You may be surprised to learn Nordic countries to let their babies take naps outside in the cold during winter. With Idaho winters being especially frigid, it sort of makes us wonder if we should be doing it for our babies, too.

Letting babies sleep in the cold is a centuries-old tradition.

The tradition of letting babies nap outside in cold weather actually dates back to the Viking era in Nordic countries, and it’s still common practice to this day. Parents within the Nordic region believe it strengthens the immune system and helps their babies sleep better.

But parents who practice this tradition know to dress their babies in warm and cozy clothing, and they only leave them outside for short periods at a time. Given how much we love sleeping under a mound of blankets with the windows open during Idaho's coldest months, we can see where Nordic parents are coming from.

Here's why you might not want to leave Idaho babies in the cold...

Research from the National Library of Medicine suggests letting babies nap outside in cold weather may come with several risks.

It's important to understand babies are not mini-adults. Their bodies don’t regulate temperature as well as adults can.This means they’re more susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite, so it's important to take extra precautions if you want to try this with your baby.

Before leaving an Idaho baby outside, parents should make sure their baby is dressed in warm layers and blankets. They should also check on their baby regularly, and bring them inside if they seem at all uncomfortable or upset.

Nordic countries have a different climate than Idaho. What works for them may not be appropriate for our tiniest Idahoans.

Nordic countries also tend to have less wind and drier air than Idaho, which means it may be harder for babies to stay warm outside during naps. For the best guidance, you can always check with your pediatrician.

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❄️ The winter car seat safety tips below are sourced from the American Academy of Pediatrics website, HealthyChildren.org.

🚼 To access local car seat installation support and education throughout Idaho's Treasure Valley, visit the Ada County Paramedics website.

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