Have you heard about the baby sleep box? Wondering what it is? Where to find one? If it’s even a good thing or not?
Well, we are here to fill you in on this unique idea that started in Finland and has recently hit New Jersey and Ohio.
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What is this baby sleep box?
The baby sleep box is a box that is available in a range of different designs and is filled with everything new parents need for when they take their newborn baby home. It includes clothes, blankets, diapers, bibs, a fitted mattress for the box, and much more! The totally awesome thing about the box is it doubles as a safe, portable bassinet for baby to sleep in.
It also makes co-sleeping super easy!
Baby can sleep safely with you in your room, right next to your bed, and replace a pricey crib.
The History Behind the Baby Box
The baby box originated in Finland in 1938 as a ‘maternity grant.’ They were provided to expectant and adoptive parents that were on a low income. The aim of the program was to try and reduce infant mortality rates which were huge in Finland back in the ’30s and ’40s. It also ended up leveling the playing field, so to speak, by giving low-income families necessary supplies babies need but they perhaps couldn’t afford.
The package contained essential items including a blanket, crib sheets, diapers, and fabric for parents to make into clothes. The box that all these goodies came in could also double as a bed. From 1949 it became available for all expectant mothers as long as they had visited their doctor or healthcare professional before the 5th month of pregnancy and their pregnancy was over 154 days.
The current practice in Finland is parents can now choose between a Maternity Package (baby box) or a tax-free cash benefit of 140 (Euro) equivalent to approx 147 (USD). Up until recently, the Finnish Maternity Program has been the only one of its kind worldwide.
The Baby Box in New Jersey and Ohio
New Jersey and Ohio recently joined this wonderful project to help lower the infant mortality rate. From the start of 2017 free baby boxes are provided to qualified, expectant parents. At this stage, only New Jersey and Ohio residents are eligible to apply for the baby box under this program.
A company from Californa called The Baby Box Co. teamed up with New Jersey Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board to bring this program to New Jersey and Cincinnati Health Department. Richland County Health Department, University Hospitals (UH) MacDonald Women’s and Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospitals, Muskingum Valley Health Centers, and Babies Need Boxes among other community health organizations to bring the program to Ohio to help parents make safe choices for their babies.
If you live in New Jersey and Ohio and want to receive a box you need to:
Register as a New Jersey or Ohio resident for free at www.babyboxuniversity.com. Be sure to include a contact number and current address on your registration form. You then watch an educational program and take a short quiz. At the end of the registration process, you can then choose to collect the baby box from your closest distribution center or have it shipped to your current address.
What’s Included in the Box?
A range of amazing baby items valued at approx $150 (USD) is included in the baby boxes:
- Printed baby box and lid
- Fitted mattress for the box
- A snuggle
- Burp cloths
- Newborn cap
- Educational information
This list is subject to change so be sure to check out The Baby Box Company for any updated details.
Where Can I get one if I’m not in New Jersey or Ohio?
If you live outside of New Jersey and Ohio and want one for yourself or an expectant parent, they are available to purchase from The Baby Box Company website.
The Baby Box Company offers five different boxes for sale ranging from $69.99 (USD), which is an essential bed box, up to $225.00 (USD), and this includes everything you need for a newborn baby. If you live in the USA, UK and Ireland shipping is free – so it’s worth looking into getting one!! The Baby Box Co also ships Internationally so be sure to see the baby box website for your countries shipping cost.
How do you to use the box?
First, it’s important to mention that the baby box has been safety tested to meet or exceed all relevant rules as per the CPSC (Consumer product safety commission), Health Canada, and EN (European) Standards. The majority of parents use the box to place their baby down for sleep. It can also be used as a safe place to lay, baby if you need to free your hands up for a few moments.
The great thing about the box is that you can have it sitting in any room with you during the day. At night, if you co-sleep with your baby in your bedroom you can have it positioned next to the bed to get through night wakings with ease.
After your baby moves into a cot/crib or their bed, then the box can be used to store toys or keepsakes.
What does the future hold for these baby boxes?
The baby boxes are an incredible idea that so many families would benefit. The advantages of this product are enormous. It not only allows low-income families to have everything they need to start their journeys as parents, but it also provides a safe sleeping space for Baby.
It would be amazing if in the near future the baby sleep box program becomes available across the States and worldwide. What a wonderful way to ensure all babies have the opportunity to start life off in the best way possible.
But wait there’s more!
As of March 2017, Alabama is going to be the third state to bring the free baby box scheme to families, so you are an expecting, or new parent, from Alabama. And want to register for the baby box head to www.babyboxuniversity.com.
Featured image source: www.pixabay.com
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