Baby Plants

I would like to receive some suggestions on how to handle new baby plants
that some of my Echinodorus have produced. These are new (nice) "problems"
that I am beginning to have since I started applying the PMDD concept! 
One case relates to a big E. horemanni (light green narrow leaves on a long
peduncle, veins split in the middle of the leaf, leaf margin is undulate,
total height ~ 20 inches) which I had since last July. About a month ago a
new set of leaves (smaller than the parent plant) popped out from the side,
and now there are new leaves produced both from the center of the parent
plant, and from the side. I am not sure, but it seems that the parent plant
leaves are now growing a little bit smaller, and I am wondering if now there
is a problem of competition between the two plants.
If I have to separate the new baby plant, how should I proceed? If I try to
pull out the whole set of plants, I am a little concerned about damaging the
(presumably) extensive root system of the parent plant. If this concern is
justified, is it possible to pull apart the new plant just using my fingers
to separate the two plants "in situ"? I also have a similar situation on a
(my best guess) E. bleheri.
The second baby plant issue relates to those sword plants that have a long
stem with baby plants when you buy them. I currently have some (presumed) E.
paniculatus in this situation. I used to cut and replant the babies right
the way, but then I realized that they do much better when I leave then
attached to the parent plant for a while. I guess they get more light and
also nutrients from the parent plant. What is the optimal time for cutting
them away and re-planting? 
Thanks in advance to those that will help.

dionigi.maladorno at roche_com