Your baby grew by leaps and bounds its first three months, and months 4 through 7 are no different. Your 7-month-old baby is developing muscles and moving with much more purpose, but what big milestones will he tackle at this stage?
According to Aimee Ketchum, a pediatric occupational therapist and founder of early childhood development company Aimee’s Babies, your baby is gaining more control over his body. At this age, “newborn reflexes go away, and they make way for purposeful movement.” Environment is key during this time, and the best way for your little one to develop physical skills is “for baby to have belly time on a firm surface,” says Jo Ann Serota, a pediatric nurse practitioner and a primary case study editor for the Journal of Pediatric Health Care. Here’s what your little one will learn during his tummy time, and how you can help.
What to Look For
By 5 months old, your baby should be rocking on his stomach and kicking his legs, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This rocking will eventually turn into rolling, but not the musical variety. Your baby will likely roll from his stomach to his back first, and then return to his stomach. According to Ketchum, “any child that’s given enough tummy time should [roll] on their own, and parents can [do activities] to help strengthen the core, and strengthen the neck, to facilitate rolling.”
Each milestone builds upon the next, so rolling will transition into sitting around 6 months. Ketchum says that “once [baby] gets a little more strength and stability through their trunk, then [they] can transition from rolling into sitting, and then sitting back into rolling.” Sitting unassisted is one of the most important milestones for your 7-month-old-baby, and he should be sitting with or without the support of his hands.
Your 7-month-old baby’s vision has developed significantly since birth, and he’s now able to perceive depth. His physical milestones are closely connected to his visual development, says Ketchum. He’ll test this newfound perception with his hands by reaching, transferring objects from one hand to the other, exploring his knees, feet and toes, and even using a raking grasp to snatch objects of interest. These 4- to 7-month physical milestones are the result of your baby’s development, and Ketchum recommends “touching opposite hands and feet together” to help your baby learn more about his body.