Pregnancy by week

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

It might look like your baby is bulking up! Over the last week, her weight has increased about 50 percent to about 150 g. But over the next little while, her rapid growth will slow down a bit as she continues to develop.

By Today's Parent

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt:

What's going on in there: Fetal development at 18 weeks

At 18 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of an cupcake! He is about 14 centimetres (5.5 inches) long and weighs about 6.5 ounces (190 grams). He is starting to develop myelin, a protective coating around his nerves, and his taste buds are developing. He actually tastes some of what you eat through the amniotic fluid now, and he’ll prefer those familiar tastes outside of the womb, too, so eat a variety of flavours and cuisines if you can. Your baby’s genitals are much more visible from the outside, too, which will come in handy for your next ultrasound, when you’ll likely be able to find out if it’s a boy or a girl (if you’d like). You might also see your baby kicking, rolling over and punching in there or even sucking his thumb.

pregnant woman eating breakfast while sitting on the sofa at home StefaNikolic / Getty Images

Eighteen weeks pregnant symptoms

You’re now officially four months pregnant! At 18 weeks, your uterus is about as big as a cantaloupe right now, which might be causing backaches and shifting your centre of gravity. It might also be making it a bit harder to do household tasks that involve bending over and balancing (consider this your permission slip to delegate some chores on your list, guilt-free). You might also find pregnancy fatigue creeping back in—if it ever left. Try to sneak in a midday nap on weekends if you can.

pregnant woman holding her back Sarah McEwan / Getty Images

Feeling faint

You might be feeling faint or dizzy on occasion. Thanks to the progesterone in your body relaxing your blood vessels and increased blood going to the fetus, your blood pressure is dropping. It’s temporary: Over the next few months, your body will make more blood, but it will return to normal before you give birth. To do that, you need more iron, so make sure that you’re getting 27 milligrams per day, as recommended by Health Canada. Good sources include your regular prenatal vitamins, as well as meat, fish, poultry, beans, peas and lentils.

Shot of a young pregnant businesswoman sitting alone in the office and suffering from a headache PeopleImages / Getty Images

What's on your mind this week

Should I find out the sex?

Between now and week 20, you’ll do an ultrasound called an anatomy scan. Most people think of the bonus part of this scan first: It’s the one that will let you know the sex of your baby. Whether you choose to find out is up to you, and there’s a wide spectrum on this, from couples who excitedly plan big gender-reveal parties with a pink or blue cake (and other more elaborate stunts) to parents who point out that gender is a social construct entirely different from an infant’s biological sex. (And why are we making assumptions about preferences for pink versus blue so early on anyway?) But don’t forget that the scan is actually about looking for developmental and anatomical issues: The sonographer is looking at everything from the size of your baby’s head and body to the heartbeat, the amount of amniotic fluid and the location of your placenta. Many problems they find in utero can be treated during your pregnancy or after delivery. They’ll also check that your dates are right and that the baby’s growth is on track.

Just for kicks

What pregnancy cravings have you had lately? From pickles to frozen yogurt, we’ve got the scientific explanation for why so many women experience this common pregnancy phenomenon.

pregnant woman lying on bed with chips and chocolate bar PeopleImages / Getty Images

Baby names

Old-fashioned baby names have been coming back in style, so take a look at a few baby names on the verge of extinction.

newborn baby girl with tag my name is Gary S Chapman / Getty Images

Pregnancy to-do list: 18 weeks

Start pinning nursery pictures

If you’ve been waiting to start planning the nursery until you know the sex, now’s the time to get started! Many women plan to have their babies sleep next to them in bassinets for the first few months, so you might want to begin by browsing our adorable baby room-sharing ideas. Check out our nursery decor ideas on Pinterest to get inspired by nurseries of every stripe, from Harry Potter-themed ones to gender-neutral woodland decor schemes.

stylish nursery FollowTheFlow / Getty Images

Think about your wills

This one is less entertaining, but it’s important. Half of Canadians don’t have a will, but for less than $1,000, both you and your partner can check this important task off your list. A will is vital to make sure that your assets go to who you want. But, more importantly, you need one to choose a guardian—the person who will take care of your kids if you die—and an executor, who will manage the money until your children are a certain age.

