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Your 7-Month-Old

Is your baby showing signs of separation anxiety? Reaching for you when someone else is holding him, crying when you disappear into the next room or leave the house—these are signs of a very normal part of a healthy attachment relationship between parent and baby. Hold your baby a lot, get down on the ground and play, keep your routines predictable—as time goes on, your baby learns that you do go away, but you always come back. It's not always easy for Mom to always be so needed, but just know that this too, shall pass.

Eat

You're not just feeding your baby solid food, you're laying the groundwork for her relationship to food over the years. This means thinking not just about what you're feeding, but how you're feeding it.

"The goal is to let the initiation to eat or not eat come from the baby," says Los Angeles Mommy and Me group leader and author Julie Wright. Early on, that means respecting the baby's cues and trying not to have an emotional reaction, positive or negative, around whether your baby eats. Enjoy food with her—have a version of what she's eating so she sees you eating too.

You can offer two foods at two meals a day, says board-certified infant feeding specialist Cynthia Epps. Keep the food servings separate, with each averaging approximately two ounces of puree. "Between 7 and 8 months, two purees of green and yellow vegetables and/or any of the various potatoes—peeled, steamed sweet potatoes, yams, red, white or yellow potatoes, and fingerlings—can build your baby's meals," says Epps. "Fruits are optional, and may be offered as little as two to three times a week to minimize the development of a sweet tooth."

Sample feeding schedule:

Morning: Breast or bottle feed

Mid-morning: Breast or bottle feed

Lunch: 1-2 ounces green/yellow veggies, diluted with water. You may offer the solids first and finish the meal with breast/bottle feeding.

Mid-afternoon: Breast or bottle feed

Dinner: 2 ounces veggie puree or baby cereal diluted with water. Breast/bottle feeding, as desired.

Bedtime: Breast or bottle feed.

Night feed(s): Breast or bottle feed, if needed.

Sleep

At this age, babies need between 10.5–12 hours of nighttime sleep and take 2–3 naps per day (depending on the length of the nap), says sleep consultant Heather Turgeon. A typical 7-month-old's sleep schedule will look something like this (adapted from "The Happy Sleeper"):

Bedtime 7 p.m.

Wake time 6 a.m.

Nap 1 8:00 a.m.

Nap 2 12:00 p.m.

Nap 3 3:30 p.m. (short nap)

If your baby's naps are long, she may only take 2 naps. Most babies move to a 2-nap schedule by 9 months of age, and those naps will be around 1–2 hours each, says Turgeon.

Play

When you play with your baby, try to hang back and watch. Let him lead the play—and you follow. Pause and notice what he's doing: is he trying to communicate, is he pointing at something, watching shadows on the wall or reveling in the sound of a toy shaker? Whatever it is, see if you can join in and let him lead you. Add to what he does and build on his curiosity instead of trying to direct the play—this is a great parenting skill to practice.

Milestones

  • Your baby may rock back and forth on hands and knees, a precursor to crawling.
  • He rakes objects towards himself to grasp them.
  • You'll hear different, more mature sounds and babbles in baby conversation now.

LOOK AHEAD: Your 8-Month-Old

Photograph by: Getty Images

Explore More: baby care, sleep, milestones, baby feeding, Baby 101, Month by Month
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