Why do Finnish Babies Sleep in Cardboard Boxes?

A gift for new parents - courtesy of the State


The 2015 Finnish maternity package

A baby models the box from the 2015 maternity package (Photo: Kela, Nana Uitto)

Expecting parents are always excited, but can often get stressed out preparing for their upcoming new arrival. The Finnish government has an answer for its citizens, sending every new family a maternity package to help them ease into their new role.

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The colorful box doubles as a crib, and contains a wide selection of baby clothes including a snowsuit, hats, socks, mittens, bodysuits, rompers, leggings and shirts.
Considering the freezing temperatures in Finland's winters, there's a stack of blankets thrown in there too, along with some childcare products and a bib.
The box has been a rite of passage for new parents since its inception in the 1930s, when it contained fabric for mothers to sew into clothes. Since then it has gone through a number of changes, from cloth to plastic diapers and back again, and the inclusion and subsequent exclusion of pacifiers.
Other perks in the box include a rattle and a colorful, illustrated book - a boost of encouragement for parents to teach their children to read.
The initiative aims to give all Finnish kids a fair and equal start in life, by providing them with the most essential needs: for body, mind and soul.

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