Suddenly your baby can do so much for himself! This is an exciting time for you and for him – you may notice he’ll start to look at you for a smile of praise when he’s doing something he thinks you’ll like. Don’t forget to reward him with lots of hugs and attention.
1. He’s starting to make a lot more sounds – ma, mi, da, di, ba are all common around this stage – and he’ll be delighted if you say them back to him. New evidence suggests your baby really is trying to say words he’s heard. Research in the US and Canada in 2002 found that when a baby babbles it engages the left side of the brain, which is the seat of language.
2. He may well be moving around the floor on his belly by now. This is known as ‘creeping’ and can be disconcerting – you can’t quite believe your little baby can manage to get so far across the room on his own. Some seven-month-olds can even drag themselves into a sitting position from lying on their stomach by pushing down on their arms.
3. His fine motor skills are coming on apace, and he’s now able to scoop things up with one hand and transfer them to the other. He may be able to clasp his hands together, too.
4. Seven-month-old babies love their feet! They enjoy bringing their feet up to their mouth, playing with their toes and even just looking at them. They’ll also use their feet, as well as their hands, to explore textures and objects around them.
5. His eye colour may well change around this time. That’s because the pigment of the iris, which determines eye colour, doesn’t fully form until a baby is a few months’ old – so what you see in a baby’s eyes until then is the colour of the retina showing through. In general, the darker a newborn’s eyes are, the sooner the final eye colour will become apparent.
He’ll be wanting to show you all the new things he can now do
Help them learn
There’s a lot you can do to stimulate and encourage your baby
- Your baby is now interested in how things fit together. A set of nesting cups, or any toy with different parts, will hold his attention for a long time and give you lots of potential for new games. He can also look into a container – a cup or a bowl – to see what’s inside.
- He’s able to imitate noises or simple actions such as clapping hands – try it and see if your baby attempts to copy you. He’ll also enjoy seeing you bang two toys together, and if you put them where he can get them he may pick them up and try to do the same.
- He has realised you are separate from him and hates it when you move out of eyesight. As his separation anxiety reaches its peak, stay close to him when he meets new people to give him confidence. If he cries when you leave a room, keep talking – he’ll learn to feel safe with your voice. When you have to leave, hug and kiss him before you go and tell him you’ll be back.
- Your baby will choose his own comforter at this age – whether it’s a cuddly toy, blanket or muslin – and hate to be parted from it. Insure against disaster by having an identical comforter in reserve in case one is lost.
- He is probably interested in starting to feed himself, so give him a spoon and let him have a go with it. A two-handled cup is worth trying around now, too – don’t expect your baby to master it straightaway, but keep trying because in the long-term it’s better for teeth for him to be drinking non-milk drinks from a cup than from a bottle.
At seven months old, babies love toys that help them learn to move and play
- Remember, babies are individuals and develop at different rates. If you have any concerns, see your GP or health visitor.