7 months old
your baby is on the move. Repeat, your baby is on the move. Well, if not now, then soon. She hasn’t quite reached toddler-levels of mobility and mayhem yet, but once crawling starts, many parents are surprised by how much their low-to-the-ground creepers can reach. Whether your baby is crawling, creeping, scooting, rolling, or even hopping, she is able to move further and faster every day.
She may find herself not wanting to go too far before too long, though. your baby is moving into the period of life when she might not want to leave your arms, even for a second. This is called separation anxiety, and tends to develop as she gets a better sense of object permanence - the idea that objects continue to exist even when she can’t see and touch them. Around the time when babies start to make this realization, many little ones start to get a little clingy with the people they spend the most time with. Separation anxiety can be difficult to deal with, but it’s temporary, and there are ways to help manage it, like by avoiding drawn out goodbyes.
Even babies who don’t get anxious about being separated from their parents though often don’t wander too far away when they’re first starting to explore the world on their own. You may notice that while your baby explores new or familiar areas, she will still turn and “check back in” with you, or make sure you’re watching the amazing things she is seeing. This is a sign of your baby’s secure attachment to you, even as she starts to stretch her wings - or legs - and explores the world.
Another of the big, exciting things 7-month-olds have to explore, besides the living room, the local park, and the abilities of her own body, is food. By now, your baby is probably eating some pureed solids, and even a little safe, easy-to-eat finger foods, though a significant amount of her nutrition probably still comes from breast milk or formula. Introducing your little one to solids can be a messy adventure, but it should be a fun one, as well, so try not to take it too personally if your baby isn’t always as enthusiastic about your cooking as you might hope.
- Drinks from a cup with help: It seems crazy that your baby would get her hydration the same way you do, but around the 7-month mark or a bit later, many babies are ready to start drinking out of a cup with some help. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends switching all babies from the bottle to the cup by the 1-year mark.
- Plays peekaboo: Some do it later, some earlier, but about now is when many babies might start actively engaging in peekaboo. Peekaboo is an all-time top-3 game, so it’s only natural that your baby gets a real kick out of it...you did too when you were her age!
- Can self-feed from finger foods: You might not know if this is possible if you’ve been sticking with the mushy stuff exclusively, but many babies at this time are curious and coordinated enough to be able to feed themselves finger foods. Try some noodles or Cheerios to get started.
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