The US Is Finally Catching On To This Idea From Finland That Saves Babies’ Lives


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Parents

Baby boxes are a thing, and they’re incredible.

1. As of
January 26, 2017, New Jersey is giving new
parents an offer they can’t refuse: Free (!!!)

maternity packages filled with things like
diapers, wipes, and clothes, all packed in a
cardboard box that doubles as a baby bed.

As of January 26, 2017, New Jersey is giving new parents an offer they can't refuse: Free (!!!) maternity packages filled with things like diapers, wipes, and clothes, all packed in a cardboard box that doubles as a baby bed.

View this image ›

ID: 10414396

2. The
concept has roots in Finland, where hospitals
have been handing out maternity
packages to new parents since 1938.

The concept has roots in Finland, where hospitals have been handing out maternity packages to new parents since 1938.

View this image ›

The Finnish boxes are filled with
gender-neutral clothes (including outdoor
clothes), diapers, toys, and more, to guarantee
that all new parents have the basic
necessities. A small mattress, sheets, and
blankets also come inside the box so that it
can double as a safe place for the baby to
sleep if necessary (similar to a bassinet).

According to the BBC,
“It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s
and it’s designed to give all children in
Finland, no matter what background they’re
from, an equal start in life. … Many children,
from all social backgrounds, have their first
naps within the safety of the box’s four
cardboard walls.”

ID: 10413758

3. But
the most revolutionary thing about the boxes is
that since they were introduced in Finland, the
country’s infant mortality rate has dropped to

one of the lowest in the whole word.

But the most revolutionary thing about the boxes is that since they were introduced in Finland, the country's infant mortality rate has dropped to one of the lowest in the whole word.

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When Finland first introduced the boxes, the
infant mortality rate was
about 65 deaths (in infants under the age
of one) per 1,000 live births. In 2016, there
were only
2.5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in
Finland, compared to 5.3 in the US and 4.3 in
the UK.

The materials provided in the box help, but it
may be the process of obtaining one that makes
the real difference. According to
Quartz, every woman who gets a
maternity package also receives prenatal and
parenting information, which ultimately
benefits children, as well as their parents.

ID: 10413858

4. New
Jersey’s cardboard boxes, can also double as a
bed if needed, and will contain diapers, baby
wipes, a onesie, and nipple cream, among other
necessities.

New Jersey's cardboard boxes, can also double as a bed if needed, and will contain diapers, baby wipes, a onesie, and nipple cream, among other necessities.

View this image ›

These baby starter packs are possible through a
partnership between The Baby Box
Co. and New Jersey’s Child Fatality and
Near Fatality Review Board. New Jersey is the
first state to offer this type of program to
combat infant mortality. Temple University
Hospital in Philadelphia runs a smaller program
through The Baby Box Co., which it started last
May.

According to a press release from The Baby Box
Co., a CDC grant will fund the distribution of
approximately 105,000 boxes this year.

Above: A sample baby box available for
purchase through the company’s website.

ID: 10425483

5. Just
like in Finland, New Jersey aims to decrease
infant deaths through education. Parents in New
Jersey hoping to get a baby box must first
complete Baby Box
University, an online parenthood preparedness
course.

Once parents read up and take a quiz on childcare
and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
prevention, they can either have a box delivered
to their home or pick one up.

ID: 10425515

6. With
any luck, the cardboard boxes will catch on in
the US like they have in Finland.

With any luck, the cardboard boxes will catch on in the US like they have in Finland.

View this image ›

As the BBC reports: “At 75 years old,
the box is now an established part of the
Finnish rite of passage towards motherhood,
uniting generations of women. … ‘It’s easy to
know what year babies were born in, because the
clothing in the box changes a little every
year. It’s nice to compare and think, ‘Ah that
kid was born in the same year as mine’,” says
Titta Vayrynen, a 35-year-old mother with two
young boys.”

ID: 10427876

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