Young couple going over paperwork Goodboy Picture Company / Getty Images

Start your registry

OK, back to the fun stuff: Start thinking about what you’d like to put on your registry if you’re doing one. It can be a bit overwhelming, so consider starting with our just-the-necessities baby registry checklist, which can be customized to your situation. To check some off your list immediately, ask friends and family if they have anything they’re happy to loan out to you. Most will have at least a few boxes of baby clothes, receiving blankets or gear they’d be happy to part with for a while. And see if your more generous relatives (like grandparents-to-be) have a more substantial gift in mind. It’s common for grandparents to buy the stroller or other big-ticket item, such as a car seat, crib or glider chair. We've got a round-up of our favourite baby products to help get your started.

Pregnant woman with her female friends Nikola Stojadinovic / Getty Images

Best baby products for your registry

Skip Hop 3-Stage Activity Center

This three-stage play station (it converts to a toddler table) is adaptable and way more attractive than your average ExerSaucer. Every parent needs a “circle of neglect,” and most babies love being able to stand and play. $190,

Download our printable baby registry checklist!

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Finn & Emma Wood Play Gym

There are tons of overhead activity gyms for infants—this one is easier on adult eyes, and adjusts to two heights. The detachable dangling rattle dolls can also be used on a stroller bar or bucket car seat handle. $170,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Skip Hop Playspot Geo Foam Floor Tiles

Once your baby learns to sit up (and therefore topple over), you’ll be looking to surround him with pillows and soft surfaces. Register for some foam tiles now and store them under a bed for later. $95,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Fisher-Price Fun ’n Fold Bouncer

Trust us; you’re gonna need a safe place to put your baby while you do fun and glamorous things like pee. Or unload the dishwasher. This vibrating seat folds flat, and the fabric (a new-in-2017 design) is machine washable.

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Lulujo Baby’s First Year Blanket and Cards Set

Pose your baby on the blanket once a month to document how fast she’s growing. Pretty soon, she’ll be rolling right off the blanket and chewing on the cards. $25,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Sophie the Giraffe

Sophie la Girafe is essentially a squeaky chew toy, but it’s not for your dog, it’s for your baby. Many infants—especially those who are teething—go gaga for Sophie. (Ed note: Never take Sophie into the bath, as mould can grow inside the toy.) $30, amazon

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Change Pad

You don’t need to invest in a brand-new changing table if you simply add a changing pad to the top of a dresser you already own. (You’ll also want a few changing pad covers.) Babies R Us Contour Change Pad: $50, amazon

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Playtex Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Playtex is now making “sleeves” for their Diaper Genies, so you can colour-coordinate your diaper pail with the rest of the nursery. Playtex Diaper Genie Expressions Pail with Starter Refill: $75, amazon

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Crib

This crib has four different mattress heights (you’ll need to adjust it once your babe learns to pull up and stand) and converts to a daybed or toddler bed with safety rail. It also comes in white, natural pine, and espresso. $700,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks


This cradle is ideal for the first few months, when you’re likely keeping your baby near your bedside. You can see through the breathable mesh sides (which lets you check on your little one without getting up), and the spare, simple design may appeal to minimalist parents. $359,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

HALO BassiNest Swivel Sleeper

This is Halo’s newest Bassinest design, in a soft trendy grey pattern. It’s height-adjustable and swivels toward you in bed (which is especially handy if you’re recovering from a C-section). Exhausted parents will love the automatic rocking and vibrate settings, and there’s a handy storage caddy (great for pacifiers, breast pads and extra burp rags). $370,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Maxi-Cosi Mico AP 2.0 Infant Car Seat

When shopping for a bucket car seat, make sure it’s compatible with whatever stroller you buy. It’s nice to be able to click the seat in to a stroller base without needing an additional bulky adaptor. This Maxi-Cosi model is one of the lightest infant car seats on the market (a major pro, because you’ll be lugging it around a lot!). $330,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Swaddles

