Charlie's Kids Foundation, Inc., Statement on the
Use of Cardboard Boxes to Promote Safe Sleep
March 9, 2017
In recent months, there has been an increased focus on using a cardboard box (frequently called “baby boxes”) to encourage safe sleep practices in the United States. It is a practice that has been used for generations in Finland. Finnish babies are sent home with a starter kit – a box full of diapers, clothes and toiletries for baby. When all the gifts are removed, the box itself can be used as baby’s first bed.
Many have associated Finland’s low infant mortality rate with these cardboard boxes. But there is almost no evidence to back up these claims. There are, however, several other factors contributing to Finland’s low infant mortality rate, including fewer premature births, incentive for prenatal care, healthier adults, universal health care and an extended maternity leave.
While we appreciate the increased discussion surrounding safe sleep, there is not enough evidence to support the distribution of these boxes to new parents.
We concur with the American Academy of Pediatrics on the need for more information: “We need to have the research to guide our future efforts. Currently, the AAP Task Force on SIDS does not believe that there is yet enough evidence to say anything about the potential benefit or dangers of using baby boxes.”
We at Charlie’s Kids believe providing each baby a safe sleep environment is critical to lowering infant mortality rates. While we appreciate and encourage new ideas and partners to promote safe sleep, we want research to drive innovation. Until then, we will recommend the use of a crib or pack-n-play over that of a cardboard box – a box that carries unknown, potential risks and little evidence of its safety. A crib remains the safest place for a baby to sleep.
Alone. Back. Crib. ~~ Every baby. Every sleep.