Thursday, 30 June 2016

Will Nigerian government consider Finland's baby boxes to reduce infant deaths?

Baby in a box

Are you a new parent who has spent a lot on expensive cots, prams and Moses baskets, you obviously might find it a bit odd to be told to put your baby to sleep in a cardboard box.

But in Finland, it's the norm. Their government has given every expectant mum 'baby boxes' for decades, since the 1930s, which the babies sleep in for up to the first eight months of their lives.

They've been hailed as the reason why Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

After the Finnish government gave one to Prince William and Kate Middleton before the birth of Prince George , their popularity grew.

UK has some of highest rates of infant mortality in Europe, has taken this step and now it's come to London.

Baby in a box

Women who have their babies at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital will be the first in the country to receive new Finnish-style ‘baby boxes’ for their newborns to sleep in as part of a new pilot.

In Finland, the tradition is thought to have contributed to reducing the infant mortality rate from 65 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 1938 to just 2.26 per 1000 births in 2015.

What is in the Finnish baby box?

The boxes, which are made from a very thick cardboard, are traditionally used in Finland as a baby’s bed for up to the first eight months of their life.

Finnish-style 'baby boxes' will be given to new mothers in England for the first time as part of a pilot aimed at reducing levels of cot deaths in the UK

The 'baby box' concept is very simple, yet at the same time very smart. It is to support, encourage and motivate expecting mothers and to give all children a decent and an equal start in life. Every expecting mother in Finland receives the package free of charge.

The box includes many relevant items  for the child, such as a mattress and cover, clothes, duvet, various baby bath kit and reusable nappies. The box itself can be used as the baby's first bed!

The box also contains
A baby grow
Teething ring
Hat and booties
Wash cloth
Thermometer (probably one of the most important items as a raised temperature can a be an indicator something is wrong with the baby)
Baby wipes
Baby wash
Membership to the 'Baby Box university' a unique online platform where new mothers can get advice from doctors and nurses they have come into contact with during their birth journey.

Nigeria has one of the highest mortality rates in Africa. Will our government consider this great innovation?