7 Month Sleep Regression Advice That Works!

 

cute 7 month old baby sleep regression

7 months is an age filled with developmental bursts. Your 7 month old may be scooting, rolling, or pulling to stand. He’s probably laughing, babbling non-stop or clearly saying mama or dada. He may have started pointing and realizing that his favorite toy still exists even when it’s out of sight (object permanence.)

But lemme guess… your 7 month old suddenly won’t sleep? He’s started waking up at night, fighting bedtime, or won’t nap. That’s because he’s so busy working on new milestones everyday, and it’s a lot for his brain to process! This is what the 7 month sleep regression is all about.

The good news is that this regression is temporary. With the right approach, you can get your baby through this rough patch and sleeping well. This article will explain what the 7 month sleep regression is, and how you can beat it and get your baby sleeping great.

This post may contain affiliate links.

 

 RELATED: Sleep Training Methods Explained

 

7 Month Sleep Regression Causes

 

Sleep regressions are sudden disruptions in your baby’s sleep that seem to come out of nowhere! It’s when your 7 month old suddenly won’t sleep. Period.

These disruptions come at predictable times because they’re associated with developmental milestones. Pediatric expert Dr. Berry Brazelton explains that a surge of growth in brain development that happens during a developmental milestone (like learning to roll) often coincides with another part of development slowing down or regressing (like sleeping.)

So, what’s causing this regression in sleep is a milestone he’s working on- like rolling, standing or talking. It’s hard for your baby’s brain and body to “shut off” when he needs to sleep. Instead, he can’t settle easily or wakes often.

Any search of online baby forums shows that Wonder Week Leap 5 happens around this age and is especially difficult. Sleep issues pop up, baby may refuse milk or be clingy and grumpy. These sleep issues are all because of your baby’s development. So it’s a good thing, but still exhausting for everyone. The rest of this guide will show you how to get your 7 month old sleeping great during this regression.  

 

Sleep Training Your 7 Month Old: 7 Essential Tips

 

  1. Know what you can expect of your baby’s sleep
  2. Wake your baby at the same time every morning
  3. Follow awake times
  4. Feed your baby often during the day
  5. Start a relaxing bedtime routine
  6. Create a sleep-friendly space for your baby
  7. Get your baby sleeping longer stretches at night

#1: Know what you can expect of your baby’s sleep

 

Bedtime

Bedtime for your 7 month old should be between 6:30-8 pm. This is the time that suits most babies’ body clocks.

Try to keep baby’s bedtime within a 20 minute range every night. Early risers should have bedtime of 6:30 pm, and late risers can have bedtime closer to 7:30-8 pm. 

Night Sleep

Your 7 month old should sleep 11-12 hours at night.

Night feedings

Your 7 month old may be able to sleep through the night without feeding, or she may need one night feed.

Her growth and weight gain patterns will determine if she still needs to feed at night. It’s best to ask your baby’s doctor if night feeds are still needed.

Naps

Your 7 month old should sleep 2-3 hours during the day, usually divided between 2-3 naps.

Total sleep in 24 hours

13-15 hours. It’s ok if your baby sleeps a bit more.

 

Click below to download my 7-8 month old sleep guide!

7 to 8 month old sleep guide infographic

 

#2: Wake your baby at the same time every morning

 

I may sound insane recommending you wake your baby up, especially after a rough night. I get it. But this simple sleep training trick leads to more predictable days, which a lot of moms crave.

If your baby’s morning wake time varies by 1-2 hours everyday, then nap times and bedtime will too. This makes it hard to make plans, run errands and settle into a peaceful evening routine. So if you’re desperate for a more consistent sleep schedule for your 7 month old, do yourself a favor and set your alarm each morning.

The best time to wake your baby each morning should fall right in the middle of his typical wake times. Write down the time your baby naturally wakes in the morning for the next 7 days. Then pick the time that falls right in the middle of this range. That’s your new wake up time!

