Local non-profit offering ‘baby boxes’ to low income families

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new concept to keep babies safe while sleeping has arrived in New Mexico. But it’s something that might have you scratching your head a bit.

A baby in box? When you think of the comfiest place for your baby to sleep, a box is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But one local non-profit says that’s exactly what parents should be using.

The nonprofit says that these cases could save your baby’s life.

“It comes with a box that includes a firm mattress that has a water proof pad and a fitted sheet on top,” said Nancy Guthrie, Executive Director of Many Mothers.

While it’s a new concept for the United States, Finland’s been putting it to the test for nearly 80 years. Reports say it has lowered the infant mortality rate significantly in that country from 65 out of every 1,000 births to under 3 out of every 1,000.

Now, Many Mothers is bringing the idea to New Mexico. They’re not selling them. They’re giving them away to families who can’t afford a safe place for their infants to sleep.

“The assumption is if you are lower income, you have less resources to maybe buy a bassinet or other bedding materials,” said Guthrie.

Studies tell parents to skip on the extra padding and those cute crib bumpers and blankets. Experts say all of these could suffocate your child.

While bed sharing or co-sleeping is becoming a new trend, reports say it’s still dangerous.

Many Mothers says a baby in a box is a simple version of what doctors have been recommending for years.

“It’s basically a bassinet. It’s very similar to what you see the baby in in the hospital,” said Guthrie.

KRQE News 13 asked local parents what they thought. One dad was skeptical.

“If they claim that they benefit the well-being of the child and is backed by science then fine,” said William Williams.

Albuquerque mom Tanya Silva doesn’t think it’s a bad idea.

“We used bassinets but had I known about it, I probably would’ve used the baby box,” said Silva.

The non-profit is offering these boxes through the Joy Lanum Memorial Fund. Right now, there are 24 boxes available for families who qualify. They plan to order 30 more.

Many Mothers provides support to any family with a new baby in Santa Fe County. For more information on Many Mothers, click here.

For more information on The Baby Box, click here.

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