7 Month Old Baby Milestones
As your baby gets older, his physical achievements will have a ripple effect on the rest of his development. "The typical developmental charts divided skill areas into separate domains, when in fact they are all very interconnected," says Claire Lerner, LCSW-C, director of parenting resources at Zero to Three, a national nonprofit focused on infant and toddler development. "It's not just that the child can sit up; it's how sitting up allows for the development of skills in other domains as well."
What to Expect in the Seventh Month
An important 7 month baby milestone: your child should be able to sit up on his own or with some support. “That’s major, because he’ll have the use of his hands to reach out to explore and manipulate things," Lerner says. Such hands-on activity is beneficial for Baby's brain. "It encourages cognitive development because that kind of exploration of objects is how children learn," Lerner explains.
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Your baby's fine motor skills are also improving, although he still probably won't have the precise control of the pincer grasp, which comes later. Instead, your little one will probably use his whole palm to reach, grasp, and bang toys together.
Your baby might also test out other new floor moves. "They're learning to go from sitting to crawling or crouching stance, so parents might see them tipping over, which isn't a bad thing—they're just trying to learn," says Yvette Warren, M.D., a family physician who helped develop Countdown to Growing Up: A Growth and Development Tracker for the National Fatherhood Initiative.
Although some babies are already creeping and crawling this month, others will rock back and forth on their hands and knees as they work toward figuring out how to push themselves forward. But even if these babies haven't taken off yet, they can roll toward whatever they're interested in. "Usually, if a child is motoring around a little, it's to reach a goal," Lerner says. "They already have a plan at that age—they want to get closer to you or a desired object."
How to Help Baby Development
Lerner recommends building off the skills your baby already has. If your baby picks up blocks and drops them on the floor, for example, bring over a bucket and show her how to drop them in. "The key is that you're following the child's lead," Lerner says. "You're being a good observer to see what your child is able to do and how you can encourage her to take the next step."
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Toy activity panels with knobs, squeaks, and other sensory elements are a big hit with babies this age, Dr. Warren says. But your own living room can also provide plenty of entertainment: Lean your little one against the couch, and put an interesting object nearby to see if she goes for it. If your baby is rocking on all fours, try placing an interesting item just out of reach to tempt her to crawl.
If your child isn't starting to sit or show interest in exploration, talk to your pediatrician or other trusted child development professional. "At 7 months, not crawling or motoring is still very much in normal limits, as long as your child is making progress," Lerner says. Also, don't worry if your baby still needs support to stand. "It's very rare for 7-month-olds to be able to pull themselves up," Dr. Warren says.