You can use these soft muslin blankets as receiving blankets, burp cloths, stroller shades, nursing covers and traditional swaddles. Stock up! $55,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station

This diaper clutch can turn any bag into a diaper bag. The pocket holds 2-3 diapers, there’s a refillable air-tight wipes container, and the whole thing unfolds to become a changing pad. $40,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Sudocrem Diaper Ointment

Pots of diaper cream are like the baby shower equivalent of stocking stuffers. The zinc oxide in Sudocrem helps battle diaper rash and eczema. $9,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

HoMedics SoundSpa Portable Sound Machine

A white noise machine can help babies soothe themselves to sleep. This one is small enough to pack on trips to Grandma’s house, and offers a few different settings, including standard white noise, rain, ocean waves, thunder and babbling brook. $30,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Nursing Pillow Covers

If you’re planning to breastfeed, you might want a nursing pillow to support the baby and keep you from hunching over. The Boppy design is one of the most popular nursing pillows; add a cute cover in a design you love. Cru’s Cactus, $35 USD, Gray Arrow, $25 USD, cadenlane.comGold & Mint, $25 USD,

Read more: How to breastfeeding in public with complete confidence

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Lifefactory Glass Bottle Straw Cap & Turqouise Silicone Sleeve

Breastfeeding moms get super thirsty, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle with a straw on your nightstand and wherever else you nurse most often. $32,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Philips Avent Natural 9-ounce Bottles

All babies have different bottle preferences—you might have to try out a few different bottle brands and nipple combos before finding out what works for your little one. These are the Philips Avent Natural BPA-free bottles with Natural nipples. $40 for a five-pack,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

MEDELA Calma Bottle

Medela, the breast pump maker, also markets their own compatible bottles. The Calma bottle and nipple set is designed to closely mimic breastfeeding. $20,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

OXO Tot Bottle Brush with Nipple Cleaner & Stand

You’ll want a designated brush to scrub all those bottles and sippy cups. $13,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Boon Grass Drying Rack

You don’t need a separate drying rack for freshly sanitized bottles and breast pump parts, but it’s nice to have a designated, clean spot for them. $20,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Mini NIghtlights

A nightlight helps drowsy parents when they’re stumbling to find the crib—or a lost pacifier—in the middle of the night. Pear, $15, westcoastkids.caCloud, $20, westcoastkids.caStar, $17, westcoastkids.caPopsicle, $19,

More adorable night lights for kids

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Philips AVENT Soothie Pacifier Green

Buy a few different brands of soothers to try out—newborns can be picky about pacifiers. Pack of two. $6,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Ergobaby Four-Position 360 Baby Carrier

This structured carrier can accomodate babies who prefer facing out and babies who want to be snuggled into your chest. There’s also a hip carry and a back carry option. Don’t forget to add the Easy Snug Infant Insert to your registry (for newborns seven to 12 pounds). $215,

Watch how to properly wear a baby carrier

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Crane Cool Mist Humidifier

An in-room humidifier is one of the only ways you can safely treat your baby’s first cold. Register for one now instead of scrambling to run out and buy one last minute—you’re basically stocking your medicine cabinet. $80,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Baby Jogger City Mini GT Stroller

We love the one-handed fold, manoeuvrability and roomy cargo space of this mid-priced stroller. Recline the seat and it transforms into a mobile bassinet with a huge canopy. $500,

Going stroller shopping? Here are the features you want in your baby’s new ride.

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Miracle Blanket Swaddle

Have you mastered swaddling yet? It’s one of Harvey Karp’s five “S tips” for soothing a newborn. The Miracle Blanket helps new parents get an especially snug fit when wrapping up their bundles of joy. $30,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Summer Infant 1-2-3 Taking a Bath Tub

A supportive infant-specific tub will make bath time easier for the first four to six months or so. (Newborns are pretty floppy!) $30,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Bubble Bath

Stock up on baby shampoo and bubble bath—you’ll go through it quickly (especially after your baby starts solids and specializes in making messes). $10,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Little Unicorn Cotton Hooded Towel & Wash Cloth Set

