We'll be the first to admit that babies sleeping in boxes sounds more like storybook than real life, but in Finland it's the norm. You see, back in 1938, the northern European country had a very high infant mortality rate (we're talking 65 out of every 1,000 births). So to help expectant mothers, the government started giving out boxes full of newborn essentials (think clothing, outerwear, bedding, bath products) that also served as a bed for the first few months of the baby's life.
The only catch? In order to receive the box mothers had to attend a prenatal screening before the fourth month of their pregnancy. But it appears these drastic measures paid off: Now, Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world — their average was only three deaths for every 1,000 babies in 2013.
Today, mothers are given the choice of the box full of curated items or a grant worth 140 euros — but most take the box since the goodies inside are worth more. Plus, the box's design has evolved over the past 75 years and now features a h mattress-lined bottom. Take a look at what was included in the 2015 box:
So adorable, right? The long-standing tradition has spanned generations and is just another reason why Finland is often regarded as one of the best places in the world for new mothers. Intrigued by the custom? You can buy a version of the kit (ranging between 399 and 599 euros) at Finnish Baby Box.
[via Apartment Therapy