while
drinking. If this happens to you, parents tend to report that
the best way to deal with it is to lightly take the breast away.
At this age, most babies have already learned what the word “no”
means. Tell him “no” and take the breast away for
a few minutes. It won’t take too many times before your
baby will connect biting with the breast being taken away, and
he will likely stop. If this doesn’t work, you can lightly
thump your baby on the nose when he bites you. This isn’t
painful for the baby (you should only do it hard enough to get
his attention), but is just irritating enough that it makes the
baby want to stop biting.
- Bathing—bathing a seven month old usually
isn’t much different than bathing a six month old—unless
your baby has learned to crawl during that time. If yours has,
there may be a big difference. As mentioned in the last month,
babies who are mobile tend to want to stay that way. Any restraint
at all can make them very mad. This may also include a bath ring.
So, your baby that used to love baths may begin to dislike them
due to the restraint. But, if you don’t leave him in a bath
ring, he may fall over. Whatever you decide to do is your choice,
but the important thing is that no matter what you choose, you
always keep a close eye on your baby. Even though bath rings may
seem like a safe place to leave babies, they have been known to
come unstuck and tip over, not allowing the baby to rise up out
of the water.
Even though your baby is older, and his skin isn’t as sensitive
as before, you should continue to use baby shampoos and soaps,
towels and washrags, and you should always make sure that the
temperature of the water is not too hot or cold. You can purchase
a water temperature thermometer at almost any drugstore if need
be. This is a little piece of plastic that you can stick in the
water and it will let you know if the water is too hot or cold.
Using these can prevent not only discomfort, but also pain and
possibly even burns.
- Diapers—depending on your baby’s
size, you may have needed to bump up another size in diapers.
It is also possible, though, that you haven’t had to do
this recently. Not only does it depend on how much your baby weighs,
as the package indicates, but there are other factors that come
into play as well. This can include how tall your baby is, and
your baby’s shape.
You have likely found the best diaper for your baby by now, even
if you had to switch once your baby began crawling. If your baby
has not yet begun to crawl, you may decide to switch once he does.
Diaper changes have possibly become even more infrequent than
before over the last couple of months, simply because you are
probably feeding your baby more solids and less formula or breast
milk than before. This means that your baby’s regular routine
may have changed quite a bit.
Despite your best efforts, your baby may have developed a diaper
rash by this point, as well. The most obvious method of treatment
and prevention is to apply the proper medicines and ointments.
Another way to prevent and heal any diaper rash that your baby
may have developed is to let her air out right after every diaper
change. After bath time is another great opportunity to let your
baby’s bottom get some air.
It is possible that your baby has already reached the age where
she does not feel comfortable with a wet or dirty diaper on, and
may pull at it when it needs to be changed. This is a wonderful
thing when it happens, because, although you may find yourself
changing diapers more often, your baby is less likely to end up
with a diaper rash.
- Gum care and tooth care—not all babies
will have a tooth during the seventh month, but if your baby does,
you need to care for it just as well as, or possibly even better
than, you do your baby’s gums. You should try to clean your
baby’s gums and teeth after every meal (for a baby, this
includes the breast or bottle as much as it does real food). If
you can’t do this, you should at least do it a few times
a day, especially before bed.
You should not allow your baby to go to bed with a bottle, especially
with juice, because this can cause tooth decay later.
When cleaning your baby’s gums, you can use just a simple
wet washcloth, or a gum cleaning kit from the baby isle of your
local drugstore. If you are cleaning your baby’s teeth (or
possibly tooth) you should use a toothbrush and toothpaste that
are both intended for babies. This can make tooth brushing painless
and fun, while not posing any harm to your baby (toothpaste that
is intended for adults is not safe for babies to eat).
- Sleep—once you have hit the seventh
month mark, your baby probably sleeps at least almost all night.
If your baby doesn’t quite sleep the entire night, you can
help this along by following the suggestions in month six.
Your baby will likely only take two naps a day at this point,
or three smaller ones. To get your baby to sleep through the night,
you can try to change your baby’s daytime nap schedule to
only two naps in addition to the techniques listed in the sixth
month sleep guide.
- Eating—the seventh month usually isn’t
much different than the sixth month when it comes to eating. Unless
your baby has a significantly higher number of teeth this month
than the last, he will need to continue eating the same types
of foods as before. He may, however, begin to eat a little more
baby food at each meal and want the bottle a little less. Another
difference that may occur during the seventh month in relation
to eating is, if your baby can sit up on his own now—and
especially if he can crawl—there are a variety of baby food
snacks that he may be able to eat now that he couldn’t before.
Even though you have probably introduced a variety of different
types of foods to your baby already, it is still important to
watch for food allergies. Since you never know until it happens,
you will want to continue this method with every single new food
you ever give your little one.
- Toys for this age—this may not have changed
a whole lot since the previous month, unless your baby has learned
a new ability during the past month. This includes crawling, sitting
up or pulling up, and can lead to the types of toys that were
listed in last month’s guide. This includes jumpers, walkers,
and other types of toys that involve your baby sitting up.
Your baby may like any type of toy that lights up and makes noise,
but it is almost certain that your baby’s favorite toys
will be those things that aren’t really toys. The top two
things that babies tend to love that weren’t meant to really
be played with are remote controls and car keys.
- New abilities—your baby may have been
crawling for over a month now, and be very good at it, or she
may have just begun to crawl, or she may not have crawled yet.
Even if your baby is not crawling yet, you shouldn’t worry
about her unless there are many reasons to think she is behind
other babies her age developmentally.
Otherwise, your baby may just be one of those who crawls late.
Some babies never even crawl, and instead go straight from scooting
or rolling to walking. Whatever new abilities your baby has developed
this month, just remember that your baby is doing everything at
her own pace and it has no bearing on how she will develop later.
Some babies crawl as early as four months old, and don’t
walk until they are well over a year old. Other babies don’t
crawl until they are nine months or older, and could begin crawling
a month later.
It is very likely that your baby says at least a couple of words
at this point. These words are almost always “dada”
and “mama.” Other words that your baby may know now,
or will probably learn soon, are such words as “bye-bye”
- Parents—the seventh month is a time
where many parents find themselves wondering what happened to
that little newborn baby they just held in their arms not so long
ago. There is really no way to battle these feelings except to
cherish every moment, and record every moment as best you can.
This can obviously do nothing to help time stand still, which
is what most parents would really prefer, but they can help to
make the time better spent while it lasts.
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