Etsy recently blogged about Finland’s Baby Boxes, or Maternity Packs as they are called there and I was really interested in the idea. In Finland, expecting parents (including adoptive parents) can claim the maternity pack or ask for a cash benefit instead. These packs are available to all citizens no matter what their income level and they can even be purchased for ex-pats or other people outside of Finland who are interested in receiving one of the boxes but are not eligible to receive them for free.
The packs include baby clothing, bath items, bedding and a mattress- the box can even be used as a crib. But my favourite item that is included with the kit? A picture book. How great is that? By including a picture book the government is putting an emphasis on education and early literacy. They are supporting the baby’s physical needs by including baby items that will keep the baby safe, warm and clean but by including the book they are also supporting the baby’s cognitive needs as well. I love it.
Here’s some of my favourite baby books:
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
- But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
- Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins
- Not A Box by Antoinette Portis
- Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton (or y’know, any of Boynton’s books!)
- Brown Bear, brown Bear, What Do You See? A classic book by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle