EVOLVE Partners With Babies Need Boxes

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. This non-profit provides free cardboard boxes that serve as a safe sleeper for infants.

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.

A History of Babies Need Boxes

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.”  This article detailed Finland’s response to a high infant mortality rate and struggling economy in the 1930s. Sixty-five out of every thousand babies died.

After implementation, infant mortality rates dropped greatly in the decades that followed. Thus, 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.

A Simple How-To

Parents are to place their child in the boxes without blankets or toys. The group 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.”

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

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

At EVOLVE, the staff learned about the baby boxes and it was a great fit for our Pregnancy Services clients who choose to parent. 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.

For more information, contact EVOLVE Family Services at evolve@evolveservices.org or call us at 651.439.2446

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