Allowing baby to sleep outside in Scandinavia

For nine months you have carried your baby warm and safe with you. But then you suddenly read in news reports that people let their baby sleep outside in Scandinavia, even if it is freezing! This trend seems to be slowly moving to the Netherlands and I have become more immersed in you let baby sleep outside.

Why sleep outside?

In Sweden and other countries in Scandinavia, it is very normal for a day nursery but also in the home situation to allow the babies to sleep outside during the day. Maybe when you were on vacation, you already saw a row of strollers at the window next to a restaurant with the babies still in it. This is mainly because there is a lot of space in Scandinavia and relatively few people live there. This makes people feel safe and allows them to sleep outside in the pram with peace of mind.
The benefits that are mentioned when letting a baby sleep outside are that the baby:

  • During the day, but also at night, sleeps better.
  • sleeps longer and deeper.
  • wake up more cheerfully.
  • build up a better resistance.

By a Finnish university the only research is on one let baby sleep outside This research shows that babies who sleep outside sleep longer. A better resistance is built up because a baby who sleeps outside takes more vitamin D. And the longer and deeper sleep can be explained by the fact that children only hear sounds from nature, the wind, birds and naturally fall into a sleep that they hold for a number of hours.

Is sleeping healthy outside?

Do not just sleep outside, but the whole outdoors is healthy. Then I think of how I feel when I go camping for example. You are outside, you cook your food outside, make a fire and then at 20.00 I think: 'Gee, I could sleep.' To which my husband answers very simply: 'Then we will do that anyway.'

And that's how it often happened, wonderful in my warm sleeping bag in our tent or under a tarp (just a sail) and we only wake up from the light or the birds that whistle. I feel really well rested and cheerful and I have slept deeply for my feeling.

The government has already investigated and demonstrated that the air quality in schools is of poor quality. The same research for nurseries has not yet been completed, but it is probably of the same level or maybe even worse. Primary school pupils are older and have already built up a little more resistance to the health effects caused by poor ventilation than the children at a day nursery. Poor air quality can cause various symptoms such as fatigue, headache and drowsiness. It can also worsen airway problems and allergies.

Air quality at nurseries

Also day nurseries are sometimes located in buildings that were not originally built to house large groups. The increasingly better insulation ensures that less well ventilated in these buildings.

Here in Sweden we have a lot of forest, a clean and clean air that may be different in many areas in the Netherlands. But nothing is less true, even at a day nursery somewhere in the city with little motorized traffic, the air is clean enough to let your baby sleep outside. Highways, provincial roads or a busy city road have a negative influence on air quality. Letting a baby sleep outside at these daycare centers would be a less suitable location.

Allowing baby to sleep outside in Scandinavia

Here in Sweden, for example, from an early age it is very different from the outside, it is part of your day. Also with a day on a day (daycare). For every child there is a set of rain gear available or it is expected that this is included as standard. Because even with rain, the children just go outside.


In the Netherlands it is Lutje Potje, a baby outdoor sleeping house or cot, now in attendance. But it was designed in the 1930s by the Groningen GP Jitse Posthumus. These are still made according to the original concept but adapted to the current standards.

In Scandinavia, the babies often sleep outside in their pram, in not too warm clothes and a sleeping bag. The ideal sleeping temperature is 16-18 degrees Celsius and you can easily check this by placing a thermometer next to a baby monitor in the car. It is also important that the bottom of the pram is completely flat.

Letting a baby sleep outside in Scandinavia and so in Sweden has been around for a very long time, and it starts with a gentle breeze to the North of Europe. Maybe it will already be applied to the daycare where your child is going.
Are you planning to give it a try and let your child sleep in the pram in your backyard? Share your experiences with us. We would like to hear from you.

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