You’ve now reached seven months with your baby, and they’re playing more, napping less, and staying awake longer during the day. I’d like to share with you 2 sample sleep schedules for seven month olds and answer some common parenting questions about dropping naps, sleep regressions, and more. Let’s dive in.
What are the recommended wake windows for a 7 month old? How long can a 7 month old stay awake?
Wake windows this month may start in the 2-3 hour range, but will expand to around 2.5-3.5 hours as they get closer to eight months old.
Wake windows can also depend on the time of day. They start on the shorter end of the range, and then increase as the day progresses. For example, your seven month old may do best with a 2.5 hour wake window before the first nap, but he may need a wake window of 3-3.5 hours before bedtime.
Here's a general routine for wake windows at this age if your baby is still taking 3 naps:
About 2.5 hours after wake time = Nap 1
About 2.5 hours after the end of Nap 1 = Nap 2
About 2.5 hours after the end of Nap 2 = Nap 3
About 2.5-3 hours after the end of Nap 3 = Bedtime
And here's the routine for wake windows at this age once your baby transitions to 2 naps:
About 2.5-3 hours after wake time = Nap 1
About 3 hours after the end of Nap 1 = Nap 2
About 3-3.5 hours after the end of Nap 2 = Bedtime
What is a sample sleep schedule for a 7 month old?
I have two sample sleep schedules for you depending on how many naps your seven month old is taking – whether your baby is taking 3 naps or has transitioned to 2.
When looking at the sample schedules, keep in mind these are examples of how your day could play out while you're following those wake window guidelines depending on your baby’s nap lengths and hunger cues.
|6:15 am||Feed (breast/bottle)|
|8:30 - 9:45 am||Nap 1|
|9:45 am||Feed (breast/bottle)|
|12:05 pm||Feed (breast/bottle)|
|12:15 - 1:45 pm||Nap 2|
|3:35 pm||Feed (breast/bottle)|
|4:15 - 4:45 pm||Nap 3|
|7:05 pm||Feed (breast/bottle)|
Parents: I want you to notice that this parent was following this baby’s hunger cues. Please be responsive to your baby’s hunger cues as you decide when to offer feedings. Again, this is just a sample of one family following the guidelines on one day.
|6:40 am||Feed (breast/bottle)|
|9:00 am||Feed (breast/bottle)|
|9:15 - 10:30 am||Nap 1|
|12:00 pm||Feed (breast/bottle)|
|1:30 - 3:30 pm||Nap 2|
|3:30 pm||Feed (breast/bottle)|
|6:30 pm||Feed (breast/bottle)|
Parents: Just like in the 3 nap schedule, I want you to notice that this parent was following this baby’s hunger cues. Please be responsive to your baby’s hunger cues as you decide when to offer feedings. Again, this is just a sample of one family following the guidelines on one day.
What are some ideas for activities for my 7 month old?
Most seven month olds love putting objects in and out of a container, stacking objects, and reaching and grabbing toys.
Here are a few examples of what these activities can look like:
Place fabric, ribbons, and other objects in a tissue box, shoe box, or empty wipe container for your baby to pull out and stuff back in.
Try out Baby’s First Blocks. Though your seven month old is not expected to match the shapes, these blocks will encourage movement as they roll and wobble.
Practice crawling skills by placing a toy just out of reach. This wobble ball is a favorite for many.
Need to stretch a wake window? Take a little walk around the block describing what you see and allow your baby to interact with nature (Think touching the grass, smelling the flowers, or pointing at birds.)
What are some 7 month old milestones?
Here are a few common milestones for seven month olds:
Can easily transfer objects from one hand to the other
Can sit independently
Can get herself into a sitting position
Can support his body weight in a standing position when helped by adult
Can use her voice to express joy or displeasure
Can find partially hidden objects
Can babble chains of consonant sounds
Each new milestone your baby achieves is so exciting – but every baby is different. So if another seven month old at daycare is sitting independently and your baby isn't, keep in mind that each baby progresses at their own developmental pace. Make sure to speak with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about your baby meeting her milestones.
How many naps should a 7 month old take?
A seven month old naps 2 to 3 times a day. Our total daytime sleep goal is is between 2.5 and 3.5 hours.
If you’re seeing less than 2.5 hours of total daytime sleep, be sure to check out my blog all about short naps.
Please Note: If you have a baby in daycare and you’re concerned about your baby’s nap schedule, check out my blog about daycare and baby sleep for more help.
When do babies drop the 3rd nap?
The average age range for transitioning from 3 naps to 2 is 6.5-7.5 months old.
It may be time to drop the third nap if you see any of these signs:
Your baby is having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at nap time (when this wasn't a problem before).
Your seven month old’s third nap is getting so late it's interfering with bedtime.
Early morning wakings begin to appear or reappear because your baby is getting too much daytime sleep.
