New Jersey, Ohio and Alabama are the first states to implement the baby box system
While Finland has been distributing baby boxes — a box with a firm foam mattress and a fitted sheet — for the last 80 years, the US has just started to latch on to its benefits.
The baby box movement, which is being led by Baby Box Co. in the US, intends to offer new parents another form of defense against SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Specifically, the baby boxes target some of the more controllable risk factors of SIDS. For instance, the small box serves a reminder that babies should be sleeping on their backs, instead of on their sides or face down.
The baby box is portable in size and weight, which makes it easy for parents to place in a space near them without placing the baby itself on their bed with them – this is another factor that increases the risk of SIDS.
While Baby Box Co. has an online store where a variety of baby boxes are sold, the ones being distributed in New Jersey, Ohio and Alabama are a part of a free program offered to all parents of newborns born in these states. Parents are required to go through a short online tutorial on the risk factors associated with SIDS and to take a quiz before they are able to collect their free baby box.
According to the CDC there were a reported 1,600 SIDS-related deaths in 2015. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to follow doctor recommendations for children’s sleep habits until the age of one.