7 Month Old Sleep Schedule Tips
Isn’t it amazing how much your baby has changed in just seven short months? They’re growing from a completely dependent newborn into an inquisitive and friendly little person. Now that your baby has passed that 6 month mark, you may be starting to think about getting them onto a better sleep schedule.
If you’re finding that their sleep looks different every day or that they don’t sleep well without being held, there are things you can begin to implement now that will pay off for years to come. Helping develop a 7 month old sleep schedule now for your little one will help them become a more independent sleeper as the months and years go by. You will be very thankful for this, trust me!
In the article below, we’ll share a few different tips for helping develop a 7 month old sleep schedule. Read through our list of tips, and pick a few that you think may help your baby. All 7 month old sleep schedules are not identical, but the key is to be consistent in implementing the schedule you choose. Also, remember that you will likely need to try a tip numerous different times before you will start to notice a difference in your baby’s sleep.
Total Amount of Sleep to Aim For
When you are planning your 7 month old sleep schedule, it is important to keep in mind how much total sleep a 7 month old should be getting each day. In general, 7 month old babies need about 14 hours of sleep total. This includes daytime and nighttime sleep. About 11 hours of sleep should be overnight and 3 hours of sleep should be split over daytime naps.
Choosing the Right Bedtime
Choosing the right bedtime is also a critical component of an effective 7 month old sleep schedule. If you put your baby to bed too late, instead of making them sleep until later in the morning, it will actually have the opposite effect. When bedtime is too late, babies will wake up more frequently overnight and will not sleep as long overall. For a 7 month old sleep schedule, a bedtime between 5:30 and 7:30 is ideal.
Developing routines and sticking with them are a key part of creating a 7 month old sleep schedule. Without consistent routines, it is more challenging for your 7 month old to learn the signs that bedtime is nearing. Creating a routine that will work for you is essential. You need to be sure to pick something that you will be able to stick with every night. You’ll be surprised at how much a routine can help develop a 7 month old sleep schedule that will work for you and your baby.
A little bit before bedtime, turn down the lights in the room baby is in. Turning down the lights can help calm your baby and remove added stimulation. They will start associating dimmed lighting with getting ready for bedtime.
Soft Music or Quiet Playtime
As bedtime is getting nearer, switch from more active games or louder music. Consider playing some soft classical music or lullabies to start to calm your baby. Engage is calmer playtime with them as well.
Bath time is often a part of many bedtime routines. A warm bath can help your baby calm down. As they get a little older, they can also use this time to continue their quiet playtime. As you repeatedly do bath time right before bedtime, your baby will start to associate taking a bath with getting calmed down and going to sleep.
Get Dressed for Bed
After bath time, dry your baby off and get them ready for bed. Apply and creams or lotions that you use and get them all snuggled into their pajamas.
Read a Story Together
Storytime is another part of many bedtime routines. Not only is reading a book together a great way to bond with your baby, but it also helps exposure them to new vocabulary. Plus, who doesn’t love listening to a good book and looking at the pictures. This is definitely a recommended piece of a bedtime routine that can help with creating a 7 month old sleep schedule. When you are reading a book or two, your calming voice can continue to help your little one calm down and get sleepier.
After reading a story together. Give your baby a hug and a kiss. If you say prayers, now is a good time to do so. Then, quietly place them down in their crib to go to sleep.
Naptimes are also important considerations. Most 7 month old babies take two or three naps each day. When determining naptimes, some people use set naptimes for a 7 month old sleep schedule, and others go by wake times. If you are not familiar with wake times, they refer to the ideal amount of ‘awake time’ between naps. For a 7 month old sleep schedule, keeping your baby awake for two to three hours between each nap is typically what is recommended. If you haven’t tried using wake times with your baby, give it a try. It can really help with developing a schedule and can help your baby sleep more each day.
Consider an Eat, Play, Sleep Schedule
Some people also recommend following an eat, play, sleep schedule to help develop a good sleep schedule for a 7 month old. With this schedule, you have your baby eat, then play some games, do tummy time, read a book, or do some other activity together. After playing, then you put them down for a nap. This schedule can be effective for a few different reasons. First, playing before they take a nap can help tire them out and get them ready to sleep. This schedule is also beneficial because your baby doesn’t go to sleep right after eating, so it can help remove the association between eating and sleeping.
Move Baby into Their Own Room
If your baby is still sleeping in their bassinet or a crib in your bedroom, it may be time to consider moving them into their own room. Giving your baby their own space can help them sleep better. They won’t be waking up when you move around or make sounds. If you’re breastfeeding, they can also smell your milk, and will be more likely to ask for a midnight snack if you’re right next to them.
Create a Good Environment for Sleeping
Another very important thing to consider when you are developing a 7 month old sleep schedule is making sure that you have created a good sleep environment for your baby. Creating a good sleep environment can definitely help your baby get onto a good sleep schedule. There are a few things you can do to create a good environment for sleep:
Control the Temperature
Babies typically sleep better in cool environments. Drop the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees at nighttime or consider buying a fan for your baby’s room. If you do use a fan in their room, just be sure to keep it away from your baby.
Create a Dark Space
A dark room can help your baby get to sleep and stay asleep longer too. Consider purchasing blackout curtains for your baby’s room. Blackout curtains can make a room much darker than a standard curtain or blinds will. Blackout curtains will also help your baby sleep during naptimes, since the room will be relatively dark, even when it is light outside.
Use a Sound Machine
A sound machine can play white noise, soothing music, or nature sounds. These sounds can help your baby calm down and allow them to get to sleep. If there are other noises in the house, the sound machine can help to drown them out, allowing your baby to stay asleep.
Begin to Undo Bad Sleep Habits and Consider Sleep Training
If you have helped your baby develop any bad sleep habits, now is the time to start to break these habits. Bad sleep habits include rocking your baby to sleep, co-sleeping, and giving them a bottle or breastfeeding them immediately before bedtime. Gradually phasing out these habits or cutting them out cold turkey are two different methods to consider. You can also look into different options for sleep training your baby. Sleep training will also help in removing bad habits.
There are a lot of different things to consider when you are trying to develop a 7 month old sleep schedule. Always keep in mind that no babies are the same and every baby’s needs will be slightly different. Be patient and consistent as you implement the tips from our article. Also, even once you have developed a 7 month old sleep schedule, it is not unusual for there to be some hiccups in the road. Between teething, sleep regressions, and sickness, you’ll need to expect there to still be some rough nights. But overall, one you have a solid 7 month old sleep schedule developed, you will be impressed with how much better your baby sleeps (and how much more sleep you get too)!