The Danish Secret: Benefits of Letting Babies Sleep Outdoors

In many cultures, the approach to parenting, and particularly how and where babies should sleep, varies dramatically. One fascinating practice that catches the eyes of many across the globe is the Danish tradition of letting babies nap outdoors, regardless of the season. This may sound alarming at first, but it is a deeply ingrained custom in Scandinavian countries that carry a myriad of benefits for the infants' development and well-being.

The Roots of the Tradition

In Denmark and other Nordic countries, it is common to see rows of baby carriages outside cafes, libraries, and homes, irrespective of whether it's sunny, rainy, or snowy. This practice stems from the early 20th century belief that exposing children to fresh air, both during the day and the night, strengthens their immune systems and improves their health.

Benefits of Outdoor Napping for Babies

Let’s unfold some of the well-documented benefits that support this somewhat unorthodox sleep practice:

1. Improved Quality of Sleep

Studies indicate that babies sleep longer and deeper when they are outdoors. The fresh air is said to help them fall asleep more quickly and to sleep more soundly, which is crucial for their brain development and growth.

2. Boost in Immune System

Regular exposure to the clean and fresh air helps to reduce the risk of catching colds and other respiratory infections. The varying temperatures and conditions outdoors are believed to strengthen the immune system and enhance resistance against illnesses.

3. Enhanced Cognitive Development

The outdoor environment, with its varied stimuli, plays a role in cognitive development. The sounds of nature, the sight of leaves rustling in the wind, or even the movement of clouds can help in developing sensory skills from an early age.

4. Happiness and Well-being

Exposure to natural light helps regulate the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, not only improving sleep patterns but also overall mood and well-being. There's also a strong link between spending time outdoors and reduced levels of stress and anxiety.

The Role of Blackout Curtains

Even though the benefits of outdoor napping are considerable, the environment cannot always be controlled. For instance, the sun can create overly bright conditions, or fluctuating light levels might disturb a baby’s rest. This is where the utility of products like Sleepout Portable Blackout Curtains comes into play. They help recreate darkness when needed, providing an adaptable environment that benefits a child’s sleep routine, essential for days when outdoor sleeping isn’t feasible.

Practical Tips for Outdoor Napping

Transitioning your baby to nap outdoors requires consideration and careful preparation to ensure safety and comfort:

1. Dress Appropriately

One of the most essential aspects is to dress your baby accordingly. Layer their clothing so it can be adjusted with the changing temperatures throughout the day. Use breathable fabrics to ensure they neither overheat nor become too cold.

2. Use a Suitable Stroller

A pram or a stroller suitable for outdoor napping should have good ventilation and be equipped with covers to protect from insects and UV radiation.

3. Monitor the Weather

Be very attentive to the weather conditions. Avoid extremely cold temperatures and days when the air quality is poor. Likewise, ensure your baby is not exposed directly to the sun.

4. Ensure Safety

Always keep your baby’s carriage in a safe spot where you can see it openly and ensure it’s not amidst any environmental hazards.

Global Reception and Considerations

While this practice is widely accepted and beloved in Scandinavia, it has been met with skepticism in other parts of the world, often due to different cultural norms or safety concerns. However, understanding the underlying benefits can open up new perspectives on optimizing infant sleep practices globally.


The Danish secret to a happier, healthier baby lies not just in their unique approach to outdoor napping but in their overall emphasis on creating a natural, stimulating environment for their children. Whether you adapt this practice or not, integrating elements of the outdoors into your baby’s routine, safeguarding their comfort and health with tools like blackout curtains, and constantly adapting based on your environment are key takeaways for parents worldwide.

Mother and baby by blackout curtains

Embracing the outdoors for your baby's naptime could not only boost their development but also forge an early bond with the natural world, fostering a generation that values and interacts with their environment thoughtfully from the very beginning of their lives.

For days when the weather doesn't permit outdoor resting, you can still rely on Sleepout Portable Blackout Curtains to ensure your little ones get the best sleep possible, anytime, anywhere.

Black blackout curtains
Back to blog

Experience 100% Blackout Fabric