LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – It may sound cruel and unusual to let your baby sleep in a box. But in some countries, the practice is common and has been used for decades.
Across the United States and in Southern California, the idea of allowing infants to sleep in boxes is catching on as some experts say it is safer for the newborns.
Michelle Vick is a mother-of-two and the co-founder of The Baby Box Co. based in Los Angeles. “Sometimes, the simplest solution is the safest solution,” she said.
The concept of having a baby sleep in a box is relatively new to the United States, but it is been around for the past 75 years in Finland.
“Every pregnant woman has received a baby box, which is essentially a new parent-starter kit full of all sorts of items they need the first year,” Vick said. “It’s lined with a fitted mattress so the box itself serves as a safe living space.”
Since the box’s introduction in Finland, the country’s infant mortality rate plummeted to one of the lowest levels worldwide, where as in the U.S., nearly twice as many babies died in the first year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Baby in a box accomplishes a lot of things that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends,” said Dr. Corinn Cross, pediatrician and spokesperson for the AAP.
“You want to have your baby without any other loose bedding. So a baby in a box, if it has a nice tight-fitting mattress and just a little sheet on top of it, there’s no bumpers; there’s no pillows; there’s no stuffed animals. So there’s not a lot less things for the baby to suffocate on,” Cross said.
Babies typically transition out of the box between six to eight months.
The Baby Box Co. sells its standard box for $69.99. The deluxe box packed with newborn essentials including onesies, swaddle blankets and bibs sell for up to $225.