A Finnish tradition that originated in the 1930s has recently made a splash in headlines worldwide. Why is this tradition making such an impact? Because the unorthodox tactic has helped Finland achieve the lowest infant mortality rate in the world.
The tradition sounds pretty crazy, and it is to some extent, but numbers never lie. The tradition is to let your newborn sleep in a box!
No worries, moms and dads. This isn’t just any ordinary box. The Finnish Baby Box is the whole package! In a nutshell (or box, rather), you’ll be sent baby clothes, hygiene products, and other essential baby products that all parents need. To top it off, the box also has a small mattress that serves as your baby’s first bed!
So how is a simple cardboard box making such a difference in the mortality rate of infants? Simple. Each box is catered to a specific baby’s needs. The included products and materials are specially assigned to address local problems that may interfere with the baby’s well-being.
The concept was originally implemented by the Finnish government in the 1930s. Mothers can either receive a monetary grant (worth about 95 Euros) from the government, or the baby box. Considering the practicality of the box and its contents, most mothers choose the box.
The Finnish Baby Box gained multinational attention in 2014 when three Finnish men decided to share the concept with the world. They weren’t alone in their entrepreneurial endeavor. Parents in the US and UK have copied the successful business model and have started to market the product on a global scale.
The amazing idea has spread like wildfire, and has even evolved to better suit the needs and environments of babies all around the world. For example, in South Africa, instead of receiving a cardboard box to use as a bed, mothers receive a plastic box that can be used as a bath for their baby.
It’s an incredibly simple concept that sounds a bit crazy, but it yields amazing results. Need proof? The following is a graph that tracks the statistics of infant mortality in Finland since the inception of the baby box:
As you can see, the effectiveness of the program speaks for itself. The addition of adapting each box to address regional problems for each baby only ensures that in the foreseeable future, mortality rates for infants will drop dramatically!
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