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Finnish Babies Likely to Spend First Months Sleeping in Box

While most parents in America get nearly everything they need for their newborn babies through baby showers, parents in Finland get everything they need from their government.

For the last 75 years, the government of Finland has been giving new parents "starter kits," which include essentials like bathing products, diapers, and a small mattress that fits perfectly in the box.

While one would not expect the parents to use the tiny box for the baby's new bed, most do, until it grows out of it.

Heidi Liesivesi, who works at the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, said the maternity boxes are good for more than one reason. The boxes prompt pregnant women to visit a doctor before their fourth month of pregnancy, as they will not be able to get a box if they don't.

"Not only was it offered to all mothers-to-be but new legislation meant in order to get the grant, or maternity box, they had to visit a doctor or municipal pre-natal clinic before their fourth month of pregnancy," Leisivesi said.

During the '30s, the boxes were only available for low income families. But that changed in 1949, when the government made them available to all.

Now, babies of all socioeconomic backgrounds spend their first few months sleeping in a box.

Mothers who feel the box isn't necessary also have the option to receive a cash grant to help with the baby's first months. 

Despite being able to obtain the cash easily, 95% of Finland mothers choose the box instead. 

Sources: Inquisitr, Huffington Post


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