The Surprising Benefits of Letting Babies Sleep Outside in Denmark

In many countries, the idea of letting infants nap outdoors might seem peculiar, if not concerning. However, in Denmark, along with other Nordic countries, this practice is not only common but also deeply ingrained in cultural child-rearing practices. Parents and caregivers routinely allow babies to nap in prams outside, believing that it contributes positively to their health and development.

This concept might be surprising to those unfamiliar with the practice, but numerous studies suggest that outdoor napping in babies can lead to better sleep, reduced incidences of sickness, and overall happier baby behavior. In this article, we'll explore the surprising benefits of this custom and how ensuring the right sleep environment, like using Sleepout Portable Blackout Curtains, can emulate these benefits, even indoors.

Understanding the Cultural Background

In Denmark, the practice of letting babies sleep outside began in the early 20th century and has endured as a common practice in Nordic nurseries and households. It stems from a belief in the importance of fresh air for healthy development, alongside the view that exposure to the natural environment can bolster a child's immune system.

Benefits of Outdoor Napping

1. Enhanced Sleep Quality

Studies indicate that babies who nap outdoors tend to sleep longer and more deeply. The natural light helps in regulating sleep patterns and circadian rhythms, which is crucial for overall health and wellbeing.

2. Improved Air Quality

Outside air, especially in less urbanized or green areas, typically contains fewer pollutants than indoor air, which can contain higher levels of carbon dioxide, especially in poorly ventilated rooms. Fresh, outdoor air can also reduce the risk of airborne diseases, which are more commonly spread in enclosed spaces.

3. Encouragement of a Healthy Lifestyle

Instilling the value of the outdoors from an early age can cultivate a preference for being active, potentially leading to a more active lifestyle, which is beneficial for physical and mental health.

Risks and Precautions

Despite its benefits, outdoor sleeping is not without risks. It's vital to consider the weather conditions—extreme cold or heat can be dangerous. Other environmental factors like animals, insects, and security must also be considered to ensure the baby’s safety.

Emulating Outdoor Conditions Indoors

For parents in urban environments or regions with harsh weather conditions, replicating the benefits of outdoor napping indoors is a plausible alternative.

Regulating Air Quality

Using air purifiers can help in maintaining optimal levels of indoor air quality. Ensuring that the room is well-ventilated is also key to mimicking the fresh air experience of outdoor napping.

Managing Light and Noise

Mimicking the serene environment of the outdoors can also be achieved by managing light and noise levels in the sleep environment. Blackout curtains, like the Sleepout Portable Blackout Curtains, can be particularly effective. They not only block out unwanted light but also help dampen noise—thus creating a calm, soothing sleep atmosphere akin to that found outdoors.

Safe Sleep Environment

When preparing an indoor sleep environment that emulates the fresh, airy feel of a Nordic outdoor nap, safety is paramount. Ensure that the sleeping area is free of loose items, utilizes a firm mattress, and follows all recommended guidelines for safe baby sleep.


The practice of letting babies sleep outside in Denmark underscores a broader cultural embrace of nature and the outdoors as elements that contribute positively to health and wellbeing. For those unable to practice outdoor napping, creating a similar environment indoors, with the help of products like Sleepout Curtains, can offer a safe and effective alternative. Remember, whether indoors or outside, the goal is to ensure that our little ones get the best possible sleep, paving the way for healthier, happier development.

Sleepout Blackout Curtains

By tapping into the Danish way of life and adapting their practices to suit personal circumstances and environments, parents around the world can incorporate the health and wellbeing benefits of fresh air and nature into their children's routines—a gift that could have lifelong benefits.

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