Keep in mind, nap transitions take time and consistency! It can take 2-4 weeks before your baby has fully transitioned from 3 naps to 2.
Expert Tip: When dropping a nap, we want to stay flexible with bedtime. You can move bedtime as early as 6:00 - 6:30 pm to adjust for missed daytime sleep and maintain a consistent 2 nap schedule (versus fluctuating between 3 and 2 naps).
If you need more help, my Conquering Naps class can walk you through this nap transition as well as help you have a great little napper from now until your child turns 2.
Why is my 7 month old suddenly taking short naps?
Short naps can be so tough. There can be several reasons your seven month old is taking short naps. First, look at your baby’s sleep environment. Is it good for sleep? Dark, cool, comfortable, and humming with the noise of a sound machine? If the napping environment is on point and naps are still short, consider these other reasons your baby may be taking short naps.
What's a good bedtime for a 7 month old? When should the last nap end for a 7 month old?
Most seven month olds will need a 3 to 3.5-hour wake window prior to bedtime. Ending the last nap by 4:30 pm will allow that full wake window and help you hit a sweet spot bedtime of 7:00-8:00 pm. Babies who regularly have a bedtime after 8:00 pm may struggle to fall asleep, experience more false start bedtimes, and may even have more night wakings or early morning wakings.
Expert Tip: If your seven month old is transitioning from 3 naps to 2, we’ll want to be flexible with bedtime. Just before the transition to 2 naps, bedtime may be slightly after 8:00 pm. After the transition, bedtime may need to be moved as early as 6:00 to 6:30 pm as your baby adjusts to their new nap schedule. As you make bedtime adjustments, just remember the wake window prior to bedtime is 3-3.5 hours.
Why is my 7 month old not sleeping well?
If sleep is a struggle for your 7 month old, consider some of these common culprits:
Being ready for increased wake windows
Another major reason that your 7 month old may struggle is that they simply don't have the foundational skills needed to sleep independently. Not sure how to teach this? The 5–24 Month Collection will give you a step-by-step plan to 10-12 hour nights in the crib. It will cover bedtime, night wakings, night weaning, early morning wakings, and naps through the first two years of life.
Is sleep training okay at 7 months old?
Yes! Babies are usually developmentally ready for sleep training by five months old, which means it is okay for your seven month old. But, the best time to sleep train is when you decide this is the right choice for your family. If you’re not sure, I'd love to share the story of how I decided sleep training was right for my family. If you decide you're ready for sleep training, it's so important to have a plan and guidance you can trust. My 5–24 Month Collection will do just that: I'll teach you everything you need to know to have a great little sleeper, while remaining emotionally connected and present every step along the way.
Should I use a sleep sack for my 7 month old?
I love sleep sacks. A sleep sack is a sleeveless zip-up bag your baby can wear at night (instead of using a blanket). I recommend them because they're safe, keep your baby a comfortable temperature, and help cue the brain that it’s time for sleep. Check out my blog Sleep Sacks, Sleep Bags, and Wearable Blankets to learn more.
Should my 7 month old still have a night feeding?
Many (and maybe even most) babies can sleep 10-12 hours through the night without a feeding at seven months, but some babies do best maintaining one.
Whether you're looking to wean night feedings or want to continue night feedings but establish great sleep, The 5–24 Month Collection can help. My gentle and gradual approach will help you reach your sleep goals for your seven month old.
How much solid food should a 7 month old eat?
When starting solid foods, I recommend consulting your pediatrician.
Breast and bottle feeding are the main source of calories for your baby during the first year. As you expose your baby to solids, it should never replace bottle feeding or breastfeeding. If your baby is experiencing sleep problems after starting solids, make sure daily caloric needs are met with breast milk or formula since night wakings will happen if day calories are insufficient.
But this doesn’t mean you have to limit your baby’s solids. Here are a few guidelines to help:
Avoid rigid feeding schedules.
Offer the breast or bottle every 2.5-3.5 hours during the day according to your baby’s hunger cues.
Offer solids 30-90 minutes after breast or bottle feedings.
Is there a 7 month sleep regression?
We do often see a sleep regression between 8 and 10 months, but babies can experience sleep “regressions” for many reasons. If your baby’s sleep is suddenly disrupted, please know:
Sleep issues at seven months could be a sign it’s time to transition from 3 naps to 2.
Developmental strides happening around seven months – from an increase in physical abilities and mobility to emotional and cognitive abilities- can impact sleep.
An increase in distracted feedings around seven months affects sleep as well. Minimize distractions during feedings to prevent night wakings caused by hunger.
Separation anxiety may also begin to cause sleep problems at seven months.
Is your 7 month old still struggling with sleep?
The 5–24 Month Collection will help! Let me show you how to meet your baby where they are developmentally using a holistic and customizable approach. My classes provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate sleep regressions, manage nap troubles, work towards consolidated nighttime sleep, and more! It’s never too late to have a great little sleeper.