Putting your newborn in a cardboard box sounds like it’s the beginning of a story about an abandoned baby that gets miraculously found by some kind stranger. Here in the United States, the idea of putting a baby in a box seems pretty odd, but there’s actually a lot to be said in favor of this practice.
In Finland, which has one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates, every new mother has been given a cardboard box for over 75 years. Each box contains a small mattress, bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, diapers, and other baby products. The mattress helps the box double as a crib for the baby, and is an ideal environment for newborns with a firm, flat surface to facilitate sleeping on their backs.
With suffocation being the leading cause of infant death, the baby box proved to be instrumental in Finland’s dramatically reduced infant mortality rates. Now, Dr. Megan Heere at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is hoping the idea catches on here at home. As you’ll see, it might seem a little weird at first, but all of the mothers Heere gave the box warmed up to it pretty quickly.
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H/T: Associated Press