Children sleeping outdoors in the winter is a common practice among families who live in Northern countries. While there aren’t many proven studies of the benefits and dangers of this practice, parents who keep their babies exposed to the open air have observed positive outcomes from letting their child sleep in the winter, al fresco.
We at Bright Side respect various traditions and practices around the world. Sleeping outdoors, in particular, is one that can come as a shock to most people, but these parents reassure us that it’s not as dangerous as it seems.
Outdoor winter naps are a culture shock to many.
If you find yourself somewhere in Finland, Iceland, or other Scandinavian countries, you might run into a baby sleeping in their stroller outdoors. While seeing a baby exposed to frigid air may seem alarming, parents claim that there are many benefits to this practice.
1. The baby stays warm.
Parents note that although the outside temperature may be cold, they make it a priority to ensure that the baby keeps warm. This can be done by keeping the baby bundled and layered up in warm clothes, such as wool, and by having blankets on hand to keep them covered.
2. The immunity is strengthened.
Based on observations, parents and schools in Nordic countries claim that when little ones sleep outdoors, they are less likely to catch winter diseases and skip school days. Compared to sleeping indoors, it has been observed that outdoor naps encourage better sleep, stronger immune systems, and calmer babies. Parents also noted that their outdoor-napping babies were more active and had better appetites.
3. They sleep longer.
According to research conducted in Finland, parents discovered that their children took longer naps outdoors in comparison to naps indoors. The outdoor naps lasted for nearly 3 hours, while indoor naps were only 1-2 hours long.
4. Schools support this practice.
In countries like Sweden and Denmark, and more recently, in the U.K., schools encourage children to spend time outdoors for playing, eating, and sleeping. Studies show that children who sleep outdoors are less likely to get sick and skip school since bacteria and viruses are more prone to spread indoors. There is a saying that goes, “A little fresh air never hurt anyone,” and the Swedes say, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”
Would you allow your child to sleep in sub-zero temperatures outdoors?