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.
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.