Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes

BBC News – Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes.

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.

The maternity package – a gift from the government – is available to all expectant mothers.

It contains bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bathing products for the baby, as well as nappies, bedding and a small mattress.

With the mattress in the bottom, the box becomes a baby’s first bed. Many children, from all social backgrounds, have their first naps within the safety of the box’s four cardboard walls.

In the 1930s Finland’s infant mortality rate was very high.  In an effort to lower it, the government came up with a plan to encourage women to see a doctor before the birth.  So, if the lady went to a doctor before the fourth month of pregnancy she would receive a box of baby supplies. The box they were packed in becomes the crib.

The plan worked, and was so popular that it’s still in effect.  And Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

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