Children need familiarity and routine to feel secure.
Even babies who don't have a scheduled routine can appreciate a familiar rhythm to their day. This helps them feel secure knowing what is likely to come next in their day.
At 7 months of age babies might not be able to stick to a rigid schedule, but having a flexible routine around sleeping and eating can be reassuring for 7-month-old babies. So what is a typical sleeping schedule for 7-month-old babies and what's the usual nap schedule? Find out all about the most common 7-month sleep schedule and the typical 7-month-old feeding schedule with our standard 7-month-old schedule tips below.
For more parenting tips, check out our guide to an [8-month-old schedule] and to the [8 month sleep regression].
Why Are Schedules Important?
Schedules help make the outside world more predictable. Babies and young children thrive on security and stability and can feel less anxious about the new world around them when there is a basic structure to their day.
Schedules won't suit all babies and all parents, as everyone is different. Some parents and children prefer a more relaxed approach, especially those who co-sleep and breastfeed on demand past six months. There is no right or wrong way, only what works best for you and your child.
So how do you introduce a schedule into a 7-month-old baby's routine? Well, you will most likely already have a basic structure to your baby's day with bedtime occurring at roughly the same time every day and your baby getting up at about the same time every day anyway. Babies often seem to function like alarm clocks, waking at the same time every morning regardless of what time they go to bed!
Setting a schedule for their naps and their mealtimes can be easy, just choose a 7-month-old sleep schedule from our samples below and tailor it to suit your individual needs. Having a schedule actually gives you more freedom in your day as you don't have to waste time debating when to put baby down for their nap or when you should start preparing for lunch. Having a set time for the essentials gives you more time to enjoy other activities, takes away the stress of indecisiveness, and allows you to feel more organized day to day.
And will your child grow up to be super rigid in their habits and unable to appreciate the joy of spontaneity? No! Your family's routine will change over the years to adapt to your children's developing maturity, and having healthy self-discipline regarding food and sleep will in fact give them more time and energy for having fun down the line.
Sleeping And Naps
What is a typical 7-month-old sleep schedule and how many hours should a 7-month-old baby sleep per day? Baby sleep is so important. How do we know if they are getting enough?
The average 7-month-old baby sleeps for between 12 hours and 16 hours a day. Many babies' nap schedule consists of three hours napping, with one nap mid-morning and two after lunch. It is advised to let your baby sleep for at least 11 hours at night (easier said than done!), and having approximately two to three hours of awake time between naps.
A typical 7-month-old sleeping schedule involves putting baby down for an hour-long nap two hours after waking. After lunch baby has another nap lasting one hour and then an optional third half-hour nap time just before tea. Babies at this age usually sleep around three hours a day in naps. If your baby starts skipping their third nap you might notice them getting overtired by bedtime. If your baby has more trouble than usual falling asleep or if your baby wakes more than usual during the night, overtiredness might be the cause. A bedtime of 7:45 is the latest that is recommended for this age, but bringing bedtime forwards for a while can help avoid over-tiredness if required. As long as your baby gets at least 12 hours of sleep a day in their 7-month-old sleep schedule, they will be getting enough sleep.
At 7 months of age, a baby is developmentally ready to begin sleep training. Not all parents will want to go down this route, but if you do, now is the perfect time to start teaching your little one how to self-soothe and fall asleep without having to have you there feeding or cuddling them. Sleep training involves letting your child cry for a short period before going into them. At first, sleep training can be stressful, as the natural inclination is to want to go to your child when they're crying. However, with patience babies can learn to get back to sleep on their own. Sleep training is key if you want to keep to a tight sleep schedule as your little one will in time be able to go to sleep easily at the same time each night.
At 7 months you might notice your baby changing their sleep habits too. They might begin waking up a bit earlier or sleeping in later. They might be able to stay awake for longer during the day and drop one of their naps. Take your baby's cues as a guideline for setting your new schedule, so that it can fit around their changing needs.
If your baby is going through a developmental leap, growth spurt, or teething, they might start waking up more often during the night and be harder to get back to sleep. This is called sleep regression and is common around this age. Sticking to your normal nighttime routine should help your baby get back into their normal sleep pattern once their teething or growth phase has subsided.
Avoid having your baby in bed apart from at bedtime and for naps, as your sleep schedule will work best if your baby only associates bed with sleep. Having a comforting and relaxing bedtime routine will help your baby wind down in time for sleep, and a typical bedtime routine would be bath, book, and bed. A warm quiet bath and a relaxing story with you can be something your baby will look forward to at the end of the day, and your 7-month-old will associate their bedtime routine with feeling relaxed, loved, and sleepy.
Also try to cut down on screen time before bedtime as this can make your baby wired before bed. Pediatricians advise against screen time before two years of age (difficult!) but cutting back before your bedtime routine will certainly help baby's sleep.
What is a typical 7-month-old schedule for eating and what would a typical 7-month-old schedule for breastfeeding look like?
