Finnish government welcomes babies to the world!

by Laura // 11 April 2012, 17:07

Tags: children, parenting

photo of the contents of the baby box: clothing of different sizes, cloth nappies, toiletries, a sleeping bag, toys, books and towels, all in yellows, browns, greens and creams

I just had to link to this post by PhD in Parenting on the baby boxes handed out to new parents in Finland. Apparently you can choose between the box full of useful baby things (which itself turns into a bed for newborns) or EUR 140 cash. Amazing!

They sound a lot more useful than the commercial Bounty packs given out in the UK (though maybe some parents can shed more light on these?).

I do wish we in the UK would wake up and realise that we need people to have children in order for society to continue functioning, and the more support we can give to parents the better.

Comments From You

Becky // Posted 11 April 2012 at 17:43

Loving the fact that they've included reusable nappies - all I got in the Bounty packs were disposable ones.

Holly Combe // Posted 11 April 2012 at 20:06

Having seen the hard work my baby niece required when she'd just been born (indeed, still does!), I agree this Finnish initiative is great. As the piece on PhD in Parenting suggests, anything that might help newborns get a good start in life has to be positive. In many ways, it seems like a pretty sound socialist idea to me. (Personally, I don't see the problem with anything resembling "rampant, baby-coddling anti-capitalism" but that's probably a point for another thread!)

However, it also strikes me that there is sometimes -somewhat paradoxically- a fine line between taking steps to help parents and more Conservative incentives that manipulate people to settle down and have families. Of course, this particular scheme is probably no danger in itself. (It's just a box of baby stuff or €140 after all!) However, I think it’s worth adding that, just as we need some people to have children for society to continue functioning, we also need some not to. Both ways of life are surely equally valid if we strive to take an inclusive approach that values our right to determine the courses of our own lives, wherever possible?

Anji Norman Capes // Posted 11 April 2012 at 20:13

The Bounty packs here are basically a bunch of leaflets, advertisements and a couple of money off coupons. I think I got a tiny tub of Sudocrem (useless) and Vaseline (equally useless) in mine. Independent midwives give out breastfeeding-friendly Mama Packs with ethical stuff in them, but they're nothing like this!

Laura // Posted 11 April 2012 at 20:29

Oh definitely, Holly!

Alex_T // Posted 11 April 2012 at 20:57

Yeah, Bounty packs are mostly just a load of marketing. (Although I have to disagree about the Vaseline, Anji - it has been my ally in the fight back against nappy rash! Much better than any of the more sophisticated creams out there!)

At first glance I thought there might be a load of unnecessary stuff in the Finnish box which actually discourages good parenting (e.g. bottles which discourage breastfeeding) but really it does look like genuinely useful gear. Hurrah for the Nordic countries. Again.

Beth // Posted 11 April 2012 at 23:59

Did someone say Bounty Packs????
http://www.analyticalarmadillo.co.uk/2012/03/that-innocent-little-bounty-pack.html
Hmmmmm....

LOVE the Finnish alternative.

Hanna // Posted 12 April 2012 at 13:49

I have personal experience of this box, admittely it was 25 years ago and I was rather small at the time. Anyway I'm really glad (most of the time) live in Finland, knowing that my tax money is spend also to useful things like the box. Even if I didn't have child/ren myself, I think it's important to support those who have because eventually it will be good for everyone. Oh my, I hope I don't sound awfully communist. :P

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