What to Know About Baby Boxes




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Over the last few years, baby boxes have gained popularity as an alternative to cribs and bassinets, especially for low income families.

 

The boxes, which come with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet, have some notable advantages. First is the size - baby boxes can fit in small, cramped rooms, and can easily be kept by your bed. Since it’s a cardboard box, it’s also light and easy to transport.

 

Another big advantage is the price. Four states currently offer free baby boxes to expecting mothers: Ohio, New Jersey, Alabama, and Texas. In order to qualify, parents must watch a video about safe sleep and pass a quiz. More states will likely add baby box programs, and parents may be able to get a box from local nonprofits. If you’re unable to find a free option, you can also purchase one for as little as $70, and other baby goods such as swaddling blankets will be included.

 

Before you decide to use a baby box, however, you should be aware that the American Academy of Pediatrics has noted that “there is insufficient data on the role cardboard boxes play in reducing infant mortality.”  

 

Whether you decide to use a baby box or not, here are a few tips to make sure your baby sleeps safely:

-Always put your baby to sleep on their back.

-Place your baby on a firm sleep surface with a tightly-fitted sheet.

-Keep pillows, blankets, and other loose items out of your baby’s bed, as these can be choking hazards.  

-Try to keep your baby’s bed in the same room as yours.

-If you use a baby box, do not put the lid on while the baby is inside.

 

Certain exceptions may apply, so be sure to check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

 






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