Newborns sleeping outside alone

(55 Posts)
Wonderflonium Sun 02-Oct-16 09:45:29

I'm expecting my first child in winter. I live in Denmark. My boyfriend is a Dane and we live fairly close to the in-laws.

Danes still put their babies out to sleep in cots, in all weather. They put them out in a pram in the garden/on the balcony, and they leave them outside shops and cafes.

I am not keen on the practice for a lot of reasons but mostly because the baby is alone. Before I got pregnant we came up with some ground rules:
If the baby is supervised, it can sleep outside.

The in-laws were talking to us about our choice of pram and the MIL made a comment about "well, as long as you can put the baby outside to sleep, it's fine" and I waited for my boyfriend to let her know what we are going to do. He just looked awkward. The MIL could see the awkwardness and came up with a few advantages:-

1) The baby becomes more robust
2) The baby sleeps better
3) It's our culture

But the boyfriend said nothing. We had a chat about it and I told him about the guidance that babies don't sleep alone until 6 months. I'm not keen about leaving the baby outside AFTER 6 months but at least it'll be summer.

I think the first two advantages are red herrings and, sure, it's their culture but so is drinking schnapps at breakfast on special occasions but I don't partake in that, either.

Clearly, I need to kick the boyfriend up the butt so he can make it clear to his mum how in a lot of ways the baby is going to be brought up Danish but in some other important ways, it's going to have a British upbringing. But he's so conflict-shy, it's unreal.

Any words of wisdom?

Loraline Sun 02-Oct-16 09:49:42

But she it's important to bother discussing your decisions with MIL. Maybe your do felt the same. Just do what you've added when the baby comes. Your mil doesn't need to be informed/included.

HumphreyCobblers Sun 02-Oct-16 09:50:00

I would just smile and ignore tbh. Do what you want when the time comes and avoid arguing beforehand.

MrsJayy Sun 02-Oct-16 09:51:54

Well it will be your baby so you don't have to do anything my eldest is in her 20s she used to be put outside to sleep on nice days if a baby is in an enclosed garden it wont be lonely and will be safe but honestly if you don't want to do it don't

PonderingLikeAPond Sun 02-Oct-16 09:52:35

Surely its irrelevant what habits or traditions your MIL keeps if you are the one who will be looking after the baby?

If you plan on regularly leaving the baby in MILs care then fair enough but you dont mention that.

MrsJayy Sun 02-Oct-16 09:53:34

I would just stop talking about it too

Bambambini Sun 02-Oct-16 09:55:35

I don't get your problem really. I think you are looking for an issue where there isn't one, i think she just made a comment but what you do is up to you. I don't see a oriblem with letting your baby sleep outside as long as it's warm enough and safe.

My sister left her first out sleeping one evening and when she brought her in there was snow on the pram.

Wonderflonium Sun 02-Oct-16 10:04:03

Thanks guys, I think it'll be a case of smiling and nodding and doing what we want, too! There are just loads of potential flashpoints where the Danish family will not have even considered that there is any alternative to the way it has always been done in their culture.

I also think it's fine if it's warm enough and safe but that's not how it is done here: they put them out whenever, wherever. It's not unheard of that rats attack babies in their prams, for example.
(http://nyheder.tv2.dk/samfund/2014-01-14-rotte-angreb-sovende-baby-i-barnevogn)

SolomanDaisy Sun 02-Oct-16 10:04:41

With my first I did everything the more 'British' way and stuck to the baby never sleeping alone etc. The UK seems to be the only country that advises it (I live in the Netherlands). I'm pregnant again and I think this time I'll be taking more advice from the local methods. Dutch mothers have an easier time of it I think. It's difficult when you're exposed to two sets of advice and it's natural to want to go with your own culture, but there are also massive benefits to you and your child fitting in locally.

Wonderflonium Sun 02-Oct-16 10:05:57

That'll be interesting: to see if the Dutch are on to something or if it's much of a muchness.

MrsJayy Sun 02-Oct-16 10:08:46

We used to leave prams outside shops outside houses etc it has only changed in the last 20ish years

Bambambini Sun 02-Oct-16 12:05:44

Well exactly, the babies sleeping outside was the British way, or at least where i was brought up.

Wonderflonium Sun 02-Oct-16 12:31:09

But why did it stop?

MrsJayy Sun 02-Oct-16 12:59:33

Why did it stop ? Not sure people became more wary of leaving prams outside shops after james bulger was murdered i know this is why a lot of mums i know stopped doing it

LuchiMangsho Sun 02-Oct-16 13:04:15

I assume because we are more paranoid than we were 20 years ago. I am assuming you are not leaving your baby in a rat infested hole. My first one slept in the garden a lot on sunny winter days. Everyone slept better. I would be indoors drinking tea. Not a rat in sight.

Hufflepuffin Sun 02-Oct-16 13:06:37

Haha my mother in law used to protest leaving the baby outside to sleep in the cold (we are both British, it was after six months and always just outside the back door while someone was inside the house supervising). He had such a warm sleeping bag (Kaiser) that if anything he would wake up hot!

Totally irrelevant to your situation though as I agree with you that I wouldn't do it unsupervised and certainly not under six months. I agree with the others though - just don't talk about it, smile and nod if it's discussed and if pressed say either something vague ("maybe when he's older") or that you're not comfortable with it, you understand it's their culture but it's not yours.

Bambambini Sun 02-Oct-16 19:43:47

Why did it stop? As said - we are very paranoid now. I did put mine out to sleep though and not that long ago.

Wonderflonium Mon 03-Oct-16 16:03:10

They have kidnappings of babies in prams here. It's so weird, though. If that happened in the UK, there would be a massive media shitstorm and the parents would get dragged through the mud and it would be in every editorial for weeks.... here, it happens and it makes maybe page 5 or 6. Never to be mentioned again. Denmark is weird, you guys. Or maybe it's the UK that's weird. One of us is weird.

BertrandRussell Mon 03-Oct-16 16:08:59

Mine slept in their prams outside-can't see why it's a problem so long as you can hear when they wake up.....

AveEldon Mon 03-Oct-16 16:12:24

Mine have slept outside alone. I wouldn't leave them out in London as we have fearless daytime foxes but in my home town it's fine

allegretto Mon 03-Oct-16 16:12:49

If it's safe to do it where you are (i.e. you have your own garden and can keep an eye and not in traffic) then I would definitely do it. In the UK people would probably call the police but it didn't use to be like that - in the 70s my mum used to always put me outside to sleep, even in the cold weather.

corythatwas Mon 03-Oct-16 17:33:49

Why would you feel safer about kidnapping in summer?

And conversely, why would it be impossible to wrap a baby up warm enough to leave him outside when it is clearly possible to wrap him warm enough when you are out with him? Or don't you take him out at all?

BertrandRussell Mon 03-Oct-16 17:54:27

Is Denmark known for its kidnappings?

Abraiid2 Mon 03-Oct-16 17:58:30

I left mine outside sleeping alone with me keeping an eye on them. Ditto when they fell asleep in one room downstairs and wanted to go into the kitchen to make a drink.

Spam88 Mon 03-Oct-16 18:16:46

I feel like Ive stepped into an alternate reality...do people honestly but their babies outside to sleep...? We don't even make the dog sleep outside...

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