Baby development at 6-7 months: what’s happening
This is an exciting time. Your baby’s imagination comes alive now. And your baby is also better at remembering things, like favourite people, toys and books.
Your baby’s emotions keep developing. Your baby will let you know when they’re happy and sad and can also tell how you’re feeling by your tone of voice and the look on your face.
Your baby might show signs of strong attachment to family members or carers and even prefer some toys and books to others. At the same time, you might see signs of separation anxiety or stranger anxiety. It might help to know that separation anxiety and stranger anxiety are typical parts of children’s development.
You might hear a lot of babbling from your baby. Your baby might respond to their name and stop if they hear you say ‘no’. And your baby might communicate with you using gestures – for example, they might put their arms up when they want you to lift them up.
You might have started feeding your baby solids. Your baby will let you know when they’ve had enough to eat, often by waving their hand or turning their head away. When you’re feeding your baby, you might see the first signs of teeth.
Around this age your baby can roll both ways and might start to move around the house by commando crawling. Your baby might even crawl using their hands and knees. If you hold your baby, they might be able to stand and bounce up and down.
Your baby is learning all the time, often by putting things in their mouth or looking closely at what’s in their hand. Your baby probably bangs and shakes toys and tries to grab blocks. When your baby can’t reach objects they want, they look to you for help.
At this age your baby might also:
- sit up without help, sometimes using their arms for balance
- pick up smaller objects and use their fingers to drag things towards themselves
- pat their own image in the mirror
- look for (and find!) partly hidden objects
- listen to music.
You’ll be surprised at how far your baby can roll and crawl, so always watch your baby and never leave them unattended on a sofa, bed or change table. It’s also a good idea to look at how you can make your home safe for your baby to move about in.
Helping baby development at 6-7 months
Here are a few simple things you can do to help your baby’s development at this age:
- Talk, listen and respond to your baby: your baby is interested in conversation, so talking about everyday things will help them understand what words mean. Listening and responding to your baby’s babbling builds language, communication and literacy skills. It also helps your baby feel ‘heard’, loved and valued.
- Read together: reading, talking about pictures in books and telling stories develop your baby’s imagination. These activities also lay the groundwork for learning words and sentences when your baby is older.
- Play together: sing songs, play with toys and make funny sounds or animal noises together. At this age, your baby enjoys copying what you do. Playing together also helps your baby feel loved and secure.
- Spend time playing outdoors: being out and about with you gives your baby a lot of different experiences – there’s so much to see, smell, hear and touch. When you’re outside, remember to be safe in the sun.
Sometimes your baby won’t want to do some of these things – for example, they might be too tired or hungry. Your baby will use special baby cues to let you know when they’ve had enough and what they need.
Parenting a 7-month-old
As a parent, you’re always learning. It’s OK to feel confident about what you know. And it’s also OK to admit you don’t know something and ask questions or get help.
When you’re focusing on looking after a baby, you might forget or run out of time to look after yourself. But looking after yourself physically, mentally and emotionally will help your child grow and thrive.
Sometimes you might feel frustrated, upset or overwhelmed. It’s OK to take some time out until you feel calmer. Put your baby in a safe place like a cot, or ask someone else to hold your baby for a while. Try going to another room to breathe deeply, or call a family member or friend to talk things through.
Never shake a baby. It can cause bleeding inside the brain and likely permanent brain damage.
It’s OK to ask for help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the demands of caring for your baby, call your local Parentline. You might also like to try our ideas for dealing with anger, anxiety and stress.
When to be concerned about baby development
Seeing, hearing and communicating
- isn’t making eye contact with you, isn’t following moving objects with their eyes or has an eye that is turned in or out most of the time
- isn’t babbling
- isn’t turning towards sounds or voices.
- doesn’t show whether they’re happy or sad
- shows little or no affection for carers – for example, they don’t smile at you.
- isn’t rolling
- feels very floppy or stiff
- can’t sit up or stand up with your help
- uses one hand much more than the other.
If you notice that your child has lost skills they once had, you should see a child health professional.
You should also see your child and family health nurse or GP if you or your partner experiences the signs of postnatal depression in birthing mothers or postnatal depression in non-birthing parents. Symptoms of postnatal depression include feeling sad and crying for no obvious reason, feeling irritable, having difficulty coping and feeling very anxious.