Ukraine has become the latest country to introduce a baby box for all newborns, modeled on the original Finnish concept.
From 1st September, all families with new babies are entitled to receive the package, which has contents with a value of around €150.
“The Finnish maternity pack is an excellent invention, but other countries have started to understand its usefulness for newborns only recently. The spread of ideas such as this conveys a positive message from Finland and about Finnishness,” Maria Ågren, Counsellor at the Finnish Embassy in Kiev, says in a press release.
The baby box initiative has been widely reported in Ukrainian media, where it’s seen as an important social policy investment by the government.
The first baby boxes were given to Finnish mothers in the 1930s.
Baby Boxes Around The World
Ukraine is not the first country to adopt Finland’s baby boxes.
In Scotland, the government launched their own scheme in 2017 and by August 2018 had given out more than 52,000 boxes to new parents.
Around 85% of Scottish parents take advantage of the boxes, with the government investing some €8.8 million during the first year of the scheme alone.
One of the boxes will even be made into an exhibit at the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh next year, marking its contribution to equality in Scotland.
In New Zealand, the Waikato District’s Maori health Service Waikato DHB announced back in 2015 that they would also start introducing Finnish-style baby boxes.
The NZ version includes a safe sleep bassinet with bedding – including a merino wool blanket – nappies, wipes, face cloths, baby wraps and a stretch-and-grow, as well as a medical kit and tooth brush.
The packs are given out to all pregnant mothers who attend the health service’s special pregnancy and parenting programme.