25 Milestones of the First 5 Years

Santa, Nose Blowing, and Separation

Visit Santa when your child is 3 or 4. While some younger children can handle a turn on the bearded fat guy's lap without a meltdown, many find the experience overwhelming and scary. Follow your child's lead -- if he seems worried or upset, put it off for another year.

Go on a trip without your child before baby is 5 months old. "At this age, babies don't miss you when you are away," says Scarlett. "In many ways, babies are more resilient to separation than toddlers, whose greater ability to picture you means they have a greater ability to miss you." The earlier you start leaving baby -- and get him accustomed to a caregiver and to the idea that you will return -- the easier future separations will be for both of you. Plus, you and your partner deserve some time away!

Teach kids to blow their nose at age 3. "Many kids around that age are interested in acting like big people, imitating big people, and pleasing big people. So if you demonstrate by example and do it in unison, they may get the hang of it," says Dr. Widome.

Let an older sibling hold baby when you feel it's safe and appropriate. Obviously, a child needs to have a certain amount of strength, coordination, and guidance to hold an infant. But as long as she is monitored -- perhaps sitting on a couch next to a parent or another adult -- there's no hard-and-fast rule as to when to allow it.

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment