Well you learn a new thing everyday!


Did you know that’s it’s typical for Nordic babies to nap out in the open air, even in winter, even alone, outside cafes and shops? Well we have to say it’s a new one for us, and we’ve found ourselves fascinated by unique ways different cultures approach parenting.


It was brought to our attention when media personality Jess Rowe spotted a lone pram outside a restaurant in Iceland with a baby napping peacefully inside. She posted an image of the pram on Instagram with the accompanying caption: “For a helicopter parent like me – this makes me break out into a sweat! But all over Reykjavik families leave their babies outside cafes, shops etc... I'm told ‘fresh air is good for them’.


And no, this isn’t a new thing. Traditionally parents in Nordic countries put their babies outside to sleep, even in sub-zero temperatures. In fact, it’s not unusual to see prams lining the snowy streets as babies grab some shut-eye. And in Iceland it’s such a big thing that many parents even keep a pram on their balconies especially for outdoor napping.



The practice is said to go back to when air circulation was poor in Icelandic homes due to overcrowding and cooking, and parents found the fresh air helped their babies sleep better and for longer, as well as when worry was rife about infectious diseases when a tuberculosis epidemic arrived at the start of the 20th century.


And with its incredibly low crime rate, Icelanders are confident about letting their babies sleep alone outside coffee shops, something which sadly would make us break out in a sweat, whatever the weather!


“I think it's good for them to be in the fresh air as soon as possible," mum-of-three Lisa Mardon from Stockholm in Sweden told BBC News. “Especially in the winter when there's lots of diseases going around... the kids seem healthier.”



Lisa’s mum and dad before her were also put outside to nap when they were kids, with her dad saying he was only brought in when the temperature dropped to minus 10. Crazy!


“I was in no way criticising,” Jess Rowe was keen to point out about her Instagram share. “The pic I took was meant to be an observation of a tradition which a number of locals had explained to me. Apologies if it offended you in any way... I had a wonderful time in Iceland.”


Well despite the fact it seems crazy to us, we reckon the practice must be doing something right – Icelanders live to an average age of 82, more than 10 years the international average!


What do you think of this practice mums? We’d love to hear your opinion!


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