Family Life / Mummy Talk / Pregnancy

Free Baby Box

One of the things new parents fret about when baby arrives is sleeping arrangements. Many of us do not have the luxury of additional rooms solely for baby. Even if we did, you will soon learn that night feeds and changes can be such a hassle. So many of us opt to share a room with baby not only for convenience, but also to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Baby furniture and suppliers have cashed in on this idea. The choice and range of speciality cribs and bassinets for your little bundle is mind boggling. But have you heard of the baby box?

Since the 1930s, every expectant mother in Finland was offered information on how to look after their newborn and much more at their prenatal clinic in exchange for a free baby box by the government. This meant that all babies regardless of their background was given an equal start in life.

Why a baby box?

The introduction of the baby box was meant to reduce the mortality rate in Finland. Around 65 our of 1000 babies died in their first year in the 1930s. And poor families did not have money to buy clothes let alone cribs for their baby. Therefore co-sleeping was very popular not by choice, but by circumstances which increased the risk of SIDS.

We co-slept with #JasperBean until he was well over 2 years old. I didn’t plan for this to happen and had brought his cotbed before he was born. But babies are unique, so I don’t condemn co-sleeping. IF this is what you choose to do and if this is what works for your family then happy days, just make sure you are educated of the pros and cons. The Finnish baby box has proven to be such a huge success that the infant mortality rate in Finland is now down to 1.9 babies out of every 1000.

As a family from Chinese decent, when I announced that I intended to use a cardboard box as a bed met with some shocked faces. Maybe because it seems a bit of a taboo to start life in something that’s not associated with wealth? I don’t know, but I’m happy for my baby to sleep in it if it is happy in it. This must be a better sleeping arrangement than co-sleeping for 2+ years, right? At least we’ll all get some quality kip?

Scotland offers free baby boxes containing items that were similar to what was in the Finnish baby box. Other countries such as Canada, South Africa, India etc also offer something similar. Although some people may be skeptical on the effects of allowing baby to sleep in a box for the first 4-5 months of their little lives. Others just appreciate the help offered. Navigating through the wants and needs of a newborn infant and as a new parent is a trap! It can get so confusing when you are constantly bombarded with new gadgets and “must haves”.

Can I get a baby box in England?

In England, you can also apply for a free baby box from The Baby Box Co. before your baby is 6 months old. Sign up and complete an online course. This includes short videos, quizzes and tips related to pregnancy, safety, sleep and childbirth from healthcare experts. They have partnered with Lidl, so you will find handy essentials such as nappies and wet wipes as well as new born stables such as the baby box to practice safe sleeping, mattress and cover. Once you pass the quiz, you will be provided with a completion ID informing you how you can collect your free baby box from 150 collection points. Or you can choose to have the box delivered to you for a small fee as well (£6 at time of post publishing).

Contents of baby box UK

I haven’t even started using the baby box, but I already love it! Why? It’s main material is cardboard, which means it won’t end up in landfill. When my baby outgrows the box, I can use it as a toy box. And when it’s time to get rid of it, I can just put it in with my paper recycling. #winning #BeatPlasticPollution

Thanks for reading and until next time…

Love, MsMamaBean x

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