Your 7-Week-Old Baby’s Milestones & Development

It’s hard to believe that your baby is 7 weeks old, and well on their way to being a 2-month-old! You are probably feeling a mix of emotions right now. In many ways, you might be starting to feel more confident in your ability to care and respond to your baby. But each day with a new baby has its own set of challenges, and it’s also common to feel some uncertainty along the way.

The good news is that this week, your baby should be finishing their big 6-week growth spurt, and may be a little less fussy as a result. There should be lots of exciting moments this week, as you see your baby become more and more social. Yes, raising a small baby can be exhausting, but there are many moments of joy thrown in to balance all the hard parts out.

Let’s take a look at all the exciting developments you’ll be seeing in your baby this week, as well as some tips on feeding, sleep, health, safety, and baby care.

At This Age

  • Development: Your baby will have more social smiles this week, and may be able to push themselves up when lying on their belly.
  • Sleep: Your baby still doesn’t sleep through the night yet, but may be starting to have some longer sleep stretches.
  • Food: Your baby still needs to be fed frequently, and based on their hunger cues; some babies are starting to stretch their feedings out this week.
7-week old baby milestones and development
Illustration by Joshua Seong, Verywell

7-Week-Old Baby Development

Over the past few weeks, your baby has become quite the social butterfly, and this week is no exception. At this point, many babies have flashed their first smiles, or will be sometime soon. If your baby has already been smiling, you may notice that they are smiling more responsively, and more often.

“They are starting to have social smiles—smiles in response to something and/or someone, and not just randomly,” says Gina Posner, MD, a pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA. “They are watching you and turning their head to sounds, reacting to external stimuli.”

In general, 7-week-olds are just much more aware of the world around them, says Norma Perez, MD, pediatrician and medical director at AltaMed Health Services. You may notice that your baby really studies your face, and readily turns towards a sound in the room. They are starting to recognize you even when your face isn’t close to theirs and may track you as you walk across the room.

“They are consistently making more eye contact and smiling in response to someone smiling at them,” Dr. Perez says.

Your baby just finished their 6-week growth spurt, which hopefully means that they are slightly less fussy this week. Additionally, if your baby had colic or colicky symptoms, they may have decreased slightly this week, from their peak at 4 to 6 weeks. However, if your baby is still acting fussy or colicky, this is normal, as colic doesn’t fully usually disappear until around 3 months.

This week, your baby is probably bulking up a bit more, due to their recent growth spurt. You may notice that their face has started to fill out, and that their arms and legs have gotten a little more chunky. All babies are different, though, and there is a wide range of normal when it comes to body shape and growth rate. The most important thing is that your baby is following their own growth curve and developing normally.

At this age, most babies are gaining weight rapidly, about 2 pounds per month. They are also growing about an inch taller each month.

7-Week-Old Baby Milestones

Your baby keeps getting stronger and stronger! “During tummy time you may notice that your baby is now able to hold up their head for longer periods of time,” says Dr. Perez.

If you place your baby down on their belly, they should be able to hold their head steadily up for longer stretches, and they may be starting to try to lift the rest of their bodies up, too. Soon, enough, your little one will be doing “baby pushups.”

Even though your baby is getting stronger every day, their little bodies still need support from you. “The neck muscles are still getting stronger every day but at this age babies still need help to support their head when held,” Dr. Perez reminds.

Your baby is also starting to develop their talking skills. “You will also see some language/communication development at this stage in the form of cooing from your baby,” says Dr. Perez.

Not only will they “coo,” make other vowel sounds, and begin to gurgle, but they will also begin to have more refined cries. You will probably notice that they cry or fuss a certain way when they are hungry, but that these cries are different from when they are tired. At this age, your baby may even start to get fussy when they are bored and want your attention.

Additional Behaviors

Some other milestones you may notice this week include:

  • Your baby may start to self-soothe by sucking on their hands and fingers.
  • Your baby starts to make smoother, more deliberate motions with their arms and legs.
  • Your baby starts to open and close their hands.
  • Your baby’s newborn reflexes have started to disappear.
  • Your baby will study you intently and get excited when they realize you are near.

7-Week-Old Baby Food

Feeding is still a big part of your baby’s day. After all, they have a lot of growing to do right now!

You should still be feeding your baby responsively, says Roya Samuels, MD, a pediatrician in the Division of General Pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. “It is important to be in tune with your baby’s hunger cues and learn to feed on demand,” she says.

At this age, breastfed babies still need to eat very frequently, every 1.5 to 2 hours, says Dr. Samuels. Formula-fed babies may be able to space their feedings out a little more, sometimes going 3-4 hours between feeds, she advises.

As Dr. Samuels reminds, there is a lot of variation when it comes to feeding frequency, especially at 7 weeks. “Every infant is different and doesn’t necessarily follow hard and fast rules about timing between feeds,” she says.

