We all know that sleep is vital to baby’s development. And without it, they can be little overtired terrors! So what do you do when you’re not going to be at home all day? Is it ok for baby to nap in pram?
Now, I’m sure you’ve probably heard every opinion under the sun about whether pram naps are…
- Safe enough?
- Warm enough?
- Secure enough?
- Or high enough quality of sleep?
And, in fact, there are so many differing opinions out there that simply DO NOT answer the question correctly.
So in this article, I wanted to give you the COMPLETE TRUTH about pram naps from nearly 40 years as a child care professional and mother to ensure you make the most informed decision for YOU and YOUR BABY and no-one else.
Is It Safe For Baby To Sleep In A Stroller?
In short, YES.
Babies sleep best and are safest when lying flat on their backs which means that they can DEFINITELY sleep in a stroller.
For newborns, a bassinet style stroller where they can lie flat is best while older babies can happily and safely fall asleep in reclining strollers for short periods of time too.
How Long Can A Baby Be Asleep In A Pram For?
A baby can sleep quite happily for a couple of hours lying FLAT on their back in a suitably sized pram.
However, if your baby sleeps in a reclining stroller, I would not recommend sleeping in this position for longer than 1 hour.
Daytime Buggy Naps
Taking naps in a buggy is absolutely FINE.
In fact, daytime naps in a buggy will be your saving grace if you have to be out and about for the day.
Bear in mind that the quality of these naps may be less refreshing than one taken in a cot or crib, but this will largely depend on your baby’s personality and what they have been used to. But a nap is better than no nap!
A WORD OF CAUTION: If your baby is only falling asleep while in motion in a stroller or car, you may end up struggling to get your little one to take any naps in a stationary crib. If your baby is doing this, keep reading on to discover how to manage this tricky situation!
Can My Baby Sleep In Pram Carrycot Overnight?
There is no reason why a young baby cannot sleep in a pram or carrycot overnight on the odd occasion (as long as the pram or carrycot is designed for this purpose!)
It is not something I would personally recommend regularly, but if you decide to let your baby sleep in a pram overnight it is important that you check the following:
- Ensure the pram brakes are on
- Ensure the pram or carrycot has openings and good ventilation.
- Ensure the pram/carrycot is situated in a cool room
- Keep your baby close and sleeping in the same room as you, so that you can regularly check their temperature
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Is It OK For Baby To Nap In Pram Outside?
YES. YES. YES.
In many Scandinavian countries, they actively encourage parents to have their babies sleep in their strollers out in the fresh air during the day and I can see no reason not to do it if you are able to!
During my Norland training, all of our babies took their morning naps in prams outside, neatly lined up near the window where we could keep an eye on them.
If you need to be out and about then having a baby that is happy to nap in their pram is a HUGE bonus. So, don’t be afraid to let your baby nap outside!
7 AMAZING Benefits Of Baby Napping In A Pram
There are many health benefits for both you and your baby by having your little one happy to sleep in a pram. Here are the top 7!
- Babies who nap outdoors in a pram often sleep longer.
- Babies who get used to napping in a pram can nap anywhere as they get older.
- Babies who can nap in their pram will give you more flexibility.
- Babies who nap in their pram outdoors have more exposure to nature and look up at the sky and trees whilst falling asleep and when they wake.
- Sleeping outside results in babies having fewer colds.
- Babies who nap outside in a pram will typically want to spend more time outdoors as they get older.
- Pram naps will help your baby grow up to be a very flexible and adaptive sleeper.
Pram Vs Cot – Which Is Best For Naps?
So, when it comes to pram vs cot, which is best for baby’s naps?
Well, I would say that cots and cribs are best for nighttime sleep, BUT both cots AND prams are great for baby’s naps! Just remember to mix up naps in a pram and cot to raise a versatile sleeper.
Most newborns are able to sleep pretty much anywhere for the first few weeks of life. And I have found that if you encourage your baby to sleep in multiple locations during the day from day one, then the nap freedom you experience is hugely beneficial to both parent and baby down the line.
