March 28, 2008

Finnish Government Handouts Totally Killed Local Cardboard Baby Box Market

finnish_baby_box.jpg

Finland: it's the little differences. I didn't know it was going to be Finland week around here, but DT commenter hfb ties the whole thing together and brings it all home with by pointing out that cardboard box cradles are not just for Y2K-era British yuppie designer babies anymore.

Turns out the always-thoughtful government in Finland sends The Box--a padded cardboard box stuffed with baby clothing and gear that is meant to be used as the kid's first bed--to all expectant parents in the country.

finnish_baby_loot.jpg

The Box is called Äitiyspakkaus in Finnish, and if parents don't want to put their kid in a box, or dress him in exactly the same outfits as the rest of the population, they can opt to receive EUR275 in cash instead. Which, coincidentally, is just enough to buy a cardboard cradle on wheels by Album di Famiglia. Or, Andrew Stafford's Baby Box, if only it hadn't been driven out of production by the Finnish government's rampant, baby-coddling, anti-capitalism.

2007 Äitiyspakkaus kuvina, or try the page above it if that's expired [kela.fi]
Finland Diary: A New Baby Is Coming [washpost via dt reader hfb]

7 Comments

Wow--the Finns really have their priorities right on. Good for them. And the clothes are surprisingly tasteful too.

Well, I don't know if they're always tasteful as I think the 2006 box, the one I got for my kid, had a freakish circus theme which makes the 2007 edition look even more tasteful and the clothes weren't 100% cotton which I'm sort of fussy about even for myself. But, the purpose of the box is to give parents something to start with and it does the job well.

Don't worry though, it's not all wine and roses for kids in Finland where a high incidence of alcoholism is largely attributed to a high rate of domestic violence. When I went to my first pre-natal appointment the nurse asked us both about our use of alcohol and when my husband said he didn't really drink very often or much she first gaped in disbelief and then smiled at me and said I got myself a keeper.

[not wine and roses, just wine? -ed.]

I'm not sure which year's exchange rate you're using, but $175 is definitely not equal to EUR275 if you use this weeks's exchange rate. It's more in the vicinity of 111Euro.

[no kidding, the dollar blows these days. the WP said $175; that's from 2005 or 2004. the kela.fi page says the 2007 box is EUR275 -ed.]

is that an Imse Vimse all-in-one resuable nappy down there at the bottom right?

and nipple cream?
and no bottles or formula?

good on those Finns - no wonder breastfeeding rates are so high...

becster - Yes, it's some sort of 'earth friendly' nappy contraption, though I don't remember the brand. Yes on the nipple cream and no on the bottles/formula. I used to know a couple of women who got terrorized by cranky old women who yelled at them for bottle feeding the baby in public. I don't know if that is why, but I just remember thinking that I'd likely be in jail right now for assaulting some old bitch as I largely formula fed my baby.

Finnish infant death rate is one of the lowest in the world so I reckon they are doing something right and for the less fortunate people, the package just might do the trick.

Some people miss the idea of the package. Of course the "rich" people think it's shabby when they can afford their tiny toddlers some Ralph Lauren or Gucci, but the people who don't get a high pay can make use of this because they might be able to save some money to later life. It's about the government supporting the birth of new future tax payers. It's about giving all babies the basic necessities.

Giving baby formula isn't recommended unless you can't breast feed, btw.

I can afford the Ralph Laurens for my baby but I still took the Package and I'm actually using it. Not the Box, though.

I'm also smart enough not to waste money in order to dress my fast growing crotchfruit in clothes some people use as a mark of status.

what's the Norwegian translation of "crotchfruit"?

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