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Baby's Big Triumph: Pulling Up

There are certain moments of my first years as a mom that stand out with freeze-frame clarity. Like the time my then lumpish 2-month-old, Henry, rolled over from his tummy to his back  -- a feat I found so impressive I actually brought him into work the next day so my colleagues could watch. (So much for my carefully cultivated professional cool.) Or the summer day eight months later when Henry pointed a pudgy finger to the sky and said "Kite!" when he saw one flying in our backyard. I swear I can still hear this first squeaky word hanging in the air.

Your baby book's "Memorable Moments" page may start out blank, but those "firsts" rack up fast. Even when you know to expect them, milestones can surprise, thrill, or sometimes even unnerve you. Here, how your baby reaches this moment, and what you might experience when she does.

Pulling herself up
(6 to 11 months)
It might seem odd that standing comes before crawling for some kids. Often babies new to an upright position are stranded because they can pull up but can't walk or figure out how to get back down (until they land with a plop on their bottoms). Still, after months of lying flat, the ability to pull up must be thrilling for a newly agile baby.

What you're feeling: Tracy Liebowitz walked into her 6-month-old son Ryan's room when she heard him on the monitor cooing after a nap  -- and she froze. Instead of lying there gnawing his toes as usual, he was standing up in the crib, clutching the rails, beaming. "It was beautiful," says the Durham, North Carolina, mom. "But I wanted to say, 'Lie back down! Be a baby a little longer!' I want the new phases, but I don't want to let go of the old ones."

Paula Spencer is a contributing editor at Parenting and a mom of four.