Oh my God you leave your baby outside?

Posted: February 7, 2011 in Categorized
Tags: , ,

One of the biggest cultural shocks that I’ve had in Denmark, is how the Danes leave their babies outside!   They leave their babies outside when they go into the store or even when they are at home and this can even be in the winter!  In the winter, it isn’t like they leave the baby out in blizzards or anything, they usually have the baby wrapped really warm and in their insulated pram.  In the states, they would be charged with a long list of criminal charges ranging from child neglect to child endangerment.

But in Denmark, it’s totally okay for a baby to be left outside for a nap or outside the store while the parents are shopping.  The explanation that I’ve received is that it’s all about making sure the baby gets as much fresh air as possible.  I remember, when I first saw this I really wanted to walk up to the parents and tell them that they had left their baby outside!  But Denmark is safe in that regard and I haven’t heard of any cases of babies being kidnapped.

Also, in my limited interaction with Danish kids, the little kids are quite mature or independent.  I have yet to experience a Danish child having a temper tantrum in a store.  Also, I’ve witnessed little kids riding the Metro or biking by themselves.  I must wonder if this is because of the safety in the city of Copenhagen or just Danish culture in general?  It could be a combination of both.  However, I am very fascinated that babies can sleep outside, that the little kids can ride the bus by themselves and still be safe and it’s not a stigma or criminal offense in Danish society.

Oh Denmark, you continue to amaze me. 🙂

  1. Rachel says:

    Winnon, in 1997 a Danish woman was arrested in NYC for leaving her baby unattended on the sidewalk outside a restaurant! See the collection of news articles: http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/s/annette_sorensen/index.html

  2. […] concern nor is there any widespread panic that the baby will be abducted or snatched by a stranger. Here one such account from a shocked […]

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