How fast time goes by when you have children! 18 weeks old already huh?! Some parents may be eager to start their baby with some solid foods, however, during the first six months after birth, your baby does not need any food except breast milk. But if you're keen on feeding your baby some solid foods, how do you know that he or she is ready? Your baby should be able to sit up with some support, and should show some interest in the foods you eat. However, infants who start solid foods too early have a higher chance of developing food allergies . And as already mentioned, your baby really doesn't need any solid foods other than breast milk for the first 6 months, so there's no rush to start with solids just yet.
Has your baby developed a good sleeping pattern by now? If you have a good, predictable daily schedule, your baby will also have a good sleeping pattern and schedule that makes life a lot easier on you. As well, it's always important to make your baby's sleeping environment comfortable and safe at the same time. You should not let your baby sleep on waterbeds, couches or sofas, beanbags, and should avoid using pillows, comforters, stuffed toys, and anything else that might stop good air circulation around your baby's face.
Weight, Size, and Other Milestones
An average baby at 18 weeks old weighs around 14 pounds, and measure around 25 inches. With each passing week, your baby grows stronger and more sturdy. Sometimes you might be wondering if your baby is growing at all as he or she seems to be the same size for a period of time. Then at other times, your baby seems to go through a huge growth spurt that totally catches you off guard.
By this time, your child should be able to sit a little with support and help from you. Your baby should be having an easy time with tummy play time, and should be able to easily hold his or her up and even look around them while lying on their belly.
Your baby will be discovering their hands and feet, and you may see them holding their hands together, or you may see them grabbing their feet and toes. With better hand and eye coordination, your baby will also attempt to reach for objects and grab on to them. Your child is also be attracted by sounds and noises that surround them, and will turn their head towards the direction where they hear sounds coming from - such as your voice. during this period, your baby enjoys social interactions, and may even reach their arms up asking you to pick him or her up.
The 18 week baby development milestones listed above are simply for general guidelines, and you may or may not notice all of them with your baby. All babies are different, and will develop at their own pace. As long as your baby is happy and healthy, you shouldn't have much to worry about. If you do have concerns about your baby's development or interactions with you, you should contact your health care professional or family doctor to get advice.
1. Baby's Best Chance - Parents' Hand Book of Pregnancy and Baby Care. 6th ed.