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Norway: Fresh Air Is Always Good

Growing up in Norway, kids spend A LOT of time outside. Before I came to the US I thought everybody had their babies nap outside, or that daycare meant spending at least half the day outside. When my friends acted shocked, I realized this was not the case!

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Yes, Norwegians put their babies outside to sleep during the day. In all kinds of weather. The idea is that the fresh air is good for the child. So you put the baby in a pram, with some light wool clothes and a hat, and tuck him or her into a warm sheepskin or down sleeping bag. ALL YEAR ROUND. My sister and I have both worked at daycares and it is kind of funny that naptime means putting all the little ones outside!

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In Norway we have a saying that goes "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes," meaning that we should never worry about the weather, just make sure we are prepared for it...

Oh, and this reminds me of the Danish lady who was charged with child neclect in New York City for leaving her child in a baby pram outside a restaurant. We find that totally normal!

Comments (7)

Anne:

That's so interesting. I do think we've gotten carried away in the overprotection racket here in Canada/USA. But what I really want to know is...where can I get one of those comfy cosy sheepskin bags for myself??!

I also find that very interesting! I remember thinking it was strange when kids went out to recess in the rain when I taught in Washington (State).

What was the view on going outside in the cold with wet hair?

Jill:

As Anne said, we're such worrywarts in the US and Canada. Your post reminds me of how overboard we go about germs. I'm always telling my coworker that she gets sick so much because she is obsessive about avoiding cooties. She needs to build up some immunity!

The more I read your blog, the more I think that Norwegians are just very wise people. I know my grandmother was always so worried about us playing outdoors in cold weather...where did that fear come from?

Anne, I have never seen the sheepskin sleeping bags for adults! Although I guess it you could make a bag out of sheepskins?

About playing in cold weather: Norwegian papers like to refer this study where it is proven that sitting around in a wet bathing suit does not give you a cold, or pneumonia... Germs do!

Kim:

Go Norway! I've always said fresh air is good for what ails you. Sometimes I open the windows in winter, just to get the fresh air. Oh, and I credit lots of fresh air for getting my babies sleeping through the night - both did when we were at the beach and spent way more time outside.

I love sleeping in cold rooms too, with a nice fluffy comforter. I have a thing against central heat because I hate having all room the same temperature. I want a really warm bathroom, a warm living room, and a cool bedroom!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 27, 2008 8:56 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Proper Dish Washing Rules: For Girasoli.

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