Thursday 14 March 2024

Whatever the Weather // On Sleeping Scandi Style!


In Norway, with very little exception, babies sleep outside in nature. It's a beautiful tradition which has stood the test of time, and which I first adopted on our first trip to Norway as parents back in 2011, when Ava was just nine weeks old.  I was a new Mama... still in the overwhelmed stage but definitely out of the initial "shock to the system - life is changed forever" phase. I was eager to learn and very aware of my own cluelessness and was desperate to do a "good job". I read every book I could get my hands on, devoured motherhood blogs and podcasts and soaked in conversations with more seasoned mothers than myself.

So when I rocked up in Norway, and friends and family began encouraging me with all the benefits of outdoor napping, I bundled my 9 week old baby up, laid her in her pram, put the raincover over her and parked her outside the kitchen window in the drizzle!

I must have checked her every few minutes, and stayed put at that kitchen table the whole time... but she slept for an astounding 3 hours solid in the daytime, and that was it. I was sold!

We've never looked back.

Over the years, our children have slept outside in both pouring rain, icy temperatures and brilliant sunshine - they haven't slept in snow, but only because I haven't had a baby on the rare occasions we've had snow here! The only weather I would stop short at is any kind of storm (you Scandinavians can tell me whether that's a universal rule? Or whether people actually do that?!)

Our little Annika has joined the club!

The benefits of outdoor napping are well documented - babies who sleep outdoors generally sleep more soundly and for longer, the exposure to varying temperatures and fresh air is building their immune system while they soak in that vitamin D. It's also incredible for emotional and mental well-being (we adults can attest to that!) I love watching Annika breathing in the fresh air, being lulled to sleep by rustling leaves as she watches the clouds go by. She will sometimes complain if I put her down for a nap in her Moses basket (I still insist she has one nap a day indoors because I do want her to be able to sleep inside!), but she never complains if she's outside - those big blue eyes just watch the sky as the blinks become slower and more heavy as she drifts off.

This year, as a family, we are joining in with "1000 hours outdoors" - Annika is racking up the hours with all her outdoor naps!

Its been a gift for me too - after being cooped up for so long recovering, its encouraging me to be out more too!

But let's be honest, as far as Annika's concerned? There's only one real motivation in the outdoor sleeping - its the only way a girl's going to get some peace and quiet in a house as busy as ours!

Some notes if you're considering it...
- Layer well - in the cold weather, multiple layers, and a warm hat which ties up under the chin and gloves are must haves. I use an all in one pram suit and a blanket, in colder weather, I'll put a sleeping bag over the pram suit as well. In warmer weather, you can begin to lighten the layers.
- Obvious but needs to be said - never leave a baby unaccompanied. Always be within direct view of the baby in the pram.
- Park up against a window so you have a good view.
- Consider using a lambskin/sheepskin under the baby to regulate temperature.

Lastly - special shout out to my Mother-in-law Magni, who's birthday it is today, and who first encouraged me to park my first baby outside in the rain! We've been outdoor napping ever since! Happy Birthday Magni!


  1. Great pictures!!

  2. My mum napped us outdoors as children sometimes. But when I was visiting England with my son aged 18mo and I napped him in a buggy and left him just outside the open window of the nursing home I was visiting I had staff/residents complain about leaving him unattended. 🙄

  3. Claire Robertson14 March 2024 at 21:50

    Yes both my girls always napped outside, as did I when I was in a pram!! Could put them in awake and they would soon nod off watching the clouds / birds etc and I could sit on my little table with a coffee not far away!! Happy days 🥰

  4. Absolutely I used to put them in the pram outside wrapped warmly in winter loosely in the shade in summer, they slept well

  5. I was apparently often put in the outdoors to nap and I still have a window open when I sleep no matter what the weather conditions . Jonathan napped outside whenever it was safe to do so as well

  6. I don't know if I slept inside or not, but my boys both slept outside when it was possible. I didn't have a car or a washing machine, so frequent trips out were absolutely necessary.

  7. Slept outside in my pram alot as a baby, but in Zimbabwe, so did Emi except for when it rained. Nice to see it being done still. Fresh air is the best 🙂

  8. My lads always got put outside for naps.We lived in Northumberland so it could be a bit "bracing " at times but they were always well wrapped up They always seemed to like being underneath trees best of all. Perhaps they watched the branches swaying?This was about 45 years ago.

  9. My mum used to put us outside a lot to nap as babies, in the big silver cross pram she had x

  10. We were put outside to nap and so were / are my children


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