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The Finnish Tradition: Babies Sleep In Boxes

The Finnish Tradition: Babies Sleep In Boxes

When we think of the ideal place to a baby to sleep, it’s likely that we picture a wooden baby crib with a nice mobile hanging above it. However in Finland, that’s not always the norm. Imagine transforming a cardboard box into the perfect place for your newborn to sleep.

For more than 75 years, mothers-to –be have been given a cardboard box by the state. This intriguing starter kit contains necessary essentials such as clothing, blankets and a mattress in the bottom, to ensure every child has an equal opportunity to properly be cared for. The box often times becomes a baby’s first bed.

During the 1930s, Finland was a poor country with a high infant mortality rate. Statistics state that 65 out of 1,000 babies died. In 1938, the government began making “maternity boxes” available to all expectant mothers. In order to be eligible to receive the maternity box, mothers-to-be had to visit a pre-natal clinic before their 4th month of pregnancy. This requirement played a major role in improving the health of pregnant women and their unborn babies.

The items offered in the box have changed many times over the years depending on the trends of the decade. During the 30s and 40s, women made their own babies clothes so the government contained fabric; the 50s added ready-made baby clothes and the 60s added a sleeping bag and disposable diapers.

Often times pregnant women could not afford the items contained in the box on their own. Even today, 95% of mothers opt to take the box instead of the cash grant of 140 euros, as the box is a better value.

Today, even though women may not need the box, they get it as a rite of passage. It has become a part of history that symbolizes, “the idea of equality, and the importance of children.”

This incredible tradition is truly an important piece of history. Babies are priceless in every single way. Making sure they get the proper amount of sleep in a safe place with proper essentials is necessary to setting them up for a bright future!

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11 Responses to The Finnish Tradition: Babies Sleep In Boxes

  1. Cheryle Saldana April 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    Learned something new! Just shows us how blessed we are. Our children are true miracles and our gifts from God.

    • Gallery Furniture's Sleep Center April 10, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      Thank you for your feedback Cheryle Saldana, we couldn’t agree more! It is a wonderful thing that so much effort was put into giving babies a better start in life and that the tradition is still special in so many eyes! Have a fantastic day!

  2. Betty Garland April 10, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    Nothing wrong with the box as long as the baby is safe & well cared for.

    • Gallery Furniture's Sleep Center April 10, 2014 at 10:13 am #

      Thank you for commenting Betty Garland! It’s a rich tradition that has saved many new lives. We hope you are having a great day!

  3. elysa andrade April 10, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    What a nice tradition. Its the simple neccessary things that can make a big difference. I love this article, here in america we need to be reminded of the less fortunate. Reminds us to be humble. The finish government its setting a good example and gives expecting mothers a sense of support which is very essential in society. This simple act goes a long way.

    • Gallery Furniture's Sleep Center April 10, 2014 at 11:21 am #

      We couldn’t agree more Elysa Andrade! Such a great outlook you have! It’s a beautiful tradition that has had a huge impact on so many lives. Coming together to set babies up for a bright future was an excellent, inspiring act by the government. A little support can go a long way! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

  4. Teresa Brady April 10, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    I heard about this when Finland gave the British Royals one of their traditional boxes when baby George was born. Here’s the headline… “Will the royalbaby be sleeping in a BOX? Finland sends Duchess of Cambridge a traditional baby kit complete with a cardboard cot
    The Finnish Government provides every expectant mother with a kit
    The box contains a snowsuit and babygros, and doubles as a crib
    Mothers can choose a €140 cash payment instead but most pick the box
    Kensington Palace said that the Duke and Duchess were ‘delighted’.”

    • Gallery Furniture's Sleep Center April 10, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

      This is incredible information you’ve shared with us Teresa Brady! We are delighted to learn just how much larger the Finnish tradition truly is! Thank you for filling us in. The box is always a solid choice!

  5. Lisa SepulvadoLittle April 10, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    That’s neat to know. The box takes up less room and can be moved easier than a crib! It’s cheaper than a crib, and more economical.

    • Gallery Furniture's Sleep Center April 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      Thank you for commenting Lisa SepulvadoLittle! The Finnish tradition is very practical indeed! We hope you are having a wonderful day!

  6. Lisa SepulvadoLittle April 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    This is a great idea, it gets you back to the simple things in life.It’s easier to move around, cheaper and takes up less room.

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