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The Important Reason Free Baby Boxes Will Be Given to Parents in New Jersey

Posted on May 11 2017

The Important Reason Free Baby Boxes Will Be Given to Parents in New Jersey

The Finnish "baby boxes" that swept the internet are coming to the US, specifically New Jersey, for a very important reason: to reduce the infant mortality rate. New parents will be given free cardboard boxes to take home for their newborns to sleep in, but these aren't just ordinary cardboard boxes. These nontoxic, chemical-free, and environmentally safe sleep spaces also contain safe sleep educational materials for parents and some newborn essentials such as diapers, a onesie, baby wipes, breast pads, and nipple cream.

New Jersey will officially become the first state to offer the boxes, as its Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board has teamed up with The Baby Box Company after analyzing data that shows Finland, which provides all expectant moms with a cardboard box and mattress for their newborn babies, has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world.

In the United States, the infant death rate is currently at a staggering 6.1 per 1,000 births — more than double that of Finland's 2.3 in 1,000 births — which includes the alarming number of cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) per year. In hopes of lowering that number, The Baby Box Company and New Jersey health officials will offer all new parents a box — all the expectant moms and dads have to do is fill out a form online and take a short quiz on newborn care, then they can either pick it up or have their box delivered.

Los Angeles-based The Baby Box Company, in conjunction with a grant from the CDC, expects to provide around 105,000 boxes in 2017 within New Jersey alone to ensure safe and healthy snoozing environments for newborn babies. Hopefully other states in the country will follow suit if it means saving the lives of little ones.