Is it just me, or is Finland basically decades ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to parenting? They have what is considered some of the best parental leave on the planet, they've never even heard of being a "helicopter mom", and they have an incredibly low infant mortality rate. No wonder Finland consistently rates as one of the happiest countries on earth. Well, it looks like the state of New Jersey has taken notice. Hospitals in the state have picked up on the Finnish tradition of "baby boxes" for boys and girls, and new parents are loving it.
The Finnish government has been offering new parents baby boxes since the thirties; boxes filled with baby items that can double as little infant beds (are they crafty or what?). New parents in Finland don't have to take the baby box if they don't want it; they can opt for a cash grant for 140 Euros (around $200) instead, but most parents go for the box. And for good reason; Finnish parents revel in their boxes full of outfits, diapers, baby nail scissors, books, shoes, and even a little baby sleeping bag. And now thanks to the Baby Box Company (who have partnered with New Jersey's Child Fatality and Near Fatality Board), parents in New Jersey can register for their own boxes.
The baby boxes in New Jersey, which will be the same for both boys and girls, are filled with treats for both moms and babies.
- diaper cream
- nipple cream
- breast pads
- baby wipes
- safe sleeping educational material
- the box itself comes with a firm mattress and a non-toxic fitted sheet
So how do parents in New Jersey get their hands on their amazing baby boxes? As of Thursday, they can register online, watching some videos to educate themselves on newborn care. New and expectant parents can register at "Baby Box University", spend between 10 to 15 minutes boning up on important health care information to take care of their baby, and are rewarded with their very own baby box. The boxes, which double as safe sleeping areas for babies, can either be picked up at a distribution center or have them delivered to their homes. More than 100,000 baby boxes are expected to be sent out in New Jersey in 2017.
As the world moves towards becoming more technologically advanced all the time, the basic, homespun goodness of a baby box is sure to appeal to American parents. Here's hoping New Jersey isn't the only state to share them in the near future.