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Babies napping outside in the cold in Sweden

Babies sleep

Helena Lee
post 31.Jan.2013, 09:58 PM
Post #1
Joined: 31.Jan.2013

I am a reporter for BBC News in London.

I am researching a piece for our online department about babies in Sweden taking naps outside even when it is cold.

My sister-in-law is actually Swedish and lives in Stockholm and that is how I got to learn about this.

I'm not sure if anyone can tell me what is the recommendation to new parents when it comes to their children sleeping outside for their naps.

- Is this common in Sweden?
- Why are parents encouraged to put their children outside?
- How cold can it be ? What temperature is considered too cold?
- How long has children taking naps in the cold outside been going on? A hundred years or more?
- Why is it considered good for the baby to be out in the cold air?
- Is there any actual evidence that it is good for the child? Perhaps they suffer less from colds?

I would be so grateful if you could answer these questions for me as soon as possible. If you aren't able to do you know of a nursery in Stockholm that may be able to help answer my questions?

Thanks in advance
Best wishes
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NataBee
post 31.Jan.2013, 10:33 PM
Post #2
Joined: 29.Jul.2010

I found these articles on the the internet, hope they're for a start, if you haven't seen them yet:

Parenting tip #3 - Babies sleep better in the cold
Sweden
Let Your Baby Sleep Outside – Surprising parenting wisdom from Denmark

It is even stated here on sweden.se, so I guess it's pretty common:
Swedish preschool
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 31.Jan.2013, 10:42 PM
Post #3
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

This subject has been discussed here before because of an incident in NYC where visitors left their baby outside and got in trouble with the law...I think there was a fine...only...they were allowed to keep their child laugh.gif because it is/was common practice in Sweden...
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tuborgian
post 31.Jan.2013, 10:51 PM
Post #4
Joined: 1.Jul.2011

I thought it was more a finnish thing. Anyway it makes sense in the winter. These babies are wrapped up so much that they'd bounce if dropped to cope with the coldest temperature that they'll encounter that day. To take them from minus temperatures into about 20 degrees inside while they are sleeping would run the risk of overheating. And you don't want to wake a sleeping baby to take the many layers off! I don't know if that is the reason, but it makes sense to leave them outside.
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Migga
post 31.Jan.2013, 10:54 PM
Post #5
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

Àccording to a study in Finland it`s good for the babies sleep;

http://yle.fi/uutiset/study_babies_sleep_b...o_temps/5462352
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&a...41642243,d.bGE
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NataBee
post 1.Feb.2013, 12:22 AM
Post #6
Joined: 29.Jul.2010

I also thought that it's not that there's *something* mysterious in the cold airrrrr that is particularly magically good for babies. I thought it's simply a practice that introduces the babies' bodies to the cold environment (in which they will pretty much grow up and live all their lives); and bringing them from outside straight to the warm environment inside will give them a shock, which causes sickness.
So it quite makes sense.
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007
post 1.Feb.2013, 12:44 AM
Post #7
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Apr.2006

i can't speak of all of sweden, my experience is only in stockholm
QUOTE (Helena Lee @ 31.Jan.2013, 10:58 PM) *
- Is this common in Sweden?

it isn't common or uncommon. it happens.

QUOTE (Helena Lee @ 31.Jan.2013, 10:58 PM) *
are parents encouraged to put their children outside?

no one ever encouraged me, never heard of anyone being encouraged. have heard from some people that they thought their children slept well, but it was more because they were at the end of a walk and the baby was still in the pram.

QUOTE (Helena Lee @ 31.Jan.2013, 10:58 PM) *
cold can it be ? What temperature is considered too cold?

i have left my own children out below freezing, but not significantly below. maybe -5 max. i would imagine any temperature you would walk a baby in would be a temperature you could leave a baby out in (same thing, walking as not walking)
-
QUOTE (Helena Lee @ 31.Jan.2013, 10:58 PM) *
long has children taking naps in the cold outside been going on? A hundred years or more?

i would imagine that as long as there have been prams or a practical need (working in fields)
-
QUOTE (Helena Lee @ 31.Jan.2013, 10:58 PM) *
why is it considered good for the baby to be out in the cold air?

