Specially designed laminated cardboard boxes have been providing a safe sleeping environment for babies in Finland for years. Now those so called “baby boxes” are becoming more popular in the United States.
Nathan Littauer Hospital is the first medical center in New York to embrace the baby box movement.
"We're serving a rural community. We're serving moms that could really need this. Moms who may move frequently. Moms who may not have that shiny new crib," said Nathan Littauer VP Marketing Cheryl McGrattan.
McGrattan said whether or not parents have a crib waiting at home they'll still get the box packed with items necessary for baby's first days.
But before they get the baby box, they're required to watch an instructional video explaining best care practices for the newborn. Along with putting baby to sleep on their back to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, parents will learn about how babies should sleep on a firm mattress with snugly fitted sheets, which are also in the baby boxes.
About 2,000 babies a year in the United States are harmed by sleeping in the parent’s bed. The baby boxes will protect those newborns.
Three-day-old Genevive Hart is the first baby born at Nathan Littauer Hospital to go home with a baby box. While she does have a crib, her mom Caroline, said the baby box will be a welcome addition when they get home.
"It’s very functional. We can bring it from room to room, wherever we need to set her down, maybe in a hurry," said Caroline.
Baby boxes are available to buy from online stores and range in price from $70 to $450. You can also find instructions on how to make your own.