Who needs a crib or a bassinet?! Did you know that babies in Finland sleep in a cardboard box for the first part of their lives? You did? Did you ever wonder why Finish babies sleep in a cardboard box? We have the answer!
Since the 1930s, new mothers in Finland are given a maternity box by the government. It’s a state-provided benefit that symbolizes an equal start in life for every child born.
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Inside the box are 67 items that include clothing, toys, blankets, bathing supplies, and more.
Also included in the box is a small mattress that fits into the box, instantly turning it into a little crib or bassinet.
Most Finnish mothers use the box as a temporary crib for their newborns, even though there is also an option to receive a €170 cash grant from the government instead.
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WATCH: Why Do Finnish Babies Sleep in a Cardboard Box?
Given that Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world, it seems this system works. Perhaps it is something the U.S. should look into? Of course, there are already similar options you can purchase from companies, but the entire point is: this should be free! An equal start for all babies, remember?
According to the BBC, this is everything that is included in the cardboard box:
- Mattress, mattress cover, undersheet, duvet cover, blanket, sleeping bag/quilt
- Box itself doubles as a crib
- Snowsuit, hat, insulated mittens and booties
- Light hooded suit and knitted overalls
- Socks and mittens, knitted hat and balaclava
- Bodysuits, romper suits and leggings in unisex colors and patterns
- Hooded bath towel, nail scissors, hairbrush, toothbrush, bath thermometer, diaper cream, washcloth
- Cloth diaper set and muslin squares
- Picture book and teething toy
- Bra pads, condoms
The BBC notes that the contents of the boxes change over time to better suit modern needs.
So now you know why Finnish babies sleep in a cardboard box. It sounds weird, but it’s actually amazing.
Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.