My Baby – Week 18

Your baby is becoming stronger and stronger each week. You may even find that, by week 18, your baby can sit up unsupported for some time. If not, no need to worry, he will soon. Placing pillows at his sides to bolster him in this position may help him build the appropriate muscles, if he hasn’t already.

Is it time for solid foods?

You may have suspected over the last couple of weeks that the time for solid food was approaching. In fact, you may have noticed your little one becoming more and more interested in what is on your plate. Your baby’s pediatrician may have even mentioned it at your last visit. It is generally recommended to introduce solid foods between four and six months, or when she has doubled her birth weight. More important than your child’s age however, is her ability to control her head in an upright position, as well as the ability to sit upright when supported. Your baby may also give you cues that he or she is ready to start solids, such as following your eating with interest, reaching for a spoon, or opening his mouth to mimic you.

Where do I start?

Most pediatricians recommend beginning your infant on rice cereal. Rice cereal is gluten-free and is less allergenic than other foods containing gluten, like cereals made with wheat or oats. It’s recommended that you start small and slow. Begin with a once-a-day feeding, in which you feed your baby his regular meal of breast milk or formula, and add one or two teaspoons or dry cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. Using a rubber-tipped spoon specially made for babies, place a tiny bit of semi-liquid cereal on the end of the spoon.

If your baby isn’t sure about what to do with the spoon, let her smell or taste the cereal. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day; it may take more than a couple of meals to acclimate your baby to solid foods. Some babies don’t have the ability to keep food in their mouths because they still have their extrusion reflex. The extrusion reflex, or “tongue thrust” reflex, is a primary reflex and is still present if her tongue thrusts out of her mouth whenever her lips are touched.

Once it becomes apparent that your infant is okay with these one or two teaspoons of semi-liquid cereal once a day, increase the amount slightly. Also, use less breast milk or formula to gradually thicken the consistency of the cereal, and add another feeding to your daily routine.

How should I introduce foods other than rice cereal?

It is best to introduce other foods slowly, and one food at a time. This is a great way to find out whether or not your child has any food allergies. If you introduce more than one food at once, and your child has a reaction, it will be hard to know which food is causing the problem. If you have a family history of food allergies, it is actually recommended that you wait a whole week between introducing new foods. The AAP no longer advises that parents only introduce vegetables first, so feel free to start with whatever food you are comfortable with. Pureed vegetables and fruits are easy to make at home, or you can choose an all-natural, organic variety that is pre-made.

How to spot a food allergy

If, after introducing a new food, your infant develops a rash, has diarrhea, has a bloated tummy, or increased gas, a food allergy could definitely be to blame. Below, you can find some other signs of food allergies.

  • Red scaly rashes or hives on face, around anus, or other body parts
  • Swollen hands or feet
  • Dark under-eye circles
  • Sneezing, coughing, wheezing, congestion, or a runny nose
  • Poor weight gain
  • Irritability or hyperactivity

If your child has any of these symptoms after the introduction of a new food, it’s best to speak with his pediatrician to find out what the next step is.. Depending on your child’s reaction, the doctor may recommend challenging your baby with the problematic food again, or the doctor may ask to eliminate this new food from your child’s diet for a certain amount of time. In some cases, blood work may also be ordered to help solve the mystery of your baby’s symptoms.


What do you think?

My Baby – Week 18

Tell us what you think!


  1. Leslie says:

    The APA has changed the guidelines to not start solid food until at least 6 months. This information should be updated to meet up to date research.

  2. Grace says:

    my baby has not started on solids yet, i’ll wait until he is more interested, once they start solids it changes their stomach/digestive system…. so i will wait. but wow really i was shocked that she said if you cannot keep the spoon back… goals are good but that may not help everyone if they need to lose weight, health reasons may be a factor, and time another, who knows i was just shocked, but no offensive, i personally have need to lose weight since my 1st baby, i now how 4 and have not lost more than 10 lbs. my mom has a thyroid problem and i have heard that it runs in the family/problems with thyroid that is.

  3. Christina says:

    Can’t wait to start introducing my son to good. He usually just looks at my food when I eat it. It’s so cute. Hopefully he doesn’t have a food allergys.

  4. KEIYONDA says:


  5. Cassie says:

    My child has been eating baby rice cereal for several weeks the doct recommended it to help her spit up which just ended up her needing soy formula.

