New Jersey is the first American state to adopt the Finnish maternity package programme, which in Finland provides parents-to-be with a package of about 50 baby items including clothing, socks, and a winter romper in a cardboard box that doubles as a crib.
Several media outlets have reported the story including the PhillyVoice.
According to the Philly Voice, the Los Angeles-based Baby Box Company announced on Tuesday that "it had partnered with New Jersey's Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board to distribute durable cardboard boxes filled with essential items for newborns and large enough to double as a bed for the first couple months of the baby's life."
The goal is to provide close to 105,000 baby boxes this year.
Finnish idea with international appeal
In Finland, the idea of the baby box dates back to the 1930s when it was offered in exchange for prenatal visits as a way to curb infant mortality.
Today Finland’s infant mortality rate is one of the world’s lowest at 2.52 for every 1,000 births, less than half that of the United States.
The Baby Box concept has garnered interest around the world following stories by the New York Times and the BBC, which featured the concept in a story that reached 10 million people in 20 months.
Other countries, cities, and provinces have also been running trials with the baby box concept.