Baby boxes for new parents

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 31, 2017

Alabama joins movement to prevent sudden infant deaths

Gov. Robert Bentley and The Baby Box Co., the company behind the global integrated program Baby Box University to improve family healthcare outcomes and reduce Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS), this week announced that Alabama will launch a statewide program where all expecting and new parents can receive a free Baby Box by completing online parenting education. In 2017, the program will distribute up to 60,000 Baby Boxes, ensuring that every expecting family in Alabama has access to this free resource regardless of socioeconomic background.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, in 2015 there were 8.3 deaths per 1,000 births in Alabama. Although this places Alabama above average on a national scale, there is a large discrepancy between the health care outcomes of African American and Caucasian babies. Approximately one third of the 59,651 babies born in Alabama last year were born to African-American mothers, with the infant mortality rate for African American babies at 13.9 per 1,000 live births, while it was 6.0 for Caucasians, representing a significant racial disparity statewide.

To combat infant mortality in Alabama and, in an effort to democratize access to quality perinatal education and baby supplies, Governor Bentley is launching a universal safe sleep program in partnership with The Baby Box Co., Alabama Rural Development Office, Alabama Department of Public Health and numerous network partners.

“The Baby Box program is essential to establishing a strong understanding of proper infant care during their most vulnerable time in life,” Bentley said. “This statewide program encourages new and expecting parents, of all socioeconomic backgrounds, to take advantage of this free educational program, which can be the difference between life and death. We ultimately want to reduce the infant mortality rate in Alabama and assist families in raising happy, healthy babies.”

The Baby Boxes, which are made from a durable cardboard, can be used as a baby’s bed for the first months of life. While parents appreciate the Baby Boxes and quality care products included, it is the educational component and closer communication with local healthcare providers that is at the center of the Baby Box University distribution model. Families will be required to view their community’s online curriculum related to prenatal health, breastfeeding, safe sleep practices and newborn care before receiving a free Baby Box. In this way, the Baby Box University program model pays its ultimate homage to the Finnish tradition, which is committed not just to universal product distribution, but to supporting families with access to healthcare and education.

“We are excited to be one of the first states to offer this program statewide to provide families with the tools and education to give their babies a healthy start in life,” Director of Alabama Rural Development Office Ron Sparks said. “The ultimate goal of the program is to save babies’ lives.”


About The Baby Box Co.

Entrepreneurs Michelle Vick and Jennifer Clary founded The Baby Box Co. to offer a safe sleep environment to babies everywhere. The Baby Box Co. is an innovative, integrated program to support parents and improve maternal and infant healthcare outcomes globally. The Baby Box Co. partners with hospitals, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide Baby Boxes, quality products, resources and ongoing education to families on a large scale. Baby Boxes are also available direct to consumer either as a standalone item or filled with new baby essentials. Serving families in 52 countries, The Baby Box Co. has offices in USA, UK, Canada, and Singapore. For more information or to purchase a Baby Box, please visit and