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AURA & ELIAS
Finland has a special benefit for expecting mothers; it's a maternity package a.k.a. “The Baby Box” offered under the Finnish social security system. The idea is that an expecting Finnish mother gets a free package of baby essentials as a gift from the Finnish government. What might be suprising is that this is not limited to the first child, but is given to every baby born. The package has been distributed since 1949, originally meant to lower infant mortality and since then it has become famous around the world.
I’ll always remember the day we got our own maternity package in 2015. The moment when Elias opened the box and I took photos was one of our first baby related experiences together. I had bought only a few jumpsuits beforehand, but Elias hadn’t seen so tiny clothes ever.
Elias opening the baby box / maternity package in May 2015
The package includes all the items you can imagine you would need for a newborn baby. The package includes about 50 items: clothes; overalls, pyjamas to hats, and other necessary items for the whole first year like nail scissors, a baby toothbrush and a hairbrush. The prints and colours vary annually and in 2015 we got lovely green and blue coloured clothes. The philosophy behind the colours is that they are gender neutral. Sometimes we identify that a baby or a yound child is born during the same year as Iris due to the clothes she or he wears :D. This may lead to fun conversations and getting to know new people. It's suprising how these kids of common things and experiences can ease social situations -- we Finnish people, in general, feel uncomfortable starting a conversation with a stranger :D.
Our favourite items in the maternity package were colourful sleeping bag, bath towel and a baby hairbrush. They all have been very useful. I think we still have a few clothes that fit Iris, even though she has turned 2 years old already.
The sleeping bag’s colours were adorable in 2015’s baby box!
One interesting and a quite innovative feature is that the physical box, where the items come in, can be used as a crib for a newborn baby during the first months! As the package even includes a mattress and sheets, the little box is perfect for the newborn baby. Iris also slept her first nights in the box after she came home from the hospital (before she moved to our bed and abandoned her own bed for the next one and a half years…)
I decorated the bed for Iris (which she didn’t like at all…)
Iris enjoyed her nap in the baby box’s sheets
The Baby box is perfect “first aid kit” with the first baby – As a first timer, I totally didn’t know what a newborn would need before Iris was born! The box gave us a good idea of necessary items and saved us a lot of time from stressing what we would need to get for our first baby. With the box we had a smooth start and it really helped us getting prepared for a life with a newborn.
Aura & Elias
A father, a mother and a daughter, Iris, born in July 2015. Like many little girls, Iris loves to take care of her dolls and play with her toys.
Father, Elias, is a classical musician. He plays the flute and teaches flute playing. He dreams about extending his professional skills to the field of instrument repairing. Mother Aura has finished her studies at the University of Helsinki and at the moment she takes care of Iris at home.
Together we love to travel, enjoy cultural events and eat tasty food. We appreciate our healthy and ecological lifestyle even though we live in the middle of Helsinki. In our blog you’ll find stories about our urban life as a Finnish family.