Does Your Infant Need To Sleep In A Baby Box?

March 24, 2017
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In Finland, when a new baby is born, the government sends parents home with a cardboard box.

It’s a kind of starter pack for baby. It includes essentials like clothes, hats, socks and bath towels and the actual box holding it all, is a box which is meant for the baby to sleep in.

Now, Ohio and New Jersey are also offering these baby boxes to new parents. The box is outfitted with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet and is part of a drive to educate parents on what a safe sleeping environment is for newborns.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States in 2015, there were 3,700 sudden unexpected infant deaths, which includes cases of “accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed,”

So do the baby boxes actually reduce the risks of injury and death?

Patricia Gabbe, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and founder of Moms2B (a program that offers support to high-risk expectant moms), told FoxNews:
We’ve looked at these boxes for the last year. They’re good in the sense that it sends the right message that the baby should sleep without accouterments: no blankets, stuffed animals or baby bumpers,”

However, Gabbe harped on the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) hasn’t yet supported using cardboard baby boxes. “We need more research that looks at their effectiveness, especially in urban cities,” she added: “We support anything that will help save a baby’s life, but there haven’t been safety studies that we need,”  Until that takes place, she suggested an alternate approach.

In Columbus, Ohio, Moms2B provides Pack ‘n Plays to moms who need a safe place for their baby to sleep (instead of a box) and have provided over 1,000 to local families for free.

“They’re durable, portable, and appropriate for moms to use until the baby is 1 year old,” she said.

Baby boxes are limited due to the fact that when your baby starts to pull up or roll over — they can’t sleep there anymore.

Also, culturally, moms in the U.S. are not accustomed to putting their baby to sleep in a box. While it may be tempting to put the box with the baby in it on the bed, it introduces another danger.

The AAP recommends that infants sleep in the same bedroom as parents. They can sleep in a bassinet or crib for at least the first six months. They also recommend always putting your baby to sleep on his or her back and keep everything out of their crib.

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