 

 

 

#3: Follow awake times

 

 

Awake times” are simply the periods of time that your baby is awake throughout the day. (For example, in between naps.)

Recommended awake times for a 7 month old are 2-3 hours.

If awake times are too short, your baby may not be tired enough and ready to sleep.

If awake times are too long, your baby may become overtired or overstimulated, which makes it very hard for her to settle for sleep.

Making sure your baby sticks to the recommended awake times, and naps every 2-3 hours, is a great sleep training tip to help baby nap longer.

Watch your baby for sleepy signs like slowing down, “zoning out,” or losing interest in her toys and in you. She may get fussy, withdraw, or rub her eyes.  When you see these signs 2-3 hours after being awake, let your baby sleep. 

 

 

RELATED: How to extend your baby’s short naps

 

#4: Feed your baby often during the day

 

Growth spurts make your baby hungrier, night and day. And they usually coincide with sleep regressions.

If your 7 month old suddenly wants to eat more one night, let her. But make sure to feed her more the following day too. You may offer feeds more frequently or a larger volume at each feed. This helps her get the extra calories she needs to fuel this growth spurt, but aims to keep the majority of these feeds happening during the day. So she can sleep longer at night!

 

RELATED: How To Beat the 8 Month Sleep Regression

 

#5: Start a relaxing bedtime routine

 

The best way to set your baby up to sleep well at night is to start a relaxing bedtime routine.

The purpose of a bedtime routine is to calm your baby in the evening, so that his body can relax and welcome sleep. Certain activities have been proven to relax babies, and when done in the right order, it sets your baby up for sleeping longer at night.

The simple act of doing a bedtime routine each night helps babies fall asleep easier and sleep longer overnight. Plus, it’s a great time to bond with your little one everyday.

My free Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit walks you through the exact steps of setting up a peaceful bedtime routine with your baby, at any age.

 

RELATED: Find Out When Your Baby Is Ready To Drop the 3rd Nap

 

#6: Create a sleep-friendly space for your baby

 

Two of the easiest sleep training tricks you can do that will help your baby sleep better right away are: play white noise and black out your baby’s bedroom. Don’t doubt it, just trust me on this!

White noise has been proven to help people of all ages sleep deeper and longer

It prevents sudden noises from waking your baby, like a barking dog, older sibling or the garbage truck. Plus, it’s completely safe. It’s best to play white noise all night and during naps.

You can use a white noise app when you travel and bring a portable white noise machine to your baby’s daycare.

When our eyes sense light, it sends a signal to the brain to wake up. Sometimes, even the smallest rays of light (at 5 am) can have a strong impact and wake your baby.

For this reason, your baby’s bedroom should be darkened with blackout curtains. This little trick is a “game changer” with helping your baby sleep past 5 am. You can DIY this and put cardboard on baby’s windows. Or, you can invest in a nice, decorative pair of blackout curtains.

Also, your 7 month old doesn’t need a night light. She doesn’t yet have the imagination needed to be afraid of the dark.

A dark bedroom makes your baby’s brain secrete melatonin, the sleep hormone, which keeps her asleep at night. Light coming from a night light or early sunrise can interfere with this, so keep baby’s bedroom dark. 

 

White Noise Favorites

Click to see on

Hatch Baby Sound Machine

Big Red Rooster 6 Sound White Noise Machine

MyBaby Portable White Noise Machine

Blackout Curtains

 

Click to see on


 

#7: Get your baby sleeping longer stretches at night

 

Once you have the above steps in place, it’s time to get your baby sleeping longer stretches at night.

Feeding or rocking your baby are natural and gentle ways to help him fall asleep. If you nurse your baby to sleep, and he sleeps well at night, you don’t have to change anything!

It’s only when 7 month olds are waking twice or more every night that I suggest parents get their babies falling asleep on their own.

When your baby can go into the crib awake and settle himself to sleep, without any help from you, he’ll start sleeping long stretches. This is because he’ll be able to resettle himself during the night if he wakes and isn’t hungry. This is the basis of sleep training.

