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Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes

Since the 1930s, Finland's expectant mothers have been given a box by the government. Has that helped the country achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates?

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Jun 4, 2013 7:28PM

Sometimes less is more.

Take for example, Finland’s tradition of giving all babies a level playing field starting out regardless of their socioeconomic background.

For 75 years, expectant mothers in the Nordic country have been given a starter box of sorts, filled with all the essentials a newborn needs, reports the BBC.

The cardboard maternity box can also be used as a bed, and comes stocked with clothes, bedding, toys and a small mattress.

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Mothers can accept the gift from the government or opt for a cash grant. Ninety-five percent take the box, reports the BBC.

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When the maternity box was introduced in the 1930s, infant mortality was high; 65 out of 1,000 babies died.  Now, Finland triumphs with one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates – only 3.4 deaths per 1,000 babies.

Read the complete story here.

Tell us: What do you think about this "starter kit" for newborns?

Bing: Countries with highest infant mortality rates

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196Comments
Jun 11, 2013 8:15PM
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That is a great idea. Guess they put their babies in the boxes because they're not Finnish'd yet. :-p Too bad it will never catch on here. The Republicans want women to have children they can't afford, while the Democrats don't want children to be born so they want to make abortion easier. With these two extremes, this would never work in the U.S.
Jun 11, 2013 1:59PM
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It is sad that so many of my countrymen and women think that provided proper medical and social care to our fellow citizens is "socialism" (i.e., evil Stalinism) but that it is perfectly okay to drop bombs on innocent people......
Jun 8, 2013 10:35AM
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Great idea! Europeans have always taken better care of their expectant mothers and their babies - paid maternity leave, keeping their jobs available for when they return to the workplace, childcare provided by employers. A starter box. What a great idea. 
Jun 8, 2013 5:37AM
Jun 7, 2013 5:20PM
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WE GIVE MONEY TO PAKISTAN AND OTHER COUNTRIES WHO WASTE AND HAVE CORRUPT GOVTS

 BUT WON'T TAKE CARE OF NEW MOTHERS, WOMEN AND CHILDREN BETTER, WELCOME TO THE US

Jun 7, 2013 12:47PM
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The Finns got it right! This is a great example of safe sleep. Infants should sleep on their backs with nothing in the bed but the baby swaddled with his/her arms out or in a sleep sack. No sleeping with parents or siblings on beds or sofas or recliners!
Jun 5, 2013 5:25PM
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while y'all talk about cracked out ghetto mamas did you ever consider their mirror image, meth'd out, country, 14 yr old Welfare anchor having baby mama's whose meth'd out baby daddies are the equivalent of the cracked out baby daddies in the hood? None of them can talk or drive and have all spent time in jail and so none of them can vote or  hold down a job.  The country boys (rednecks) sup-up thier trucks and the hood boys sup-up thier cars, same difference; and while I'm on it both are decendents of people who came here against thier will.  One on slave ships and the other on convict ships and both raised down south, difference is one's white and the other black.  Let me know if i should go on.....

Jun 5, 2013 4:53AM
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No, we'd rather spend $400 for a plastic piece of **** childs crib. That's the American way!
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