The Baby Box

When the government of Finland pioneered a program to combat infant mortality rates, they never imagined its popularity would spread worldwide. Over ninety years later, the Finnish Baby Box is still going strong, and infant mortality rates have plummeted to some of the lowest in the world.

The iconic boxes are sent to expectant mothers, filled with everything a baby might need in their first year—diapers, onesies, a sleeping bag, winter gear, bath supplies, books, toys, and a small mattress. The box itself doubles as a bassinet for the baby’s first few months.

Every expectant mother in Finland is eligible to receive a baby box, regardless of income level or citizenship status. They can also opt for a cash grant instead, of about $180, but few do, since the items inside are worth so much more.

In order to get the freebies, women in Finland are required to seek prenatal care during their pregnancy and participate in a program that provides education and informs them about additional resources available to them.

The program started in the 1930s, when one out of ten infants in Finland died in their first year, and few women sought prenatal care. The boxes provided a low-cost incentive for women to set aside old traditions and see a doctor during their pregnancy.

Now the Baby Box program has grown into a cherished tradition and has begun to spread to other countries, including Scotland, India, Canada, and even in the Unites States. Expectant mothers in New Jersey, need only register at

And of course, to meet the growing popularity of this compassionate yet common sense project, several online companies have begun selling commercial versions of the boxes.

The Baby Box provides parents with the essentials their new babies need, wherever they live, giving a healthy head start to their new world.