Moms Let Babies Nap Outside in Sub-Zero Temperatures -- Because It's Good for Them

Say What!? 59

baby in strollerAfter hearing about Nordic moms who place their babies outside in sub-zero temperatures to nap -- I couldn't help but want to reach for a sweater or blanket. I mean, the idea of putting your baby in his stroller and then wheeling it onto your patio, balcony, or outside of the coffee shop where you're enjoying a beverage break when it's absolutely freezing outside (-5°C) just seems so nuts and inhumane -- but believe it or not, it's the norm for moms in Sweden.

Sure, the babies are bundled up well and all, but still -- they're napping outside instead of being all snug and cozy in their cribs, which really seems downright strange.

But then I heard their explanation for putting their little ones outside to nap, and it actually makes quite a bit of sense.

Their theory is pretty simple -- babies who are exposed to fresh air are less likely to get sick, because they aren't cooped up inside with a bunch of other kids.

Huh. They definitely have a point. If you've so much as set foot inside a day care or school during cold and flu season, you know what a cesspool those places can be. Somehow I'm guessing babies encounter a lot less germs when they take their naps outside instead of being inside breathing in other people's sneezes.

But still -- think about it for a second. Can you honestly imagine leaving your baby's stroller outside in frigid temperatures for an hour or two at a time? Even if you bundled up the baby really well, don't you think you'd feel so guilty about leaving him out in the cold?

I know I would. Heck, a few weeks ago, temperatures got down into the teens, and I made my little guy wear snow pants at the bus stop -- and that was only for about five minutes or so. I certainly wouldn't stick him outside in a stroller for that long, let alone hours at a time!

Of course, I guess it's all in what you're used to. (Translation -- I'm not judging Swedish moms for letting their babies nap outside. I'm only saying I wouldn't do it.)

And I'm sure there are plenty of things American moms do with our babies that moms from other countries can't conceive of doing too. Most of these moms were probably also placed outside to nap when they were babies, so it's only natural that they would parent their children the same way.

Doesn't every culture do what they're used to?

To each his own, I guess. But if I ever have another baby, he's napping inside. Or at least not in the winter time. (Spring and summer are another story.)

Would you ever put your baby outside to nap?


Image via Daquella manera/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Mynameis

A common cure for croup is to open the window at night when your baby is sleeping. Bundle them up of course. The cold, dry air is supposed to be good for them. I've never tried it but others swear by it.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

'Snug and cozy in a crib' sounds like just as foreign of a concept to me!! We co sleep, and now I feel like a crib is just a cage for lazy parents. Even though a year ago I bought one fully intending on using it... To each their own I suppose! It seems the kids are healthy. My 1 year old takes 1-2 naps outside per day down to the mid 20's but he's tucked in on my back while I work. I can't imagine so young or not watching them closely in the cold!

nonmember avatar Kristi

I live in Fairbanks, my sons school will go out and play as long as it's above -20. When you live in the cold you have to make the choice to deal with it or stay inside for the rest of your life. These moms have been doing this same thing for hundreds of years, just because it's odd to you doesn't make it wrong.

douxm... douxmusique

Lmbo! A cage for lazy parents! Hahahahahahaha yeah. No. Someone thinks highly of their choices.

SaphireH SaphireH

i have had to do the cold air for croup twice now this year already alone for my 14 month old, but ive done it in the car bundled up with the window cracked on the way to his dads work to get dad and then i willing stand out side with him wrapped up in the blankets and his coat and hat as we wait for his dad to get off work and it has helped him a lot. i hadnt delt with croup until him my 7 and 4 yr olds never got it so i had no clue what to do but thankfully my husbands sister knew what to do so she gave me a laundry list of things to do for him and it all helped

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

Shocked! I managed to offend someone. Like I said, to each their own. I wasn't trying to make this an argument about cribs. The point i was trying to make is while some might think a baby sleeping in freezing temps is the devil, for me it's a crib that I think is insane.... Stark difference from the parenting choices I had planned to make.

Cathinka Norløff-Mathisen

My parents are Norwegian, and I've lived most of my life in Norway, but I was born in Utah. My parents friends there thougt they were crazy actually taking a baby outside at all during winter.

nonmember avatar Thinker

With a two year state paid maternity leave, I don't see why these Swedish moms are worried about daycare germs. They don't have to put their kids in daycare because they get to be there. I do think the idea of fresh air is a good one but if you're on maternity leave at home for the first two years with your baby - what other kids germs are they exposed to?

calil... calilove33

Just because their kids aren't in day care doesn't mean they live in a bubble. And they also don't all stay home and use all their time off right away.

lobus lobus

I used to live in Alaska and you just simply go crazy indoors for 8 months out of the year when its freezing. So yes I would bundle up my baby and take him out and stroll our butts around on the ice and in the snow. And he would sleep sooooo good. You need fresh air no matter how cold.

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