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The Broken Record

After reading the same story every night for the past three months, you may be tempted to throw the book out the window. Or to tell your child that her favorite CD is lost so you don't have to listen to it ever again.

"For a toddler, hearing the same song or story or watching the same video builds her sense of security and makes her feel like she's greeting an old friend," says Stacy DeBroff, author of The Mom Book. "Of course, parents often feel otherwise." To save your sanity:

Pick wisely. Although it's tough to know for sure what will drive you crazy in the future, watch out for the things you know you can't stand (CDs with high-pitched singing kids? DVDs with goofy talking animals?).

Shake it up. She may not need variety, but you sure do. Invent silly dances to your child's favorite song. Read the book she loves with funny voices. Try making up a new ending to the story, and then ask your child to do the same.

Bring in reinforcements. Save certain favorite videos for the babysitter, says DeBroff. This'll give your child a familiar activity and a fresh audience.

Look on the bright side. Life with a toddler is unpredictable enough, so there is something to be said for the same-old, same-old. And nothing lasts forever-as soon as you resign yourself to reading the same book every night until your kid goes to college, she'll choose a new favorite.

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