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Taking Changes in Stride

As your little one's newfound mobility removes her from the ranks of babyhood dependence, remember:

  1. Your feelings are normal. Almost every parent experiences ambivalence or even sadness about her baby growing up so quickly.
  2. Your importance is undiminished. New walkers need lots of encouragement. Focus on how much your toddler still needs you.
  3. A toddler has to explore. Being overprotective will backfire in the long run. Avoid saying "No!" and divert your child to safer ways of exploring -- for example, have him climb on a pile of pillows rather than the coffee table.
  4. Her achievements deserve to be celebrated. Learning to walk is a monumental milestone -- one that should inspire pride and happiness in parent and child alike.