What every Finn gets as their very first birthday present


Finnish maternity package

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. Like a journalist somewhat sarcastically wrote: No one in Finland has to be born without stuff.

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 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. Even 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 box this time. Grandmothers are reminiscing about their 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 maternity 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 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?