Finnish Babies Sleep In Cardboard Boxes

Finnish Babies Sleep In Cardboard BoxesFor 75 years, Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It’s like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed. And some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.

‘Equal start in life’

It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and it’s designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they’re from, an equal start in life. The maternity package – a gift from the government – is available to all expectant mothers. It contains bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bathing products for the baby, as well as nappies, bedding and a small mattress.

With the mattress in the bottom, the box becomes a baby’s first bed. Many children, from all social backgrounds, have their first naps within the safety of the box’s four cardboard walls. Mothers have a choice between taking the box, or a cash grant, currently set at 140 euros, but 95% opt for the box as it’s worth much more.


‘Rite of passage’

The tradition dates back to 1938. To begin with, the scheme was only available to families on low incomes, but that changed in 1949.

“Not only was it offered to all mothers-to-be but new legislation meant in order to get the grant, or maternity box, they had to visit a doctor or municipal pre-natal clinic before their fourth month of pregnancy,” says Heidi Liesivesi, who works at Kela – the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

So the box provided mothers with what they needed to look after their baby, but it also helped steer pregnant women into the arms of the doctors and nurses of Finland’s nascent welfare state. At 75 years old, the box is now an established part of the Finnish rite of passage towards motherhood, uniting generations of women.

What do you think of Finland’s cardboard box tradition for babies? Would you let your baby sleep in one?

Source: Helena Lee, BBC News

Image: Facebook

Worker Fired For Being Too ‘Irresistible’

Worker Fired For Being Too 'Irresistible'Can a boss fire an employee he finds attractive because he and his wife, fairly or not, see her as a threat to their marriage? Yes, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday. Such firings may not be fair, but they do not constitute unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, the decision read, siding with a lower court.

‘Distracting’

An attorney for Melissa Nelson, the fired employee, said the decision was wrong. The case concerns her client’s employment as a dental assistant. Nelson worked for James Knight in 1999 and stayed for more than 10 years at the Fort Dodge business. Toward the end of her employment, Knight complained to Nelson her clothing was tight and “distracting,” the decision read. She denied her clothes were inappropriate.

During the last six months of Nelson’s employment, Nelson and Knight, both married with children, started sending text messages to each other outside of work. Neither objected to the texting. Knight’s wife, who was employed at the same dental office, found out about those messages in late 2009 and demanded he fire Nelson.


‘Perceived threat to his marriage’

In early 2010, he did just that. In the presence of a pastor, Knight told Nelson she had become a “detriment” to his family and that for the sakes of both their families, they should no longer work together, the decision read. Knight gave Nelson one month’s severance. Nelson filed a lawsuit, contending that Knight fired her because of her gender. She did not say he committed sexual harassment.

In response, Knight argued that Nelson was fired because of the “nature of their relationship and the perceived threat” to his marriage, not because of her gender.

In your opinion, was it right for James Knight to fire Melissa Nelson for being “irresistible”? Would you have done the same if you were in his shoes?

Source: Dana Ford, CNN

Image: News.com.au