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Is There a 7-Month Sleep Regression?

As your seven-month-old baby acquires new skills and becomes more engaged with the world, their sleep patterns can shift. If you’re finding yourself up late at night, searching for insights on 7-month-old sleep, fussiness, or wondering about the 7-month-old sleep regression, you’re not alone. Many parents grapple with sleep disruptions and sleep issues as their little ones approach this age and even anticipate the challenges of the 8-month-sleep regression as they near that next milestone.


Sleep, unlike other developmental aspects, doesn’t follow a linear path. Unlike skills such as crawling or walking, which once mastered, remain consistent, sleep is ever-evolving. It’s influenced by a myriad of factors, from physical growth spurts to cognitive leaps. So, while there isn’t a widely recognized sleep regression at 7 months, it doesn’t mean your baby’s sleep isn’t being affected by whatever it is they’re working on developmentally this month.

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the developmental milestones your 7-month-old may be working on, how these can shape their sleep, and provide strategies to support both you and your baby during this transformative period.

Your Baby’s Development and Sleep at 7 Months

As your baby reaches the 7-month mark, their growth and development can have a direct influence on their sleep patterns. Here’s what you might observe:

  1. Cognitive and Sensory Development: As your baby approaches the latter part of their first year, some might begin to exhibit early signs of separation anxiety. Their growing attachment to primary caregivers and an emerging understanding of object permanence can make them more sensitive to separations. This heightened sensitivity can pose challenges during bedtime or nap time. While not every 7-month-old will experience this, for those who do, it’s a natural developmental phase. However, it can undeniably influence the frequency of nighttime wakings and their ability to settle into sleep.
  2. Physical Development: Your baby might be mastering new physical skills like sitting up without support or even beginning to crawl. These milestones can sometimes lead to “practice sessions” during sleep time, causing disruptions.
  3. Transitioning to the Nursery: If you’ve been room-sharing, transitioning your baby to their nursery can be a significant step. This change can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Ensuring the nursery is a familiar and comforting environment can ease this transition. Spending time playing in the nursery, using crib sheets that carry familiar scents, and maintaining consistent bedtime routines can be beneficial.
  4. Teething Troubles: The emergence of new teeth, especially the top ones, can disrupt sleep. Teething can cause discomfort, making nighttime and naptime restless.
  5. Sleep Associations and Habits: As your baby grows, they might develop specific routines or habits that help them drift off to sleep. Recognizing and understanding these can provide insights into their sleep preferences.
  6. Night Wakings: Some 7-month-olds might still experience night wakings. These can be due to various reasons, from hunger to developmental milestones.
  7. Safe Sleep Practices: As your baby becomes more mobile and starts exploring their environment, it’s crucial to ensure their sleep space remains safe. Always start with your baby on their back, and ensure their sleep space is free from potential hazards.
  8. Consistent Bedtime Routine: As your baby’s sleep patterns evolve, maintaining a predictable bedtime routine can provide comfort and security. It signals to your baby that it’s time to wind down, helping them transition to sleep more smoothly.

After understanding the various developmental milestones and their potential impacts on sleep, it’s also essential to consider the changes in your baby’s nap patterns. As they grow, the number and duration of naps can shift, and one significant transition during this period is the shift from three naps to two.

Navigating the 3 to 2 Nap Transition

The transition from three naps to two typically occurs between 6-8 months. While it might seem like a minor change, it can significantly impact your baby’s daily rhythm and have a knock-on effect on nights.

Signs Your Baby Is Ready:

  • Refusal of the third nap despite attempts to facilitate sleep.
  • The third nap occurs so late it interferes with bedtime.
  • Extended wake windows, with your baby remaining content for longer periods between naps.

Nap Transition Strategies:

  • Adjust the Second Wake Window: Gradually increase the length of the second wake window until you reach a minimum of 3 hours between naps.
  • Adapt Bedtime: Aim for a bedtime no earlier than 6:30 pm to avoid early morning wake-ups.

What’s Normal During This Transition?

  • Schedule Fluctuation: Some days might be three-nap days, while others are two-nap days. The length of the first nap often determines the day’s flow. If you want to adjust your child’s sleep schedule – you can use our free sleep generator tool
  • Early Rising and Nighttime Waking: It’s common for babies to experience frequent night wakings or early rising during this transition. Staying consistent with wake times and bedtimes can help.

