Whether baby sleeps like an angel or doesn’t know the meaning of “sleep”, we’ve got the best way to figure out what routine works for your unique baby.
The 7-month-old sleep schedule is the ultimate balancing task.
On the one hand, your little one is encountering so many wondrous things for the first time.
(World, meet Baby; Baby, meet World)
Their senses are awakened to a whole universe of stimulation.
On the other hand, all of these new progressions in development are likely affecting their sleep (and yours).
If you are worried about the quality of your baby’s sleep, you’re not alone.
We live in a day and age where social media will often portray that babies should be sleeping 12 hours straight by a specific age or weight and that’s simply not the case for most babies.
This adds so much pressure to the already stressful job of being a mom and when you’re stressed, then baby is stressed, resulting in poorer sleep!
In this article: 📝
- What should a 7-month-old sleep schedule look like?
- How long should a 7-month-old nap?
- What time should 7-month-old go to bed?
- Why is my baby waking hourly at night?
- How to get a 7-month-old on a sleep schedule
What should a 7-month-old sleep schedule look like?
As your baby gets older, the number of naps they take in the day should gradually be replaced with more hours of sleep a night.
Human beings love routine and predictability.
Our circadian rhythms (or internal sleep clock) impact our health and performance in many ways.
We start to develop these cycles at around eight weeks of age.
So, rather than trying to fit neatly into a strict universal 7-month-old baby sleep schedule, it may be more useful to find your baby’s own patterns and stick to them.
Don’t worry, we’ll give you some blueprints to help you through.
How much nighttime sleep for a 7-month-old?
At 7 months old, baby may be sleeping anywhere from 9-12 hours at night (likely not consecutively).
How much daytime sleep for a 7-month-old?
Very generally, most 7-month-olds take about 2-3 naps during the day, lasting anywhere from 30-90 minutes long each.
The daytime sleep totals will vary baby to baby based off their unique sleep needs.
What are typical 7-month-old wake windows?
Wake times for 7-month-olds usually last between 2-3.5 hours long each.
In that time, they’ll be feeding, playing, and having tummy time ‒ whatever the day brings!
If naps have started to consolidate (more than one sleep cycle of 45 minutes) ideally, baby’s wake window will gradually increase as the day goes on to help with nighttime sleep pressure and consolidation.
How long should a 7-month-old nap?
Each nap generally lasts anywhere from 30 minutes (a catnap) to 90 minutes (an afternoon snooze).
Ah, the joy of being a baby.
Imagine naps were mandated in the same way in adult life.
By 7 months, your baby will be able to stay awake for about 2 to 3-hour stints ‒ and their naps can be planned accordingly.
How many naps should a 7-month-old be taking?
Nap-wise, you’re aiming for 2 to 3 nap hours a day and a longer sleep at night, usually divided up into 2-3 shorter daytime naps.
While no two nap schedules are identical, your baby’s might look something like this:
7-month-old nap schedule
- 6am: Wake up for the day
- 8am - 9am: Naptime (after a little play and a good feed)
- 9am - 12pm: A morning of general awesomeness
- 12pm - 1:30pm: A post-lunch nap
- 1:30pm - 4pm: An afternoon of adventure
- 4pm - 4:30pm: A short nap
- 4:30pm - 7:30pm: An exhilarating evening of bathing, boob or bottling, tummy time, and book-reading
- 8:00pm: Sleep time
Remember that this is not a prescription.
It’s only a suggestion and may not work for your unique baby.
What time should 7-month-old go to bed?
There’s no right answer to this question.
Every family has different needs.
The presence of support structures, your work schedule, and the needs of your other family members will all affect what works best for you.
One way to figure out an appropriate bedtime is to work backward from your morning waking time.
It’s best to time bedtime based on the time that their last nap ended.
To help make bedtimes as pain-free as possible, it’s a good idea to get into a bedtime pattern that signals that it’s time for sleep.
Follow a bedtime routine that works for you.
Perhaps a bath, then a feed, then a book, then a lullaby, then sleep.
According to baby sleep expert Alicia Dyshon, the bedtime routine should be quick, simple, and in the same order each night.
It’s also worth making sure the room is dark or if you are using a night light that it has a red bulb to avoid it blocking melatonin production.
How many times should a 7-month-old wake up at night?
This is a hard one.
By 7 months, some babies might be sleeping through the night in dreamy eleven-hour stints, but most babies aren’t.
If your baby is suddenly waking up more than normal or having longer night wake-ups (a nice 3am crib party perhaps?), they may be experiencing a development progression or “sleep regression”, as it’s often referred to.
While quite disruptive, this is very normal.
The major cause of these sleep disruptions is a progression in their development.
