Cardboard Boxes Help Babies and Families in Finland

Most new parents gain an enormous amount of newborn gifts when they bring their little one home, it’s almost as if you’re about to open your very own shop.

In the wide assortment you collect you have everything from changing mats to feeding bottles to toys and clothes, however most parents wouldn’t be given a cardboard box. I doubt that Kim Kardashian asked friends and family for this at her baby shower.

Surprisingly this is what the government of Finland have been giving new parents for the last 75 years.

Far from being your everyday box it is loaded with essentials such as bathing products and diapers as well as a small mattress that fits snugly in the box.

It’s as if it was made for it. Joking aside this ingenious ‘starter kit’ leads many parents to actually use the box as their child’s first bed.

Heidi Liesivesi, who works at Kela the Social Insurance Institution of Finland had this to say about the maternity boxes:

“Not only was it offered to all mothers-to-be but new legislation meant in order to get the grant, or maternity box, they had to visit a doctor or municipal pre-natal clinic before their fourth month of pregnancy,”

Originally the scheme was only available for low income families in the late 1930s, however that soon changed in 1949 when the government made the scheme for all families.

Since then there’s been no exclusions or limitations placed on qualifying for the cardboard boxes, you just need to be a mom in her first four months of pregnancy.

This means that babies for every social background have spent their first months sleeping in a box; never before have the social classes unified in how they take care of their young.

However, should a mom feel that the cardboard box isn’t necessary they can opt for a cash grant to help with adjusting to the new family addition.

Funnily enough though, over 95% of Finland moms choose the cardboard box of essentials/baby bed. Considering sucking on your child’s pacifier can reduce the likelihood of allergies maybe parents should test out the cardboard boxes too.

[Image via Shutterstock]