11 Big-Kid Milestones
When your kid will be ready to ride a bike, stay home alone and more
"I spent years helping my kids into and out of their car seats," says Wanda Celgin of Villa Rica, GA, mom of Clay, 5, and Alicia, 6. "I smashed my fingers almost every day." But about a year ago, something wonderful happened: Both kids learned how to work the fasteners.
If you're still battling to strap in a squirmy kid, your day of liberation, like Celgin's, is nigh. But be warned as well -- your child will also be able to free himself. In fact, for many kids, that skill comes first, since pulling a buckle out of a slot is easier than pushing it in. Now's a good time to explain why it's important to stay strapped until an adult gives the all-clear. Buy some car organizers, too, to keep your child's travel toys close to him; that way, he won't be tempted to retrieve his Transformer from the floor while Dad (never you) is doing 15 above the speed limit on the highway.