Frosty siestas

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I was reading lately on the BBC website about the Nordic practice of putting babies outside for their naps, even in the dead of winter. Interestingly there doesn’t seem to have been nearly as much genteel objection to the content of this article as you’d expect, and many folk have been writing in gleefully about how it never did them and theirs any harm.

I was first told about the idea of putting babies out almost exactly four years ago, as I chatted to this cheerful lady in the stingingly cold town of Kirkenes, high up in the north of Norway near the Russian border.

‘It’s not cruel, you know. They are warm, and they sleep very well. We have a rule that babies of one month can take a temperature of minus one degrees, babies of two months can take minus two, and so on.’

I remember it seemed to me at the time not unlike the way you harden off newly-germinated seedlings in the garden.

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