From day one, your baby has maintained that special spot in your heart. But by month seven, he knows it and he intends to keep it that way. Baby will push the limits in all his activities; in fact, he's already learning how far he can go. Why is it that your childcare provider considers him an angel at lunch but he throws sweet potatoes at you at dinner? It's because baby knows that your love and acceptance (if not your patience) are endless.
Keep in mind that it's good for baby to start maintaining some control over his environment, but as his parent, you need to determine how far he can go.
Milestones this month*
- Your baby now can bear weight on his legs when you hold him upright.
- He can sit without support.
- Baby can stand while holding onto someone or something.
- He can pull himself up to a standing position from a seated one.
- Baby walks by holding on to furniture.
- He babbles.
- Baby plays peekaboo.
- He plays patty-cake.
- Baby waves good-bye.
- He can say "mama" or "dada."
*All babies have their own internal developmental timetable. If your 7-month-old hasn't yet reached these milestones, rest assured that she will in time. If you have concerns about your baby's development, discuss them with her doctor.
Ready for action
As your baby cruises through his seventh month, he's more aware of how strong he is -- and how that strength can get him where he wants to go. With strength comes your baby's desire to get moving, and he'll be crawling soon.
Caution! Some parents buy baby walkers to help their little ones travel from room to room. Many doctors discourage the use of baby walkers. Too many emergency rooms have seen babies who've fallen down staircases while in a walker; walkers also can tip over or roll onto the fingers or toes of other children at home. Some doctors also believe that too much time in a walker can slow a baby's muscle development.
Expect plenty of testing
Prepare yourself for the manipulation game. Your baby has learned that a mere squawk from his mouth will send you running; the insistent lifting of his arms all but guarantees you'll sweep him off his feet. Resist the temptation. Here's how to help your baby learn to entertain himself for short periods of time:
- Devote short periods of time to him all day, or see that your child-care provider does. Sit down and read him a book, play finger games with him, or help him build a tower of blocks. Let him know you're always availableñbut just for limited amounts of time.
- Provide a change of atmosphere if baby starts to fuss. Place baby onto a blanket on the floor or move him to another room. (Just make sure he's not fussing because he's tired, hungry, or in need of a fresh diaper.) Monitor his surroundings periodically, occasionally replacing the few toys that are within his reach. Don't let piles of toys accumulate around him; they can overwhelm him.
- If his crankiness doesn't subside, go to baby and show him how to play with a particular toy or object, but don't sit down with him or pick him up. After a brief demonstration, go back to your own tasks. And don't hesitate to tell himñin a calm, pleasant voiceñthat you need to do your work, too. Keep chatting or singing to him as you busy yourself within his earshot; return to him if he threatens to erupt but before he actually starts to scream. (You don't want him to think that this is the ultimate way to bring you back to your senses.)
Changing eye color
Sometime between 6 and 7 months, your baby's eyes may change color. Until now, they've appeared blue. The amount of pigment in the eye's iris determines the permanent color, a pigment which may not be fully developed until your baby is closer to a year old. Blue eyes still could turn brown, but brown eyes won't become blue.
Get to Know Your Baby!
1. Your Amazing One-Month-Old
2. Your Cooing 2-Month-Old
3. Your Smiling 3-Month-Old
4. Your Laughing 4-Month-Old
5. Your Rockin' & Rollin' 5-Month-Old
6. Your Social 6-Month-Old
7. Your Stronger 7-Month-Old
8. Your Crawling 8-Month-Old
9. Your Intent 9-Month-Old
10. Your Active 10-Month-Old
11. Your Busy 11-Month-Old
12. Wow! Your Baby is 1-Year-Old!
The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.