Finland is really good at keeping babies alive. Here's one reason why.
FACT: Parenting is really hard. Finland knows how to make it slightly easier.
I have two children. Keeping them alive is something I haven't failed completely at. Yet.
They both are still totally functioning. I haven't scarred them too badly. I think.
When you have your first kid, things can feel overwhelming.
Once you realize that this little person is really in your life, things can get pretty real.
But Finland has figured out a way to make that first year of baby survival easier. A baby box.
As the BBC reported, it's a pretty simple thing. A cardboard box you can put your baby in. Seriously. They started doing it back in 1938 for low-income families who couldn't afford cribs.
As long as the mother goes to a prenatal visit within four months of becoming pregnant, the family is given a choice. They can choose either a stipend or the baby box (and the stipend goes up when you have twins or triplets). And 95% of Finnish families go with the baby box.
Yeah, that's right. They put their babies in it.
How helpful is the box really?
It's kind of a big deal. Back in the '30s, Finland had an extraordinarily high infant mortality rate. Then they brought out the boxes to support low-income families. They were a game changer.
The U.S. has over double Finland's infant mortality rate, particularly among low-income families. (Man, imagine if we did this.)
It's not just a box, either. It's a box filled with a surprising amount of stuff.
It comes stocked with all kinds of goodies. Clothes in different sizes to last the first year of a child's life. Reusable diapers. Bibs. A thermometer. A baby book. Even condoms so you don't accidentally have another one too quickly.
AND as a bonus, the clothes are all gender-neutral colors. So they can be passed down to the next kid, regardless of their gender.
It's become a thing people look forward to and celebrate.
Then when they get their baby boxes, they party.
You can learn more about the baby boxes via this MSN video.
Can you imagine if every baby, in every country, regardless of their parent's wealth, got the same starter kit?
Now that's something to drool on your bib about. Read more at the Finish agency's website.