Parents ditch cribs for baby boxes

Jessica Lu

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MCT Campus

NEW TECHNOLOGY. Ohio now offers baby boxes to parents at no cost. They are designed to help reduce the risk of SIDS. Baby boxes can be used until the baby is about five to six months old.

Following New Jersey, Ohio has become the second state to offer free baby boxes for newborns this year. Every baby box, provided through the partnership between Baby Box Co. and hospitals, contains $150-worth child care products, clothes, mattress, and fitted sheets. Additionally, each box doubles as a crib.

According to their website, Baby Box Co co-founders Jennifer Clary and Michelle Vick started the company because they were “determined to find a way to make it easier for parents to practice safe sleep.”

Modeled after a program in Finland that has been going on since the 1930s, Baby Box Co. aims to imitate the country’s success in lowering infant death rates. The program has helped decrease the number of infant deaths from 65 deaths per 1,000 infants to 3.5 deaths per 1,000 births by 1949.

The U.S., on the other hand, has a rate of about 5.8 deaths per 1,000 births. Ohio, in particular, has one of the highest infant mortality rates out in the country, with around 7.33 deaths per 1,000 births in 2015. Although a large portion is due to prematurity, the threat of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is on the rise too.

“[SIDS is a thing] we can attack. Aside from getting the number of premature births down, there’s not a lot we can do for the neonatal deaths,” said Dr. John Moore from MetroHealth Medical Center.

In order to receive a box in Ohio, however, parents must complete a course on the proper sleeping habits for babies.

“The online course paired with the box discourages parents from sleeping with their child, putting toys in their bed or placing the baby on his or her stomach, all of which can lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) — the abrupt death of a baby that is younger than one,” reported “NBC News.”