A Finnish “baby box” has been given to Kate Middleton ahead of the birth of the royal baby — a lovely gesture despite the fact we’ll eat our fancy, Princess-style hats if that sprog spends ten minutes, much less a whole night, sleeping in a cardboard bed.
Before Kate Middleton received a Finnish baby box from Finland’s social services, the tradition itself made a brief appearance in international news last month.
Middleton’s baby is a privileged one, but in Finland, the Finnish baby box tradition is one that has roots in low-income family support — but has since transcended limited distribution and now is received by 95 percent of families in the country.
In June, the BBC was one of several outlets to cover the Finnish baby box as it made an international splash, explaining the simple but intuitive tradition in which each new resident of Finland gets a settled start in the world thanks to a simple little package:
“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 … Mothers have a choice between taking the box, or a cash grant, currently set at 140 euros, but 95% opt for the box as it’s worth much more.”
While Kate Middleton’s baby will be privy to the best services, care, and baby gear in the world, the young royals still expressed gratitude for the humble gift, saying in a statement:
We were delighted to receive the very kind gift of the maternity package from the Finnish Government … I’m sure the Duke and Duchess will be very interested to see the contents.
After receiving their Finnish baby box ahead of Kate Middleton’s labor and delivery, a spokesperson for the Duchess and Prince William stated that “it was a very thoughtful gesture and we’re very grateful for it.”