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Finnish Babies Sleep In Boxes

baby box

Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • expectant: waiting for something, especially the birth of a baby
  • mortality: death
  • kit: a package of useful items
  • double: to have a secondary purpose
  • onesie: a one-piece shirt and underwear set (also called a diaper shirt)
  • opt out: to decline

Finnish Babies Sleep In Boxes

Did you know that expectant mothers in receive a maternity starter kit from the government? This has been a tradition since 1938. Finland’s maternity program was introduced to lower the infant mortality rate. To receive the kit, an expectant mother in Finland must visit a doctor or pre-natal clinic in the first few months of her . Before the baby is due, a cardboard box full of useful items is delivered to the mother’s home. The box itself doubles as a crib. It comes with a small mattress as well as sheets and a . Some contents in the box have changed over the years. , mothers were given fabric to sew their own baby clothes. Today, onesies, pyjamas, and even a snowsuit are included. Recently, bottles were removed from the boxes in order to encourage breastfeeding. A was added to encourage reading. Mothers can opt out of the program and receive cash instead of the box; however, 95% of Finnish mothers choose the starter kit.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why do many Finnish newborns sleep in cardboard boxes?
  2. What was the original purpose of this program?
  3. What do expectant mothers in Finland have to do to receive this kit?

Discussion Questions: Do you think every country should adopt this program? Why or why not?

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