Different view of things

Saturday we had lunch in a restaurant and we did as we always do when a kid sleeps in the stroller. We let them finish their nap outside the café. This made me think of a post from American blogger A Cup of Jo- when she brought this Scandinavian habit up in her blog.
Jenny was interviewed and took all the images for this great Cup of Jo post.

It is really a great read- an forall the more than 280 comments about it. Comments like “it’s great to let kids sleep” outside to “what a crazy idea” Naturally we always sit so we can see the kids, it’s not like we go shopping for an half hour just leaving them outside. But it is also so interesting what fear do to us. And what different cultures, habits and parenting influences us.

So how much do you let you kids run, hang, sleep wild and what are your thoughts about this?

Some answers- further explanations. I am going to answer your comments here:
First – Oh so good to listen to what you all are thinking!
Of course they let the kids and strollers inside moste of the times and the same thing is true for shops – some cafe/restos don’t aloud the strollers simply cause it get too crowded inside but the kids are always welcomed. Since we Swedes walk pretty much everywhere – there are a lot of strollers about. And also we have a very long maternity leave – we get paid from the state to be at home for at least 13 months! So there are a lot of parents around with small kids in strollers.
I think that probably since we live in a cold country it becomes too hot for the children when we roll the stroller inside. (All like Anna said in the comments). The kids have so much clothes on and they wake up alot when you roll them inside and try to take off some of their clothes. And I think that a common Swedish perspective is that they sleep better outside. Just like grown ups sleeps better in a cold bedroom. We even have daycare centers who rolls out strollers or even put out beds for the kids to nap in during the day- every day in good and bad weather. What was interesting though was that I asked my mother in law about this and  she didn’t realized we did it. So now I have to research when and why this started. I’ll get back! Thanks


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

March 13, 2012 at 01:23

I remember hearing about this years ago on Oprah and thinking it was brilliant that it was a normal practice in some cultures. My kids have always fallen asleep as we walk around, but it’s not a ‘normal’ thing to leave them outside in a public place where I live…so I’ll just leave them to sleep like that at home instead. I have french doors right by where I sit to work so it’s perfect. They really do love it. I’d get into a lot of trouble with the law if I chose to do this in public.

March 13, 2012 at 07:59

My kids sleep when they can, where they can.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/-dRbBQIhVICI/T1tBwz5ehiI/AAAAAAAAGuM/_qEIrgq2mL4/s0/DSC03148.jpg (youngest son napping while shopping).

:-) I’m lucky to be living here where it is OK to leave them sleeping safely outside. Though I’m not so fond of the city (Stockholm) so when they were at that age when sleep was happening for longer periods of time every day I tended to leave them outside a window at home, outside friend’s houses or outside local cafés where we live.
I think there are more loonies around in Stockolm, but far worse is the amount of pollution around the streets there (I know I’m over-sensitive). I mostly stayed out of the city the first year of their lives. :-)

March 13, 2012 at 09:38

Oh, please, let them sleep. I always did that, but of course not next to a busy street crossing, and always where I could see the stroller and be there quick. But I always thought, that it was so cruel to wake a sleeping child. And of course I liked the moments of peace, too :-) But I know, that that’s not for everyone. I have friends here to visit and we would walk and the baby would sleep. We would get to our house and the first thing they’d do is wake the baby to take the jacket off or something like that. You know, we have a garden, a terrace, a big window, the kid can sleep, and nothing’s going to happen. Enjoy the peace and let them enjoy it, too. Let them sleep :-)

March 13, 2012 at 12:38

I grew up in Norway and live in Copenhagen with two small kids. They both slept outside (the youngest still does), every day, unless they were sick or it’s really cold or foggy (bad for the airways) – but I’ve never left them in a public place. Ever. I’m far too anxious about crazy people or something else happening to them. But in our garden or anyone else’s garden is good :)

March 13, 2012 at 12:45

Why not bringing the child inside with you in his/her stroller while he/she sleeps? Not waking him up or anything, no, let him sleep!, but nice, cozy and warm inside with the parents ;-)
We do it all the time, going outside with the children. And we have not only one, but 2 strollers, and two children who sleep a looooooot: the boy, 2 years old, needs 3 hours of nap after lunch and our baby girl, 9 months old, still sleeps 3 times a day!
I’m Spanish, married to a Belgian guy, we live in Ghent, Belgium, and we love going to the street, it is in our genes, and we do it a lot, when it rains (and here, believe me, that happens quite often), when it is cold, windy and, yes, sunny.
But I’d never leave them alone on the street while we’re having a beer or a coffee somewhere inside, they come inside with us. We don’t wake them up to remove their coats or anything like that. And, no, they don’t wake up with the noise of the café or so, the are children, they sleep almost everywhere!(and now that smoking is forbidden inside bars, it is so great to take our children with us, not having to choose between staying at home or going to a bar on our own or with friends: we have to take advantage of this)
I read the explanation at “A cup of Jo”-blog, but still, it must be cultural, because I’m a bit shocked: why is it that you guys do it?
As Birgitta says, yes, let them sleep, but inside the café ;-)

March 13, 2012 at 14:01

This practice amazes me. Just to be clear, I’m not horrified, only amazed.

In Uruguay kids only sleep inside. The exception would be if the kid is going from A to B and falls asleep in between, but once the destination is reached… well, nobody would let him or her “a la intemperie” (outdoors). Unless the weather is over 20ºC, but not even then… it’s just cultural practice I guess.

I wonder if this makes people more resilient to cold.

March 13, 2012 at 18:31

The two reasons for leaving them outside is a) it is sometimes so cold outside that they would indeed wake up angry and bathing in sweat if brought inside because of all the clothes we have to put on before bringing them out and b) mainly because so many cafés, restaurants and shops simply do not allow strollers of any kind inside.

Also, fresh air is good for anybody so that would be the reason for snuggling them up in good warm clothes and actually taking them outside for a nap even when you are at home. At least that’s a common beliefe over here. :-)

March 14, 2012 at 14:06

Really? Don’t they let strollers inside? I get the idea of the fresh air, and kind of share it (except it is toooo cold or rainy or something like that) but, uf, not letting strollers inside cafés (what about shops?) I find it a bit too much ;-(
Definitely, cultural differences, there is so much to learn from the others, fascinating.

March 14, 2012 at 20:41

And WHY don´t you like images of food?
I liked the Burgois-image of he wall!

Isabelle: I don’t know it’s simply isn’t as good looking at food as eating it. Yes in a lovely cook book maybe but all of you posting food on twitter and instagram – I don’t get it – what schould I do with that info?

March 15, 2012 at 10:51

In Copenhagen, it’s extremely rare to find a cafe that allows strollers inside. They get pretty cranky if you ask, too. Many do not allow breastfeeding, either (which angers me a lot more than the stroller thing). I completely fell in love with Berlin when we went there with our oldest and the fact that everyone were so accommodating to both kids and parents as well as the stroller was a huge part of it :)

March 17, 2012 at 22:21

So interesting, great reading this post and all the comments and the different practices across the world. I live in the UK and I think it used to be a lot more usual to leave babies outside to sleep or sit in their prams and get fresh air. Also you would get left outside shops in a pram or pushchair, mainly because there just wasn’t room inside.
Not common now though, there doesn’t seem to be the practise of putting babies outside to sleep. My kids only slept outside if they fell asleep in the buggy/stroller while we were out walking or shopping and then they wouldn’t be left outside. Everyone goes into cafes with buggies. I recon it would be unheard of now to leave your kids outside, certainly in a city.