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'Baby box' tradition in Finland leads to lowered infant mortality rates

Baby box

(NaturalNews) It's a little-known Finnish tradition that dates back nearly 80 years, and one that's had a tremendous impact in helping to dramatically boost infant mortality rates throughout the Nordic country: baby gift boxes containing all of the essentials that the Finnish government hands out for free to every new parent.

As crazy as it might sound, these newborn baby boxes have been a benevolent component of Finnish life since the late 1930s, when the government first rolled them out as a way to help improve health outcomes in infants. At first, the program was geared more towards the poor who couldn't afford basics like warm coats and proper bedding, but today it's a privilege in which everyone can partake for the benefit of increased' target='_blank'>http://science.naturalnews.com/Infant_Mortal... survival rates among newborns.

Today, the baby-sized cardboard containers are loaded up with 50 of the most important items needed by a Finnish baby – everything from an infant snowsuit and extra-insulated baby sleeping bag for use during the harsh winter season, to indoor and outdoor clothing for summer, as well as environmentally-friendly http://www.breastfeed.news/" target="_blank">breast pads, blankets and http://www.populationcontrolnews.com/" target="_blank">birth control.

Even the box itself has a use, as it doubles as a bed for the baby's first few weeks of life. Everything that a parent could need, and many items that new parents don't even think about, are included in Finland's https://www.naturalnews.com/baby.html>baby boxes, and folks like Heikki Tiitanen and his wife Sara, new Finnish parents who recently spoke to the UK's The Independent, couldn't be more thrilled about them.

"We were both in tears," Heikki recalled about the couple's experience of opening their https://www.naturalnews.com/baby_box.html>bab... box for the first time. "Going through all the baby items was the moment when I truly understood that we were going to have a baby in the house. As a first-time father, it made everything more concrete."

'Baby boxes' help new parents hit the ground running – and they're coming to many other countries besides Finland

While there is a catch to the program – all baby box recipients must attend government-mandated health checks and counseling sessions – it's a small price to pay for the roughly 95 percent of Fins who take advantage of it. For the Tiitanens, their baby box was a lifesaver that helped them hit the ground running as new parents.

"It really helped us as first-time parents to prepare for the baby both mentally and materially as we knew most essentials were already waiting for the baby," Heikki said. "I'm not ashamed to say it was a relief to know we were that little bit more ready."

The concept is beginning to take flight in other countries throughout Europe as well, where parents are learning about the benefits of having everything they never knew they needed for their newborn babies given to them in a beautifully-packaged box, all ready and waiting.

The Tiitanen's new company, known as The Finnish Baby Box, actually sells custom-made baby boxes to new parents in thousands of cities outside of https://www.naturalnews.com/Finland.html>Finl... that span 75 different countries throughout the world. Like the original Finnish baby boxes, these sets contain clothes, blankets, diapers and other items for babies – all in the iconic styles and colors of Scandinavian trends.

"What we've learned is that new parents have very similar fears, hopes and needs all around the world," Heikki told The Independent. "We are famously great with babies and child related matters from baby safety to education and healthcare."

As a side note, baby boxes are so popular among Finnish parents that the vast majority of them choose these gift packages over cash from the government – both for their value and for their sentimentality.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/heal... target="_blank">Independent.co.uk

www.finnishbabybox.com" target="_blank">FinnishBabyBox.com

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