Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 06-04-2013, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22751415?SThisFB


What a neat thing! If your country offered this box, would you take one? 

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#2 of 26 Old 06-04-2013, 08:19 PM
 
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I think its wonderful and would definitely take one ! I especially love the part about all the generations of women coming to see what was in the box.
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#3 of 26 Old 06-04-2013, 08:41 PM
 
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That is so cool! Every country should do this. 

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#4 of 26 Old 06-04-2013, 08:43 PM
 
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No, I wouldn't have taken the box. I'd prefer the money so I could buy what I'd really use.
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#5 of 26 Old 06-04-2013, 09:16 PM
 
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Free cloth diapers!
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#6 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 02:11 AM
 
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I would take the box. It sounded like it was full of things I'd use - clothes, nappies, a story book.

I think it is a lovely idea. And I also loved the stories of the generation coming together and getting excited. And that they have a different colour scheme for each year.
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#7 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 03:27 AM
 
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I think it's terrific. The items in the photo are beautiful. And I love that Scandi design. I like that they are gender-neutral colours and patterns.   I guess it would be kinda disappointing if you really didn't like the items but it sounds like almost everyone does:  

 

 

Quote:

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.

 

Most of all, this is wonderful: 

 

 

 


 

Quote:

And in addition to all this, Pulma says, the box is a symbol. A symbol of the idea of equality, and of the importance of children.

 

 

 

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#8 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 06:58 AM
 
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I want to move to Finland and have a baby - that stuff is adorable. 

 

I agree with Ollyoxenfree about the social significance of the box too.  It's important that it's available to everyone, and that it's a symbol of Finland's recognition of the importance of children and families.

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#9 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 08:14 AM
 
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I love this idea!

The dad's testimonial also resonated with me: "She did get a free box from the Finnish state. This felt to me like evidence that someone cared, someone wanted our baby to have a good start in life."

I would take one. I think it's great that it can double as a crib so you can get by for a couple of months before having to spend more money on a real crib etc.


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#10 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 08:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

I think it's terrific. The items in the photo are beautiful. And I love that Scandi design. I like that they are gender-neutral colours and patterns.   I guess it would be kinda disappointing if you really didn't like the items but it sounds like almost everyone does:  

 

Yes, I think it's terrific, too, and I love that everyone starts off by dressing their babies in gender neutral clothing, instead of all the ridiculous business with pink & blue.

 

I also think it's interesting that they put disposable diapers in for awhile, but people preferred the cloth, so they went back to cloth.

 

And I had to laugh when I read that there are condoms in the box, too. Wow, they thought of everything.

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#11 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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I think it's lovely! I read that they no longer give away bottles and dummies, and that breastfeeding rates are now higher. joy.gif


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#12 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 11:24 AM
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One of our bloggers wrote a great post last year where she featured a Finnish mom talking about her Box. Check it out here

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#13 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 12:13 PM
 
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This is adorable! Thanks for sharing, had no idea this existed!

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#14 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 03:23 PM
 
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I wonder what the rate of co-sleeping is in Finland.
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#15 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post

I agree with Ollyoxenfree about the social significance of the box too.  It's important that it's available to everyone, and that it's a symbol of Finland's recognition of the importance of children and families.

I cross posted this in Parenting because I really enjoyed the article. I thought it was very sweet, especially the part you mentioned.

 

My DH sent the article to me and I told him that I shared it on MDC and we did discuss the part of the article that discusses the box as a deterrent to bed sharing. I am a co-sleeper and have 7 years of sleeping with my children under my belt. So, I do agree that that part of the article is a good thing to discuss critically. However, even as a co-sleeper, I did crave a safe spot for my younger child to rest because she was not into baby wearing. So, I think the box could be used in addition to co-sleeping even if the intentions were to discourage it. 

 

From the article, I also liked the part about choosing items that encourage BFing (which indirectly encourages co-sleeping, IME, BTW), cloth diapering, literacy, gender neutral clothing, and anti-consumerism - all things that fit well with NFL.  

 

Thanks for posting, Momsteader! 

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#16 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 08:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Melanie Mayo View Post

One of our bloggers wrote a great post last year where she featured a Finnish mom talking about her Box. Check it out here

 

I loved this from the article: 

Quote:
While the box alone cannot create material equality for all babies born in this country, it is only one of many benefits designed to give children a good, fair start to life. There’s no shame in using public aid that everyone accesses and there’s no statement of consumerist individuality in the clothing that all babies are wearing.

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#17 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 08:21 PM
 
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I also wanted to share that I did have another thought while reading the article. What about all the hand-me-downs?  It seems like if there are several years worth of clothing (or at least outer wear) in these boxes that Finland must have so much clothing with nowhere to go. I wondered about that and would love to hear if anyone knows more about this. 


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#18 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 08:54 PM
 
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IdentityCrisisMama, is MDC working to manufacture controversy on this?

