In Finland, the government provides a box of baby supplies to every new mom, including a mattress for 75 years. It’s like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed. And some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.
In Finland, it’s a tradition that dates back to the 1938 and it was designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they are from, an equal start in life.
The maternity package – a gift from the government – is available to all expectant mothers. Although the contents of boxes change over time, it usually contains bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bathing products for the baby, as well as nappies, bedding and a small mattress. With the mattress in the bottom, the box becomes a baby’s first bed in this world. Many children, from all social backgrounds, have their first naps within the safety of the box’s fourcardboard walls.
Mothers have a choice between taking the box, or a cash grant, currently set at 140 euros, but 95% opt for the box as it’s worth much more.
The application is part of the government of Finland’s maternity package for all mothers, regardless of social status or income. It’s part of what’s called the “baby starter kit”, which new mothers enjoy in Finland since the 1930’s.