Babies this age are still prone to gassy tummies and frequent spitting up. One common culprit that can contribute to gassiness and stomach upset is overfeeding, says Dr. Perez. “Babies who are overfed can have more spit than usual, excess gas, stomach pain, and vomiting,” she explains.

When feeding, you should always pay attention to your baby’s cues, and stop feeding when they seem full and less interested.

“A baby will also show signs that they are done with a feed by moving their head away from the bottle or breast, start and stop feeding often, unlatch while breastfeeding, spit out or ignore the bottle or breast, and slow down or fall asleep,” Dr. Perez describes.

It’s less possible to overfeed a breastfed baby, because the breast doesn’t flow unless your baby is actively suckling. However, some parents are prone to having an oversupply while breastfeeding, and this can contribute to a faster flow at the breast, can cause excessive spitting up, and can upset your baby’s stomach.

You can remedy breastfeeding oversupply by making sure that your baby finishes one breast before offering another, and leaning back a little while breastfeeding, so that the milk is more able to go “down the hatch.” It’s also important not to pump more than you need to, because excessive pumping can lead to an oversupply of milk.

If nothing you are trying seems to be helping, and you think you may be dealing with an extreme oversupply of breastmilk, you should consider speaking to a lactation consultant who can help you assess the situation and come up with some solutions.

7-Week-Old Baby Sleep

After weeks and weeks of sleep deprivation, parents of 7-week-olds are often desperate to know when their babies will start to sleep a little better. This is totally understandable.

Unfortunately, while your baby may be sleeping a little better after their most recent growth spurt, they are still too small to be sleeping through the night. Babies this age tend to sleep about 14-16 hours a day but are moving toward having more and more of that sleep happen at night rather than more evenly distributed during the day and night.

Part of the reason that your little one is not likely sleeping through the night is that they still need to be fed often, including at night. It’s not usually recommended that your baby sleeps without being fed until they are closer to 3 months, and about 12-13 pounds. Right now, your baby is growing rapidly and requires the extra calories that nighttime feedings offer them, says Dr. Samuels.

That said, it’s never too early to start implementing a bedtime routine for your baby, Dr. Samuels adds, and this will set the stage for the longer stretches of sleep that will hopefully come soon. You can start by trying things like warm baths, reading a book together, or singing a song. The idea is to set some expectations for your baby about what to expect as the day closes, and sleep is near, says Dr. Samuels.

“Having a reliable routine will cue your infant into the fact that it is time to doze off to sleep,” she advises.

7-Week-Old Baby Schedule

As your baby becomes more alert and social, you will be starting to have longer pockets of the day where your baby wants stimulation. So in between those long feeding sessions and naps, you will likely be looking for things to do to fill the time and to keep your baby happy.

One of the skills your baby is working on this week is holding things in their hands, and generally becoming more interested in brightly colored objects and interesting sounds. Having a few baby-safe and baby-approved toys around can be really fun and is a good way to pass the time with your baby.

These days, the traditional “baby rattle” has come a long way, and there are more options than ever for toys that even a 7-week-old baby can grip in their little hands. There are baby “maze” teethers and soft baby books with “crinkly” pages. These days, toys are designed with optimal baby development in mind and are usually BPA-free, sulfate, and lead-free.

7-Week-Old Baby Health and Safety

Next week, your baby will have their 2-month check-up with the pediatrician. This will be an exciting visit. You will be able to find out how much your baby has grown, you will be able to discuss your baby’s development, and you’ll be able to answer any questions you have about baby care and safety.

It’s important to keep in mind that you should be in touch with your pediatrician between visits, especially if your baby shows signs of illness. Young babies have an undeveloped immune system and are more vulnerable to illness and infections than older children. As you care for your young baby, it’s important to understand the signs that your baby may be ill, so that you can ensure they get medical care promptly, should they need it.

Signs of Illness in Babies

Babies who are under the weather may refuse to feed, have diarrhea or vomiting, have a runny nose, a rash, or ear drainage. Babies may also be excessively fussy or won’t stop crying. A baby who is ill might also show signs of dehydration. You might notice that your baby has fewer wet diapers, and the “soft spot” on their skull looks sunken.

You shouldn’t hesitate to call their pediatrician if your baby seems ill; they will tell you if a visit is necessary. Some situations necessitate urgent medical care, such as any baby who has a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, a baby who is very lethargic or can’t be roused, who has yellowish eyes or skin. Any type of bleeding that can’t be stopped or any type of poisoning requires a call to 911.

7-Week-Old Baby Care Basics

By now, you may start to be doing more activities with your baby, and may need some guidance about how to get the most out of these activities and what the best way is to do them. Let’s look at two activities that many parents are doing with their 7-week-olds: baby wearing and tummy time.

