Congratulations, you’re almost halfway through your pregnancy! At 18 weeks pregnant, your baby is now the size of a sweet potato and measures around 5.6 inches long and weighs around 6.7 ounces. But what exactly is happening with your little one’s development at this stage? Let’s dive in.
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By 18 weeks, your baby’s ears have fully formed and they can now hear your voice and other sounds around them. In fact, studies have shown that babies can even respond to music at this stage! Their eyes are also continuing to develop, with the iris now forming and the retina starting to function. Your baby’s skin is also becoming more opaque, and their hair and nails are starting to grow.
As for your baby’s movement, they are now able to make more deliberate movements and can even suck their thumb. You may even start to feel these movements yourself, especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy.
Your baby’s brain is rapidly developing at this stage, with neurons forming at a rate of 100 per minute! The cerebral cortex, which is responsible for thinking, feeling, and sensing, is also starting to develop. By 18 weeks, your baby’s brain is already capable of controlling some bodily functions, such as their heartbeat and breathing.
By 18 weeks, most of your baby’s organs have formed and are starting to function. Their heart is now pumping around 25 quarts of blood per day, and their liver and spleen are producing red blood cells. Their digestive system is also starting to work, with their intestines beginning to contract and relax in preparation for digesting food after birth.
What to Expect at Your 18-Week Ultrasound
Your 18-week ultrasound is a big one, as it allows your healthcare provider to check on your baby’s growth and development in more detail. During the ultrasound, your provider will measure your baby’s head circumference, abdominal circumference, and femur length to ensure that they’re growing at the right rate. They’ll also check for any abnormalities or potential issues that may need to be addressed.
At 18 weeks, your baby is developing rapidly and is now able to hear, see, and even suck their thumb! Their brain is developing at a rapid pace, and most of their organs are already formed and functioning. Your 18-week ultrasound is an important milestone, allowing your healthcare provider to ensure that your baby is growing and developing as they should be.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average weight of a baby at 18 weeks?
The average weight of a baby at 18 weeks is around 6.7 ounces.
What can my baby do at 18 weeks?
At 18 weeks, your baby can hear, see, and make deliberate movements. They may even be able to suck their thumb!
What happens at an 18-week ultrasound?
During an 18-week ultrasound, your healthcare provider will measure your baby’s head circumference, abdominal circumference, and femur length to ensure that they’re growing at the right rate. They’ll also check for any abnormalities or potential issues that may need to be addressed.
Yes, the gender of a baby can usually be determined during an 18-week ultrasound.
What does my baby look like at 18 weeks?
At 18 weeks, your baby is the size of a sweet potato and measures around 5.6 inches long. They have fully formed ears, hair and nails, and their skin is becoming more opaque. Their brain is developing rapidly, and most of their organs are already formed and functioning.
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I am a child development specialist with a strong passion for helping parents navigate the exciting and sometimes challenging journey of raising a child. Through my website, I aim to provide parents with practical advice and reliable information on topics such as infant sleep, feeding, cognitive and physical development, and much more. As a mother of two young children myself, I understand the joys and struggles of parenting and am committed to supporting other parents on their journey.