The state of New Jersey is first in the United States to implement the Baby Box program as a means to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). New parents receive the box after watching a 10 to 15 minute video, and taking a short quiz as part of the Baby Box University curriculum. The program is designed to better educate new parents about safe sleep practices and proper methods of caring for their new baby.
The boxes come filled with much needed supplies including diapers, baby wipes, clothing, breast pads, and has a mattress on the bottom. The package is valued at anywhere from $69 to $199 per box. The Baby Box Company, in partnership with the New Jersey’s Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board (CFNFRB), received a grant from the Center for Disease Control which helped get the program started. The company plans to distribute 105,000 boxes in New Jersey statewide in 2017.
The Baby Box Company CEO and co-founder Jennifer Clary stated, “Our goal is to provide universal access to both education and physical resources for New Jersey parents.” She understands the need is great for both. In 2016, the CFNFRB released a report that an estimated 93 percent of infant fatalities related to SIDS could be traced back to baby’s sleep habits and sleep environments.
Education is key in helping parents of newborns learn how to keep their babies safe. The boxes are safe for the baby to sleep in up until they are six to eight months old. Cardboard boxes were first used and distributed to new mothers in Finland. It is believed that widespread use of these boxes has greatly contributed to their lower infant mortality rate.
The boxes are designed for baby to sleep safely in a clean, uncluttered space. Sleeping in a box also decreases the risk of baby rolling off of the bed. It is also recommended for baby’s space to remain uncluttered with blankets and soft toys that could obstruct their breathing.
The mission of the Baby Box program is to greatly decrease the chances of babies dying from SIDS here in the United States. With more parents receiving the education and resources needed, the mission may prove successful. The Baby Box seems to be just what the doctor ordered to give newborn babies a great start, and their new parents hope.
Do you believe the Baby Box program will help decrease sudden infant deaths in the United States? Let’s discuss here or on Twitter: @lcarterwriter.