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In the US, leaving your baby outside in sub-zero weather can get you in trouble.
However, Denmark, Scandinavia, and other Nordic countries are different. There are even harsher temperatures, down to -10 degrees Celsius and -20 degrees Celsius.
The babies in prams with a baby monitor sleep outside in Denmark while their parents worked. It is believed that this practice helps babies become adapted to the cold weather and acclimatizes them to the outdoors.
They are exposed to sunlight, fresh air, and the natural environment which are beneficial for a baby’s health and development. Sleeping outside also helps to strengthen the baby's immune system, prevent allergies and colds, and make them sleep better.
According to sleep experts, outdoor sleeping exposes babies to natural sunlight, which is beneficial to their physical and mental development. Getting enough sunlight during the day can assist the baby's circadian rhythm and will promote better sleep. Additionally, the natural outdoor environment is important for babies to learn and explore their surroundings.
The practice of leaving babies to sleep outside is in line with the friluftsliv philosophy. It's a way of living without harming or destroying nature. They want to instill the philosophy right from the early stage of life.
Parents will often take their children out to sleep in their strollers during the day and will bring them inside during the night. Proper clothing for babies is vital. The babies are dressed in woolens and warmer including head and limbs covered.
Preschools with indoor facilities generally have large courtyard areas so that babies can spend time outside in the sun rather than indoors devoid of fresh air and bright sunlight.
Is it Risky?
These countries are relatively way safer than most countries. The parents feel safe leaving their newborns outside without any fear. They can sit in a restaurant or stroll around without the fear of any unpleasant incidents. As per statistics released by the ministry of family affairs and senior citizens Denmark, the number of abduction cases has been limited to two digits a year after.
There is always a chance of developing hypothermia when temperatures are below freezing points. Babies are more vulnerable than adults, so parents need to keep an eye on them and dress them right.
However, these risks are never greater than the benefits that babies get from spending time outdoors.