Starting in the 1930s, Finland gifted expecting mothers with “baby boxes” issued by the state. The boxes were given out regardless of the mother’s social or economic class, and has been helping infants survive their first few months of life for more than 80 years. The boxes contain clothes, bibs, diapers, infant care items, and has a mattress on the bottom so that the box may be used as a bassinet. All of these items together have helped significantly lower the infant mortality rate in Finland, and Scotland has decided to invest in the policy as well.
We promised a baby box of all essential items for all newborns. It’s a policy borrowed from Finland where it’s contributed to the lowest rates of child mortality in the world,” Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, said.
The boxes are an important part of the general overhaul for free childcare in the country.
The boxes cost £100 each and contain over 80 items, an amount that poorer families aren’t able to afford.
The boxes have been proven to literally save lives. By giving an infant a place to sleep other than a parent’s bed or a sock drawer, and clean clothing, the “infants won’t die needlessly, apart from falling ill due to other circumstances.”
Why don’t more countries follow in Finland’s footsteps? Maybe this move by Scotland will help to sway others to follow. What do you think of the idea of baby boxes?
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