Why Spending Time Outdoors Can Improve Babies’ Sleep

Welcoming a baby into the world is perhaps one of the most wonderful moments a mother will ever get to experience. But once your newborn goes home with you and settles into their crib, one common concern is their sleep.

In fact, a survey published on Parents Magazine reveals that half of all parents with infants six months or younger only get around three hours a day of uninterrupted rest at most. This presents a number of challenges for new parents, as they try to attain an adequate amount of sleep for both their children and themselves. Although sacrificing sleep for the sake of your child is an admirable act, parents shouldn’t take this basic life necessity for granted. Sleep deprivation can have dangerous effects on your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing, and you can’t expect to be the best possible parent for your children when you aren’t the best version of yourself.

This is why it’s important to remember that putting your precious little one to sleep shouldn’t feel like a chore, as it is a special opportunity for you to develop a closer bond with them during their first few months. In this regard, Emily DeJeu points out that we can take our cue from Nordic mothers, who turned the task of getting their baby to sleep into a fun activity by taking their babies outside. With the proper climate, first-time parents should consider practicing this sleeping strategy for their newborns as it has several benefits for the entire family.

Longer Sleeping Hours

Baby napping in a stroller

Spending time outdoors can serve as a possible solution to your sleep problems. A Finnish study found that children who took outdoor naps in their strollers slept significantly longer compared to those who dozed off inside. When newborns nap outside, they help their parents clear their minds and restore their strength. The researchers concluded that this sleeping practice works, as it teaches infants to sleep independently. This, in turn, lightens the heavy load that new parents carry and allows them some extra hours to recharge.

However, safety is a key responsibility for parents. If you do choose to follow this advice, it’s important you find a stroller or pushchair that is comfortable and safe for them to nap in. More importantly, the American Academy of Pediatrics considers bassinet-style prams with a firm sleep surface as the most suitable for nap times, as it allows babies to sleep on their back. This is why, the pushchairs featured on iCandy can be easily adjusted from an upright position to support your baby’s sleep, wherever you may be. When choosing a stroller for your child, look for models that are lightweight and compact enough so that you can travel with them to and from the house, while also being sturdy enough to ensure a smooth ride for your baby.

Regulated Sleeping Cycles

Mom helping her baby sleep

With millions of children now exposed to technology throughout the day, it has become a parental duty to remind our children of the unparalleled beauty of the great outdoors. Furthermore, babies can help manage their circadian rhythm when they are exposed to sunshine, according to Dr. Yvonne Harrison. Harrison and her team of researchers from John Moores University found that infants who receive a healthy dose of vitamin D during the day, tend to experience a good night’s rest.

With this in mind, another safety precaution parents must consider is to be wary of how much sun their babies receive when they take a nap outdoors. Due to babies having ultra-sensitive skin, they require an equally gentle SPF formula. Look for sunscreen that only carries physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. A great example of this is Active Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream SPF 30, as it contains chamomile extracts that will help make your precious one’s nap time even more peaceful.

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