Finnish baby box, the very first birthday present

 

Finnish baby box

Image source: Kela

 

Can you guess what is in the photo above? It’s a gift from government to every Finnish mother every time she has a child, the Finnish baby box. Like a journalist somewhat sarcastically wrote: No one in Finland has to be born without things.

What is the Finnish baby box?

Practically all the first time mothers in Finland choose this so-called maternity package over 140 euros, a lump sum you can get instead. It seems like good deal: the Finnish baby box contents are well worth over 400 euros if you buy them in the shops. Once you have it, you can rely on having the basics you need in child care, and you can’t forget anything really important. There’s even a toy and a book. The packing box serves as the first cot to the baby (it has a mattress inside). A Finnish version of the baby shower takes place when the women of the family gather up to see what’s in the baby box this time. Grandmothers are reminiscing about their baby boxes.

There’s also grumble, especially about the clothes. They need to fit boys and girls, so they’re often neutrally coloured (= boring) and generously sized. Some mums think they’re plain ugly. Some parents don’t like it that the babies are so uniformly dressed. You can often tell the “model year” of a baby just by looking at what kind of winter suit she’s wearing! The Finnish baby¬†box items have basically no resale value as everyone knows they’re “free”.

But still, it’s so convenient. Only a third of all mothers take the cash (including the ones that have already got one Finnish baby box or more).¬†Almondella has also been somewhat inspired by this unique Finnish invention. What’s your take, would you like to have similar system in your country, too?