In the United States, it’s typically frowned upon to leave your sleeping child alone, outside, in their stroller while you go inside, enjoy a cup of coffee, and get some housework done. In fact, surely somewhere in the U.S., this could land a parent in jail, or at least in an uncomfortable conversation with CPS.
However, in Denmark, this type of parenting is totally normal.
Annie Samples, an American mom living in Denmark with her family, documents her life living abroad on social media, often comparing how much different Danish parents are than American parents.
In this particular video, Samples explains that she doesn’t think she’ll ever “get over” being able to just leave her baby outside their house, sleeping in her stroller, while she goes inside.
“I was just out running some errands, and the baby fell asleep in the stroller, and I knew that if I brought her upstairs, it would wake her up,” she explains.
“I just can’t get over the fact that I live in a country where I can just leave my baby outside.”
She then pans to her baby’s stroller, covered by the canopy, just sitting undisturbed in what appears to be her apartment building’s courtyard.
“There she is, and she can finish up her nap while I take care of the things that I need to take care of around the house,” she concludes.
Most American parent who stumbled upon the video were shocked at what Samples did, noting that here in the good ole U S of A, we could never.
“My American soul *hyperventilates*,” one user wrote.
Another mom wrote, “Sometimes I am buckling my daughter in her car seat and I get overwhelmed with anxiety that I’m about to be attacked. I need to move to Denmark.”
One user echoed this sentiment and said, “I cannot imagine feeling that level of a sense of safety. wow, what that would do for my nervous system.”
“It has made such a huge difference in my health 💕💕,” Samples replied.
One user commented on Samples’ ability to remain calm knowing her child was outside unattended for anyone to just come up and snatch.
“I don’t know how you do this, you must have a level of relaxation that those of us in the US never know,” they wrote.
“Something could still happen even in the safest country and then you’d feel bad forever...like no,” another said.
Another TikTok user said, “I’m raised by a Danish mother. My neighbor used to get so upset when I put my daughter outside to sleep in the winter. In my fenced backyard 😳”
Yes, some parents leave their babies outside to sleep in the winter.
Scandinavian parents claim that their babies actually nap better outside.
Linda McGurk, author of There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather, says the Scandinavians cite many benefits to having babies nap outside.
She refers to the concept of friluftsliv, which basically translates to “spending time outdoors to get a change of scenery and experience nature with no pressure to compete or achieve.”
The claim is based off the theory that babies get sick less often when they’re exposed to the outdoors instead of inside a stuffy germ-infested preschool room with 30 other kids.
McGurk explained on Rain or Shine Mama that studies have proven kids who go to forest schools, where they spend most of the day outside, take fewer sick days than kids in traditional schools.
A study published in 2008 found that children “took longer naps outdoors” compared to indoor naps.
If you can’t get behind leaving your baby outside to sleep while you enjoy a quiet house, Denmark has plenty of other amazing benefits for parents that might pique your interest such as free, staffed playgrounds with coffee shops and bars and a program that will pay grandparents to watch their grandkids.
When are we all leaving? I’m packing my bags right now.