Finland’s brilliant “baby box” idea comes to U.S. with a strong message of support

Forget all those expensive gadgets. All your baby really needs can fit inside this little box.

The Baby Box Co. Jenkev productions | Vimeo

The baby industry is booming—the baby care market is worth over $47 billion dollars worldwide, with new parents buying everything from baby soap and pacifiers to expensive video cameras and heart-rate and breathing monitors that promise to keep babies safer while they sleep. But is all this stuff really necessary? Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep tabs on your baby’s heart-rate and breathing, but some new pediatricians are advising that perhaps these newfangled devices give us a false sense of security—and lead to less than ideal sleep situations, potentially making baby less safe than they were before the use of the monitors.

MORE TO READ: Parents share loving images of one-pound preemies

So amidst all the “buy, baby, buy” commercialism happening, it’s nice to see that Finland’s wonderful tradition of giving out a “baby box” to new parents has finally made its way to the U.S., specifically New Jersey. Instead of sending new parents home from the hospital with a list of suggested products to go buy on Amazon, every new Finnish mother is sent home with a large box full of supplies she and baby are sure to use—essentials like diapers, wipes, onesies, nipple cream for nursing and more. The best thing about the box? It doubles as a cradle, relieving parents of the burden of buying a pricey crib or bassinet (that will often sit unused for the first few months of baby’s life anyway), and it encourages the safest way for a baby to sleep—on his or her back, in a bed of their own, without the use of an expensive gadget.

Hi there, cutie!! #babybox #babyboxco #baby #cute #love #family #safesleep #weloveourcustomers

A photo posted by The Baby Box Co. (@thebabyboxcompany) on

Jennifer Clary and Michelle Vick were inspired to launch The Baby Box Co. in the United States after seeing Finland’s drastic reduction in infant mortality—they went from 65 deaths per 1,000 births in 1938, to 1.3 deaths per 1,000 births in 2013, according to the World Health Organization, thanks to the boxes, prenatal care and parenting education. Now, rather than shelling out hundreds (even thousands!) of dollars to create the perfectly coordinated, most expertly-outfitted nursery complete with products that potentially give false promises of safety to new parents, New Jersey parents will be able to receive mattress-lined boxes filled with supplies, as long as they complete an online parenting course through www.babyboxuniversity.com.

MORE TO READ: My baby doesn’t need a Pinterest nursery

While nothing can guarantee ultimate safety for any baby, we love the message the baby box sends to new parents: One of community support that educates and empowers parents, and one of reassurance that reminds us that being a parent is a lot simpler than all those big-box stores sometimes imply. All baby really needs at first are a few diapers (well, maybe a lot of diapers!), some clothes, food, a place to sleep, and parents who love them.

Ashley Jonkman
Ashley Jonkman
Ashley is a freelance writer and editor. She lives with her husband, two sons and two rambunctious dogs in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Leave a comment: