What should a sleep schedule for a 7-month-old look like?
When you look at your baby scooting around the house, chatting to themselves in their baby language, it can be hard to believe that your once newborn baby is starting to become more independent.
At 7 months old your baby may be able to sit up unassisted, select their favourite toys and likely lets you know, very vocally when they don’t like something.
How Much Sleep Does a 7-Month-Old Need?
At this age, your baby needs around 14 hours of sleep in 24 hours. The amount of sleep can differ by baby and anything between 12 – 16 hours is typical. They will usually have two naps totalling 2 – 4 hours. 2 – 3 hours of awake time between naps with 11 hours of nighttime sleep is typical.
7-Month-Old Sleep Tips
- Prepare for sleep – Bedtime routines continue to be necessary. Your little one may have some teeth now. Gently rub his teeth with a damp cloth or with your finger as part of your bedtime routine. If you have not already done so, consider introducing reading or singing as part of your routine.
- No screen-time – You may find your 7-month-old is drawn to the TV and is continually reaching for your phone if it is in arms reach. Do not be tempted to give your baby screen-time. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends against screen time for children under two years of age. The AAP also notes that such exposure can make it harder for babies to get quality sleep. Reading or singing before bed is a much better alternative and will help signal your little one that it is bedtime.
- Keep your baby active – Keep you little one busy during the day. Provide them with plenty of opportunities to practice their newfound skills and ensure they have plenty of stimulation. Take them to a local park to explore, introduce new toys (these do not have to cost a lot of money, everyday household objects make great toys) and read books together.
- Prioritise naps – If your little one has not yet dropped their 3rd nap, they will likely do that soon. Ensure that your baby has quality, uninterrupted naps, in their cot whenever possible.
Related Article: How to Deal with Nap Transitions
Sleep Schedule for 7-Month-Old
This sleep schedule is a guide as some 7-month-olds may still be taking three naps a day, although the last nap may be very short.
The sample schedule assumes that your baby takes two naps a day.
Can You Sleep Train A 7-Month-Old?
Sleep training is a personal choice. At the 7-month mark, your baby is old enough to self-soothe and is able to sleep through the night without requiring a feed. Most paediatricians will give you the go-ahead to start sleep training anywhere between 4 – 6 months.
Related Article: Baby Sleep Training Methods
7-Month-Old Sleep Problems
Here are some of the common sleep problems you may experience at this age.
- Fighting sleep – As your baby is becoming more independent and enjoying the world around them, you may find your little one does not want to sleep. Stick to your schedule for naps and bedtime because although your baby may not want to sleep, they need the sleep. If your baby continues to fight sleep and is not yet able to self soothe – sleep training may help your little one get better quality sleep.
- Teething – Teething which starts around the 5-month mark can cause sleep disturbance for some babies. Teething rings can help to ease some of the pressure. If your baby is still struggling to sleep, talk to your paediatrician about alternative forms of relief.
- Early morning wakings – At this age, it is normal for babies to wake up between 6 am and 7 am, however, some babies can wake up as early as 5 am. If you have an exceptionally early riser that won’t resettle in the morning even after a feed or diaper change, check your little one's schedule to ensure they are not getting too little or too much sleep. Also, try moving their bedtime 30 minutes later. But do not be tempted to keep them up late at night in the hopes they will sleep later in the morning. Keeping a child up late rarely works, and your little one will become overtired.
Is There A 7-Month Sleep Regression?
Whilst your baby may be experience some sleep disturbance around the 7-month mark this is not a sleep regression per se. The reality is there is only one real sleep regression, and that is at the 4-month mark.
At 4-months of age, your baby’s sleep cycle matured and changed. Their sleep went from 2 to 4 sleep cycles. As your little one adjusted to these increased sleep cycles, they may have experienced more night wakings.
However, babies can experience other disruptions to their sleep, particularly in the first 12 months. These often coincide with developmental milestones. So, whilst your little one may experience some sleep disruptions, you can make sure they still get the rest they need by being consistent with your routine and trying sleep training. You can read our sleep training review here.