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

Sandy Hook Hero Is Harrassed By Conspiracy Theorists

Sandy Hook Hero Is Harrassed By Conspiracy TheoristsA man who found six children in his driveway in Newtown, Conn., after their teacher had been shot and killed in last month’s school massacre has become the target of conspiracy theorists who believe the shootings were staged.

‘Gov’t sponsored hoax’

Gene Rosen, a 69-year-old retired psychologist who lives near Sandy Hook Elementary School where the shootings took place, tells Salon.com his inbox is filled with emails like this one:

How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting’. What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov’t sponsored hoax anyway?

On the morning of Dec. 14, Rosen had just finished feeding his cats when he saw six small children “sitting in a neat semicircle” at the end of his driveway. According to the Associated Press:

A school bus driver was standing over them, telling them things would be all right. It was about 9:30 a.m., and the children, he discovered, had just run from the school to escape a gunman.

“We can’t go back to school,” one little boy told Rosen. “Our teacher is dead.”


‘Conspiracy theories’

Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old gunman, had shot his way into the school and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults. Rosen took the four girls and two boys—students of slain teacher Victoria Soto—into his home, gave them toys and comforted them while he tried to reach their parents. He spent the days following the massacre telling his story to the swarming media that invaded the small Connecticut town in the wake of the shootings.

A quick Web search for Rosen’s name reveals some of what he’s opened himself up to: Appearing online are photos of his home, his address and phone number, several fake YouTube accounts and plenty of conspiracy theories.

Do you believe the “conspiracy theory” about Gene Rosen’s account of the Connecticut massacre? OR is he just a victim of twisted thinking?

 

Source: Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News

Image: National Post