Baby Wearing

Babywearing is a wonderful way to bond with your baby, soothe them when they are fussy, and give them some new angles to absorb the world around them. There are many baby carriers on the market, and it can be hard to know which to pick. Above all, you want a carrier that feels comfortable to use and is safe for your baby.

As the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes, it’s important that a baby carrier allows your baby room to breathe, and that their airways are not covered by the carrier or the position that they are put in. While in the carrier, your baby’s chin should not be pushed into their chest and you should be able to see their nose and mouth at all times.

You also want a carrier that supports your baby’s body adequately, and you want to make sure you use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tummy Time

As your baby gets stronger and more alert, you want to give them more opportunities to practice their skills and strengthen their muscles. Tummy time is a great opportunity for this. Just find a comfortable, cleared space for your baby, and place them on their tummy. At this age, you should see them start to lift their head and many lift the rest of their body.

If your baby isn’t ready for the floor, you may want to consider placing your baby on your lap for tummy time. Some babies feel safer and more comfortable this way. Make sure you support your baby’s head in this position—it should stay in line with the rest of their body.

What Else to Know About Your 7-Week-Old Baby

If you are parenting your baby with a partner, now is a good time to check in with them to see how they are doing. The early weeks of caring for a newborn can feel like a haze, and at 7 weeks, the haze may be starting to lift a little. As such, some of the feelings you’ve both been experiencing may be coming to the surface.

It’s probable that you both will have concerns about how your life and relationship has changed since your baby entered the picture. You may have concerns about intimacy, or your mental health. You may also have stress related to your financial situation, your work situation, as well as your present or future childcare needs.

Remember that all of these concerns are valid, and that the most important thing is that you and your partner communicate about your feelings, needs, and fears. If you are finding it difficult to communicate, you may consider reaching out to a couples therapist who is experienced in counseling parents during the postpartum period.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can a 7-week-old baby do?

    Your baby is probably smiling by now, can lift their head when lying on their belly, and is starting to “coo.”

  • How can I play with my 7-week-old baby?

    Babies this age love to be interacted with in any way. You can read to your baby, sing to them, or make funny faces for them. They may even respond with a smile.

  • How long should 7-week-olds sleep at night?

    Seven-week-olds sleep about 15 hours in a 24 hour period. More and more, the bulk of their sleep is happening at night.

  • How long should 7-week-olds do tummy time?

    All babies are different and many need some time to get used to tummy time, but the AAP recommends you attempt tummy time 2-3 times per day for 3-5 minutes a time.

  • How often should a 7-week-old poop?

    It’s normal for poops to slow down by this age, as compared to when your baby was first born, and would poop multiple times a day. Your baby will most likely poop once a day, but if they go a few days between poops, that’s normal too.

  • Should a 7-week-old baby have a routine?

    It may not be possible for your baby to have a set routine at this age, but you may start to feel like your baby has a rhythm when it comes to feeding and sleeping.

A Word From Verywell

It’s common if you still feel overwhelmed at this age. Many parents are having to think seriously about returning to work and securing childcare for their little one, which can be very stressful as well. On top of this, you probably haven’t slept well in weeks, and that can wear you down.

Feeling stressed and tired at this stage is normal, but if you feel overcome with depression or anxiety, it might be time to tend to your mental health in a more meaningful way. That might mean asking for someone to watch your baby for an hour or two so that you can rest or take some time to just to for yourself. It may also mean checking in with a mental health professional for advice or treatment.

Most of all, remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and being the parent your baby needs means making sure to tend to your own needs as well.

12 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cluster Feeding and Growth Spurts.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Important milestones: your baby by two months.

  3. Stanford Children’s Health. Infant Sleep.

  4. Nemours Children’s Health. Your Baby's Growth: 2 Months.

  5. National Library of Medicine. Colic and crying - self-care.

  6. American Academy of Pediatrics. Bottle Feeding Basics.

  7. Johnson H, Eglash A, Mitchell K, et al. ABM Clinical Protocol #32: Management of Hyperlactation. Breastfeeding Medicine. 2020;15(3). doi:10.1089/bfm.2019.29141.hmj

  8. American Academy of Pediatrics. Checkup Checklist: 2 Months Old.

  9. Cleveland Clinic. When to Call the Doctor for Your Newborn Baby.

  10. American Academy of Pediatrics. Baby Carriers: Backpacks, Front Packs, and Slings.

  11. American Academy of Pediatrics. Tummy Time Activities.

  12. American Academy of Pediatrics. Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play.

Additional Reading

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.

Originally written by Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN
Chaunie Brusie, RN
Chaunie Brusie is a registered nurse with experience in long-term, critical care, and obstetrical and pediatric nursing.
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