Learn everything you need to know about your 18 week old baby. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Your baby should be rolling over any day now, if he hasn't started already. But before he surprises you by flipping himself off the changing table, remember to keep a constant eye -- and a steadying hand -- on him, especially when he's anywhere he could fall. Never leave your baby on a changing table or put him down for a nap on your bed or the couch. And don't put him in his car seat on top of the kitchen table while you get ready to head out. He's squirmy enough these days that he could wriggle himself, seat and all, right to the table's edge.
Should your ever-more-mobile baby manage to launch out of your arms or roll off the couch, don't panic. As scary as this is, it happens a lot, and most babies are 100-percent fine afterward. But if your baby is limp, unresponsive, or inconsolable afterward, or just not acting like himself, get medical attention right away.
If you haven't baby-proofed yet, remove any potentially breakable or dangerous objects he could get his hands on and install outlet covers. Your baby will be getting around before you know it.
How's your baby adjusting to solid foods? At this point, the spoonful or two of cereal he's taking in each day is still a tiny part of his overall diet, with the bulk of nourishment coming from breast milk or formula. But to get him used to eating solids, you'll want to offer them once or twice a day, usually at midmorning and at midafternoon or dinnertime. Dole out solids first, then offer breast milk or a bottle afterward to fill his little tummy up.
The milk-food proportion in his diet will slowly change as your baby gets older. He was drinking about 35- 40 ounces a day of breast milk or formula before starting solids, for example, but by his first birthday he'll drink just about 20 ounces a day. If your baby's already enjoying rice cereal, talk to your doctor about trying more types of food (grains such as barley and oatmeal or fruits and veggies), but introduce only one new snack every few days. This gives your baby time to adjust, and if any allergic reactions develop you'll know which food caused them.
Just can't wait for a night out sans baby? Unless you're lucky enough to have a built-in babysitter, such as doting grandparents who live nearby, you'll need to find a sitter yourself. Before you hit Craigslist, start by asking other moms for their recommendations. Just be prepared: Some are too protective of their sitters to want to share them. You can also ask caregivers at a local day care center or gym nursery; they might babysit on the side or know people who will. Or call up the child development department at your local university, where students are eager to apply what they've been learning in class to real-life infants. Meet with your prospective sitter before your first night out and do a mini interview, asking about her training in infant care and CPR, how she'd handle emergencies, and what she charges. Have her hold or play with your little one, too. Even if she seems like a golden find, you'll want to check references and possibly run a background screening.
The first time you use your sitter, ask her to come a half-hour early so you can show her every last rope -- from the emergency checklist to baby's favorite games to play on the changing table. Plan a short dinner close to home so you're not away for too long -- and don't feel bad about calling home half a dozen times to "check in." A good sitter will be used to those "How's my baby doing?" nerves.
Place a low mirror on the wall so he can look at himself when he is playing on the floor enhancing his cognitive development.Read More