For the past few years, the Finnish baby box story has been making the rounds. Long story short, in the 1930s the Finnish government introduced an initiative to address their unusually high infant mortality rate and gave new mothers a box filled with clothing and essentials that could double as a bassinet. It was incredibly successful and has been a staple ever since.
But I have to say I wasn’t sure about recommending a baby box to your average parent – even as one as nice as this Smitten. My initial thought was, “yes, they are brilliant to help low-income families but if you can afford a more substantial bassinet wouldn’t you just go that route?” Not necessarily.
10 Reasons why I love me a Smitten Baby Box:
- Made of Corrugate (cardboard): I used to view this as a bit of a minus but it’s actually a plus. Printed cardboard is durable, easy to ship, green, lightweight AND actually reduces CO2 rebreathing.
- Slanted sides: making it better for airflow.
- Gender neutral design: so, you can use it for multiple kids and it doesn’t look like a kaleidoscope exploded in your Livingroom
- Portable: Going to the park, friends house, or to grandmas for the weekend? Pack all your stuff into your box and you’re ready to roll.
- Largest bassinet box on market: It can hold up to 99lbs before compromising the integrity.
- Easy to assemble: I did it with no issues and you know that’s saying something if you’ve watched any of my videos.
- It’s U.S. Made: Yep, it makes it more expensive but you know that it wasn’t made in a sketchy sweatshop overseas.
- Non-Toxic Materials: Everything is BPA and phthalate-free – it’s even printed with non-toxic inks. Again, this makes it pricier but I feel like this is where you want to put the dollar bills.
- It’s safe: It adheres to all the safe sleep recommendations from the AAP
- The designers are child safety experts that tinkered, reworked and perfected this design to make it one of the safest ways a baby can sleep.
Here’s a video to see it in action
How Much Does It Cost?
At first, I balked at the price tag – $70. I thought, $70 for a cardboard box? But you know what, a shitty bankers box that I use to hold my tax crap in is half the size, printed with toxic ink, and runs between $20 – $40 so clearly I don’t price boxes too often.
As for comparisons, it’s hard because there is so much out there. The most popular newborn sleeping choices are:
- Halo Bassinest: A little pricier but it’s great for room sharing (it isn’t portable)
- Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play: I love these things but it doesn’t comply with AAP sleep suggestions because babies aren’t on their backs in them (and are chin to chest to boot) so I can’t recommend them out of the gate. If you have a terrible sleeper and it’s the only thing saving your sanity I shall never judge. Never.
- DockATot: Crazy popular right now but, again, it doesn’t adhere to the AAP recommendations which makes me twitchy. Another reader sent me this post which I also found interesting.
- 4Moms Breeze Playard: Great for portable sleeping, converts to a playard as your baby gets older but it’s bigger bucks at $300.
- Graco Pack n’ Play: Again, great for portable sleeping and converts to a playard but they are bulky to cart around.
I could go on and on with options here, but I guess my point is to at least consider a baby box when you are weighing the pros and cons of what your newborn will sleep in.
I think this is one of those cases where I was overthinking the perfection of simplicity. Can you spend upward of $1,000 on an amazing high-tech bassinet? Absolutely. Can I get eco-friendly, non-toxic, lightweight, portable bed that adheres to AAP sleep recommendation for under $100? Yeah, clearly, I can.
Next time one of my friends has a baby I’m going to pack one of these with diapers, wipes, books and wine – I’ll refer to it as an infant vestibule handcrafted from featherweight wood so I can look extra clever.
If you like to check them out, you can find Smitten on the Pip & Grow website.