NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) — A simple cardboard box could go a long way in fighting Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
New Jersey recently struck a partnership with the Baby Box Company, a Los Angeles outfit that makes bassinet-sized boxes packed with a snug-fitting mattress to create a safe sleeping environment for newborns.
Kasia McManamon lives in North Jersey and just got a Baby Box for her newborn.
“It’s so mobile, I can carry it around from room to room,” McManamon said. “It doesn’t feel like a box, it’s got a beautiful pattern on it, it’s very sturdy… it feels like a mini-crib.”
The company has already shipped 7,000 boxes to families in New Jersey and another 6,000 will arrive by the end of the week.
“I hope every first-time parent regardless of social status or economic status goes for one of these baby boxes because it is such a phenomenal concept,” she said.
The boxes are free.
Parents can pick one up at distribution centers across the state or get one online at babyboxuniversity.com.
“All you really had to do was go online, watch a couple of videos on infant safety and about SIDS and how to care for newborns,” McManamon said. “After that, they send you a Baby Box.”
The program is funded by a $40,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A similar program is widely used in Europe – including Finland, where it was introduced 30 years ago; Temple University in Philadelphia also has a pilot program.