Your baby is now growing up fast. They may well be sitting on their own, eating solid foods - although breastmilk or formula will still be their main source of nutrition - and understanding more about what you want from them. It's an exciting time to watch them grow.
At some time between 5 and 7 months, you may well see the first tooth bud appear in your baby’s mouth, probably in the middle of their lower jaw. Don’t panic if your baby isn’t teething yet, it’s quite normal not to see a tooth until they reach 12 months. When teeth start to grow, expect a lot more drooling. You could then give your baby a teething ring to chew on to ease discomfort.
Your baby will likely be taking solids by now. They may be chewing, holding onto a bottle or putting food in their mouth. Try a variety of soft foods, but make sure you avoid cow’s and goat’s milk, honey, salt, sugar, butter or fruit juice. Don’t give your baby anything hard that they could choke on, such as nuts, seeds, raw carrots, celery sticks or chunks of apple.
What can your baby can do?
Your baby's fine motor skills will be getting better. They will be able to pick up things with one hand, pass an object from one hand to the other, and may be able to clasp their hands together. They will be picking things up with their fingers and dragging objects towards them, then examining them closely, banging them together or putting them in their mouth.
By 7 months, many babies can sit unsupported – but you should still make sure they are surrounded by cushions for a soft landing. They will be able to turn around to reach something and may even be able to sit up themselves from lying on their stomach. They will be able to support some weight on their legs and will love bouncing up and down.
Their memory will also be getting much better. That means they will look for something when it’s covered or when it’s dropped on the floor. They will love a jack-in-the-box or pop-up books with stories they remember.
Their growing awareness means they understand more about what you want from them. They will get excited when you enter a room and will hate being apart from you – that’s often why they call for you in the middle of the night. It’s the start of separation anxiety and will fade as they grow older. They may also start testing your authority at this age and refusing to do what you ask. It doesn’t mean they are being bad; testing the boundaries like this is a normal part of their development.
Your baby will be babbling a lot and starting to mimic the sound of language. They may be saying ‘mama’ or ‘dada’, although they won’t really know what these words mean. They’ll be able to use noises to grab your attention and will use facial expressions like frowning or grinning to communicate with you.
How to help your baby develop
Playing with a 7-month-old is fun! Spend plenty of time reading together and talking about the pictures to help develop their imagination. Talk to them constantly, describing the world around them and telling them what you are doing around the house. Your baby will love spending time outdoors – but remember to keep them safe in the sun.
Babies at this age like things that are predictable, so they will love repetitive games like peek-a-boo, round and round the garden and pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake. They may also have a favourite soft toy by now, which you’ll need to take everywhere – just make sure you don’t lose it!
Development problem signs
Babies develop at different rates. When your baby reaches 7 months, talk to your doctor or maternal child health nurse if they:
- aren’t starting to move at all
- aren't showing any interest in or reaching for objects
- don’t recognise you or a main carer
- don’t turn towards quiet sounds
- aren’t babbling or recognising sounds made by other people
- don’t make eye contact
- can’t be comforted by you or a main carer
- hold their body stiff rather than trying to sit
Where to seek help
If you are worried or would like to discuss any issues with your baby’s development, speak to your doctor, maternal child health nurse, or call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436.
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Last reviewed: October 2018