NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - Baby boxes have been used in Finland and other countries for decades. Newborns sleep in the boxes for their first few months, or until they're able to pull themselves up. Records show they have dramatically reduced the infant mortality rate. And now, there's a company bringing these boxes stateside.
Jennifer Clary is the CEO of the Baby Box Company. Over the weekend, the California-based company handed out 100 free baby boxes to parents at Bellevue Hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital.
"I thought, oh my God, the US has the highest infant mortality rate of any industrialized country. 'Why aren't we trying this?'" Clary asked. “In New York City, everyone is so short on space, and our Baby Boxes are so compact and portable that it made a lot of sense to do a pilot there."
The boxes are filled with supplies to get parents started and they're also lined with fitted mattresses. When the supplies come out, the boxes double as a place for babies to sleep.
The newborns sleep in the boxes for their first three to four months or until they can pull themselves up.
We talked to some New York City parents, who are cramped for space, about this idea.
“I have four kids of my own,” Monique Desantis told us. “Sometimes I used to let them sleep in a hamper for transport purposes, it's ok. And for free, why not?"
Clary said parents seemed apprehensive at first about putting their babies in a box.
”We said, 'look, we'll pilot it, to just try it.' And 85 percent of the parents came back saying they used it as a primary sleep space," Clary says.