Would you let your baby sleep in a box?

By mbrooks on April 10, 2019
(Photo/Getty Images)
Would you let your baby sleep in a box? The popular baby box of Finland is slowly catching on in the United States.
In Finland, the government provides baby boxes to new mothers. The box, called a “maternity package” in Finnish, contains much of what a new mother needs for the baby. Mothers have the option of taking a cash alternative, about $157. The contents of the box are worth far more. This is  why the vast majority of Finnish mothers pick the baby box.

What’s in the box?

The box contains a baby mattress that snuggly fits into the box. About one-third of Finnish mothers have their baby sleep on the mattress in the box. The mattress is sized at 27.6 in × 16.9 in × 1.6 in.
The baby box contains bed sheets, blankets, a mattress cover, caps, coveralls, bodysuits, leggings, tights, socks, mittens, gloves, bibs, personal care items like creams and thermometers, and a hairbrush. There is even some birth control included in the box.
According to the New York Times, about 700,000 similar baby boxes have been distributed in the United States among four states through various organizations since 2017: Ohio, New Jersey, Alabama, and Texas.

Is the baby box safe?

Part of the attraction of these baby boxes is the lower infant mortality rate in Finland. In Finland, there are 1.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, which is less than one-third that of the United States.
An analysis by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center shows the infant mortality rate in Finland is more directly related to the comparatively low rate of pre-term births and the nation’s health care system that offers free health care to children.
Even if the baby box isn’t directly correlated to a baby’s health, the idea of giving mothers a package to meet so many of the needs of the mother and the baby is catching on in the United States.

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