i have never been told by anyone they considered it anything good (or bad) for the baby.
QUOTE (Helena Lee @ 31.Jan.2013, 10:58 PM) *
Is there any actual evidence that it is good for the child? Perhaps they suffer less from colds?

i know that older children are encouraged to play outside as much as possible because they are less often ill not being in close quarters to spread disease.
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 1.Feb.2013, 01:05 AM
Post #8
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

I am looking forward to the masterpiece the BBC will deliver after researching The Local.
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 1.Feb.2013, 01:12 AM
Post #9
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

laugh.gif
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skogsbo
post 1.Feb.2013, 07:49 AM
Post #10
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

The difference is to understand that kids in Sweden are dressed properly, unlike the UK. There is no difference between a baby sleeping in it's buggy outside, compared to taking them in the buggy shopping. When you are out in the UK, look around at the number of kids in buggies without hats, gloves, a blanket, a decent coat, yet they are sitting still not generating any heat.. or they sit on the bare canvas of the buggy, so their bums are -2 !!

We were in the UK in early december just gone, snow and ice on the ground, we drove past a local primary school, every kid was out only in their school jumpers, no hats/coats/gloves, supervising them was a teacher in coat,hat,scarf... says it all really.

I'm british and when our kids were babies were living between Sweden and UK, the difference in how well kids are dressed is staggering. We were shopping somewhere in the UK, in winter and the shop assistant said "it so nice to see babies wrapped up properly, most kids aren't", turns out she was Polish, most British parents don't think that way in the Uk she said.

Better to be out in the air, then a germ filled over heated room.
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skogsbo
post 1.Feb.2013, 07:50 AM
Post #11
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

QUOTE (Bender B Rodriquez @ 1.Feb.2013, 01:05 AM) *
I am looking forward to the masterpiece the BBC will deliver after researching The Local.

smile.gif

Swedish parents' torture their kids daily etc...
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skogsbo
post 1.Feb.2013, 07:54 AM
Post #12
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

QUOTE (7 @ 1.Feb.2013, 12:44 AM) *
i would imagine that as long as there have been prams or a practical need (working in fields). -

I don't think it's historical in that sense, as mormor would have been looking after them in that era, but Swedes or Scandinavians in general like to get outside, do sports, or just walk, regardless of the weather.
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Helena Lee
post 1.Feb.2013, 07:56 AM
Post #13
Joined: 31.Jan.2013

Thanks ever so much to those of you who've posted some interesting points. I'm grateful for your initial thoughts. Thanks. Helena
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John.Smith
post 1.Feb.2013, 08:55 AM
Post #14
Location: Sweden
Joined: 12.Sep.2011

We have dome it will all three kids and indeed when my eldest was born (in the Uk) he slept outside in the buggy in Winter. Our neighbours were shocked smile.gif

Here in Sweden, the practice is based on 2 things:

1. Practicality: Swedes love being outside in Winter and a lot of babies are walked in the pram. When Mum/Dad gets back home after the walk the kids is more than likely still asleep. Rather than wake the child it is more practical to leave them in the buggy (obviously wrapped up properly) to snooze.

2. Health: Cold air seems to ensure that the child sleeps well. No idea of the science behind it. however all my 3 kids slept soundly even when suffering bad teething etc... The cold air only hits the lungs and my mother-in-law believes that it reduces risk of asthma and other such ailments... no idea if this is an old wives tale or not??

Thinking about it, it probably makes sense however, sleeping in cold fresh air means no breathing in of bed-mites, dead skin cells, dog hairs or other such allergins. Also it probably slows the childs heart beat etc.. My kids rarely get colds or flu and with the exception of the occasional tummy bug at school/dagis are rarely sick...

Then again, could just be the acceptable practice based on nothing but tradition as well....
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Kaipa
post 1.Feb.2013, 09:29 AM
Post #15
Joined: 16.Mar.2011

Swedish friends defended this practice by claiming it was healthy for children because indoors the air is contanimated with dust, hair, mites etc. and for some reason Swedes seem to be prone to every allergy known to man. God bless 'em !
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