When Do Scandinavian Children Sleep in Their Own Bed?

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When Do Scandinavian Children Sleep in Their Own Bed?

Co-sleeping and other parenting tricks you might want to learn from Scandinavians. Read the full story answering the questionWhen do Scandinavian children sleep in their own bed?”

Raising a child can be hard, but it seems like Scandinavian parents have “cracked the code”. Their approach is much different from the common Western parenting traditions, and it also seems to work much better too.

So, let’s take a look at how Scandinavians are raising their kids and see which techniques you might want to try yourself.

Related: Why do Scandinavians sleep so well?

When Do Scandinavian Children Sleep in Their Own Bed?
Most Scandinavian parents recommend sharing the room with your baby, not the bed. Source

Co-Sleeping: Two Sides of the Coin
Co-sleeping has grown incredibly popular during recent years, and not only among Scandinavian parents. Western families also allow children in bed, and experts note that this habit can go beyond the infant and toddler age stages.

And while co-sleeping can give your baby a sense of comfort and security, this medal has another side. Alex Savy, the Certified Sleep Science Coach at Sleepingocean.com notes that sharing a bed with a baby is one of the most common reasons behind SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The risk of infants suffocating increases even more if parents use a sofa instead of a regular bed or go to sleep after consuming too much alcohol or sleep-inducing medicine.

When Do Scandinavian Children Sleep in Their Own Bed?
If you thoroughly wrap your little one, you don’t have to sacrifice the fresh air exposure even on a cold or a rainy day. Photo: Tara Raye/Unsplash

That’s why experts and most Scandinavian parents recommend sharing the room with your baby, not the bed. You can still co-sleep and make your little one feel safe while actually keeping them safe by using a firm crib mattress. You can simply put the crib next to your bed, and there you go: you both get to enjoy co-sleeping with no risks.

When Do Scandinavian Children Sleep in Their Own Bed?
While co-sleeping can give your baby a sense of comfort and security, this medal has another side. Photo: Nynne Schroder/Unsplash

Napping: “Frozen” Style
It’s not a secret that Scandinavian parents let their children nap outside, as fresh air is extremely beneficial for young kids.

But did you know that those babies can nap even in subzero temperatures?

The thing is, Scandinavian parents believe that there’s no such thing as bad weather. You just need to dress your baby accordingly. And if you thoroughly wrap your little one, you don’t have to sacrifice the fresh air exposure even on a cold or a rainy day.

And here’s the coolest part:
While your baby enjoys their deep nap in a comfortably warm stroller outside, you don’t have to freeze your fingers off, even if your little one starts to fidget. You can simply use this awesome device that automatically rocks the cradle. And yes, it was invented by a Scandinavian (a Norwegian entrepreneur Ståle Flataker, to be more precise). Here’s an extra kicker: this device is water-proof, so it would easily work even in harsh Nordic weather.

Embracing the Nudity
While Western countries often sexualize almost everything (and even hide their pets’ genitals with emojis in photos), Scandinavian parents encourage the freedom of spending time in one’s birth suit. That’s why you can often see young kids running naked in parks or at the beaches. Most parents believe that this approach teaches children to be comfortable in their own bodies.

Related: Hästens – The Swedish Dream Factory 

The Concept of Open-Air Living
Scandinavian children are encouraged to spend as much time in the fresh air as possible (even when the weather seems dreadful). The so-called Friluftsliv, or the Open-Air Living concept allows young children to get used to spending their time in nature rather than in front of the screens. Scandinavian parents teach their kids to love and appreciate nature from an early age, at the same time minimizing the unnecessary exposure to screens and the virtual world.

And the best part is: you don’t have to move to the countryside to enjoy Friluftsliv. Even walking around the neighborhood or spending time at the local park would be enough to encourage your child to spend more time in the fresh air.

Dirt and Mud Are Welcomed
And to support the previously mentioned style of living, Scandinavian parents rarely scold their kids for coming home covered in mud. In fact, running wild and getting dirty is encouraged, as this gives children a chance to enjoy spending time in nature even more. Scraped knees and dirty clothes aren’t frowned upon. And maybe that’s why their kids seem to have happier childhoods.

And if you are still hesitating about letting your little one go play in the dirt, listen to science. Studies suggest that the soil contains microbes that can help children become more resilient to allergic symptoms and asthma.

When Do Scandinavian Children Sleep in Their Own Bed?
Scandinavian kids seem to have happier childhoods. Photo: Igordoon Primus/Unsplash

No Pressure When It Comes to Extra Schooling
Kids in Nordic countries don’t usually have tight schedules. Parents aren’t that pushy with extracurricular activities, and there’s a reason for that. You see, they believe that giving kids more freedom can foster responsibility in them. So, instead of making their children go to after-class activities, Scandinavian parents allow them to play or wander around the neighborhood. By the time they reach 10, those kids are more or less independent and can even get to their chosen after-school “clubs” on their own (by foot, public transport, bike, etc.) Parents note that this approach teaches children how to judge risks, be responsible, and make decisions.

When Do Scandinavian Children Sleep in Their Own Bed?
Eric Pierce

When Do Scandinavian Children Sleep in Their Own Bed, written exclusively for Daily Scandinavian by Eric Pierce. Eric is a professional writer, editor and proofreader with a keen interest in health and sleep.

When Do Scandinavian Children Sleep in Their Own Bed, Feature image (on top): Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.