A Finnish Tradition: Baby Gifts for All MomsLauren Jimeson
I remember when I had Harlan I was so caught up on what essential baby items I needed. I knew that I wouldn’t have much time to get out of the house and I wanted to have everything that would get me and my baby through those first few weeks together. Thankfully I had family nearby that threw me a wonderful baby shower giving me all of the essentials (and more) that I needed.
With Avery I was very lucky to have many of those essentials stored away and ready for her arrival. We didn’t have to buy much at all for her and she is happily wearing many of her sister’s hand me downs that are still in great shape.
Although I know how fortunate I am, I know that there are many not as fortunate and that are doing everything they can to provide the essentials for their little one. I recently discovered something amazing that the government in Finland does for all new mothers in their country. When I read about the program, I was blown away at their generosity and passion for women and children.
All expectant mothers living in Finland receive a package of baby essentials from the government. The package including clothes, bedding, and other child care items. The program started back in 1937 and was originally reserved only for low-income mothers. The grant was introduced to try to combat the low birth rate and high infant mortality of the time. In 1949 the grant became accessible to all mothers in Finland. First time mothers now have the option of receiving the maternity package or a cash benefit. According the the Kela website, nearly all mothers choose the maternity package.
As I was looking through the contents of the package, they listed the box as a special gift as well. Now most of us would think of a box as just a box. But the Finnish government has really put a lot of thought into this program because the box can also double as a crib when you bring your baby home. Pretty incredible, right?
It’s inspiring to see what this country is doing to promote motherhood. It would be pretty incredible if more picked up on their generosity and did the same.
What do you think of these maternity packages?
More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.
Photo via Kera