Letting a baby sleep in cardboard boxes as their first bed is not something I have heard of in this part of the world. And granted, if I take that statement at face value, it almost sounds downright cruel.
But, a Finnish friend of mine shared an article recently, and I am absolutely enlightened by it.
For the last 75 years, all expectant mothers in Finland are provided with a box in the form of a starter kit by the state. They include really useful items like clothes, nappies, bedding and mattress. With the mattress at the bottom of the box, it instantly becomes a make-shift bed for the newborn. I am instantly drawn to what the article said, “It’s designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they are from, an equal start in life.”
I find it heart-warming that the Finnish government provides such thoughtful aid to its people. This is not about the box being the baby’s first bed, but rather what that box represents in easing up the stress for new parents, especially if it is something which they can’t easily afford.
Maybe I’m naive, but I thought this is one of the better welfare systems I have heard since sliced bread. It sounds like a genuine extension of help to provide for its people.
I guess I will be looking at cardboard boxes in a different light now.