Over the years I have come across lots of research linking a good night’s sleep in infants to having at least one daytime sleep or nap out in the fresh air, along with lots of outdoor play.
In the ideal world it would be good to put our babies outside for one sleep a day, however this is not always safe, so no longer a common practice everywhere. To encourage outdoor sleeps I have the pram nap included within most of my early routines.
Like in the above photo spotting a baby napping alone outside in frigid conditions isn’t necessarily a cause for concern in Denmark, Finland, or any other Nordic country. In these places, parents commonly put their babies down for a sleep or nap or outdoors because they believe babies get a better night sleep after an outdoor day sleep in the fresh air.
With the warm weather some of us are experiencing in Australia I thought it was a good time to remind you of how important these outdoor sleeps are. However, how is this achievable in such warm weather.
1. Place your baby in the 0.5 TOG sleep bag and 2 layers of the Save Our Sleep blankets if wrapped in the wrap and a wrap or 4 layers if no longer wrapped.
2. Put the AVENT bath and room thermometer in the pram and keep an eye on the temperature do not let the pram get warmer than 26 degrees if it gets warmer stop the sleep and go back indoors. 26 degrees in a pram is much hotter than the same temperature in a cot.
3. Sit next to your baby in the shade with the pram in the shade and keep an eye on the temperature.
4. WARNING: Never under any circumstances cover the pram with any type of fabric including bunny rugs or muslin wraps because they stop the airflow and increase the risk of your baby overheating.
TIP: When sleeping in a warm room during summer, it is better to drop a TOG than drop a blanket.
Benefits of napping outdoors
One Perth Childcare centre has even implemented an Outdoor Sleeping policy and has seen positive results, including the children waking up more refreshed and rejuvenated.
The children at the centre get cosy in the shade no matter the season, and close attention is paid to the day’s UV rating so sunscreen can be applied. If it’s windy or drizzling, tarps are used to keep the kids comfy.
Natural light exposure – This resets the body clock and adjusts with circadian rhythms
Better functioning of body and brain – Higher quality oxygen will improve the functioning of the brain and body for better productivity.
Reduced illness – Air conditioning spreads germs and dries up children’s sinuses, leaving them open to infection.
Improved learning – As children sleep longer, they’re more refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to learn when they wake.
Better physical and emotional development – Outside sleeping can increase children’s brain, bone and muscular development, along with their social and emotional wellbeing.For more information on this please read my bedding guide.