An innovative program to improve infant mortality rates and allow new parents and their babies to get some much-needed sleep will soon launch in New Jersey.
The Baby Box Company announced Tuesday it has partnered with the state's Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board to distribute durable cardboard boxes filled with essential items for newborns and large enough to double as a bed for the first couple months of the baby's life.
New Jersey will be the first U.S. state to offer a universal baby box program for its residents.
The effort, made possible through a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, is expected to provide about 105,000 baby boxes in 2017.
The program was created to reduce the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which contributes to America's high infant mortality rate. At 6.5 infant deaths per 1,000 births, the U.S. ranks 23rd in the world and behind most industrialized countries. Last year, 93 percent of deaths due to SIDS were associated with sleep complications.