At seven months old, your baby is rapidly developing physically and mentally. To keep up with this growth, getting enough rest and sleep is crucial.
As your baby grows, they need less and less total sleep. However, they’ll tend to sleep for longer stretches at night. By the time your child is 7 months old, they may sleep for up to 11 hours at night. On the other hand, their daytime naps will decrease in both duration and frequency (four hours).
Most 7-month-old babies sleep for an average of 12–15 hours every day. Of course, the exact number of hours of sleep needed can slightly vary from baby to baby.
If your baby finds it hard to sleep for a long stretch and always seems irritable, it may be because of an underlying issue. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to make sure any medicines you’re taking while breastfeeding, including antibiotics, are safe.
Every child is different, right down to their sleep preferences. Here are two examples of sleep schedules for a 7-month-old baby to give you an idea of what one may look like.
1. This is an example of a sleep schedule for a formula-fed 7-month-old baby who has begun sleeping for longer stretches at night:
|10:00||Wake up and formula feeding|
|17:00||Wake up, playtime|
|20:30||Awake, reading books|
|23:00||Bedtime until 10:00 a.m. the next day|
2. This is an example of a sleep schedule for a breastfed seven-month-old baby who may still wake up during the night for feeds:
|8:00||Wake up and nursing|
|18:30||Bath and changing|
- Stick to a sleep routine: By seven months of age, your child is ready to begin adapting to a sleep routine. You can create an established routine for playing, bathing, changing, and feeding that stays consistent every day. This will help your little one get used to the routine and fall asleep around the same time every day.
- Put your baby in their crib when they’re drowsy but still awake: By doing this, your baby will learn to associate their bed with the feeling of sleepiness. It will also help them understand how to fall asleep on their own. Remember to lay the baby down on their back and remove any toys or obstructions from the crib.
- Allow the baby to settle in on their own: At seven months, your child may still wake up on their own at different points in the night. When this happens, give them time to settle down and fall asleep on their own. If they don’t, reassure and comfort them by patting them or simply going near them and talking softly, which can help them feel secure.
- Help your baby understand daytime and nighttime: It’s important to help your baby distinguish daytime from nighttime. Keeping the house full of natural light during the day and dimming the lights during the night can greatly help with making this difference clear. Try to keep the TV and other screens off after dark to reduce the amount of artificial light in the house, as this can distract the baby.
- Reserve playtime and vigorous activity for daytime: Now that your baby needs fewer naps during the day, you can keep them active during this period. This can be done with a lively playtime schedule and making the daytime feeding ritual an energetic activity. This will stimulate them and ensure they are tired enough to want to sleep at night.
At seven months, sleeping patterns may start to change. A sound sleep schedule is crucial for the growth and development of your child. At this age, they may begin sleeping for longer stretches during the night and taking fewer (and shorter) daytime naps. It’s a good idea to establish a sleep routine to help them follow a consistent sleep schedule.
This can be done by following a pattern of feeding, bathing, and changing the baby at the same time and in the same sequence every day. Your child may also sleep better if you restrict vigorous play to daytime and do relaxing activities at night.
It’s important to remember that every child is different, including their sleep preferences. If, despite establishing a sleep routine, your child is unable to sleep for a long stretch, cries often at night, and is constantly irritable, it may be a good idea to consult your health care provider. They can look for underlying reasons, such as allergies and infection, and determine how to best create a quality sleep schedule for your child.
“Getting Your Baby to Sleep.” HealthyChildren.org, www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/getting-your-baby-to-sleep.aspx.
“Help Your Baby Sleep through the Night.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2 Sept. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/baby-sleep/art-20045014.
“Infant Sleep.” Stanford Children's Health - Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=infant-sleep-90-P02237.
Tham, Elaine Kh, et al. “Infant Sleep and Its Relation with Cognition and Growth: a Narrative Review.” Nature and Science of Sleep, Dove Medical Press, 15 May 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440010/.