Leaving babies outside may seem strange or even dangerous in many cultures, but it is a common practice in Norway. In fact, it is so commonplace that many daycare centers and preschools in Norway leave children outside to nap, play, or even eat their meals. Here are some reasons why Norwegians leave their babies outside and the benefits of this practice.
Tradition and Culture
Leaving babies outside is a long-standing tradition in Norway. It is a common practice that dates back to the 1930s when the Norwegian Society for the Protection of Children recommended that children be left outside to nap in the fresh air. This tradition has been passed down from generation to generation, and many Norwegians view it as an important part of their culture.
Fresh Air and Nature
One of the main reasons why Norwegians leave their babies outside is to expose them to fresh air and nature. Norwegians believe that fresh air is beneficial for babies’ health and can help prevent illnesses. In addition, being in nature can provide sensory stimulation and promote a sense of calmness and well-being in babies.
Leaving babies outside may seem risky, but Norwegians take safety precautions to ensure that their children are safe. In daycare centers and preschools, children are placed in cribs or strollers that are covered with blankets or tarps to protect them from the elements. The cribs are also placed in a fenced area to prevent animals from entering and to ensure that the children are supervised at all times.
Norwegians believe in fostering independence in children from a young age. By leaving babies outside, parents and caregivers are teaching children to be self-sufficient and to rely on themselves. Children learn to self-soothe and to entertain themselves, which can promote confidence and self-esteem.
Leaving babies outside also provides an opportunity for socialization. In daycare centers and preschools, children are placed in groups outside, which allows them to interact with each other and develop social skills. Children learn to share, communicate, and collaborate with each other, which can be beneficial for their development.
Benefits for Parents
Leaving babies outside can also benefit parents. It provides parents with a break and allows them to attend to other tasks or to simply relax. In addition, it can promote a healthy lifestyle, as parents are encouraged to spend time outside with their children.
Leaving babies outside may seem unconventional, but it is a common practice in Norway with many benefits. It provides children with exposure to fresh air and nature, promotes safety, fosters independence, and provides an opportunity for socialization. It can also benefit parents by providing a break and promoting a healthy lifestyle. While this practice may not be suitable for all cultures or climates, it is an important part of Norwegian culture and tradition.
Want to learn more about
Working and living with Norwegians?
Get the books!
Living with Norwegians is the guide for moving to and surviving Norway.