At 7 months old, most babies need either one quick night feed or they can sleep through the night without feeding. The best way to wean your baby’s night feeds is to teach him to fall asleep on his own. If he stirs during the night, but isn’t hungry, he’ll put himself right back to sleep. If he’s hungry, he’ll call out for you.

I often see babies go from waking 7 times a night to only once just by learning to settle themselves to sleep. It’s pure magic!

My sleep training program walks you through teaching your baby to fall asleep without any help and sleep all night!

 

How to get your baby falling asleep on his own

 

 

The trick is to make sure your baby’s eyes are open when he goes into the crib. He needs to “be aware” of the fact that he’s in the crib and falling asleep there. That way, when he wakes later in the night, nothing about his environment will have changed. He’s used to settling himself to sleep, so he’ll easily do it again.

Some parents give lots of hands-on comforting to help baby accept falling asleep in the crib. You can pat, rub or stroke baby so he can fall asleep. It’s ok to pick him up briefly if he gets really upset. Each night focus on helping him a little less, so he can learn to do this on his own.

Sleep training your 7 month old can take anywhere from 3 days to a few weeks to achieve. All sleep training methods work, as long as parents are consistent.

 

Bonus Sleep Training Tip for 7 Month Olds

 

“Do I have to wean my baby off the pacifier?”

If you can offer the pacifier to help your baby fall asleep and she doesn’t need you to replace it during the night- keep it!

But, if you’re having to replace the pacifier several times a night, that’s a sign that baby is dependent on the pacifier to fall asleep. In this case, you have 2 options:

Option A: Sprinkle 5 pacifiers around baby’s crib when she goes to sleep.

That way, she can easily find one in the night. This option works once your baby can easily reinsert the pacifier by herself, which usually happens around 7 months.

In order for this to work, you have to stop putting the pacifier in baby’s mouth for her. Instead, each time she wants it (day and night) you put it in her hand and help her replace it by herself. Many days of doing this will teach her how to do it all by herself!

Option B: Wean your baby off the pacifier as a sleep aid.

If baby can’t (or won’t) replace the pacifier by herself during the night, and it’s causing her to wake constantly, it’s time to wean off it.

You can still offer the pacifier during the day when she’s awake or for comfort when she’s sick.

 

7 months old is a time of rapid development and growth. Many parents tell me their baby wants to “practice” new skills like standing, talking or sitting up in the crib, rather than sleeping!

If your baby is happily practicing her new skills in the crib (and won’t go to sleep) the best thing you can do is give her some space. She may lose a bit of sleep for a few nights, but once she masters her new skill she’ll go back to sleeping well.

If your baby is instead waking up a lot at night, refusing naps or seeming extra clingy and fussy, you may need to give more comfort during this rough patch. The above 7 sleep training tips will help you get through this regression and get your baby on a consistent sleep schedule.

 

 

Let’s stay connected!

16 Comments

  1. Natalie

    Hi Jilly!
    My husband and I rock our 7 month old to sleep but once we set him down in the crib he starts to kick and roll over and lifts his head up and starts crying. He sleeps perfectly fine when he’s in my arms. (but fights me about it) His grandmother takes him some nights cause she likes being with him also. Is this not a good idea and we should just keep him in our room? My Husband is currently sleeping with him in his arms and our son hasn’t moved, he’s just straight snoring. He usually gets super cranky and slept around 9-11pm. Please help!

    Reply
  2. Kayla

    My LO has been able to fall asleep on her own since she was 2-3 months old and still does a great job of it now that she’s 7.5 months old. Staying asleep at night, however, is a different story. The past couple of weeks she has fallen asleep fine on her own, wakes up 1-2 times in the first couple of hours and puts herself back to sleep. Then usually wakes up wanting to eat so I feed her and then she proceeds to wake up 2-3 hours later (we usually let her cry a little to see if she’ll put herself back to sleep) seemingly wanting to feed but then just nurses a little before falling back asleep. After this early early morning feeding she usually wakes up again every hour or even sometimes more frequently. She isn’t hungry. We’ve played with temperature and nothing helps. She sometimes seems in pain but whenever we wake her up (her cries at night are always with eyes closed seemingly still asleep but very angry) she is happy and doesn’t seem to be in pain at all while awake.

