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Why Norwegian Parents Let Their Kids Nap In Below-Freezing Temperatures

If the parenting info you’ve gleaned from watching (sorry, researching) superhero movies is correct, then you know a couple of things to be true. First, your kid will end up being an alcoholic flying-suit genius if you happen to be an alcoholic billionaire. (Whew, safe there.) Second, Norwegians only produce mythical flaxen-haired gods for offspring. How? Freezing naps, apparently.

In Norway and most other Scandinavian countries, children nap in the outdoors starting as young as two weeks old. But they’re not simply basking in a sunbeam on a mild summer afternoon. These kids are parked in prams on busy city sidewalks and terraces in all weather, including days as cold as -4, for up to 3 hours.

There is actually some pretty solid reasoning behind this practice. According to some Thor-ough research by Marjo Tourula of the University of Oulu, Finland, frigid napping not only promotes better daytime sleeping, it increases the duration of sleep. More subjectively, parents felt that napping in the fresh air promoted health in their infants, particularly considering the alternative of being inside with up to 30 other children in state-run daycares where the al fresco napping is the norm.

Norwegians only produce mythical flaxen-haired gods for offspring. How? Freezing naps, apparently.

Other benefits, not yet borne out by research, purportedly include children being happier, more energetic, able to sleep better through the night, and capable of snoozing in any environment, even loud and bright.

Before you go hucking your kid outside this winter, understand that Scandinavian parents have been arrested for the practice in the U.S. Also, these kids are equipped with weather-appropriate bundling and sophisticated baby monitors for safety.

So, while it’s unlikely you’ll be able to grow an Asgardian wonder by leaving your kiddo out for the night, it’s good to know there’s always an option to move to northern Europe, where they really seem to have this parenting thing down.