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There has been a lot of talk in the last couple of weeks about a scheme in Finland, this scheme has been running since the 1930’s and gives all expectant mothers, regardless of their financial situation or background a box filled with all the items she and her baby would need for the start of their life. The box itself is used as a crib for the new baby to sleep in.
The boxes are supplied by the Finnish government and are filled with essentials, which have evolved over the years, nowadays the box contains a mattress, bedding, sheets, a sleeping bag, nappies, nappy cream, a picture book and a toy amongst other items.
Parents are given the choice of accepting the baby box or the monetary equivalent of 140 Euros, though nearly every family accepts the box as the value of the items is much more. The one thing that the mother has to do to be eligible for the box is to register with a doctor for pre natal care, before the fourth month of their pregnancy.
Finland has a very low infant mortality rate, one of the lowest in the world and this has been directly linked to the use of the box as a crib. This is because the baby is put to sleep in the box and has meant a move away from the baby sharing the parent’s bed.
It seems a great gift idea and I’m sure it would be great if every country could do this but it would have financial implications for the government budgets.