They were giving them out in 1938. they were giving them out in 1949. They were giving them out in 2008. And yes, the BBC's WTFScandinavianParenting correspondent reports this week that Finland is giving out cardboard bassinets stuffed with free, gender-neutral baby gear to every expectant mom in the country, and everyone's THRILLED about it.
Because despite being frozen and dark half the year, and always feeling like you're one power-mad czarist away from becoming the Puerto Rico of Russia, Finland's got some of the healthiest babies and best-prepared parents in the world, all because of a free box of stuff:
Mika Gissler, a professor at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, gives several reasons for this - the maternity box and pre-natal care for all women in the 1940s, followed in the 60s by a national health insurance system and the central hospital network.Yes indeed, this is entirely and solely because of a free box of baby clothes, a box your kid can sleep in for a few weeks. If only America would give out free cardboard boxes to babies, all our healthcare woes would be solved!
Nothing else to see here in Finland, move along!