At seven months old, your baby’s physical and mental development happens at a rapid rate. To keep up with this growth, an adequate amount of rest and sleep is crucial.
- Physical growth: Adequate and good quality sleep allows for the baby’s rapid physical growth at this point.
- Mental development: Getting enough sleep is important to fuel brain development in your baby. Research has shown a positive link between sleep and memory, language, and overall cognitive development in children — even later in life.
- Preventing later-in-life physical and mental conditions: Studies show that adults that had a disturbed sleep schedule as babies suffer a greater risk of being obese and having high blood pressure, as well as depression.
- Allows parents to combat sleep deprivation: A healthy sleep schedule for your child means you get enough rest, too. This is important, since it’s only possible to take care of your child well if you get enough time to recover! Being well rested may also be important for combatting or managing postpartum depression.
7-month-old nap schedule: How much sleep do they need?
As your baby grows, the hours of sleep they need gradually reduces. 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 during the night. On the other hand, their daytime naps will decrease in both duration and frequency (4 hours).
At this time your 7-month-old baby sleeps for an average of 15 hours every day. Of course, keep in mind that the exact number of hours of sleep needed may slightly vary from baby to baby.
If your baby finds it hard to sleep for a long stretch and seems to be constantly irritable, it may be because of an underlying issue. If you’re breastfeeding, it is important to make sure any medicines you’re taking while breastfeeding are safe (antibiotics as well) and do not have an adverse effect on the baby.
Every child is different, and their sleep preferences may reflect this as well. However, here are two examples of sleep schedules for a 7-month-old baby:
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 am: Wake up and formula feeding
10:15 am: Playtime
12:30: Short nap
15:00: Playtime activity
17:00: Wake up, playtime
17:45: Formula feeding
19:30: Short nap
20:30: Awake, reading books
21:45: Formula feeding
23:00: Bedtime until 10:00 am the next day
2. This is an example of a sleep schedule for a breastfed 7-month-old baby who may still wake up during the night for feeds:
8:00: Wake up and nursing
8:15 to 9:30: Playtime
9:30 to 11:00: Nap
11:00: Playtime, activity
11:45 to 12:30: Nap
14:00 to 15:00: Nap
15:15 to 17:00: Playtime
18:30 to 19:00: Bath and changing
8:00: Wake up
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- Stick to a sleep routine: By 7 months of age, your child is ready to begin adapting to a sleep routine. You may create an established routine for playing, bathing, changing, and feeding that stays consistent every day. This will help your little one gets 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 in the crib.
- Allow baby to settle in on their own: At 7 months, your child may still have night awakenings where they wake up on their own at different points in the night. In these situations, give them time to settle back and fall asleep on their own. If they don’t, you may 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 during the night 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 not only stimulate them, but also make sure they are tired enough to want to sleep at night.
As your baby turns 7 months old, their sleeping patterns may start to change. A sound sleeping schedule is crucial for the growth and development of your child. At this point, 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 sleeping routine to help them follow a consistent sleeping 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 keep vigorous play time for the day and indulge in relaxing activity at night. It’s important to remember that every child is different, and their sleeping preferences may reflect that. 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 doctor for further discussion. They can look into the underlying reasons (allergy or infection) and find out how to best encourage a quality sleep schedule for your child.