6 Milestones That Make a Mom

Just as your baby develops from an unbelievably tiny bundle into a full-fledged little person, hitting many momentous milestones along the way, so it goes for you. The only difference is, you don't find parental milestones in most parenting books.

Stepping out as a family for the first time

The journey from hospital to home really doesn't count. You leave the hospital because they kick you out. But choosing to leave the safety of your home voluntarily is a different story.

Whether you're making a first visit to the pediatrician or going out for breakfast, this is a crucial milestone because you're:

a. going public as a family b. trusting the world not to harm your infant

Easier said than done. Having a baby means never saying "See you in 10 minutes" again. Multiply the time you think it should take to get out the door by three to account for gathering gear, bundling the baby, a last-minute feeding, and the subsequent diaper change.

Once you're out the door, remember that the baby is sure to attract an adoring public -- neighbors, strangers, and waiters will all want to peek and coo. And don't expect to be able to concentrate for more than 30 seconds on anything, including traffic lights, menus, or conversation, because you'll be staring intently at the baby, trying to anticipate her next move. This preoccupation is completely normal.

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