Babies born in New Jersey will go home with a baby box filled with newborn essentials -- for free.
The universal baby box program gives parents of infants younger than 3 months old an online educational program and a box with newborn essentials. The baby can also sleep in the box in an effort to reduce infant mortality rates. The baby boxes provide parents with an introduction guide on parenthood and best sleeping conditions for newborns, CNN reported.
The Baby Box Co., a California based company, paired with New Jersey's Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board to reduce Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). In 2014, there were about 3,500 SUID in the U.S. according to the CDC.
The Baby Box Co CEO and co-founder Jennifer Clary told CNN they plan to distribute about 105,000 baby boxes -- equivalent to the anticipated number of births in 2017.
The cardboard box comes with about $150 worth of materials including a firm mattress, waterproof cover, and fitted sheet, along with diapers, wipes, breast cream, breast cream, breast pads, a onesie and an activity cart.
Basically a newborn baby starter kit with instructions.
About 93% of infant mortalities are associated with SUID according to a report by the New Jersey Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board.
"Every year we review instances in which infants die suddenly and unexpectedly," said Dr. Kathryn McCans, an emergency department physician at Cooper University Health Care Hospital told CNN, "In a significant proportion of these deaths, an unsafe sleep circumstance is a contributing factor."
The idea came from Finland where they have been using the baby box program since the 1930s. Finland currently has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world, so why not steal the idea from them.