lee: why Finnish babies sleep in boxes
for 75 years, Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. it’s like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed. and some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.
it’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and it’s designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they’re from, an equal start in life.
the maternity package - a gift from the government - is available to all expectant mothers.
it contains bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bathing products for the baby, as well as nappies, bedding and a small mattress.
with the mattress in the bottom, the box becomes a baby’s first bed. many children, from all social backgrounds, have their first naps within the safety of the box’s four cardboard walls.