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- 7-Month-Old Baby Sleep Regressions
- 7-Month-Old Baby Developmental Milestones
- 7 Month Old Sleep Schedule
- Sample 7 Month Old Sleep Schedules
- Sleep Training Method
- My Thoughts on 7 Month Old Sleep Schedule
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7-Month-Old Baby Sleep Regressions
The 7-month-old sleep regression may surprise you. After all, at 7 months, a baby is most likely settling into a more predictable sleeping schedule. However, several developmental milestones may start affecting a baby’s sleep, such as separation anxiety, eating more solid food, nap transition, and teething. Here are the top signs your baby is experiencing the 7 month old sleep regression:
- Increased fussiness during the day and night
- Increased night wakings
- Fewer naps during the daytime
- Changes in appetite
Babies have biological clocks that signal an internal timing mechanism for sleep based on dark (nighttime) and light (daytime) cues. A baby at this age will naturally have a bedtime between 6:30 – 8 pm based on their circadian rhythm. However, when baby is learning and improving on new skills, they may exhibit fussiness at their natural bedtime and increased night waking.
Here are three ways to help align your baby with their natural circadian rhythm:
- Put baby to bed early
- Let baby fall asleep independently
- Stick to a consistent bedtime routine
Separating anxiety may start becoming an issue for your baby at this age. This is often one of the reasons for sleep regressions at this age. The baby may resist being watched by anyone other than their primary caretaker. In addition, they may be scared to be left alone at night in their crib. If mom or dad leaves the room, they may get frightened. This is to be expected at 7 months old.
The baby may be experiencing more feedings to accommodate their growth spurt at this age. More feedings can lead to increased night wakings because the baby’s body simply needs more milk or formula.
At 7 months old, your baby is most likely drinking six to eight ounces of formula, nursing every three to four hours, or taking in about 25 ounces of breast milk per day. In addition, the baby is eating solid foods about three times during the day, preferably spaced out 1 to 2 hours between drinking breastmilk or formula.
Top Tips for Sleep Problems
First of all, remember that the 7 month old Sleep Regression will be temporary. Even though you may feel tired and frustrated, please remember that baby will outgrow this sleep regression at 7 months old.
Here are some of our top tips to get through the 7-month-old sleep regression:
- Night Feeds – Be sure to respond to baby’s increased hunger cues for breastmilk or formula during the nighttime
- White noise – Incorporating white noise machines into your baby’s sleep routine can help the baby fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
- Nap transition – At 7 months old, expect your baby to take 2-3 naps. The first two naps of the day will be roughly an hour long, and the third nap will be more of a half-hour “power nap.”
- 12-16 hours of sleep – New parents should keep in mind that babies should get 12-16 hours of sleep throughout a 24-hour period at this age. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps).
7-Month-Old Baby Developmental Milestones
At 7 months old, your baby’s brain is growing and developing at an increased pace. While babies may be busy growing, their sleep may be disrupted due to everything that is going on in their tiny bodies!
Your baby’s body is going through growth spurts as it manages all the developmental milestones below:
- Most babies can sit on their own at 7 months old.
- Babies can roll in both directions, even during their sleep.
- Some babies can pull themselves up to a standing position
- Laughing and repeating words they hear
- Teething as new teeth start coming in
- Increased drooling
7 Month Old Sleep Schedule
Finding the right sleep schedule for your 7 month old can feel like trial and error. Sometimes you try to stick to a sleep schedule and for whatever reason, it just seems impossible to maintain. And that’s ok! Finding the best nap schedule is a personal choice for your family.
For example, nap times sometimes have to revolve around older siblings’ afternoon classes. Baby will start napping for more extended stretches by 7 months, and daytime naps may shift around depending on the day. The second nap and third nap may change depending on whether it is a weekday or the weekend, and depending on how much awake time the baby needs that day. Sometimes a baby may take a quick nap in their car seat and the baby’s sleep routine may be affected. Baby’s nighttime sleep may also be affected by increased night feedings.
