Baby's seventh month: stages of development

Your baby’s hand to eye coordination is quite sharp by seven months, although teething may cause her some discomfort.
Your baby’s hand to eye coordination is quite sharp by seven months, although teething may cause her some discomfort. 


Your baby’s shoulders, chest, abdomen and hips are now strong enough to support sitting alone as well and although she has increased flexibility she will not be able to manoeuvre her body into a sitting position from her back or tummy.

Once teeth do start to appear they should be brushed to ensure good habits and dental health.

Some form of crawling often appears this month, where your baby might propelling herself clumsily forward before collapsing, and will try to repeat this behaviour for long periods of time. Many babies begin crawling backwards or sideways before learning to move forwards, and some use one knee or slide on their bottoms. If your baby appears to only be using one side of his body, you should speak to your doctor. Babies who spend plenty of time on their stomachs usually crawl sooner than those babies who spend less time. To encourage a baby to crawl try placing a toy at a distance where he has to move his whole body to get it.

Seven month old babies who have learnt distinction between bold colours are now learning to differentiate between pastel shades as well. You may also see your baby anticipate actions in games that they play repeatedly, such as peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake. They laugh almost immediately at things that please them and do the same with things that frighten or unnerve them such as bursting into tears.

Babies are also developing tactile awareness and can hold an object in each hand and move an object from one hand to the other, and perhaps even hold a cup. Your baby can rotate her wrist now and manipulate their thumbs in conjunction with other fingers so that she can turn an object with her hands. This will eventually extend to her being able to wave hello and goodbye in later months.

Teething has probably begun by this stage and the first two teeth to come in are the two central incisors on the lower gums followed by the same two teeth on the upper gums. For this reason your baby may be in pain and cry more often, or become uninterested in eating and breastfeeding, because eating causes blood to rush to the swollen area making it even more sensitive. Ear pulling and cheek rubbing are also common and teething can also cause babies who previously slept through the night to start waking due to pain and discomfort. By offering something for your baby to chew on such as a wet washcloth or a solid silicon-based teething ring, a counter pressure is produced that provide some relief from the pain and medicated numbing gel can also help.

On the positive side, the initial pain babies experience when cutting their first few teeth will subside as later teeth come in. But if you have your baby in a routine where you feed him to sleep, now is a good time to cease this as baby’s teeth can decay if milk pools around them while the baby is sleeping. Once teeth do start to appear they should be brushed to ensure good habits and dental health. You only need to use a small amount of toothpaste as your baby shouldn’t be eating many foods that expose their teeth to cavities, such as foods with sugar. If you maintain your baby’s oral hygiene, you should not need to take your baby to the dentist until they are three years old.

If your baby still has not cut any teeth by eight months, you can continue to feed your baby solids regardless as gums are used primarily during eating to start with until molars are cut in between two and three years of age.

If your baby is seven months old and is still not smiling or vocalising at all you should speak to your baby’s doctor.

The information provided on Essential Baby is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor, child health nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). If you have any concerns about your child’s development please contact a medical professional.

Discuss infant development with other mums on the Essential Baby Forums here.