TOP TIP: When it comes to daytime naps and allowing your baby to fall asleep in locations other than their cot it will make your life a lot easier, less stressful and healthier too.
A lot will depend on the type of pram that you have and the age of your baby. A large coach pram, for instance, can be used for daytime sleep up until your baby is a year old or more, while a smaller pram will probably not be suitable for daytime naps beyond 6 months.
To discover my top picks for prams, be sure to head over to my Parenting Toolbox! Only the best products and all handpicked by me to ensure you’re getting the best possible expert-approved products for your baby!
Do I Have To Track Baby’s Pram Naps?
YES. It is still very important to keep an eye on the total amount of sleep your baby has had in a day regardless of whether they have slept in a pram or cot.
Sleep breeds sleep and a lack of sleep during the daytime is very likely to lead to overtiredness and impact on nighttime sleep. Check out my post “Why Do Babies Fight Sleep” to learn the 16 top tricks to get baby’s sleep back on track!
TOP TIP: If you feel your baby has not had enough sleep for their morning nap whilst out then you need to make sure they take a good afternoon nap in their crib to balance things out.
How Can You Get Your Baby To Nap In A Pram?
As not all naps can be taken in a cot or crib, it will make your life a lot easier if your baby is also able to sleep on the go on occasion.
The easiest way to get your baby to nap in a pram is to start early on. Here are 5 of my top tips to get you on track to pram naps!
- Take your baby out for walks in their pram and the natural motion of the pram will help them to doze off.
- Ensure your baby is dressed appropriately for the weather and that you have either waterproof coverings or sun shades for the pram depending on the time of year.
- It is a good idea to put your baby down for a nap in their pram indoors first so that they get used to the feeling of sleeping in the pram.
- Settle your baby in the pram the same way that you would for a cot or crib nap so that your baby knows sleep time is coming up.
- Darken the pram or stroller by draping a blanket over the pram hood, but ensuring that there is enough air ventilation to prevent your little one from getting too hot can also help your baby settle. Just remember that daylight and fresh air are great benefits of sleeping outside so only cover your baby’s stroller when it’s absolutely necessary.
My Baby Only Naps In A Stroller, Is This OK?
So… as I briefly mentioned earlier if your baby is only napping in their stroller it is probably because they can only settle when they are in motion and this can make settling them in a cot harder.
The downside of your little one only having stroller naps is that the quality of sleep is likely not good enough to avoid overtiredness. This can end up on a downward spiral of being unable to settle and sleep well at night as a result.
If your baby is resisting nap time in their crib, you will need to help them learn how to settle without being rocked or in motion.
For tips and guidance on how to help your baby to settle in a cot or crib read my post Help! Baby Won’t Sleep Unless Held! because, to your baby, a moving pram or stroller is exactly like being rocked to sleep whilst being held.
If you’re still struggling with a baby who will only nap when in motion, drop me an email at [email protected] and I will do everything I can to help you out!
Is It OK For Baby To Nap In Pram CONCLUSION
So, as you can see there are pros and cons to having your baby sleep in a pram.
But for me, the pros of pram sleeping FAR outweigh the cons!
A baby that is adaptable and can nap in different locations is what you are aiming for. And ensuring that your baby has had the required amount of daytime sleep regardless of where it is taken is the main goal.
Therefore, get out there and enjoy those moments in the fresh air and encourage your baby to nap in their pram!
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And as I mentioned in this post, if you’re looking for products for your little one and you’re not sure where to begin, be sure to check out my Parenting Toolbox.
It is full of all my favourite products which I’ve tried to ensure are all non-toxic, eco friendly, sustainable and, of course, they’re all baby proof!
Do you have any blog recommendations that you’d like me to write about? Drop me an email [email protected] and let me know! I love hearing from you!
Thank you for your continued support and until next time, Happy Parenting!
Paula McLarenPaul Mclaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and has been in the child care industry as a Norland Nanny since 1982. Since then, her mission has been to help parents become the best they can possibly be. And each year, she continues to help more families understand their child's development, the trials and joys of parenting and of course, how to care for their little ones.
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