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Thinking Inside the Box

It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s. Every new mother, regardless of background or income, gets a baby box from the government. The box contains a stash of supplies – bibs, bodysuits, nappies, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bathing products – as well as a small mattress. Putting the mattress in the bottom of the box creates the baby’s first bed.

It has been credited with helping Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates. Three fathers in Finland set up the Finnish Baby Box Company in 2014 and today, we are seeing this idea spread across the world into the UK, America and India.

three dads in finland

British Baby Box set up in 2015.


Two South African entrepreneurs, Ernst Hertzog of Action Hero Ventures and marketing executive Frans de Villiers, concluded that a plastic box, that can be used as a bath rather than a bed, was more useful for South African mothers.

plastic box

A doctoral student at Harvard University, Karima Ladhani, had a similar idea about adapting the Finnish box for use in South Asia. Which has now swung into operation at a rural hospital in Jagadiya, India. The box includes a clean-birth kit to prevent infection during or soon after delivery and a mosquito net to protect babies against malaria.


These Baby Boxes are being tailored to specific countries and focus on unique problems. Such as in Alberta,  many young mothers are left alone with their new born as the fathers spend weeks at a time working on the oil rigs. Supporting these niche kind of problems can reduce the amount of infant mortality. The Finnish government says it is aware of the global interest in their baby boxes and often provides consultation to other countries. It now gives presentations at embassies around the world.

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Happy Reading! The Branded Team.