 

I am deeply unworried about underused Finnish baby clothes.  There's not "several years" of clothing in the box - there's an inventory here:  http://www.kela.fi/web/en/maternitypackage  It looks like first six months stuff to me, although I appreciate that the snowsuit is biggish.

 

Babies don't necessarily match anyone's growth or size expectations, so I know of no way to outfit infants that doesn't have a fair amount of potential waste built in.  Both my kids had some outfits worn to death, and some that they outgrew without ever wearing.  Getting one box with a solid starter set would probably have made it easier for me to point our well-intentioned relatives at other things to get us (or just saved us a lot of money), and might have spared us some emergency post-partum errands.  It is certainly far cheaper per baby for the government to contract to have these things produced in quantity and then to distribute them to parents then it would be for each parent to go out and independently buy the same quantity of stuff.  That's the miracle of mass production.  Also, with larger production runs, ethical sourcing for materials and production becomes much more manageable - I shudder to think where Target is buying cotton and having it made up, but the Finnish government can probably arrange production in the EU for the 60,000 or so baby boxes they need per year.

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#19 of 26 Old 06-05-2013, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The article stated that one parent said she didn't take the box for her next child as she just used what she had from the previous child, and took the money instead.  That made sense to me, and is probably what happens.

 

MeepyCat, I don't think anyone is trying to manufacture anything?? I was the OP and found the article on my FB news feed, and I reposted here with the original title intact which yes, was likely crafted by the BBC to grab your attention and get you to read it. I probably would have just scrolled right past it on my newsfeed if not for the title, but glad i read it as it was much more to it than the title implied. I personally found the article fascinating which was why I reposted here. Glad to see Melanie adding the blog post as even though I'm an avid blog reader, I didn't remember that one which obviously is relevant. 


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#20 of 26 Old 06-06-2013, 02:44 AM
 
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Wait... They include condoms but not sanitary pads or tampons!

hmmm... have I missed something or am I right?

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#21 of 26 Old 06-06-2013, 03:40 AM
 
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Momsteader, I love the article, and I'm glad you posted it. The comment about controversy was aimed at what I saw as a rather strained question about a possible environmental concern.

Fwiw, I don't think loving the baby box makes anyone anti-cosleeping either. smile.gif
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#22 of 26 Old 06-06-2013, 03:49 AM
 
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IdentityCrisisMama, is MDC working to manufacture controversy on this?

Nope - not at all. It was aimed at me expressing one of the things I thought of while reading the article.  And one of the things I found interesting while living in Europe (the different ways of dealing with second-hand clothing).  And me being an avid thrifter wanting to know where all the snowsuits go 'cuz I kinda want one. 

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#23 of 26 Old 06-06-2013, 07:25 AM
 
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I wonder if the box has an impact on crib/bassinet sales in Finland?  I'm the sort who co-slept, but needed a safe place to put the baby for those occasional not-in-arms naps, so for me, the perfectly serviceable box would have made me less likely to go get anything else.  I wonder how many Finnish families react similarly?
 

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#24 of 26 Old 06-06-2013, 12:33 PM
 
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I love the idea of the box and what it says about the society. However, the BBC reported the following:

"Encouraging good parenting has been part of the maternity box policy all along.

"Babies used to sleep in the same bed as their parents and it was recommended that they stop," says Panu Pulma, professor in Finnish and Nordic History at the University of Helsinki. "Including the box as a bed meant people started to let their babies sleep separately from them.""

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22751415

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#25 of 26 Old 06-07-2013, 03:12 AM
 
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I love the idea of the box and what it says about the society. However, the BBC reported the following:

"Encouraging good parenting has been part of the maternity box policy all along.

"Babies used to sleep in the same bed as their parents and it was recommended that they stop," says Panu Pulma, professor in Finnish and Nordic History at the University of Helsinki. "Including the box as a bed meant people started to let their babies sleep separately from them.""

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22751415

At least they are likely to be sleeping in the same room as their parents

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#26 of 26 Old 08-30-2013, 01:48 PM
 
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The Title of this article makes it sound like there is nothing but a cardboard box. That idea is fallacy.

I AMD FIIN, BORN IN HELSINKI, FINLAND MANY MOONS AGO. My oldest son was born in Helsinki back in 1959. I also received this"  baby package " then. Yes, it was made of heavy cardboard, but was nice looking for baby to sleep in. From what I have of photos of baby items now days is totally different than what I received back then. There were nice clothing for just born, blanket, receiving blanket etc. included. Sounds like Finns have changed items many times over the years for this baby gift.

Way back then there were not that many babies born at all, as then we had less than 5 million people in all of fFinland. Finns were observing  rule that you had no kids if you could not afford them, or else births were controlled until you could afford them and live comfortable life. One must remember we were recovering from war against the Russia and times were hard. Nobody wanted have more members of family and live poorly. 

Most families had one of two children. It was considered huge family if you had three of more kids back then. Now days the immigrants from all sorts of countries are with entirely different mind set. More the merrier, no end in sight.

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