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Bears, birds, browns, blues and an emoji: Kela launches 2016 new baby kit

Cuteness alert: The 2016 edition of the new baby starter kit is a treat for animal lovers. The patterns on the collection of necessities for baby’s first months of life feature a stable of bouncing, cheerful bears, birds, dogs and monkeys in hues of brown and blue. The Finnish Social Insurance Institute Kela also announced that a new baby box emoji is due out in May.

Kela's 2016 baby box was launched on Friday.
Image: Yle News

Since its rise to worldwide fame after being featured by the BBC, the new baby starter kit provided by the Finnish Social Insurance Institute Kela has become one of the most-anticipated seasonal items in Finland and beyond.

Kela launched the 2016 kit On Friday, and this time around the practical package has its own emoji, which will be unveiled in May. Kela said that very few old models were ordered in February, as expectant mothers waited to see what the new collection would offer.

"They try to be tactical. They are especially interested in the patterns on the padded winter romper and the sleeping bag-blanket. Some mothers even collect the sleeping bags. This year it’s dark blue and I think it’s very good-looking. It remains to be seen what mothers will think of it," said office manager Johanna Lainio of the logistics firm Logistikas Hankinta.

Color palette featuring blue and green tones

The 2016 baby kit has a wider selection of products than previous packages – 53 altogether. New additions include talcum powder and a machine-washable cuddly toy that doubles as a comfort blanket.

"The contents haven’t changed all that much, but the color scheme has been updated. This year it’s blue, brown and beige," Lainio explained.

The staff at Logistikas Hankinta are still packing maternity kits from last year. Kela’s last order was for 38,000 boxes. New moms looking forward to 2016 designs will have to be sure to order them in good time, the company said. Kela regularly advises soon-to-be mothers to apply for the packages at least two months before their babies are due.

"We will distribute the last of the old ones first. We still have enough for a few weeks. We have orders 36,000 new ones," Lainio noted.

Emoji now part of the baby box brand

Meanwhile Kela announced on Friday that the world-famous baby kit would feature in a new emoji to be revealed in May. The icon is part of a series of Finnish emojis co-developed and promoted by the Finnish Foreign Ministry. The newest in the series – the baby box emoji – will be available for download from app stores.

Expectant mothers in Finland can choose between the newborn kit and a maternity grant of 140 euros. In cases of multiple births the grant is increased for each additional child, so that it rises to twice the grant for the second baby, three times for the third, and so on. Such mothers may also choose a combination of a grant and starter kit.

Finland has distributed the maternity grant and starter kit since 1937. According to Kela just one-third of expectant mothers opt for the cash grant.

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