Baby Boxes: A Cure for SIDS or Unregulated Box of Nothing?

April 5, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​The effectiveness of so-called baby boxes—cardboard sleeping boxes that claim to reduce sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)—is being questioned by prominent doctors, according to a March 30, 2017, article in USA Today. The Baby Box Co. hopes to give away 300,000 cardboard boxes before the end of the year, the article said. To receive the box, which also comes with diapers, wipes, and a onesie, parents must first complete an online safety course. Some doctors are calling the Baby Box untested and unregulated, and say the Baby Box Co. is overplaying the similarities between its product and the Finnish program that inspired it. In Finland, the article said, all expectant mothers receive a free box filled with baby necessities like blankets when they go in for a prenatal checkup. The box can then be used as a safe place for the baby to sleep. This program began in the 1930s when one out of every 10 Finnish newborns died within a year, the article said. Today, Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. Many credit this to the box, but critics say that misses the point.

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