Are you looking for the best sleep schedule for your 7 month old? Or wondering if your current sleep schedule might be impacting your baby’s sleep schedule?
7 months old is such a wonderful age. The newborn period has passed, their circadian rhythm is well developed and they are able to stay awake longer. And the best part? Their cute little personalities – the smiles, giggles, baby chatter.
7 months of age is a great time to set a consistent schedule each day, making naps and bedtime more predictable. This really helps you set a daily routine and be able to make plans, knowing when you need to be home for naps and when your baby will be awake.
Morning Wake Up
It is important to have a relatively consistent morning wake up time each day. It sets the scene for your daily schedule. The average wake up time for 7-month-old babies his age is between 6:00-7:00am. Their will be some early riser babies that wake up as early as 5:30 am, but any time before that should be considered night time.
By this age I do not recommend having naps based on wake windows, but instead have a set schedule each day based on their circadian rhythms. These are times each day that their body will be ready for sleep – making them more likely to fall asleep and sleep for longer stretches.
Here is my suggested nap schedule:
First nap: starting between 8:30 – 9 am.
Second nap: starting between 12:30 – 1 pm.
Babies usually have their shortest wake window between their morning wake up and the morning nao, so don’t worry if it feels too short. Trust me, this schedule works.
Most 7 month old babies still need a third nap, but there may be some that don’t if they consistently take nice long daytime naps. If a baby still needs their cat nap then it will likely start around 4 pm. The last nap of the day doesn’t need to be a long nap. Its sole purpose is to get your baby to a reasonable time for bedtime.
Make sure that your nap routine starts before that recommended sleep time so that your baby is not overtired when you place them in the crib.
Bedtime should be no later than 2.5 hours of wake time from their last night. It is important to keep this wake window tight because an overtired baby at bedtime can make falling asleep and staying asleep difficult.
Overall Sleep Needs
Every baby will have a slightly different amount of sleep that they need. Most 7 month olds need between 14 to 16 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. This is split up into 4 – 5 hours of daytime sleep and 10 – 12 hours of night time sleep. It is important to make sure that your baby is getting enough sleep each day as this can help prevent difficulties falling asleep, night wakings and early waking.
Generally, many babies can go through the night without a feed by about 6 months old, but there are still babies that need a feed at 7 months of age. If they are waking up for more night feedings then it is likely the feed is a sleep association and being used to help them transition through a sleep cycle. If this is the case it will be a good idea to look at working on independent sleep. You can choose a sleep training method that you are comfortable with to help your baby re-settle at those extra wake ups.
All night feeds are generally dropped by 9 months of age at the most.
7 month old sleep tips
- Have consistent nap and bedtime routines – Your chosen routines will be unique to you and your baby but should be the same steps and order each day to act as a sleep cue. It could include such things as a a warm bath, massage, lullabies or a bedtime story. A consistent bedtime routine can actually reduce night wakings.
- Make sure the bedroom is conducive to sleep. To help your baby get the best sleep possible make sure the bedroom is conducive to sleep – blackout blinds and white noise.
- Get out in the morning sun. This helps set your babies circadian rhythm for the day.
- Prioritize naps. Naps are as important as night time sleep. A baby who naps well during the day is more likely to sleep better at night and vice versa.
- Keep consistent when new skills disrupt sleep. Sleep regressions can happen due to new skills, a growth spurt and separation anxiety. Keeping consistent with your sleep schedule, sleep routines and how your child falls asleep will help. You may decide you need to default to your previous sleep training method to get past this regression. Make up for shorter naps or completely missed naps with earlier bedtimes.