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Julia Lilliehöök: Observations and opinions from a life between cultures. Travel, media, marketing, stunning details and life as a mom

Baby boxes in Finland

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Finland is known for mosquitos, brilliant education, sauna, midnight sun and people who rarely speak. I have also learned that they have a tendency to start fist fights, but that is a different story. Recently the country got enormous attention for putting babies in boxes, which they have actually done since 1938.

As a German it is easy to like the Finnish. They are very reliable. A handshake is worth as much as a contract, if not more. Friends are friends. They don’t promise, they act. They do things right or not at all. And once they identify a problem, they solve it. This is how they restored the country, and this is how they made sure young families are taken care of.

As much as buying baby shoes is fun, when I came home with my newborn I did not know how much food, how much sleep, how much crying was normal – on both my and the babies part. It would have been very reassuring to know I at least had the right equipment at hand.

In Finland, every newborn receives a box with everything it may need, much of which folks with lower income would not be able to afford. From diapers to sleeping bags to snow suit, books and tooth brush. (See the complete content here)

Since there is a mattress in the bottom, the box can be used as a bed. Parents can easily have the baby sleep next to their bed instead of under the covers, which has helped bring down infant mortality to a minimum.

Finland baby mortality rate baby boxBravo, Finland.

Well done. A good example for what happens if a good government takes responsibility at the right time. In Sweden you can get the feeling that the state decides which three types of winter jackets are allowed each year, but that again is a different story.

I will use the box as a template for the baby shower next week.

  • Winter: Snow suit, hat, insulated mittens and booties, hooded suit and knitted overalls, socks and mittens, knitted hat and balaclava
  • Bodysuits, romper suits and leggings in unisex colours and patterns
  • Hooded bath towel, nail scissors, hairbrush, toothbrush, bath thermometer, nappy cream, wash cloth
  • Diaper set and muslin squares
  • Picture book and teething toy
  • Bra pads, condoms

Condoms!

Bravo, Finland. (No, no number two in sight).

Number One

Number One

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Written by Julia

June 14, 2013 at 20:25

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