However, these disruptions may also include a growth spurt (more nighttime feeds) or a bout of separation anxiety.
The good news about sleep regressions is that they are temporary.
We know that doesn’t help much when a single night feels like a decade, but know that there is hope on the horizon.
Why does my 7-month-old constantly wake up at night?
It’s usually not that your 7-month-old is fighting sleep just for the sake of it.
There are several reasons why this might be the case.
They’re still new to this wide, wonderful world, so there’s a lot for them to learn and process.
Here are a few of the reasons for your baby’s sleeplessness:
- Overstimulation: They’ve been exposed to so many new experiences and people, it’s not surprising if they can’t focus on bedtime. A bedtime routine can help your baby calm down. If baby has been doing tummy time or playing before bed, they are more likely to get upset.
- Progressions in development: Your 7-month-old’s sleep schedule might be affected by milestones such as rolling or crawling.
- Growth spurt: Your baby is constantly growing and developing. This may result in a need for more daytime and even nighttime calories. Yes, even if they were previously not eating at night, they may now need a feed, so there’s no harm in offering one.
- Separation anxiety: Babies are not wired for separation, so most will struggle with independent sleep. A crib in another room or even in the same room is still separation for a baby. They may wake up for comfort at night, comfort is a valid need.
- Overtired: Ugh. They’re too tired to sleep. A vicious cycle.
- Undertired: Your baby may have not built up enough sleep pressure to fall asleep or stay asleep. Their awake windows may be too short for their unique sleep needs.
- Illness: A stuffy nose, cough, or tummy ache can all keep baby awake at night too.
- Temperature: Too hot or too cold? That’s a recipe for fighting sleep. Best to dress for the weather (or rather, temperature).
- Teething: It can be surprisingly uncomfortable for baby ‒ imagine what it would be like to grow teeth all over again. No, thanks.
Why is my baby waking hourly at night?
If your baby has been struggling to get even a 2-hour stretch at night and this has been a consistent occurrence for a couple of months now, there are a few things we want to look at, according to baby sleep expert, Alicia Dyshon.
Very frequent wake-ups can be an indication that something is bothering your baby.
Some common things to look for are…
- Food sensitivities. Your baby has likely started solids now, and it’s common to see some food sensitivities or even allergies that may be causing your baby to wake up frequently at night.
- Low iron. Babies use up the majority of the iron stores that they got from mom in utero by about 6 months of age (this is a huge reason we start solids). Low iron can lead to frequent wake-ups, restless sleep, and difficulty settling to sleep. The iron requirement for infants 7-12 months is about 11mg of iron a day (that’s more than an adult male!).
- Mouth breathing or snoring. Both of these are a red flag. As Alicia Dyshon says, “we want to see babies breathing through their nose for restful and restorative sleep. Common things that can cause these types of issues are undiagnosed oral ties, sleep apnea, enlarged adenoids, or tonsils.”.
- Reflux. Often the introduction of solids can even magnify this issue leading to frequent wake-ups. Alicia Dyshon recommends having a feeding assessment done by an IBCLC, feeding specialist, or reflux specialist to ensure your baby is latching to the bottle or breast properly. If your baby is taking in any air while feeding, this can lead to reflux and discomfort.
Frequent wake-ups are of course common during developmental progressions, bouts of teething, or if they are ill.
But if you have been experiencing consistent frequent wake-ups, it’s worth investigating further.
How to get a 7-month-old on a sleep schedule
It can be tough getting a 7-month-old on a sleep schedule, but there are a few tricks that can help.
One way is to establish a bedtime routine.
Bath, storytime, hugs and kisses, feed or rock to sleep or if they are happy to fall asleep independently you can put them down drowsy but awake (this doesn’t work for all babies).
Simple but effective.
This will help them associate bedtime with a calm, relaxing, and safe place to be.
Another way to get your 7-month-old sleeping better is to have a more consistent nap routine.
You may need to wake your baby up at the same time each morning and even cap their last nap at the same time each day.
This can allow bedtime and nap time to fall around the same time each night and help with your baby’s circadian rhythm.
The good news is, by the time they reach this point, they may be sleeping longer stretches.
This means, of course, that a 7-month-old baby’s sleep routine is likely a little more restorative for you than a newborn one.
If you are at all worried about your 7-month-old’s general health, check in with your doctor.
And if you need support, join us on Peanut.
Mamahood is always so much more fun when traveling with others, so let’s navigate this together.
Enjoy this time.
It’s affectionately known as the Golden Age of babydom.
While it’s going to be busy, it is also so exciting as you watch your baby go through a string of first experiences.
Have fun, mama.
➡️ Up next: What’s the Best 8-Month-Old Sleep Schedule?