Keeping all this in mind, here is a basic sleep schedule among 7-month-old babies:
- Wake up time at 6:30 am
- First daytime feed (breast or bottle) shortly after wake-up time
- First solids about 1 hour after feeding at 7:30 am
- Second daytime feed (breast or bottle) at 8:30 am
- First Nap (1 hour long) at 9 am
- Third daytime feed (breast or bottle) shortly after wake-up time
- Second solids at 12 pm
- Second Nap (2 hours long) at 1 pm
- Fourth daytime feed (breast or bottle) shortly after wake-up time
- Third solids at 5 pm
- Bedtime routine (bath, pajamas, and reading a book) at 6:15 pm
- Fifth daytime feed (breast or bottle) at 6:45 pm
- Time to go to sleep at 7 pm
Sample 7 Month Old Sleep Schedules
Here are some additional sample sleep schedules for you to look over. Choose your favorite one and try it out! Remember, if the first one doesn’t work for you, try to tweak it to fit your schedule or try one of the other sample sleep schedules for 7 month old babies. The sample sleep schedules include examples of two naps and three naps.
Sleep Training Method
Sleep training is a process to encourage babies to sleep through the night, and can be started when your baby is as early as four months old. Therefore, at seven months old, sleep training has a definite possibility of being successful. Some of the most popular sleep training techniques are:
- Cry it out
- Ferber method (check and console)
- Pick up, put down
- The chair method
- Bedtime fading
According to sleep experts from the National Sleep Foundation, the recommended sleep durations during a 24-hour period for infants are 12-15 hours.
In order to meet these sleep goals, here are some of the top tips for healthy sleep habits that will help to ensure that any sleep training method is a success with your 7-month-old:
Having an early bedtime is one efficient way to sleep train and have success. Be patient and time it right. Looking for baby’s sleep cues is one way to know if they are getting ready for bedtime. For example, if the baby starts rubbing their eyes and yawning, it may be a good time for your baby to start going to bed. If you watch carefully for your baby’s sleep cues, you will be able to avoid having an overtired baby and your sleep routine will go smoother.
An early bedtime timeframe would be around 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Also, keep in mind that most 7 month olds will need to be awake about 3 hours prior to bedtime.
To ensure a longer sleep stretch at night, try to allow the baby to sleep anywhere from 9 to 12 hours at night consecutively. This is an approximate estimate to ensure the baby is getting enough sleep.
Consistent bedtime routine for 7 month old sleep schedule
Another important factor for sleep training your infant is keeping a consistent bedtime routine. In fact, having this routine in place will be important as your baby grows up too! Toddlers also have sleep routines that they can look forward to and expect to happen. So it is wise to start your bedtime routine as early as 7 months old or sooner. Here are some ideas of what to do during your bedtime routine for your 7 month old:
- Warm bath – A warm bath after dinner is such a fun and relaxing idea for a baby. It helps clean them up before bed and is a very soothing experience.
- Bedtime story – A bedtime story before bed can help boost a baby’s brain development and get the baby to hear some words!
- Sleep sack – Sleep sacks can be a comforting thing for babies to wear in their first year.
My Thoughts on 7 Month Old Sleep Schedule
The 7-month sleep regression can be tough, so it’s a good idea to prepare and read ahead for what’s to come. Your baby’s sleep cycle goes through many changes during the first twelve months of age. It can be frustrating to know exactly how much sleep your baby needs at 7 months old. By sticking to a 7 month old sleep schedule, such as the examples outlined above, you can develop more confidence that you are providing your child with a secure sleep environment for maximum sleep performance. The 7-month sleep schedule can be tried and perfected as you go. A baby’s sleep schedule can be fluid, and sometimes the best way to find the perfect sleep schedule is to just try one out. Baby’s sleep schedule will get more and more consistent as baby gets closer to his or her first birthday. So remember, this too shall pass! Good luck!
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