Week by Week

What do you need to know to care for your 18 week old baby?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

Development & Behavior

How should my baby be developing?

By now, your baby may play with their hands and feet for a few minutes at a time. They are quite fond of doing one action over and over again until they are sure of the result. Then they’ll switch things up a bit to see if the result is different.

Suddenly you’ll realize it’s strangely quiet in the bedroom. Once you take a look, you can discover that your baby, who until now still requires your attention for most of every waking moment, is amusing himself in her crib.

At the week 18, the baby can:

  • Keep their head steady when being upright;
  • Lift chest when lying with face down with force from hand;
  • Handle toys placed in the back or on the fingers;
  • Use both hands and feet at the same time in minutes;
  • Free play in the cage;
  • Focus on small sized things (do not leave these things in their reach);
  • Repeat the action to see the results it, then they can change to a different action to see what the difference is;
  • Handle objects;
  • Turn up the excitement.

How to support my baby?

To help support your baby’s development, you can play games with your baby. There are many games that can stimulate your baby’s senses. In fact, your baby is constantly learning. You can let your baby hold different objects. You should pick objects that have different textures and colors. This will stimulate the sense of touch and sight.

A favorite game that all babies love is the Peekaboo game. If you do not remember this game, let us remind you. This is when you cover your face with both hands and you reveal your loving face as you say with excitement “peekaboo!” Your baby will love it.

Health & Safety

What should I discuss with my doctor?

Depending on the specific condition of the baby, the doctor or nurse will check all or most of the followings:

  • Check the physical strength, including the re-examination of earlier problems.
  • Evaluate development. The doctor will check to assess the baby’s ability to control the head, use hands, look, listen and interact. Or simply doctor will rely on observation as well as your narratives about what they are doing to judge.

What should I know?

At week 18, you should note the following notices when caring for a baby.

Pink eye

Pinkeye, or conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the eye caused by viruses, bacteria or allergy. Membrane covering the white of the eyes and the inside of the eyelids (called conjunctiva) will be irritated, which can cause the eyes to become red, with white rust, yellow or green discharge and be dry. Your baby may also have watery eyes and find it hard to open their eyes in the morning. Your child can get pinkeye condition in one or both eyes. If your child has the signs and symptoms of pinkeye, please take them to doctor immediately. Your baby need to be checked and treated promptly.

Pinkeye is a contagious disease, so be careful to avoid getting the disease from your baby. You should wash your hands frequently, especially before and after using the eye test for baby by hands to prevent infection. Keep your baby at home and limit going out or going to kindergarten. Also you need to do hygiene on bed, wash cloths and hand towels of your baby frequently.

If your child with pink eye is caused by bacteria, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for babies, usually in the form of eyedrops or ointment. If the cause is viral, and your child has cold symptoms, your doctor may recommend that you should do regular hygiene eye for your infant gently with warm towels and let your baby get over within a week. If the cause of pink eye status is allergies, your doctor will help you determine the the true cause, then you will need to isolate your infant from the surrounding environment as soon as possible. Your doctor will also give your baby eye drops as a treatment to deal with it.

Sometimes pinched eye gland will form the eye rust and make the eyes vulnerable to infection. Depending on the baby’s condition, the doctor may recommend you to massage the tear duct or warmly compress the area to help the circulation back. In rare cases, your baby may need surgery if the gland is stuffed in a long time.

BE underweight

Generally, if your child is hyperactive and thrive in all aspects, he will gain weight steadily. If the baby’s weight is below average, you should monitor your child’s height to assess the pace of development. There are many objective factors that can affect the size and weight of the baby, such as genetic factors. If you and/or your partner have thin or small frame, it’s likely the baby will be the same. Hyperactivity also cause your infant’slow weight. In addition, feeding inadequate essential nutrients is considered to contribute to the condition.

Besides, you need to pay attention not to arbitrarily limit the amount of food for your baby. Some parents wish that their baby would be in good health when they grow up, so they restrict calories and fat in the stage of newborn babies. This is very dangerous because at this stage, they need nutrients to grow and develop normally. Instead, you can set your baby’s eating habits reasonably with necessary nutrients.

If you believe that your baby is underweight due to the fact that they can not absorb nutrients, or their metabolic rate is not identical, or they are having infectious disease or chronic illness, please contact your doctor for advice. The doctor can answer questions as well as find timely treatments.

My Concerns

What I am concerned about?

At this stage, they may have some habits and actions you need to take note.

Thumb sucking

Almost all babies are thumbsucking in their early years. Many children even start that habit since they were in the womb. This is not uncommon, because the baby’s mouth is not only for food but also helps them discover things around and frolic. At first, maybe they just randomly put their hand into their mouth. But then they’ll realize that putting the hand on mouth may bring pleasant feeling and then he can form this habit.

At first, you will find babies so cute even when they themselves seek entertainment without your help. But if the baby sucks on hand constantly even when they are school, putting hands in the mouth all the times can make the baby taunt by other children, and the teacher can also reprimand them. However, you do not need to worry and let your baby suck on hand. There is no evidence to suggest that the self-sucking habit of the baby derives from emotional deprivation or it may do harm to the alignment of teeth or cause any distortion of the mouth. In fact,most children will abandon this habit when they are 4 to 6 years. Many experts suggest that you should not try to govern this sucking habits before this time.

Some studies show that nearly half of the children have a habit of sucking on hand as they were a child. This behavior is the most common thing that the baby can have when they are 18 to 21 months of age, although some babies will then quit this habit. Nearly 80% of children can quit this habit before age 5, while 95% of 6 year old children and can quit by themselves without support from others.

To overcome the situation that your baby just start to suck hand all day, you can distract him with toys, or games that using hands.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

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