    Any thoughts on how to help her?

    Reply
    • Micaela

      Hi Kayla, I’m sure with a few changes you can go back to the previous situation. First make sure your baby is really falling asleep on her own at bedtime. You should be placing her in the crib with her eyes fully open and leave the room. It should take her 15-20min to actually fall asleep. If this was not the case it could be what is now causing her to wake up a lot during the night. Also limit her total nap time to 3h. Finally check out our guide on the 3 to 2 naps transition to see if this might also be what’s having a say in her night wakings. https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/3-to-2-nap-transition-6-months-baby-2
      Have a nice day and let us know if you have any other doubt! Micaela, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  3. Mani

    My sons who is 7 months old, sleeps at 8:30-9pm and his nighttime schedule consists of bath time, feed and then sleep. I give him his dream feed which is his final feed at 10:30-11pm. He sleeps throughout the night.

    I’m currently sitting with him in my arms sleeping because he has been waking up for the past two days, he has been fussy / whiny throughout the day and he’s a calm baby.

    Is this a sign of sleep regression? Any help is welcomed

    Reply
    • panagiota

      Hi there Mani. Yes this could be a regression. What you can do is try to be consistent to your previous schedule and routine and also follow the tips from this guide (follow awake times, make sure your baby naps enough for his age).

      Try implementing these tips for a few days and then let us know how things work out. Good luck. Panagiota, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  4. Fiona Grande

    Hi Jilly!

    Great information as always.

    I have a 7 month old who falls asleep on her own in her crib but recently she has been waking up in the middle of the night and breastfeeding. She wakes up at 3/3:30AM, feeds and goes right back to sleep. I can’t tell if she really needs to eat all of a sudden. She hasn’t needed to eat in the night since she was 4 months old.

    I don’t know if I shouldn’t feed her And shes’s creating a habit or it’s just another phase. if I don’t feed her she’ll talk and talk and start practicing all her new moves in the crib and keep us awake so…I just feed her and move on.

    However it’s been some days of this and I’m already tired from broken sleep and then being with her all day and working etc etc

    Please tell me she’ll go back to 10 hour stretches at night 🙏

    Reply
    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Fiona,

      Thanks so much for your message! If your LO’s pediatrician gave the “OKAY” to stop night feedings, then I would try to wean that last feeding. I would give your LO time to resettle in the middle of the night. She could be going through a growth spurt, but she could also be using you as a way to fall back asleep! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  5. Kaitlyn

    Hi Jilly,

    My 7.5 month old son is rocked to sleep while eating a bottle. Once he is put in his crib, he usually sleeps for at least 5 hours. He still wakes up for one night feeding, anywhere between 1230-230. When we try to put him back in his crib, he screams and will not stop crying until my husband or I pick him up. We have been placing him in our bed (one of us goes to our guest room to sleep) after his night time feeding. How do we get him to fall back asleep in his crib after his feeding? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Kaitlyn,

      Thanks so much for your message! One night feeding is still appropriate for your 7.5 month old. It seems that your little one is used to being rocked and fed to sleep and these are both sleep associations. This means that every time he wakes up in the middle of the night, he needs to be fed and rocked to sleep in order to fall asleep again. My suggestion would be to have your little one work on falling asleep independently. Try to keep him awake while feeding and put him in his crib in a drowsy state so he can learn to fall asleep on his own. I am attaching our 7 month sleep guide for you to get some helpful tips to get your little one sleeping better! Let me know if you have any questions! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/7-month-sleep-regression

      Reply
  6. Stacie

    Hi Jilly!

