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Girl Talk: Too Uptight?

My friend and I have 5-month-olds. She's so relaxed with the baby (her youngest) that she takes him out without a hat or to daycare without shoes. I can't leave the house without a mini-nursery in tow. Am I too uptight?

A: I have to admit, I'm like your friend. I wonder, How can I be so lax with my daughter (number three)? Then my boys start whining, or using the stairs as a jungle gym, and I forget. There's only so much I can focus on at once.

Listen, I don't know your friend. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I'd guess that she's doing the best that she can. If it makes you feel better, she probably doesn't have the energy to judge your parenting. Many first-time moms second-guess themselves, but let me reassure you: You'll soon unwind and find the gear-and-wardrobe groove that works best for your child.

Babytalk contributing editor Kitty O'Callaghan is a mom of two boys and a girl in White Plains, New York.