'Baby boxes' that reduce infant mortality rate to be provided in Canada
In Finland, the government gives new mothers baby boxes full of essentials to help them care for their babies after giving birth. Now The Baby Box Co. and Alberta government have teamed up to share the benefits of baby boxes with Canadian mothers.
These cardboard boxes also come with built-in mattresses, doubling as beds for their babies, and are credited with helping to reduce infant mortality in over 30 countries.
Why should babies sleep in boxes?
The design of the Finnish baby boxes promotes the health of the baby. In 1938, when the Finnish government first introduced these free baby boxes, the infant mortality dropped dramatically in the years following. Today, Finland has one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates at 0.3 per cent. By contrast, Canada has the second worst infant mortality rate on the first day of a child's birth in the developed world, according to Save the Children.
Finland's government sends women home with boxes stuffed to the brim with supplies for the new baby, which include everything ranging from baby clothes, outdoor gear, infant bathing products, bedding and diapers.
1,500 Canadian mothers to get baby boxes
U.S. social enterprise The Baby Box Co. has teamed up with the Alberta government and University of Calgary to give 1,500 Canadian women baby boxes as part of their "Welcome to Parenthood" campaign.
“We’re using the basic baby box, with the mattress, and we’ve collaborated with the province on some basic additions,” explains Jennifer Weber, senior manager of the Government of Alberta's Early Childhood Development Services, in an interview with Maclean's. The Canadian baby boxes also include cute onesies, plush toys, breast pads to help new mothers with breastfeeding, a children’s book and even a resource to encourage fathers to bond with their children, called “Crib-Side Assistance.”
Canadian mothers are doing well, but could do better
“We know Canada’s doing very well, but Canadians still have parenting issues that are unique to us,” explains Weber. “We have vulnerable families and many communities with their own particular needs. We have teen moms, single parents, families in temporary accommodation.”
Aside from being functional, these boxes could certainly help new moms feel less alone in the world. Let's keep giving Canadian women a little extra love after they give birth. Here's hoping this trend continues to spread, giving brand new Canadians the welcome they deserve.