Mothers in Canada are about to start receiving the popular maternity package that mothers in Finland have been receiving for 75 years. It is a maternity package from the government that is designed to be a starter kit of baby supplies.
In Finland, an expectant mother will be given a box full of baby supplies by the state. This tradition dates back to the 1930’s, and is given to all infants in Finland, from all social backgrounds.
The Finland Baby Boxes includes the following items:
* Mattress, mattress cover, under sheet, duvet cover, blanket, sleeping bag/quilt
* Snowsuit, hat, insulated mittens and booties
* Light hooded suit and knitted overalls
* Socks and mittens, knitted hat and balaclava
* Bodysuits, romper suits and leggings in unisex colors and patterns
* Hooded bath towel, nail scissors, hairbrush, toothbrush, bath thermometer, diaper cream, washcloth
* Cloth diaper set and muslin squares
* Picture book and teething toy
* Bra pads and condoms
Place the small mattress (with cover, under sheet, and the rest) into the Baby Box and it becomes baby’s first bed. The box itself becomes a safe place for baby to nap.
For the first time, Canadian expectant mothers will also be receiving Canadian Baby Boxes (based on the ones from Finland). In the fall of 2015, 1,500 Baby Boxes were packed with basic supplies in a makeshift warehouse in Calgary. About 50 first-time moms across the province have already received their Baby Boxes. The project is part of a research study called “Welcome to Parenthood”.
The Canadian Baby Boxes will be handed out to participants who fill out questionnaires and connect with another adult in their social network. That adult will take on a mentorship role as the expectant mom goes from pregnancy to parenthood. The purpose of the Canadian Baby Boxes is to help families who “don’t know what they don’t know” about parenting.
If the results of the program are positive, the “Welcome to Parenthood” program could be scaled and expanded so more new mothers in Alberta, Canada, receive the Baby Box kits. The Canadian Baby Boxes come from a California-based company called “The Baby Box Co.”.
The Canadian Baby Boxes include the following items:
* Sleep sack
* Nursing pads (to encourage breastfeeding)
* Baby thermometer
* Information booklets (from Alberta Health Services)
* Environmentally Friendly Baby Shampoo
* A book (for baby)
* Foam mattress pad and sheet (that meets the Canadian regulations for a bassinet).
The foam mattress and sheet fit into the emptied Baby Box, which becomes baby’s first bed. Like the Baby Boxes from Finland, the Canadian Baby Boxes provide a safe place for a baby to take a nap. The main focus of the Canadian Baby Box program is the mentorship aspect, but it is clear that the baby supplies will also be very helpful.
Image by Matthew Yglesias on Flickr.
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