Now that you are eighteen weeks pregnant, you are probably feeling more comfortable with your pregnancy and have probably told everyone that you are pregnant by now. What’s going on with you and your baby right now? Lots.
If this is not your first baby, your child(ren) may be feeling anxious about the new baby. How can you help your kid(s) to prepare for a new sibling? Maybe they are excited and looking forward to being a big brother or sister, or they could be angry, jealous, or anxious about no longer being the baby of the family.
Get “big brother” and “big sister” involved in new baby projects and learn how to talk through and manage bad feelings.
What Is Going on With Mom and Baby
Baby’s crown to rump length is around 15 centimeters - about the size of a sweet potato. Your baby weighs about 250 grams. Your baby’s bones are hardening and he can suck and swallow now. The pads of your baby’s finger tips and toes are forming. If you notice little jerky movements, it could be because your baby has hiccups.
You may notice a thick whitish vaginal discharge known as leukorrhea. You may notice your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth. This is a common complaint for pregnant moms.
Now that your belly is getting bigger, you also may have to be more creative with sexual positions during intercourse.
This Week’s Pregnancy Checklist
Purchase a crib for your baby’s nursery.
Purchase a video tape for recording your baby’s ultrasound (if your doctor allows this).
If you have other kids, help them make a special craft for the new baby.
Sign up for a childbirth preparation class.
Design a memory page or scrapbook page for your ultrasound photos.
Take a new belly picture for your scrapbook or journal.
“Big Brother” and “Big Sister” Projects
Kids love crafts and projects. Here are some fun ideas of things you can do with your kids to help them prepare for their new baby brother or sister. These are a lot of fun to do and will help your little one to get excited about being a big brother or sister.
Big Brother and Big sister T-shirts- Purchase some fabric paint and help your kids to write “I’m going to be a big brother” (or sister) on the shirt. Then let her decorate it with paint, glitter, or whatever she wants. You can also buy already printed shirts, but your kids will probably have more fun making their own.
Door hangers- Take a piece of cardboard and cut a hole at the top so that it can hang on your doorknob. Get some markers or craft paint, glue, glitter, beads, buttons, and/or other decorations. Write “Big Brother’s room” or “Big Sister’s room” on the door hanger in marker. Let your child write her name on the door hanger and decorate it however she wants. Hang it on his door so shehe can admire it.
Getting ready for baby bag- Purchase a baby doll from the dollar store for your child, and have her create her own list of things to do to get ready for the baby. Kids love to pretend shop and buy from pretend shopping lists. Then take a pillowcase or tote bag, and have your child fill it with all the items you would need for a new baby, such as diapers, baby powder, a rattle, or baby lotion. You can have them decorate the bag and keep it handy for the day the new baby comes home.
An “our family book”- Purchase an inexpensive photo album. Take photos of every family member. Then take construction paper and make a biography page for each family member. It can be a simple page with the family member’s birthday, favorite things to eat, favorite color, and other little things about them. Your child can give the new baby the book when he arrives and help make a page for the baby.
When Your Child Isn’t Happy About the New Baby
Some kids get excited when they hear the news about mommy being pregnant, while other kids get really upset. Sometimes it is because they were not included in the decision to have a new baby or they are jealous of the new baby. If you ask your child why he is upset about having another addition to the family, you will likely be greeted with the answer “I don’t know.” Kids don’t always understand their feelings, they just know they are not happy. What are some things you can do to help your child deal with his feelings?
Be honest- Be honest with her. Once she understands that the baby’s arrival is permanent and you can’t just send him back, she will start to accept the situation. Give her time to adjust and talk about her feelings.
Don’t get angry- She is looking to you to help guide him through this transition. Try to be patient with her and let her talk about why she is upset. Sometimes talking about things will help her get to the bottom of her feelings and deal with them.
Let him be part of your pregnancy- Make some special time for her to cuddle, tell stories, or sing to the baby in your tummy. Tell her that baby is listening to her voice and getting excited to meet her.
Be patient- It may take a little time for her to adjust to the idea of being a big sister. The more time she has to get used to things, the better she may feel about it. Her first reaction to “you’re going to be a big sister” might be, “no, I don’t want a new baby,” but later she may actually get excited. Reinforce any positive statements you hear her make about the baby. If she says something that shows excitement, go with it. You may be surprised to see her feelings come around on this whole baby thing.
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