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Infant - Week #18

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An 18-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Color Wonder
           Your baby has been able to see colors from birth.  As a newborn, her eyes were really only able to distinguish between red, black, and white.  As her eyes have developed over the past four months, they gained the ability to see a multitude of colors but still couldn't see the difference in similar hues.  In this eighteenth week, your baby's eyes have reached this capacity.  Excite her and encourage her to use this new gift by providing  toys of multiple colors and hues for her to play with and gaze at!


  Communication Station
           From birth your baby has been communicating her needs and wants by crying.  Unfortunately, this continues to be her major form of communication, but she is also figuring out other ways to communicate with you.  She'll smile and show her delight when you talk and smile with her, she'll scrunch up her face if she doesn't like the taste or texture of something, and she'll sing or coo if she's in a happy mood.  Over time you'll become as attuned to these forms of communication as you are to her crying.


  Little Miss Independent
           Your baby has relied on you for everything from feeding, changing, and everything in between since the moment she was born.  That isn't going to change a whole lot, but your baby is becoming more and more capable of entertaining herself for short periods of time.  As much fun as it is to play with your baby, it is also incredibly important for her to learn to entertain herself.  Sit back and watch her entertain herself for as long as she can; you'll find this comes in handy when you have other things to do!


  Item of The Week: Rattles
           I know...how can a boring old rattle be the item of the week? Seems kind of mundane, right?  The reason a rattle is this week's special item is because your baby now has the capability to switch an item from one hand to another.  Believe it or not, this is a milestone that your baby is expected to reach right around now.  Encourage this development by giving your baby little hand friendly rattles to play and experiment with.


  DO Try This at Home!
           Your baby is not quite capable of sitting upright by herself yet, but it's not too early to start encouraging this skill and working on the muscles that will help this to happen when the time is right.  Find sturdy places around your house and prop up your baby with blankets and pillows or other firm objects.  Let her sit for a while and get used to the position.  Over the next few months, as her comfort with sitting in the upright position increases, start removing some of the pillows and see how long she can balance herself up.  Always stay close and never leave your baby unattended with soft blankets and pillows that she could get wrapped up in.


  Just Sitting Around
           Although Max continues to be pretty floppy and is nowhere near sitting up by himself, being propped up or sitting in his bumbo is one of his favorite positions.  I love this because not only is he getting a whole new view of the world around him but he is also strengthening the muscles that will help him to sit unassisted in the future.  Although I knew he wasn't ready to sit by himself, I decided to see how much support he still needs.  I sat him in the corner of the couch- this is a spot where he could be unassisted, and he sat there happily watching the other kids play for about twenty minutes.  Definitely too easy, so I moved him over to the middle of the couch and put a pillow on each side of him.  After about five minutes I pulled one of the pillows and then the other and he continued to sit for about four minutes before he flopped over.  Other places that I tried were in his bumbo (too easy since this is what the chair is made for), in his high chair, on the floor in his boppy pillow, and upright in the swing.  Do try this at home with your little one. This is an activity that will be appropriate for the next month or two. Enjoy!


  That's Questionable!
           Q - Do you go out often with your spouse and without your baby?       

       This is a question that was prompted by an informal survey of some of our close friends with kids.  I was surprised at the array of answers.  One couple goes out at least once a week without their kids, usually leaving them with one set of the grandparents.  Another couple goes out maybe once a month, also leaving the kids in the care of a family member.  Yet another couple has never left their kids and gone out together by themselves (shocking because they have a four-year-old).  We fall into the once a month category.  We are fortunate enough to have parents and siblings that are close enough in proximity and more than willing to give us a night out from time to time.  For us this is a godsend:  a night of adult conversation, a meal where you don't have to cut up everybody's food before you can eat your own, or a movie that isn't animated can work wonders for my psyche!  This definitely falls into the category of "to each their own."  People are different and different things work for different people.  The results of our informal survey were very different for each couple, yet each couple is happy with the way things are!  Be sure to always do what's right for you in your parenting styles, too!


     How Do I Bond With My Baby?

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