Baby's Second Year -- Your 14-Month-Old

. You may find the thought of separating from your child difficult. Here's how you can help your child (and yourself) ease the transition.

Choose quality care. Select an environment and a caregiver that closely reflect your parenting beliefs. Be sure to fully interview the caregiver, carefully inspect the facility and check several references. These steps will help you rest assured that your little one is being lovingly cared for in a manner that will nurture him just as you would if you were with him.

Maintain daily communication with your child's caregiver. Inquire about your child. Did he have a good day? How and what did he eat? Any scrapes or bumps? Did he interact with the other children? Any concerns?

Remember that separation at this age may be difficult for your toddler. He may cry and cling to you when you drop him off. You can help lessen his protests by leaving a special memento he can carry throughout the day, spending special time with him both before you leave each day and after you return home each evening, and reassuring him that in a few hours Mommy (and/or Daddy) will be back to take him home. While you should not ignore his tears, remember that they will most likely be replaced by a smile when you are out of sight and other children and new toys distract him. Remember too that protests should lessen as he grows older and becomes more interested in interactive play with other children.

While staying at home may have certain emotional benefits (for both parent and child), your toddler will also benefit from the loving care he'll receive each day. Now he'll have the care of his parents and another special adult each day.

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