According to T. Berry Brazelton, MD, "Sleep: The Brazelton Way," the most frequent matter he hears from parents concerns babies and their sleep. A baby needs sleep for her growth and development, according to Dr. Brazelton. Sleep itself, is a skill babies are trying to develop. Knowing how much sleep your baby needs, as well as what can interfere with it or encourage it, can help a parent address sleep issues.
Glade B. Curtis, MD, and Judith Schuler, authors of "Your Baby's First Year: Week by Week," assert that a 7-month old is likely sleeping through the night. Babies who are 7 months-old will spend approximately 3 hours napping, taking 1 to 3 naps per day, according to Baby Center. A 7 month-old will sleep around 11 hours per night, bringing their sleep total to 14 hours per day.
Baby Center recommends a regular bedtime routine for your baby. A routine will provide her with the security and cues she needs before going to bed. Sticking to a routine as much as you can when you travel will help her fall asleep easier in the strange environment. A 7 month-old is developmentally prone to separation anxiety, which is another reason that the security of a regular bedtime routine is important.
Dressing her for bed, reading a book, feeding and cuddling her in her room all provide her with cues that her room isn't just a place she is "banished" to at night, but rather a calm, safe place for resting.
According to Baby Center, babies wake several times per night just as an adult does. As an adult, you settle quickly back to sleep and often don't remember waking. If your baby continues to wake you, it may not necessarily signal that she is hungry, as nighttime feedings can usually be weaned at 7 months. It may be a result of her inability to settle herself back to sleep.
Nighttime waking may increase in your 7 month-old because of her developmental stage. Separation anxiety may contribute to her crying when she wakes up at night and discovers she is alone, according to Baby Center. Another cause of her nighttime waking is her booming development of cognitive and motor skills. She may wake up just to practice her new skills.
At 7 months, your baby may be teething. According to Curtis and Schuler, many parents believe that teething pain is worse for their infant at night. While the baby may be more vocal at night, the teething pain does not actually worsen, instead she is more tired and cranky, and with little distraction in her bed, is more sensitive to the discomfort of teething and likely more vocal about it.
- "Sleep: The Brazelton Way"; T. Berry Brazelton with Joshua Sparrow; 2003
- "Your Baby's First Year: Week by Week"; Glade B. Curtis, MD, MPH and Judith Schuler, MS; 2010
- BabyCenter: Your 7-Month-Old's Development: Week 4
- BabyCenter: How Much Sleep Does Your Child Need
- BabyCenter: Baby Sleep Basics 6 to 9 Months