Health and Safety Tips for Letting Babies Sleep Outside in Winter

As the chilly winds of winter begin to whistle through the trees, many parents might wonder about the health benefits and safety precautions of letting their babies nap outdoors during the colder months. A tradition quite common in Nordic countries, outdoor sleeping is heralded for contributing to longer and more peaceful naps among infants. However, implementing this practice requires careful consideration to ensure it is done safely. In this article, we'll dive into the importance of this practice, its potential benefits, and essential safety tips for letting your baby sleep outside in winter.

Understanding the Tradition of Outdoor Napping

In countries like Finland, Sweden, and Norway, it's part of the daily routine to let babies nap in prams outside, regardless of the season. This practice is based on the belief that exposure to fresh air, both during the summer and the cold Scandinavian winters, boosts children's immune systems and improves their sleep quality. Parents often assert that their babies sleep longer and deeper when nestled in their strollers beneath the open sky.

The Benefits of Outdoor Naps in Winter

The crisp, fresh air can contribute to:

  • Improved Sleep: The absence of indoor noise pollution and the natural setting can help infants fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
  • Better Breathing: Fresh, cold air is often less polluted and may increase oxygen intake which can enhance lung health.
  • Stimulation of the Immune System: Regular exposure to the elements in moderated conditions can fortify the body's defenses against pathogens.
  • Enhanced Development: Exposure to natural light can help regulate biological rhythms, thus promoting better health and developmental outcomes.

Essential Safety Tips for Outdoor Naps

To ensure that letting your baby nap outside is beneficial rather than harmful, follow these crucial safety guidelines:

  1. Dress Your Baby Appropriately: The rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one more layer than an adult would comfortably wear in the same conditions. Opt for breathable materials that insulate well, such as wool or fleece. Make sure the baby’s head, hands, and feet are well-covered to prevent heat loss.
  2. Use a Suitable Pram: Ensure the stroller or pram is suitable for winter conditions with appropriate tires for snow and a protective cover that shields the baby from snow and cold wind.
  3. Check the Temperature and Weather: Generally, it’s safe to let babies nap outside in temperatures down to -5°C (23°F). Always check the weather forecast to avoid sudden drops in temperature or snowstorms.
  4. Monitor Air Quality: Avoid outdoor sleeping when the air quality is poor or when it’s particularly windy.
  5. Shield From Elements: Use a stroller cover to protect your baby from snow and rain while ensuring there is enough ventilation to prevent the build-up of damp air.
  6. Always Supervise: Even if your baby is properly dressed and the stroller is well-prepared, never leave them unattended outdoors.

Moreover, considering the location where your baby naps can be essential. Choose a sheltered spot where the pram won’t be exposed to direct wind drafts, excessive sun, or heavy snowfall.

Creating a Healthy Sleep Environment

Whether deciding to let your baby nap indoors or out, environment control is key to ensuring safe, restful sleep:

  • Maintain Light Control: Using Sleepout Portable Blackout Curtains can help mimic the calm, darkened environment of the outdoors, providing an ideal visual setting that can be replicated anywhere, helping your baby have restorative naps with ease.
  • Optimize Temperature: Maintain a steady, comfortable room temperature within your home to mimic the cooler outdoor napping conditions.
  • Use White Noise: Mimic the natural sounds of the outdoors with a sound machine to drown out disruptive household noises.
Comfortable indoor sleeping environment with Sleepout

When to Avoid Outdoor Sleeping

It is vital to skip outdoor naps if:

  • Your baby is sick or has a weakened immune system.
  • The temperature is colder than -5°C (23°F) or if severe weather warnings have been issued.
  • There are pollution alerts that could affect your baby’s respiratory system.


Allowing your baby to sleep outdoors in the winter can be a refreshing and beneficial practice, promoting longer, deeper naps and enhancing overall health. However, it's essential to place safety first by dressing your baby/ceivering them appropriately, always monitoring the conditions, and never compromising on their direct supervision. By respecting these guidelines, you and your little one can safely enjoy the benefits of crisp winter air.

Whether indoors or out, remember that the quality of your baby's sleep environment is crucial. Ensure they have a safe and comforting space to rest, tailored to their needs with thoughtful solutions like blackout curtains and serene settings.

Embracing the Scandinavian spirit, even in the frost of winter, may give your baby an edge in health and happiness. Try it wisely, and see the peaceful sleep that awaits outdoors.

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