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Sub-zero Snooze Time for Your Baby?

June 23, 2014

Sub-zero Snooze Time for Your Baby?

With winter set in, it is difficult to imagine anybody being able to sleep in the freezing cold, but in Sweden babies regularly are put outside to sleep at temperatures as low as minus 10º! In fact it is nothing out of the ordinary for parents to leave their babies to sleep in their prams outside in the cold while their parents pop into a coffee shops or go on errands! And it isn't just parents who do this - nursery schools also ensure that babies under the age of three nap outside in the cold during the day!

This might sound crazy to you and I who more than likely wouldn't even be caught dead outside if the temperature dropped that low, but in Sweden letting your baby nap outside during the day in winter has become a tradition that stretches back more than five decades and is showing surprising health benefits! Before you think that the Swedes are murderous babies haters who feel nothing leaving their offspring exposed to the elements, the baby's pram and blankets are specially designed to keep the baby warm even when the temperature drops down to -30º! The babies are wrapped in wool clothing inside a warm sleeping bag and a blanket if the temperature drops below -10º.

The Swedes are massive nature lovers with many living only a few kilometers from a lake or a forest where they often spend a lot of the summer months and as outdoor enthusiasts many believe that getting plenty of fresh air is healthy and a great way to avoid colds and flu.

The tradition is not only in Sweden - it seems that many parents in the Nordic countries believe that allowing their babies to sleep outside not only helps them to avoid diseases, but also allows the babies to sleep longer and better - and studies are backing them up. It seems that babies who had their daily naps outside napped for almost 50% longer than babies who napped inside and pre-schoolers who as babies napped outside missed far less days from school for sickness.

What do you think about this tradition? Would you be ok with leaving you baby to sleep out in the cold? Or would you prefer to be inside wrapped up in super warm and in a comfortable cot?

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