Since 1938, the Finnish government has gifted every new parent in the country with a ‘Baby Box’. Equipped with everything from bath thermometers and onesies in unisex colours to snowsuits – an essential for any Finnish bub – and teething toys, the boxes are also snooze-safe spots for babies to sleep in for the first eight months or until they can pull themselves up independently. Here’s how one Aussie is taking this initiative international.
I first heard of the Finnish tradition [of Baby Boxes] when I was pregnant with my daughter three and a half years ago. I was fascinated by the concept and couldn’t believe the impact Baby Boxes had on infant mortality in Finland [which has one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates]. It was incredible to me that a seemingly simple solution could be such a game-changer.
Last year, when I was pregnant with my second child, my mum happened to work with The Baby Box Co. on a government project in Canada and suggested I speak to the founders, Jennifer Clary and Michelle Vick, about bringing Baby Boxes to Australian families. Jennifer and Michelle were totally supportive of having an Australian office for The Baby Box Co. and now, after months of planning, our Melbourne office is up and running.
The Baby Box is so much more than a box: it’s a safe sleep space and new parent starter kit in one. It offers parents the ability to have their baby close 24/7 without compromising baby’s safety. Preparing and caring for a newborn is exciting, but let’s be honest: it’s also really tough! I’m proud that our carefully curated Baby Boxes take the guesswork out of the equation for busy mums and dads in Australia, allowing them to spend more hands-on time with their little one and less time stressing about shopping. We don’t include anything in our Baby Boxes that we haven’t tested personally and we emphasise high-quality, safe, natural goods.
One of the products I’m particularly excited about is the Baby Box University membership card, included in every Baby Box we ship. Baby Box University is an educational program about pregnancy, maternal health, early child development and parenting. Top doctors, delivery nurses, health advocates and other experts from all over the world have contributed content in the hopes of reaching new parents with crucial educational information in the form of videos, articles and e-books.
The biggest challenge has been time management. I’m a mum and The Baby Box Co. is like another child for me – one that doesn’t sleep very well! Business strategy, returning emails, education development, community outreach planning; all these aspects of this enterprise are significant and take time to do right. I’m so excited about everything my team and I are building and it’s incredibly rewarding, but bringing The Baby Box Co. to Australia has definitely been a challenging labour of love.