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Baby in a box works for Finland

Posted by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 3:56 AM
  • 69 Replies
1 mom liked this

this is mainly to the poster that just poofed their "i cant get handouts for all of my kids so i dont want any" post, that insists she needs 2 separate cribs for twins.

what do you think? i wish the us did this.


This year marks the 75th anniversary of a government program that provides new Finnish parents with a maternity package filled with essential baby items, from diapers and onesies to bath items and books.

Are cardboard boxes saving babies in Finland?

Are cardboard boxes saving babies in Finland?
1:28 Views: 195k MSN News/Newsy

The box itself — along with an enclosed mattress — doubles as a bassinet, according to the BBC. This is said to encourage safe, separate infant sleeping as opposed to sharing a bed with parents, which used to be commonplace in Finland.

"The babies would not then be sleeping in the same bed with their parents, which potentially causes increases in infant deaths," said Dr. Kristi Watterberg, a pediatrician and neonatology professor at the University of New Mexico.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep in the same room as their parents, but not in the same bed because of the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS is responsible for more than 2,000 infant deaths per year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.  

Finland has the fourth-lowest rate of infant mortality, according to the latest Progress Report from UNICEF (PDF). Singapore claims the top spot and the U.S. comes in at 145th.

"They have a wonderful infant mortality rate now," Watterberg said. 

But claiming the maternity package depends upon obtaining some level of prenatal care. In order to get the box, parents must "visit a doctor or municipal prenatal clinic before their fourth month of pregnancy," Heidi Liesivesi, who works at Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, told the BBC.

"Prenatal care is certainly associated with decreases in infant mortality," Watterberg said, but she added that "a lot of people who could really use this might not be ready to go to a physician that early. They don’t know they’re pregnant."

The Finnish government launched the maternity package program in 1938 for low-income families and expanded it to all families in 1949. The contents of the box, which have changed through the years, are often a sign of the times. According to the BBC, disposable diapers were added in 1969, but recently replaced by more environmentally friendly cloth diapers. And in a move to encourage breastfeeding, bottles were removed from the box in 2006.

The program is designed to help babies, but some say it also helps their parents by reducing the stress of shopping for baby gear.

"In the U.S., we're paralyzed by choice," said Allyson Downey, co-founder of the website weeSpring, which allows new parents to collect baby gear recommendations from friends, and who has a 22-month-old son. "There are so many options out there and it's completely overwhelming.  The idea of the Finnish everything-you-need box isn't far off from the checklists that new moms circulate amongst themselves and to their pregnant friends here.  Because these days, knowing what you don't need is as helpful as knowing what you do."

"I think that this is a brilliant scheme. Becoming a parent is stressful [and] nerve-wracking and anything that alleviates that is good in my book," said one commenter on the BBC article.

"I also love the idea of children regardless of their demographic having the chance to come into the world with the means to be looked after. Well done, Finland."

"Seems an excellent idea on so many levels, from getting expectant mums to access medical care, providing information on what you need (especially for first-time mums), and the social/emotional security that the 'system' cares about you," said another commenter.

Even parents who can afford to buy baby gear seem to value the program. One mom told the BBC that she appreciated not having to research and shop for baby items when she was pregnant and working in a demanding job.

"There was a recent report saying that Finnish mums are the happiest in the world," Totta Vayrynen, 35, told the BBC.  "And the box was one thing that came to my mind."

Watterberg says this program sends "a wonderful message."

"I just think it’s lovely," she said. "It’s a little gift from your country to you and your baby."

by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 3:56 AM
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Replies (1-10):
dmarie2101
by Ruby Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:00 AM

BUMP!

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:00 AM

There are many safe alternatives to cribs. Cribs are not a NEED, but a nice luxury to have. Anyways, I sort of just skimmed through so I might be missing something, but many hospitals do provide mothers a nice little care package.

QueenBof6
by Ruby Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:01 AM
That woman was full of excuses.

Sad that one will miss out because she can't get help for all three.
sheramom4
by Emerald Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:01 AM

The second post poofed too. 

ZennMomma
by Silver Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:02 AM
2 moms liked this

The US sucks at mommy and baby after care.

SadiasMomma
by Platinum Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:02 AM
1 mom liked this
There are much cheaper options than two full sized brand new cribs but I wouldn't put my kid in a cardboard box. That chick was full of bullshit excuses.
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matheson7
by Silver Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:03 AM

Funny she poofed her post again.

ZennMomma
by Silver Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:03 AM
1 mom liked this

I thought it was more common for twins to share a crib....

haunted.mommy
by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:03 AM

I feel so sorry for the child.  And she will wonder why she loses mother of the year.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:05 AM

 

Um she paid $30 for the two used ones. Where did you get "Brand new"?

Quoting SadiasMomma:

There are much cheaper options than two full sized brand new cribs but I wouldn't put my kid in a cardboard box. That chick was full of bullshit excuses.


 

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