Live from SXSW: So Much Buzz About Baby Boxes

The same day that NBC News reported another story about the “safe sleep” programs using “baby boxes,” we met a woman from Finland at South by Southwest (SXSW) who says her mom used a baby box when she was an infant.

In case you haven’t heard of baby boxes, the concept originated in Finland in the 1930s as a way to decrease the nation's infant mortality rate. A visitor to our #PoweredByPaper gallery at the SXSW trade show stopped by Booth 819 to interact with our paper-based innovations when she saw the Baby Box Co.’s cardboard baby box on display. She explained that her mom had used one for her when she was a baby as part of Finland’s baby box program, a tradition continues in the country today and is spreading around the globe and the U.S., where there are an estimated 3,500 deaths from Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS) each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The sturdy cardboard boxes can be used as a bed for the baby until 5 or 6 months of age, and are lightweight enough to be moved from room to room.

Just this year, New Jersey began giving new parents free cardboard "baby boxes" as part of a statewide safe-sleeping campaign that aims to reduce the number of infants dying from SUIDS. New Jersey is the first state where all expecting and new parents can receive a mattress-lined cardboard box and baby care supplies from the California-based Baby Box Co., after completing an online parenting education