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Why Finnish Babies Sleep in Cardboard Boxes

on June 4, 2013

Baby asleep in one of the maternity boxes

This is a really, really interesting article from the BBC about a government funded tradition for new parents that stems back to the 1930’s. Every new mother is given the option of receiving a cash grant, or a box filled with: “bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bathing products for the baby, as well as nappies, bedding and a small mattress.” This mattress in the box is often the first bed for many children, particularly those who are low income. Although this program was created for low-income parents, it is now available to every eligible soon-to-be parent. One of the main motivations of this box is that pregnant women are required to seek medical treatment before their 4th month of pregnancy. Not only does this box provide women with what they need to care for their baby, but it also motivates them to seek medical treatment, where they might not have before.

I think this is an awesome gift and I would have loved to receive all the basic necessities. Although baby showers in the US help cover the ground on the necessities (and the not-so-necessities), I know that baby showers aren’t the norm in other nations, and not everyone can afford to have one. I asked my husband which he would prefer, the money or the box, and we both agreed that we would take the box.

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