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Is It Healthy for Babies to Take Naps outside?

Why do Icelanders live more than 10 years longer than the global average? Perhaps their hardiness has something to do with their Viking heritage. After all, their medieval ancestors braved treacherous seas just to reach what would become their island homeland. But another reason for their health and longevity may be linked to a more recent development. In the early 20th century, Icelanders began leaving their babies and toddlers outside to nap in their strollers, regardless of the season -- although of course they made sure that their little ones were wrapped up in many warm layers. Today, many parents in Iceland and other Nordic countries (ie. Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark) feel that their children grow up stronger and healthier (and sleep better) if they nap outside, even in chilly weather.

Get bundled up, it's time for your nap:

  • The practice in Iceland began after a tuberculosis epidemic hit the country in the 1920s. In response, Icelanders decided that more time outdoors would strengthen children’s immune systems.

  • In a 1926 book, Dr. David Thorsteinsson suggested that Icelandic parents use strollers -- which had recently been introduced to the country -- to let children sleep outside, starting a tradition that continues today.

  • Due to the low crime rates in Nordic countries, unattended strollers can often be seen outside houses, malls, and coffee shops.

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More Info: Quartz

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