In Finland, the government provides a box of baby supplies to every new mom, including a mattress


Mothers who live in Finland get to take home everything above when they bring home their new baby. In a government program that started in the 1930s, moms receive maternity boxes to help them care for their new child. Finland had an extremely high newborn mortality rate in the 30s, which has plummeted over the year, according to the BBC.

In the 1930s and 40s, the box was only available for low-income families, but in 1949 it became available for everyone.

Here’s what every new mother gets:

    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, wash cloth
    Cloth nappy (diaper) set and muslin squares
    Picture book and teething toy
    Bra pads, condoms

The contents of the box change with the times. At one point the box contained disposable diapers, but they decided to go back to cloth because those are more environmentally friendly. The earliest versions of the box contained fabric for the mothers to make their own baby clothes.

The mattress is included to discourage families from sleeping with their newborn. If a crib isn’t available, the baby can actually sleep in the box with the mattress for a while. Mothers also have the choice of taking a cash grant instead of the box, which amounts to about $200. In order to get the box expectant mother have to visit a doctor or municipal pre-natal clinic before their fourth month of pregnancy.

Here’s an older version of the maternity pack:


Should something like this be offered in the U.S. and other countries?

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  • mrsrogers85

    Yes the US should offer this!!! Many mothers need these in the US!!!

    • LexiconD1

      We do…it’s called welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing, medicaid…

    • Anna

      We are not Finland. We do not have their history, politics, culture, economy, social structure, etc, etc. Finland is a very well-run, very insular country. The most intelligent, most educated people in the world are the Finns. Frankly, if we want what they have, we’d have to start fresh all over again.

    • StefaniAnn

      And exactly whose pocket do you think this be coming out of? The US should not do this. Like the above poster said, if you can’t afford these basic necessities you shouldn’t be having a child.

  • heyBale

    A wise person would say, that if you cant provide the basic necessities for a new born, then you have no place in making a new born.

    • Geniya

      what about rape victims they did not choose their fate. I bet you will say “they should abort or give up for adoption”

      • W

        A truely wise and good person would say “the newborn is here, it is innocent, let’s make sure it is taken care of well – instead of wining over money and punishing poor mothers, because we are humans”.

        • Geniya

          thank you for restoring faith in humanity

        • A.J.

          That was one of the most compassionate and sensible things I’ve read. Thank you.

    • No_prayers_to_spare

      A wisER person would realize you can say that until you’re blue in the face but un intended pregnancies will still happen. If you are pro life you are obligated to support programs like this that aid children born into poverty, if you’re pro choice like I am you support these programs as well.

    • A.J.

      Not everyone becomes pregnant by choice. For those that do, people are not perfect. It’s wrong to place all the blame on their shoulders, or to say that they don’t have the right to love and care for a baby. Should all poor women not have children because they’re not monetarily secure?

  • Nathan

    Should this be provided in the U.S.? Sure, let’s just add the bill onto our already out of control debt.

    Honestly, this seems like a waste of money. If an expectant mother needs financial assistance, we already have all kinds of programs like WIC to help her out. If an expectant mother doesn’t need financial assistance, why send her a $200 gift basket at taxpayer’s expense? Just wouldn’t make sense either way.

    • Anna

      That gift basket above is worth much more than $200!

      • Nathan

        Ok, then – $300, $400, $800, whatever. That just further proves my point. But, the article states mothers have the option of a box or a cash grant of $200, so I’m assuming that’s roughly the value of the box.

  • savannah

    I agree this system wouldn’t work everywhere. But it sure is cool to see such a program!

  • A.J.

    I think that it’s an excellent idea, and it would be nice if the same changes were implemented everywhere. One thing that I notice is the inclusion of breast pads, which isn’t surprising considering Finland’s high breastfeeding rates. The assumption that the mother is going to breastfeed is such a contrast between the formula goody bags that are given to the mothers here who are leaving the hospital.

  • kayla

    It says to get this you have to see a doctor BEFORE the first month of pregnancy. Usually unintended pregnancies are not found out that early. So this would be pretty useless for them, they wouldn’t be able to get it at all.

    • Cailtin

      I read another article where the mothers needed to be seen before the 4th month, I agree unintended pregnancies are not found before the first month.

      Some pregnancy tests even say to wait for a month to get an accurate reading

      • starcasmnet

        Yes, it’s supposed to be the fourth month. Typo.

    • starcasmnet

      Sorry, supposed to be fourth month.

  • Sara

    No, unless you want to see more dumb pregnant teens!