"A BIT OF FRESH AIR WILL DO YOU GOOD" IS SOMETHING WE BANDY ABOUT AND GENERALLY AGREE WITH, BUT COULD IT REALLY BE GOOD FOR BABIES TO NAP OUTSIDE — IN SUBZERO TEMPERATURES?
That’s precisely what mothers in Scandinavia believe. And the fact that they will very happily put their babies outside in temperatures as low as minus 15°C and in icy or snowy conditions has caused more than a flurry of attention in the UK.
It’s not just the mums either — if you take a weekday walk past a nursery after lunch in Sweden, Finland or Norway, there’s nothing unusual about seeing a line of pushchairs or prams outside, containing happily snoozing and very well-wrapped up infants. Can you imagine that happening here?
It feels so very odd to us because in this country we treat the weather as ‘The Enemy’. In fact we spend so much time and put so much energy into moaning about our rotten and unpredictable weather that we forget to do very much about protecting ourselves from it.
That’s the crucial difference between us and Scandinavian people — they prepare themselves for bad weather and we, bafflingly, don’t. There is indeed an old Swedish saying that sums up what they believe: ‘There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.’
Nordic people think the fresh air is good for children. Indeed, some of the nurseries actually have the children spending their entire day outside, not just at nap time and it certainly doesn’t seem to do them any harm, as long as the children are safe and well protected from the weather. So who are we to disagree with the way they do things over there?
For Scandinavians, putting the kids to sleep outside is justifiable on health grounds — but it’s not just a question of justification. They do it that way because it’s part of their culture, a way of carrying on tradition and it makes them feel secure in who they are.
Understanding why people like doing things the way they do them is a very important part of great customer relationships. At Eurest, ‘understanding you’ is one of our fundamental principles. It’s vitally important in giving us the insight we need to deliver the foodservice solution that best meets your needs, in a way that fits seamlessly into your organisation’s culture.
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Lee H (2013), The babies who nap in sub-zero temperatures [online] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21537988 (Accessed 27 February 2013).