  6. Tasha says:

    My baby being doing pretty good on solid foods but I definitely know when he wants his bottle rather eating food.

  7. sheenaholman says:

    I tried rice cereal the other day and she actually like it, but I think I will hold off on continuous solid food feedings for at least another month.

  8. ErinF says:

    Although a lot of peds are still using old guidelines and giving information out like the above, the AAP and WHO recommend waiting until at least 6 months to start solids. Before then, their digestive systems are immature, and early introduction to solids can cause problems later on. Also, cereals are mostly nutritionally empty and take up valuable digestive space and energy. Kellymom is a great resource for information on this subject:

    • Louise says:

      I’m so glad someone took the time to say that. There are babies that, for one reason or another, might need solids by 18 weeks, but that’s not the best way to go, healthwise. If you have the possibility to wait (specially if you breastfeed), then WAIT. And if you are going with solids, pureé vegetables and fruits. Rice cereal is like feeding the baby cardboard pieces.

  9. wait a while and try it again , likley the teeth

  10. Cheyanna says:

    My daughter sneezes all the time prior to starting solids. And she’s always bubbly and hyper. I really don’t think those two reactions would apply anyway that’s like saying a hyper baby is a bad thing. No it just means they’re happy. Haven’t had a problem since I started her either. Her favorite so far is Sweet Potatoes!

  11. Grace says:

    my baby has always seemed interested in food, but i so do not want to introduce any food to him just yet

  12. RachelPerrea says:

    when i had my first 15 years ago they told me to start my daughter on cereal at 2 months. she was awesome then and all after her too.

  13. Mother says:

    My little boy is 4months and got the okay from the doctor to give him cereal. She recommended oats and not rice. Rice is known to cause some constipation. I plan on buying the steel cut oats and making it myself since these are not highly processed. I plan on doing the same with other foods as well.

  14. Jessica says:

    My daughter is 18 weeks old and can sit completely unsupported, she finally found her thumb and will suck her thumb and fingers all day long specially during burp time, drooling all the time, smiles, screeches, laughs, tries to eat everything we do. She loves her rice cereal and finally is sleeping through the night. She is now 13 pounds 3 ounces a huge increase compared to her weighing 5 oz 5 pounds at birth. And purely breastfeed/and breast milk in a bottle. only had formula for 2 feedings in hospital.

  15. My baby boy starts drooling every time we have something off the grill. We had pork chops one day and he begged like a dog… We had burgers and brats on Memorial day and he just had this pleading face. I just know he can’t wait to have teeth! He’s alright with his yogurt, cereal and fruits & veggies, but meat… that’s going to be his things. Just like his dad hahaha

  16. Prachi says:

    My darling is 18 weeks old..she can sit for 10 sec without any support, loves standing on her feet with help, can suck her toe, makes bubbles out of her mouth, can show her interest for human shaped toys, giggle and smile a lot whenever awake with nice sleep, can show her likes and dislikes for particular people, loves attention and surrounded by people, sometimes do puchch instantly…I m loving her activities…

  17. Prachi says:

    From 13 weeks onwards she is showing her interest in food…always her mouth is watery when she has some food in front of her. She cant stop staring at the food and your mouth while you eat. and will act like she is chewing something. I have tried giving her banana, apple, mango, fruit juice, yogurt, icecream etc just to lick…she always try to grab them and will hold my hand and after licking a little portion will taste it for some time and then will show her excitement for it…I know many of you will not believe but its 100% true….I m not sure if its safe to give or not but as of now but she loves to eat…

  18. Sue says:

    We tried introducing a single grain cereal to my 4 month old son this past week. He ended up with a rash on his bottom, diarrhea and red cheeks…but he also sprouted a bottom front tooth. Im so confused…are the symptoms related to the food or the tooth. Hmmmm

  19. Nella's says:

    This week was a huge milstone for my beautiful baby girl. She ate her toes for the first time! I knew it was coming, because for about a week prior to this, she had been handling her feet, and examining them very hard with much curiosity. As all mothers say, "My baby is the smartest, and cutest thing that has ever existed!".
    Solid foods are common to her now…More solid waste(if you get my drift), becoming more familiar…Thank heavens!

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