Nova Scotia parents taking their newborns home will soon have one more thing in tow — a box for their baby to sleep in.
The Baby Box Co. program, which aims to give parents early and continued support as they head home with their babies, is launching in Halifax Monday.
The Baby Box replaces the bassinet or cradle, and provides a safe place for babies to sleep in without any stuffed toys, pillows, excess blankets or other things that could potentially harm them.
“The idea is that we’re putting baby in the box, with just the baby in the box,” community programming director Theresa Moore told Global News Morning.
The program is free for all parents and connects new families with local experts and resources. They are also filled with supplies for the baby and resources for parents, including diapers, a onesie, wipes and information on safe sleep for babies.
Parents who want to be a part of the Baby Box program can register at Baby Box University, where they get a provincial syllabus, complete a quiz and get a certificate which they can present at a community distribution centre.
WATCH: How the Baby Box supports new parents
“It really is about education and creating a support network for families, connecting them with local resources. We want to give them as much support as we can and this is just really the starting of it,” Moore said.
“Although the actual physical box is about safe sleep, we cover so many different topics on our Baby Box University syllabuses — lactation, post-partum depression, nutrition, all those things that are critical.”
Parents of babies born in Nova Scotia after Dec. 1, 2016 are eligible for the Baby Box program. There are distribution centres across the province.
Baby Box Co. launched the program in Newfoundland over the weekend and saw about 400 new parents come out to learn more and collect a box for their baby.
The program is modeled after the baby box program which started in Finland nearly 80 years ago, Moore said, when the country had one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. Now, it has one of the lowest.