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For parents-to-be, planning and designing a nursery can be a lot of fun. But it's also a luxury not every parent can afford.

That top-of-the-line crib from Pottery Barn sure is gorgeous, but it's out of reach for many people. Even a new crib from a big-box store might not be in the budget. Many new parents don't even have the space for a dedicated nursery.

But the baby's coming regardless, and it needs a safe place to sleep. So what's a parent to do?


Countriesaround the world, and the United States, more recently, are giving out baby boxes — simple cardboard boxes with a small cushion that can serve as a perfectly suitable bed for newborn babies.

The boxes also come with some basic supplies to get new parents through those first handful of rough nights at home. Though simple in concept, these boxes have been shown to drastically decrease infant mortality rates in areas where they're available.

But what exactly does a baby box look like? And what's inside? I got one from The Baby Box Company so we could find out.

The folks at The Baby Box Company sent me one of the free boxes used during the program launch in Virginia; this is what new parents there get in exchange for completing an online parenting class.

The first thing you'll notice is that the baby box comes inside another box. You won't want your baby to sleep in that outer one, but it's big enough that it might come in handy if you ever move — or if you need a makeshift sled next time it snows.

All photos by Evan Porter/Upworthy.

Inside, you'll find the goodies. The actual baby box itself comes packed flat and assembles with just a few folds and a tucked tab or two.

There are pretty detailed visual instructions in case you take a wrong turn somewhere. IKEA would be proud.

(Attention experienced DIYers: Read the instructions. Your infant will be sleeping here; better to do it right.)

Voila! It only takes a minute or two to fully assemble the box. (Take that, fancy cribs.)

When it comes to baby boxes, the name of the game is safety. So there's also a helpful reminder to not put anything besides your baby in the box.

For the uninitiated, it might seem counter-intuitive to not put any blankets or pillows in with your baby, but it's a critical thing to remember.

And then there's the mattress, of course.

It fits perfectly inside the box.

There. Doesn't that look cozy?

The baby box is more than just a temporary crib. It also comes with some super clutch supplies inside to help parents through those first few days.

First of all, I super appreciate that shampoo, body wash, and deodorant are included. New parents, don't forget to take care of yourselves too.

When you first bring your baby home, you will definitely forget about things like eating and personal hygiene. Something as simple as a hot shower can definitely help keep you sane and prepared to care for your infant.

There's also a starter pack of Pampers newborn diapers, complete with an adorable tip on how to create your own "diaper song."

The company says this is a proven, if silly, way to help new parents bond with their babies.

Then there's a sampler of Diaper Doo — lotion used to treat bad diaper rashes.

It's a lifesaver for any parent.

Next up is a pack of wet wipes, of which you can never have too many.

There's also a nice reminder to talk to your baby about textures to help them learn.

The box even comes with laundry detergent tabs because they know running the washing machine multiple times per day is your life now.

What the baby box provides barely scratches the surface of what the baby will need, so it also comes with some really handy coupons to help restock on diapers, wipes, and more.

It's certainly not everything you need, but the baby box is a pretty good start.

For anyone on a tight budget, or even someone caught unprepared for the baby's arrival, a box like this could be an actual lifesaver.

OK, so how do you get a baby box? It's pretty easy in most places.

A few states (New Jersey, Ohio, and Alabama — with more on the way) offer a free box program, where expecting parents can go online, take a quick child education course, and get a no-cost baby box in return.

Even if you can't get one for free, you can order a box straight from The Baby Box Company starting at around $70, which sure beats a $500 designer crib.

Bringing a new baby into your world is chaotic, stressful, and challenging at best. It's cool to see a push toward simplicity really catching on and making a difference.

Update 10/10/2017: Oops! The baby boxes come with laundry detergent as pictured, not dishwasher detergent. Sleep-deprived parents will understand how easy it is to make this mistake.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

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As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

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