Seven months and beyond: what to expect

From this age your baby will start to show their blossoming personality. They'll embrace play, be more attached to you and babble away to themselves quite happily.

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Here are a few of the things you can expect to see at around seven months:

Growth and appetite

They're getting bigger every day! Don't be surprised to see your baby gain around 100g per week. During the first year of life, their birth weight triples and they need good nutrition to fuel their growth. From time to time there'll be 'growth spurts' and you might notice a change in the amount they eat around then. There are no set time slots to feed your baby, but you'll probably develop a routine for your family. At around seven months baby may have 2 to 3 meals a day. At this age breast milk or formula is still the most important food so should be offered before solids.

Constipation

From time to time your baby may suffer with constipation. It's not uncommon for bowel motions to change, including constipation around this age as you introduce solids. There can be a number of causes - a common one is not enough fluids, and it's less likely to happen with breast fed babies. You know if your baby is constipated, as their poos will be small and hard - like pellets. Avoid giving your baby bran cereals as their digestive system will still be immature and these harsh cereals can make the problem worse. Remember, as your baby eats more food he or she may cut back on their milk intake, so they may need extra drinks of water, we recommend you talk to your health professional if constipation persists for more than a week or keeps coming back.

All by themselves: sitting up

By the time your baby is around seven months old they're likely to be able to sit unsupported for short periods of time. They'll also be able to sit in a highchair, and much more interested in what is going on around them. Your baby may be able to sit in the bath; it is a good idea to have a non-slip mat and always watch them in the bath as they can still lose their balance easily. Your baby's safety is much more important than rushing to answer a phone or someone at the door. They may want to play a few games and have a good splash in the bath.

Excuse me: learning to burp

It's likely your baby will be able to burp his or her self by this time. Again, there's no set date for when this should happen, if they still need your help that's fine. Gently patting them on the back should be enough. If they haven't burped after a couple of minutes, they probably don't need to!

Tricky little movements: fine motor skills

By seven months or so, your baby's communication and coordination skills will be coming along in leaps and bounds. You might notice they have better control of their hands. They'll probably be able to hold a two-handled cup and drink by themselves, maybe grip things better or even clap. These are known as fine motor skills, which use small, precise movements of thumbs and fingers. Fine motor skills also include small tongue movements, like you do when you taste something. These may be slowly coming along, but they'll play a big part in your baby learning to talk.

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