Photos of what's inside those 'baby boxes' you keep hearing about.

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?


Countries around 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.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.