This sweet, citrus-y baby towel set comes with a matching wash cloth. $45,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

BABYBJÖRN Bouncer Bliss

The newest Baby Bjorn bouncer, the Bliss design, is 100 percent cotton and comes in quilted grey, beige, dusty pink and midnight blue shades. There are three recline options, and no plugs or batteries: your baby powers this seat with his own kicks and wiggles. $270,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Fisher-Price Revolve Swing

Some infants hate swings, others love them. If your baby is fussy or suffers from reflux, an automatic swing might be a sanity saver. The soothing mobile on this model has mirrors and cute pastel elephants. $159,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Aden & Anais Silky Soft Snap Bibs

Add a few bibs to your registry. They’re useful at mealtime, of course, but they’re also great for soaking up drool caused by teething. Indigo Shibori 3-pack. $30,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Aden & Anais Tea Bandana Bib

Bandana bibs like this one are everywhere right now, and fit well even on the teeny-tiniest little ones. $14,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Lulla Doll Sleep Companion

You may have seen the Lulla Doll, an Icelandic invention, discussed in online parenting groups. To mimic the sounds of the womb, this plush doll plays a recording of a caregiver’s heartbeat and breathing. Some parents say it sounds like Darth Vader, others say, “Whatever—it works!” (Ed note: For babies under 12 months, it’s safest to use the attached strap to secure the doll to a crib rail, instead of leaving it loose in the crib.) $100,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

LEKA Baby Gym

IKEA sells an affordable, not-too-bright and not-too-garish padded activity gym perfect for play time. $35,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

The Honest Company Diapers

Yes, you can totally add diapers to your baby registry. Eventually you’ll figure out which brands and styles work best on your baby’s bum, but go ahead and try some fun, cute patterns, too. $35 for 60,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Winter Water Factory Summer Romper

Whether you register for them or not, you’ll get tons of cute baby clothes at your shower. We love the organic cotton prints from this Brooklyn-based kids’ wear company. $42 USD,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Organic Peas and Carrots Footed Onesie

Register for one-piece sleepers and jammies in a variety of sizes. $37,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Boob Design ”Fast Food” Maternity Bra

You’re going to need some comfy nursing bras. This one is seamless, underwire-free and machine-washable, yet still cute. $65,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Fleur Wireless Nursing Bra

Nursing bras can still be sexy and lacy. (Even when you’re covered in spit-up and haven’t left the house in three days.) $72,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Skip Hop Tuo Convertible High Chair

You won’t need a high chair for the first few months, but if your shower guests are looking to contribute big-ticket items, go ahead and register for one now. We love how sleek and modern (and easy to wipe down) this new-in-2017 model is. $195,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Tripp Trapp

The Stokke Tripp Trapp is an iconic Scandinavian high chair from the 1970s, designed to grow with your baby from infancy through toddlerhood and beyond. New for 2017: you can now get the back of your Tripp Trapp custom-engraved with your child’s name. Don’t forget to register for the baby set attachment ($76), too. $329,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks Accessories. Baby Set, Whitewash.

Little One Dinnerware Set

You won’t really use this fruit-tastic dishware set until your baby’s at least six months old, but it sure is adorable. $38 USD,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Marcus & Marcus Snack Bowl

This on-the-go snack cup is great for stroller rides and outings—the Cheerios won’t go flying everywhere if baby decides to shake it like a rattle. $13,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Skip Hop Central Park Outdoor Blanket

Make the most of summer with a water-resistant blanket to protect your picnic (and your roly-poly baby) from soggy grass. This design folds up into its own carrying case. $60,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Banz Baby Earmuffs

If you’re hoping to bring your baby along to music festivals and sports games, you’re going to want some teeny-tiny hearing protectors. These work for kids 0-2 years. $40,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Woodland Canvas Growth Chart by Wee Gallery

A growth chart is a great shower gift, sure to be used for years to come. $57,

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

Read more: 9 things your baby doesn’t really need in the first year 60 best baby products for your registry Next up: 19 weeks pregnant

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

This article was originally published on Aug 20, 2017

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