Baby Week 18


Teething, Introducing Solids And Adaptive Skills

Your baby is 18 weeks old today!  Is your baby fussier these days?  Is she drooling or pulling at her ears?  If so, these are all hints that your baby may be cutting a tooth.   For some babies, teething is uncomfortable at times even painful, but others are not affected by teething at all.  My daughter was very lucky as she cut her first tooth when she was four and a half months old and it didn’t bother her one bit. Actually even when her molars cut through, it didn’t affect her.  My son on the other hand, is the polar opposite – teething made him so cranky and his teeth have taken much longer to cut through than my daughter’s. 

With teething in mind, have you thought about feeding solid foods to your baby?  Some parents choose to start at four months and others decide to wait until six months – it is something you may want to discuss with your baby’s pediatrician as he can give you more insight on the process.  I started feeding my daughter solids when she was five months old and my son at four months old.  It was only because I felt they both were showing signs that they were ready.  For example, whenever my husband and I were eating, they were so interested in what we were doing and they would track the food going to our mouths without even blinking!  There were a few instances  when my son started to reach for the food.  Another indication that your baby might be ready for solids is if you prepare just a tiny bit of rice cereal (rice cereal is most commonly used as the “starter food” as it is very bland and mild) to a thin consistency.  Then feed it to your baby, only putting very little mixture on the spoon.  Watch your baby to see if she swallows it and is eager for more; that may be her way of telling you that she is ready to take the next step in foods.  But, if you notice that she is trying to use her tongue to push it out and/or gags, you may have to wait some time to try again.

Teething and food aside, a skill that you may see becoming apparent this week has to do with your baby’s adaptive skills.  She is beginning to learn how to entertain herself and your baby will choose a toy and hold onto it for as long as she possibly can – maybe she’ll shake it or bang it.  Whatever she decides to do with the toy, this developmental milestone tells you that she’s learning that she doesn’t have to be held all day long and that there are things in her environment that are just as fun!


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