The Danish Practice of Outdoor Napping for Babies: Benefits and Safety

In many cultures, the concept of having babies nap outdoors might sound far-fetched or even unsafe. However, in Denmark and other Nordic countries, this practice is not only common but also deeply ingrained into their child-rearing culture. Known for promoting health and happiness, Scandinavian parents have long embraced outdoor napping, claiming it contributes to better sleep patterns and general wellbeing in infants. This tradition, coupled with the right conditions such as the use of high-quality blackout curtains like Sleepout Home Blackout Curtains, can also be beneficial elsewhere in the world.

What is Outdoor Napping?

Outdoor napping simply refers to the practice of letting babies and young children sleep outside in their prams or strollers, regardless of the season. This might be in a home garden, on a balcony, or even during a walk in the park. In Denmark, it is not uncommon to see rows of baby carriages outside cafes and daycare centers, with infants snugly bundled up, peacefully asleep in the fresh air.

The Benefits of Outdoor Napping

The purported benefits of outdoor napping are compelling and backed by several studies. Here are a few notable ones:

  • Better Sleep Quality: Researchers believe that the fresh air can help babies sleep more soundly and for longer durations. The natural light exposure also helps in regulating the biological clock, leading to improved sleep patterns over time.
  • Boosts Immune System: Regular exposure to the varied environment outdoors helps develop a stronger immune system by exposing babies to different microbes, which can enhance their ability to ward off diseases.
  • Enhances Cognitive Development: Outdoor stimuli provide a rich environment full of sights, sounds, and smells that prompt sensory responses crucial for cognitive development.
  • Encourages a Love for Nature: Starting outdoor experiences early can foster a lifelong appreciation and respect for the environment.

Considerations for Safety and Comfort

While the benefits are significant, ensuring the safety and comfort of your child during outdoor naps is paramount:

  • Appropriate Dress: Dressing your baby in suitable clothing that can handle the outdoor temperature and protect them from the elements is crucial. During colder months, extra layers, hats, mittens, and thermal sleeping bags are essential, while in warmer conditions, lightweight, breathable fabrics are preferable.
  • Monitoring the Environment: Always check the weather before deciding on an outdoor nap. Extreme conditions such as storms, heavy rain, or severe heat are not suitable for outdoor sleeping.
  • Mosquito and Insect Protection: Use a pram net to protect your child from mosquitoes and other insects, particularly during warmer months or in greener settings.
  • Safe Location: Choose a safe, secure location for the pram or stroller that is away from traffic, large animals, and other potential hazards.

The Role of Blackout Curtains

Integrating the practice of outdoor napping in places with harsh sunlight or unpredictable weather can be facilitated through the use of blackout curtains. Products such as Sleepout Home Blackout Curtains can recreate the optimal, controlled environment that babies experience in their Scandinavian counterparts. By effectively blocking out excessive sunlight and insulating against mild external noise, these curtains can ensure that the sleep quality achieved outdoors closely mimics the tranquility of a shaded, serene environment.

Sleepout White Blackout Curtains

Cultural Acceptance and Adaptations

While popular in Nordic countries, outdoor napping is a concept that can seem unusual in places like the United States or Canada, where safety concerns and cultural norms differ significantly. In these regions, parents might opt for a compromise by ensuring their baby's room mimics outdoor conditions. This can include maintaining a cooler room temperature, using sound machines that replicate natural sounds, and employing blackout curtains to control light—ensuring the room is not overly bright during nap times.


Embracing the Danish practice of outdoor napping can seem daunting initially, especially in non-Nordic countries. However, with the proper safety measures, appropriate gear, and an understanding of the benefits, it can be a healthy addition to a baby's routine. Incorporating elements like specialized blackout curtains can make adapting this practice to different climates and environments easier, ensuring babies worldwide get the best sleep possible—whether indoors or out.

Mother with Baby by Blackout Curtain

As we globally embrace diverse child-rearing practices, perhaps the Scandinavian art of letting babies nap in the fresh, brisk air could teach us all a little more about nurturing serenity and resilience from a tender age.

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