At 7 months old your little one is exploring all sorts of new tastes and textures as you continue their transition from milk to solids. However, they might not be eating that much at this stage. Try to feed them three solid food meals a day, but at this age, they might have as little as a tablespoon of food at each mealtime. Some babies might eat up to six ounces of food at each sitting or around twelve tablespoons. However much solid food they eat, at this age breast milk or formula milk should still be your baby's primary source of nutrition. A breastfed baby will feed every three or four hours in general and a formula-fed baby will feed between four and six times a day, and drink around six to eight ounces of formula a day.
If you are expressing breast milk for your baby you can divide the total amount of breast milk a 7-month-old baby needs per day, by the number of feeds your baby has a day. At the 7 month mark, your baby needs to drink around 25 ounces of breastmilk per day.
A typical 7-month-old feeding schedule involves babies having either formula milk in their bottle as soon as they wake up, or breast milk. For breakfast, porridge, baby cereal or mashed fruit are all safe bets, just avoid anything they might choke on, such as whole grapes or big chunks of apple. Water in a sippy cup is a perfect option for a breakfast drink. For lunch and dinner, they can have pretty much whatever you're eating as long as it is either pureed or cut up into small enough pieces to prevent choking. Your baby might not be able to handle finger foods yet as they might not have developed the fine motor skills needed to hold items in their hands long enough to gnaw at them! Sticking with mashed and pureed foods is the safest bet at this age. If baby eats the same food as you do, make sure not to put too much salt or spice in it before pureeing.
Pediatricians advise against feeding 7-month-olds honey, cow's milk, hard fruits and vegetables, and nuts. Cow's milk isn't recommended during their first year as it's too hard for babies to digest and doesn't provide the vital nutrients they need and can get from breast milk and formula. Honey can contain bacteria that can make babies sick and can contribute to tooth decay. Hard fruits, vegetables, and nuts must be pureed before giving to your baby.
At 7-months-old your baby loves to play. Playing is their way of exploring the world and making sense of it and you can help with your child's physical and intellectual development by playing with them as much as you can.
You can play all sorts of games at home such as back and forth games with balls. Your baby will love trying to bat a ball back to you across the floor and this kind of game helps develop their hand-eye coordination.
Babies love shape sorting games at this age. Such toys are easy to find online or in shops and involve baby fitting the square-shaped block into the square hole etc. You can get toys that light up or make funny noises when the correct shape is fitted into the hole, these are very popular with babies! Talking your child through their shape-sorting will help them learn the words for the shapes at the same time.
Simple games like block-stacking are also popular with babies this small. Although they are unlikely to be able to make very big towers, this sort of game is great for refining motor skills. Show them how you stack the blocks one on top of the other and help them do the same. They are sure to love knocking their stacks over even more than stacking them!
At 7-months-old, babies can usually recognize familiar faces and are beginning to want to communicate by babbling with their loved ones. Your child will hopefully be responding to their own name by now and using their voice to show you if they are happy or discontent. They can tell if you're happy or angry by your tone of voice and are beginning to understand the meaning of the word "no"!
7-month-old babies can usually respond to other people's emotions with emotional expressions of their own, and frequently show signs of happiness by giggling or contentedly babbling.
You can encourage your child's emotional development and communication skills by talking through what you are doing with them as much as possible, as well as playing and cuddling with them as much as you can. Regularly reading books with your child will also help them develop their speech and reading is a bonding exercise in itself.
If your little one isn't interested in trying to communicate verbally with you at 7 months and doesn't respond to your attempts to engage them, you can talk to your pediatrician. Of course, always remember that all babies are different and develop at different rates.
Why not try out a sample schedule for 7-month-old babies and see if it works for you? All babies are of course different and these are just examples, so please do adapt these to suit your needs.
Typical 7-Month-Old Sleep Schedule
7 am - Wake up and give bottle or breastfeed.
9am -10am - First nap.
12 pm - Lunchtime.
1 pm-2 pm - Second nap.
4 pm-5 pm -Third nap.
6 pm - Dinner.
7 - 7.30pm - Bedtime routine.
7.30 pm - Bed.
Suggestion For A 7-Month-Old Schedule For Working Moms
6 am - Wake up, breastfeed or give bottle.
6.30 am - Breakfast.
8 am - Drop at nursery.
10 am -11 pm - Nap at nursery.
12 pm - Lunch at nursery.
1 pm - 2 pm - Nap at nursery.
6 pm - Pick up from nursery.
6:30 pm - Dinner.
7.30-8.00 - Bedtime routine.
8.00 pm - Bed.
Typical Baby Food For 7-Month-Old Schedule
7.30 am - Wake for breastfeed or bottle. Roughly 4 oz of milk.
8 am - 9 am - Free play at home.
9.15 am - 10 am - Nap and 4 oz milk.
10 am - 11.45 am - Outdoor time.
12.15 am - Lunch. Puree, soup, mashed vegetables, and protein. Water to drink and milk if they want it.
1 pm -2 pm - Nap and around 4oz milk.
2 pm - 4 pm - Play at home.
4 pm - 5 pm - Optional third nap.
5.30 pm - 6.15 pm - Dinner. Puree and milk if wanted.
6.45 pm - 7.30 pm - Bedtime routine, including 4 oz of milk.
7.30 pm - Bed.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.