Rolling over, crawling, walking, baby’s first words. Yep, the early years of parenthood play out as a succession of memorable and heartwarming milestones. However, not every major development is the stuff of scrapbooks and family photo albums. Case in point: That super awkward phase when your child first discovers his or her own nether regions—and proceeds to develop, err, a keen interest in them for some time to come. Fear not, because this type of body exploration in toddlers is totally normal and healthy.
That said, this new behavior can be a bit fraught for parents who find themselves torn between a desire to uphold standards of body positivity and a natural aversion to, well, watching a kid walk around the playground with his hands in his pants. So we spoke to Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett—pediatrician and medical consultant at Mom Loves Best—to find out the best way to cut through the uncomfortable feelings and address your tot’s latest developmental leap in the healthiest way possible. Read on for some sound advice from the expert.