Back in 1938, Finland’s government decided to distribute a “starter pack” for all expectant mothers in their country.
The contents of these packs are:
- Mattress, mattress cover, undersheet, duvet cover, blanket, sleeping bag/quilt
- Box itself doubles as a crib
- Snowsuit, hat, insulated mittens and booties
- Light hooded suit and knitted overalls
- Socks and mittens, knitted hat and balaclava
- Bodysuits, romper suits and leggings in unisex colours and patterns
- Hooded bath towel, nail scissors, hairbrush, toothbrush, bath thermometer, nappy cream, washcloth
- Cloth nappy set and muslin squares
- Picture book and teething toy
- Bra pads, condoms
The best part of this is that the box that comes with it serves as the baby’s first bed; almost all Finnish babies have had their first naps in those boxes. Mothers are given the choice between the maternity package, or a €140 (around $157) cash grant; almost 95% of mothers choose the package, given that it is definitely worth more valuable than the cash grant.
Nowadays the box is pretty much a rite of passage for all Finnish mothers: making them some of the happiest in the world thanks to their government. It’s definitely much better to let the child sleep in a make-shift bed, instead of buying an obscenely expensive cradle that won’t get much use after the second year.