This is Why Babies in Finland Sleep in a Box

Baby sleeping in a "baby box".

Think of a babies’ bed. If you’re thinking about a traditional crib, odds are you’re living in the U.S., the U.K., ect. But if you thought “baby box”, then you’re most likely reading from Finland. It might sound strange to people who aren’t used to the idea, but what the Finnish put their babies to sleep in is exactly what it sounds like — a box.

This might have you, off the bat, fearing for the safety of these children. If you’re not used to the idea of a newborn baby literally sleeping in a cardboard box, it probably seems like a horrible, dangerous notion. But rest assured, the babies of Finland are nothing but content! And their baby boxes play a big part in that.

In Finland, every baby is given the exact same start. They may be born into different families and different socioeconomic classes, but each baby is born with the same gift: their baby box. Every baby box includes the follow things:
  • Mattress, blanket, sleeping bag/quilt, mattress cover, undersheet
  • Box itself doubles as a crib
  • 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, nappy cream, washcloth
  • Cloth nappy set and muslin squares
  • Picture book and teething toy

The boxes are free of charge for the families, as each one is provided by the Finnish government. Due to this “parent starter kit”, if you will, recent studies have found that Finnish parents are the happiest in the world.

More importantly, the infant mortality rate in Finland has plummeted to the lowest in the world since the box was introduced 75 years ago; by comparison, the U.S. has double the rate of infant deaths.

So this strange concept of a baby sleeping in a cardboard box? Might not be so crazy after all.

Dr. Corinn Cross, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, says that a basic box with a nice fitted sheet in the bottom is actually safer for a child to sleep in than the traditional crib. One of the biggest fears associated with all the pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals found in comfy cribs is that the baby will accidentally suffocate during the night.

In a baby box, that fear is null and void.

To any new mothers who are intrigued by this idea and wishing they lived in Finland, wish no more – there is now a baby box company here in the States, appropriately named The Baby Box Co. and based in Los Angeles. Co-founder Michelle Vick says that there are different types of boxes you can invest in, but two the basic box and the deluxe box are the most popular.

The basic box, which at $69.99 comes with your baby’s new sleeping box and the fitted bottom mattress, or the deluxe box. In the deluxe box, which can go upwards of $250, includes all your basic essentials, mimicking the “starter kit” that the Finnish government gives out to new parents.

Babies usually transition out of the box after 6-8 months, and after this point parents can use the box for storage.

What do you think of this out-of-the-box idea? Do you think it’s a little too strange or do you like the idea? Share your thoughts on the baby box in the comments section below.