EVOLVE partners to boost baby safety

Baby Laying Down In Box For Adoption


EVOLVE Adoption & Family Services is partnering with Babies Need Boxes to help ensure our families and neighbors utilize safe infant sleeping practices.

EVOLVE’s Stillwater and St. Paul officers will serve as a distribution site for the nonprofit Babies Need Boxes, which provides free cardboard boxes that serve as a safe sleeper for babies.

The boxes are available to all parents for free, regardless of socioeconomic status.

“Every baby needs safe sleep, a safe sleep space, so it’s for everybody,” said AudreyD Williams, program manager for Babies Need Boxes.

To get a box, parents must complete the online training session Baby Box University on safe sleep practices. Williams said the video is less than 10 minutes long, but families will also have access to more educational materials.

Minnesota-based Babies Need Boxes was formed by Danielle Selassie in 2015 after she read the BBC article, “Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes,” on Finland’s response to a high infant mortality rate and struggling economy in the 1930s. Sixty-five out of every thousand babies died.

After implementing the baby boxes, infant mortality rates dropped greatly in the decades that followed, and the idea spread to other countries.

The boxes meet the same safety standards as a bassinet and can be used anywhere. They are also aimed at reducing co-sleeping, where parents sleep with an infant in bed or on a couch.

The boxes are especially beneficial for mothers without permanent housing, as they’re easily portable; however, the boxes cannot be used when babies are in them.

Parents are to place babies in the boxes without blankets or toys. Babies Need Boxes has partnered with several regional nonprofits, hospitals and various agencies to promote the boxes and safe sleeping. Though many parents have heard the message of safe infant sleeping, Williams assured, “You can never over-educate anyone.”

Babies can sleep in the boxes up until around the time they are 6-months-old, but it really depends on the child. Babies should no longer sleep in the boxes once they develop enough strength to lift their head, roll over and move around in the boxes.

Most of the boxes available at EVOLVE come with diapers, baby wipes, swaddlers, hand towels, manicures for babies, a book and a rattle, though individual boxes with fewer items are available at some Babies Need Boxes sites.

At EVOLVE, the staff learned about the baby boxes and it was a great fit to support women who chose parenting in EVOLVE’s Pregnancy Services. The goal was to help supply the baby box and a few essential and educational items as part of ongoing mission to provide support for the mother.

Baby boxes are currently available at EVOLVE’s Stillwater office, 5850 Omaha Ave. N, and will soon be available at EVOLVE’s St. Paul office, 217 Mackubin St.

Pickup days and online registration for pickup will be available soon. Until then, contact jschoonover@evolveservices.org or 651-439-2446.

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