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Why Is The Baby Box Concept So Popular?
Written by: Susanna Heiskanen of Tuutu Baby Box | Australia
[Note: Previously published work, published with permission from Tuutu Baby Box regarding their experience introducing the Finnish baby box concept in Australia*.]
The Finnish baby box has been around for over 75 years. Over 3 million boxes have been given to families by the Finnish government over the years. It was written into Finnish law in 1937 that expectant mothers were entitled to a baby box and in 1949 this was expanded to include all expectant mothers unrelated to their socio-economic circumstances.
Why has the baby box been so popular with the Finns? One of the reasons is that the box has really everything you need as a parent. Having received the box you would not need to buy a thing if you did not want to – the box doubles as a bed and the contents are enough for the first few months and beyond. The box also promotes equality amongst parents and kids. Everyone has the same start in life and you can tell what year children were born in based on the clothes they were wearing. There are some products in the box such as muslin wraps that have been there since the beginning.
The baby box was introduced together with the Neuvola program. Neuvola is a midwife driven ante and post-natal clinic system that everyone is entitled to. It was a condition of receiving the baby box that the mother has to attend the prenatal program that educated mothers about breastfeeding, vaccination, safe sleeping practices and many more useful topics. The Neuvola system is still going strong and it reaches nearly all expectant mothers and their children under school age.