    We are trying your bed time routine from your exhausted Mom’s survival kit and it is helping! Our 7 month old has slept great and is now getting up earlier and takes a lot of settling to get him to fall asleep at night. A lot of your tools make perfect sense and we are working on putting them to use! But wondering about the first nap. My baby gets up at 6:30 typically and is ready for a nap by 8. This morning he woke up at 5:30 and was ready for a nap by 7:30. Is this a long enough wake time? He goes right to sleep usually and sleeps a couple hours typically. It just seems so early to me to be going down for a nap that early. If he gets up at 6:30, should his bed time be 6:30 too?

    Reply
    • Leena

      Hi Stacie!

      Great to hear that the Kit is of help! We usually recommend that the first nap doesn’t happen before 8am, so that should be the earliest you let him nap.
      An early bedtime like the 6.30 pm you mention is often handy when naps are all over the place as it helps avoid overtiredness. Often people think that it’s counterintuitive, but at this age, your baby can usually sleep through the night. Early morning wakings could definitely be a sign of the 7 month sleep regression, but luckily it shouldn’t last very long. Follow the tips on the guide closely.

      If you are interested in starting sleep training, we offer 4 different pathways for you to choose from
      (from super gentle/no-cry to quick & efficient.) Each step of the way you get advice based on your baby’s developmental stage,
      energy levels, and temperament. For more information on the program, please don’t hesitate to ask, here is the link to it:
      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/21-days-to-peace-quiet-program

      Best of luck/ Leena, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
    • Aliisa Valkeinen

      Hi! We used your program To get our son To sleep when he was 5 month old. Now 2 months later I find that he still cries about 10 minute before falling asleep. We used the checking In method. He may wake up during the night but he can resettle himself now. Am I doing something wrong or can it just be that its his way To fall asleep?
      The program was lifesaver. It took only To night To get our son wakin every hour To sleeping great whit only 1or 2 wakings and even those times I dont have To go To him 🙂 so thank you

      Reply
      • Alyssa Taft

        Hello Aliisa,

        Thank you for your message! I am so happy to hear that your little one’s night wakings have greatly improved. Just remain consistent and you will see them continue to improve as he gets older (developmentally). I would look at your PNR. Make sure you are giving yourself a solid 30-35 minutes for your PNR and make it as calming as possible. I would really try to get him to settle down before bedtime and give him LOTS of snuggles during book reading. Give this a shot for another week and then message us back if you haven’t seen it improve! Best, Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

        Reply
  7. Stephanie Humphrey

    Hi Jilly!
    My husband and I are on one income and currently out budget doesnt allow for anything extra so unfortunately I cannot afford your program 😞 is there any way you could advise me what to do with my 7-almost-8 month old son?
    I would like to get him to fall asleep on his own (currently I rock him to sleep). I had a short bedtime routine but he struggled to fall asleep so I implemented a longer routine and that did the trick. But when I tried putting him down sleepy but awake he wakes (but never cries, he’s never been much of a crier) all the way and starts playing in the crib. At first I would pick him up immediately and rock him and try again. Then I realized that some babies need a few minutes to themselves to fall asleep on their own. So then I tried leaving him for a bit but the longer I leave him the longer he takes to fall asleep when I go in and rock him again!!! So I’m not sure what I should do! I hope you are able to help me!

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Stephanie,

      If your baby doesn’t cry when placed in the crib, I agree that you should leave him to settle himself to sleep.

      Don’t interrupt his efforts of learning to fall asleep on his own. When he can do this, he’ll sleep longer stretches at night (and eventually sleep through the night when he’s ready.)

      It may take him over an hour on the first night, but each night should get shorter and easier (as long as you’re keeping a consistent sleep schedule with the tips recommended from this article.)

      That’s actually great that he doesn’t cry (most parents would be jealous 🙂 )

      Give him the space and opportunity to learn to fall asleep on his own.

      All the best,
      Jilly

      Reply

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