Letting your baby nap al fresco is the norm in Iceland and Scandinavian countries–it even was commonplace in England a few decades ago. But just how beneficial–and safe–is it?
With the concept of forest nurseries–where ‘outdoor learning’ is the focus–fast catching on in the UK, putting little ones down for naps outside is also becoming popular again.
Hayley Room of Dandelion Education in Norfolk, says:
“Nature provides extensive opportunities for learning. With the appropriate weather clothing, suitable bedding, a pram and appropriate supervision, there is no reason not to let children sleep outdoors!”
Catching zzz’s outside also obviously ups your child’s quota of fresh air; which boosts health, and, specifically in the colder months, also prevents the illnesses related to being cooped up in the close, heated confines of indoors where bugs thrive. One other bonus–it gets you out the house, too.
Dr Rahul Chodhari of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health explains that outdoor naps–regardless of sunshine or cold–are not dangerous, provided it’s not raining and the area is secure from animals. And of course, ensure your child is appropriately bundled up.
GP and expert in child health Philippa Kaye says:
“I am not aware of medical evidence that it is beneficial for babies to sleep outside but also not aware of any evidence that it is harmful.
“And actually I put all my babies to sleep outside for their daytime naps! Anecdotally, many people say that their babies sleep better.
“Whether inside or out, you shouldn’t let your baby sleep in a car seat for a long while, so if you are putting your child down for a nap, then you will need to use a true lie-flat pram or cot.”
So there you have it! No excuse not to wrap up and head out–even (or especially) if it’s naptime!