Would you stick your kid in a stroller when it’s 25 degrees outside, and leave them outdoors for their afternoon nap? Believe it or not, parents in Norway and Sweden do that every day! In fact, most parents gradually start leaving their kids outside for naptime at about 2 weeks old.
In the Nordic countries, it’s common to see strollers with sleeping children outside coffee shops while their parents are inside, or lined up in the snow outside daycare centers. At one pre-school in Stockholm, all the kids nap and play outside from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In fact, the only time they’re inside is for meals and potty breaks.
That’s because parents firmly believe that fresh air is good for children. and that kids who play and nap outside – no matter how cold it is - are much less likely to catch colds or coughs - that’s compared to kids stuck inside, where germs can spread like wildfire. And several studies back them up.
Research also shows that children napping outdoors tend to sleep longer and better. At one daycare center in Norway, indoor naps last about an hour, while babies napping outdoors sleep twice as long! Experts believe it’s because swaddling them in warm blankets restricts a child’s movements, so they don’t get restless and wake themselves up, while the cold air keeps their body temperature down, which promotes sleep.
According to one doctor’s research, 23 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for an outdoor nap. But experts emphasize that warm clothing is crucial - meaning wool clothing, plenty of blankets, and even down sleeping-sacks. And they firmly believe in the old Swedish saying: “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.”
What do you think? Would you consider letting your baby snooze outside in freezing weather? Weigh in at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.