18 weeks old

18 weeks old

4-Month-Old, Second Week

How your baby’s growing

By now, your baby can play with her hands and feet for a few minutes at a time. She’s quite fond of doing one action over and over again until she’s sure of the result. Then, she’ll try to do something slightly different just to see if the result is different.

Suddenly you realise it’s strangely quiet in the bedroom and look in, only to discover that your baby, who so far has needed your attention for most of every waking moment, is amusing herself in her crib. You might be able to start reading the paper again – well, maybe just the headlines.

How your life’s changing

It’s normal to feel pangs of anxiety even when leaving your baby with your parents or a trusted carer. Guilt isn’t necessarily bad. It’s an internal signal that we’re concerned and caring.

That said, it’s not a good idea to consistently give in to your guilt. The need to keep your baby with you should be weighed against other realities, such as your mental health (taking breaks from your baby is also a good thing), your need to bring in income through work, and your baby’s need, over time, to become social with others.

If you live in a joint family you may have the support of your extended family. For those living in a nuclear family, a carer for your babycan be both necessary and valuable. You may also want to consider hiring a live-in maid or a part-time carer.
Once you’ve found someone, introduce her to the baby gradually. Let the person be just around your baby for a couple of days before she even begins to pick up your baby. That way you can occasionally observe how she interacts with your child. Limit your first trips away from the house to quick shopping trips. When you leave the house, try not to let your apprehensiveness show. If you seem nervous, your baby will sense it, making separation harder for both of you.

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