Your baby is 18 weeks old!
Are you noticing your baby putting everything in her mouth? 18 week old babies at this stage are practising for when they start eating solids by instinctively exploring the world through their mouths. Try to baby-proof your house now by removing small items that your baby may choke on.
Your baby this week
On average the first tooth will appear somewhere around the seventh month, but some babies teeth at four months (or earlier as babies can be born with a tooth) and some don’t start teething till after their first birthday. If your 18 week old baby seems to be excessively dribbling, putting everything in her mouth, gnawing at her cheeks or gums and seems more irritable then normal she may be teething. If she allows you near her mouth you may notice her gums are red and swollen and sometimes you can see the white of a first tooth breaking through. There are plenty of first teething toys on the market, as well as gels and granules to put on babies gums to help with the pain. See our Teething article for more information.
Your 18 week old baby has probably been all smiles for some time now, but this week you may notice your baby smiling when you smile at her. She is recognising your emotions and responding to them. Your baby may also use gestures to show you what she wants, lifting her hands to be picked up and rubbing her eyes when she is tired. By this stage you will be accomplished at reading your baby’s ‘language’.
You this week
Most women want to bury their heads about having to return to work after having a baby and others positively look forward to it. Whatever your choices, women are managing to juggle having children with demanding careers and are managing pretty well! Whether you plan to return to work soon or after your baby is one, it is a good idea to read up about your rights as a mother in the workplace, and also weigh up your childcare options. When it comes to finding the right nanny or nursery, it is best to start looking as early as possible, to secure your child the right place.