Would You Let Your Baby Sleep Outside in Winter?

Posted by Erika Lang on

When it comes to sleep, everyone is different. We all have our particular preferences and standards for what is needed to get a good night’s sleep. One big talking point when it comes to discussing sleep routines is this: what temperature do you want it to be in your bedroom? Are you someone who feels they run hot when they sleep so they insist on keeping the room as cold as possible? Or on the flip side do you always find yourself cold at night and try to bundle up with as many blankets as possible? Both sides of the debate are common.

However, the debate seems to be in the limelight more than ever with discourse popularized on Tik Tok. You see, in Nordic countries, there is a common trend of parents putting their babies outside for naps. In places such as Finland, Denmark, and Norway, you will see strollers left outside with a sleeping baby.

@annieineventyrland

 

♬ path of the wind ~ my neighbor totoro lofi - Closed on Sunday

It is the norm in Nordic countries to leave your baby and stroller outside while you pop into a coffee shop to get something to drink or eat. If your baby is asleep, bringing them into a noisy environment like a cafe may wake them up Parents feel safety and comfort in this practice as it commonplace across the country and it may also inform more as to why this practice is popular in this part of the world.

Babies are used to sleeping outside while their parents run various errands so it makes sense that parents would continue to utilize strollers as safe places for their babies to sleep. When it comes to putting their babies outside for naps, parents are taking every precaution necessary.

Of course, places like Denmark, Finland, etc can get very cold. Temperatures in Finland for example, can drop to as low as 8°F on average in the winter months. It can get even colder depending where in Finland you are. So of course keeping baby warm is the key. As this Danish mother on Tik Tok shows:

@bohohobohome How my baby naps outside. You've probably seen all the viral tiktoks about Nordic babies napping outside alone and the benefits that come with it. My family and friends used to think I was crazy for letting my babies nap outside alone. It is very common in Denmark and the other Nordic countries to let your baby sleep outside alone. My oldest had his own pram at daycare for his outdoor naps. To let your baby nap outside, they have to be dressed properly. So let's break it down: First of all, avoid cotton since it absorbs moist, which gets cold very quickly. Think layers! Every baby is different, so you might have to adjust to your babies needs. Check frequently if your baby is too warm or not warm enough. The combination of clothing and sleeping bag is just one way to do it, some use a duvet, some use a snowsuit. Do whatever works for your baby and use whatever you have at hand. This is how I dress my baby: • thin wool layer • wool or fleece jumpsuit • double layered wool balaclava • wool mittens and booties ▪︎insulated pram ▪︎medical grade sheepskin ▪︎wind and waterproof down sleepingbag ▪︎extra blanket if necessary ▪︎pram cover ▪︎ raincover when necessary I know I know, wool is freaking expensive. I would know, I live in Denmark, everything I expensive 😩 But check out Facebook marketplace or your local thriftstore for second hand wool for babies. As someone who did not grow up with the tradition of letting babies sleep outside, it has definitely grown on me! Eventhough are spending winter in the Netherlands, we have brought our pram. The health benefits and long naps have been great for my babies. I wouldn't do it any other way! #outsidenapping #outsidenaps #nordicbabies #danishbaby #scandinavianbabies #outdoornaps ♬ Little Things - Adrian Berenguer

TLDR: What Your Baby Needs to Stay Warm Sleeping Outside

Clothes:

  • Thin Wool Body Suit
  • Wool Socks
  • Mittens
  • Boots
  • Wool Jumpsuit
  • Double Layered Balaclava

Accessories:

  • Insulated Stroller
  • Medical Grade Sheepskin
  • Wind and Waterproof Down Sleeping Bag
  • Extra Wool Blanket (If Necessary)
  • Cover for Stroller
  • Lanolin Cream

Studies have suggested that sleeping outside can give babies longer and more restful sleep. Another part of the logic expressed by Sleep Expert, Katie Palmer, suggests that your baby is exposed to less germs outside as well. Some experts push caution on allowing your child to sleep outside depending on the conditions. In the summer months you have to be careful about sun exposure and in the winter months you want to be sure your baby is properly bundled. It is all about making sure your baby is properly prepared.

A baby wrapped up sleeping in a stroller outside.

It is a part of Nordic culture to encourage children spend as much time outside as possible. Daycare centers in Denmark even have areas that are reserved purely for nap time outside. A common phrase uttered is "there is no bad weather, only bad clothes". Some parents will go the extra mile and install baby cameras in their strollers so they can keep an eye on their baby while they are inside or some will even keep a thermometer in the stroller to know exactly what temp it is inside for their baby. 

So what do you think? Would you ever allow your baby to sleep outside like they do in Nordic countries?  

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