As your baby inevitably goes through nap transitions, having a broader perspective on their overall daily sleep schedule can provide insights into how the day might flow.

Baby Sleep Schedules at 7 Months

Though many parents yearn for that ‘ideal’ sleep schedule, it’s crucial to recognize that each baby has their own rhythm. The schedule outlined below provides a glimpse into the average sleep and wake times for a 7-month-old. Keep in mind that wake windows generally elongate with the day, so the longest wake window is typically ahead of bedtime. If you want to input your own child’s sleep schedule – you can use our free sleep generator tool

Sample Sleep Schedule at 7 Months

  • Total Hours of Sleep in 24 Hours: 12-16 hours
  • Nighttime Sleep: 11-12 hours
  • Daytime Sleep: 2.5-3.5 hours
  • Average Start Time: 6:00-8:00 am
  • Average Wake Windows: 2.25-3.5 hours
  • Average Number of Naps: 2-3
  • Average Bed Time: 6:30-8:30 pm

Tips for Maximizing Sleep at 7 Months Old

While having an understanding of your baby’s sleep schedule can be helpful, it’s equally important to implement strategies that maximize their sleep quality and duration.

Whether you’re considering formal sleep training or not, 7 months is a great time to set up sustainable sleep routines that work for you as well as your baby. If what you are doing only works for your baby, it’s not going to be sustainable in the long run.

  • Create a Safe Sleep-Friendly Environment: Make sure the room where your baby sleeps is conducive to sleep and follows the AAP’s safe sleep guidelines. This includes keeping the room at a comfortable temperature, using white noise to drown out any household or street noise, and keeping the room dark.
  • Building familiarity in the sleep environment: To foster a sense of security and positive association with their sleep space, spend time playing with your baby in their sleep environment. This not only familiarizes them with the area but also strengthens their bond with you in that space.
  • Establishing a Wind-Down Routine: At 7 months, the power of a consistent bedtime routine cannot be overstated. More than just a sequence of events, it’s a series of cues that signal to your baby that it’s time to relax and drift off. Incorporate calming activities like a gentle lullaby, a warm bath, or reading a short story. Over time, these cues will become synonymous with sleep, making the transition to bedtime smoother.
  • Space for Movement: Movement is a big part of the settling process for many little ones. They may kick their legs and bring their hands to their mouth, roll their head from side to side, or roll onto their side or tummy. All of these skills are a pathway toward your little one finding ways to get comfortable before they go to sleep.
  • Encouraging Independent Settling: One of the most empowering things you can do for your baby’s sleep is to gently encourage them to find comfort on their own. After their wind-down routine, place them in their crib while they’re still awake. While it’s natural to want to soothe them at the slightest sign of discomfort, sometimes giving them a brief moment can allow them to discover their own ways of self-soothing. Remember, you’re still right there, ready to offer support if they need it. This approach not only fosters independence but also nurtures their self-soothing capabilities without resorting to letting them “cry it out.”
  • Balancing Diversification with Consistency in Soothing: While it’s beneficial to have a variety of soothing techniques at your disposal, it’s equally crucial to apply them consistently. Switching techniques too frequently can confuse your baby and make it harder for them to find comfort. The goal is to have a consistent approach that offers multiple, sustainable avenues of comfort. This ensures that while you have several tools in your toolkit, each is applied with regularity, allowing your baby to familiarize and find solace in them.

Final Thoughts

The 7-month milestone reminds us of the ever-evolving journey of parenthood. As your baby delves deeper into their world, their sleep patterns might keep you on your toes. Yet, amidst the occasional sleepless nights, there are countless moments of wonder, laughter, and firsts. Cherish these fleeting moments, trust in your instincts, and know that you’re not alone in navigating the intricacies of baby sleep. When challenges arise, lean on your support network, be it family, friends, or fellow parents, for shared experiences and advice.

If you have any concerns about your baby’s sleep habits, feeding, development, or any other aspect of their health, don’t hesitate to consult your pediatrician.

For more information on sleep regressions at other ages, check out this blog on sleep regressions.

This article was written by Batelle – team of sleep experts, lactation consultants, therapists, doulas, and early education specialists. Special thanks to Deanna.  

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