The U.K. Just Handed Out Its First Baby Boxes

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UK baby box
UK baby box

You’ve probably heard about those great, efficient little boxes that everyone in Finland has been getting each time they have a baby since 1938.

No? Well, each new mother gets a sturdy cardboard box (that doubles as a safe sleep space) filled with an amazing little starter pack of baby goodies, free of charge, at the hospital when the baby arrives. The box isn’t just a nice luxury: It’s filled with essentials and has been credited over the years with lowering the infant mortality rate in the country.

Through the years, the boxes have gained such notoriety that other countries have followed suit, most recently in Canada, where they were initially funded using a grant and provided by an American startup, the Baby Box Co. Now, the first hospitals in the United Kingdom have begun handing out the same boxes — from California — customized for their U.K. mothers, as reported by the BBC.

The hospital in West London is just the first of a string of hospitals that will begin providing these boxes free of charge in England in the coming months. They include diapers, wipes, a thermometer, clothes, and a mattress to convert the box into a bed, discouraging parents from sleeping with their infants, which is widely considered to be an unsafe sleep practice by pediatricians.

Though it is wonderful to see that this amazing little show of love for new parents by their governments is spreading, it is somewhat incensing to know that an American company is manufacturing the boxes and yet the only way for new American parents to get them is by shelling out between $70 and $100 for one. Just another reminder that the government in the U.S. does not support families.