It’s exciting to see that expecting parents are ditching the traditional cribs in favor of baby boxes here in the United States. I blogged about how Finnish hospitals give baby boxes stuffed with all kinds of supplies for newborn babies to families when they leave the hospital to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). New Jersey has become the first state to adopt the baby box program. They’re set to distribute over 100,000 baby boxes. Ohio is following suit and hospitals in Philadelphia and San Antonio are giving them away too.
To prevent infant mortality, parents are discouraged from sleeping with their child or putting toys in their cribs. These baby boxes are lightweight and portable so infants can sleep near their parents. The baby boxes also come with an educational video for new parents to learn about how to prevent SIDS.
In 2015, 3,700 infants in the US died from SIDS. In Finland they started using baby boxes in 1949, and the infant mortality rate dropped from 65 deaths per 1,000 infants in the 1930s to just 3.5 deaths in 1949. Our infant mortality rate is double Finland’s; in 2016, we had 5.8 deaths per 1,000 births.
The other benefit of using baby boxes is reducing the pressure on parents to spend hundreds of dollars on unnecessary baby furniture that babies outgrow so quickly.