Establishing Routines: Finding what works for you and your baby

Playing and Outdoor Trips

Introduce your baby to the outdoors by taking a daily 15- to 30-minute walk after one of his naps. "The outdoors is very stimulating for babies," says Mary Rivkin, Ph.D., an associate professor of education at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, in Baltimore. Just remember to avoid exposing your child to rainy, very cold, or very hot weather.

As your baby nears 3 months of age, you can start to incorporate playtime into his daily routine. "Don't try anything elaborate -- just reading, singing, or playing with toys for about five minutes, several times a day," advises S.K. Bosu, M.D., chief of pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente, in Anaheim, California. "Your baby probably doesn't have the attention span for more."

Many parents enjoy taking their babies to infant classes as a part of outside play. "But don't worry if that's not part of your routine," Dr. Bosu says. "Your baby's social skills won't be compromised. More than anything else, these classes are opportunities for moms to connect with other moms."

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