Bring out those teething rings!
Your 7-month-old will likely start moving more independently this month, and might begin exploring his surroundings in new ways.
In addition, his first tooth could be arriving soon. You'll need to help him cope with the pain of teething while you continue to foster his development. Here are some signs to watch for:
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- He might start drooling more heavily and biting on his hands.
- Saliva might cause a rash to develop on his chin.
- Inflamed gums can make him irritable and uncomfortable, and can also keep him up at night.
Here are some effective ways to help relieve your baby’s teething:
- Give him a frozen teething ring or other teething toy, or even a frozen wet washcloth to chew on to help relieve the discomfort.
- Replenish your stock of bibs, and try to keep cloths close by to help keep his clothes and face dry.
Starting Solid Foods
During month seven, your baby starts moving more independently, scooting around on his belly like a tadpole, and even, perhaps, eating his first cracker. This month, find out how to:
- Help your 7-month-old develop a strong mind and body
- Combine eating and playing
- Doctor's visits
At the end of month seven, you're baby will probably be getting his first tooth, and hitting other key milestones.
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Foods to consider in addition to breast milk or baby formula:
- Iron-fortified baby cereals (rice, barley, oats)
- Pureed meat (fully cooked beef, pork, chicken)
- Pureed or strained fruits (bananas, pears, apples, peaches)
- Pureed or strained vegetables (well-cooked carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes)
- Pureed tofu
- Pureed legumes (black beans, chickpeas, edamame, fava beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, and kidney beans)
Sounds like fun – healthy play for minds and bodies
Your baby's language, recognition, and social skills are at an important stage of development.
Help ensure that his development stays on track by continuing to engage him in some of the following activities:
- Chat with your baby every time you're together
- Expose him to a variety of sounds, and help him try to locate them
- Imitate the sounds your baby makes, and try to get him to make those sounds back to you
- Provide some quiet time when the radio and TV are not on
- Read children?s books or make your own with bright pictures from magazines (Be sure to point to and name objects and people as your baby looks at them)
You may also want to make a photo album of familiar family members, and point to and name objects and people so your baby absorbs new words. He may stay interested only a few minutes at a time, but try to do this every day.
Getting her hands on "grown up" food
Once your baby can sit on her own in a high chair, mealtime becomes a party. She wants to grab the spoon, put it in her mouth, and bang it on the tray, creating her own special baby song.
Eating comes with other surprises as well.
Sometime in the sixth or seventh month, she may be ready to eat a cracker or dry cereal by herself. Not only does this introduce her to "grown-up" food, but it also lets her practice her fine-motor skills.
Keep in mind that even though she is eating solid foods, breast milk or formula is still her primary source of nutrition.
And remember, while it is difficult to never leave the room while your baby eats, it is important to stay with her to prevent choking or tumbles from the high chair.
Kids and germs – the more they play the more they share
As your baby plays more with other babies and children, he's more likely to pick up colds and viruses.
Symptoms worthy of a visit to your pediatrician:
While every baby gets these illnesses, talk with your baby's health care professional if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Runny nose or congestion that interferes with eating or sleeping or lasts longer than a week to 10 days
- Cough that is associated with vomiting or that interferes with sleep
- Unusual fatigue and crankiness
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Decreased appetite
- Pulling at his ears
Regular "well-baby appointments" during this time will also put your mind at ease, reassuring you that your baby is reaching developmental milestones and getting the recommended vaccinations that protect him from serious childhood illnesses.
Sleep patterns and tips at 7 months
- Separation anxiety your baby might have developed last month could keep him up at night.
- Your baby might stay awake later, or wake up more often, to practice his newest crawling and sitting abilities.
- If your baby begins waking up in the middle of the night, try putting him to sleep earlier.
It’s time for a serious baby-proofing.
With her added dexterity, increasing mobility, and expanding curiosity, she’ll soon be reaching and grabbing for everything. Keeping her safe (and your stuff protected) is a constant vigil.
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Researching and implementing some baby-proofing strategies and techniques will make everyone’s lives a lot easier, safer, and more enjoyable. And did we mention safer?
Don't be surprised if this shift to increased independence results in some major mini-me meltdowns, especially during transition times like when you’re walking out the door for work. There are many online resources for strategies to calm nerves (hers and yours), reassure uncertainty (hers and yours), and smooth these transitions.