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Finnish babies do sleep in boxes…

June 4, 2013

This post was edited on July 25, 2017 to reflect the copyright on the photo on MY baby in the box. DO NOT use this photo without permission!

I always get a kick out of the articles on the BBC that document the “curious” behaviours of folks in the Nordic countries. We sleep our babies outside in sub-zero weather and now – we put our babies to sleep in cardboard boxes. With the headline of the latest article, one might think we’re too poor (or daft) to put our babies to sleep in real cribs: Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes

Yes, the Little Miss is a product of both of these “habits.” When she was small she slept in a cardboard box propped up on two kitchen chairs lashed together at the end of our bed. When I was pregnant I opted for the box provided by KELA, the Social Insurance Institution in Finland. My mother was mortified when I said that the “bug” would sleep in a box for a few weeks until we could figure out what he/she was like. Then when my mother saw the box and how we used it, she understood. When the Little Miss was too big to sleep in the box we moved her to a crib.

In any case – here is a photo – the Little Miss was getting too big to sleep in the box by this time, but you get the idea.

And yes, I did sleep the Little Miss outside as well. It got to be such a good habit (because she slept very well outside), that I had a hard time convincing her to take a nap indoors when the following summer was too hot to leave her out there. The first two winters of her life were not that cold, so it was okay to put her outside to sleep (with a monitor) as long as it wasn’t terribly windy. My limit was about -10C, other than that she had a ton of blankets on. And think about it, if the baby / toddler is not crying – and is in fact sleeping, then it must be okay, right?

Again, here is a photo, to illustrate. This was in April and the temperatures were just below freezing.


Affirmative, we do weird things like this to our babies, but I assure you, it’s all normal! 😉

p.s. Life in Finland is also on Facebook, and a few months ago I did get a question from someone who wanted to know more about sleeping a baby outside. Feel free to leave questions here or there if you like.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2013 1:15 pm

    I caught the BBC article too, I am glad to read your commentary and first- (second-?) hand experience with the box as well. =)

  2. Taina permalink
    June 4, 2013 3:41 pm

    What the BBC article doesn’t tell is that the box also prevents cot deaths 🙂

  3. June 5, 2013 1:18 am

    I think putting them to sleep in the sounds of nature is nice. And if you are bundling them, and monitoring them, then they are fine!

  4. laura. permalink
    June 7, 2013 10:25 pm

    A couple questions, as online I’ve found you are the only one to use them and be ope to questions. Most are articles where other people state their thoughts or criticisms. How long did your baby sleep in the box? How big is it? Do most go from box sleeping to a crib or to a bed? I love the idea of the simplicity of a box beside my bed then just going to sleep in a bed.. Maybe with the mattress on the floor for awhile.. Less stuff to buy..
    Thanks for sharing.

    • June 9, 2013 9:29 pm

      Hi Laura, thanks for surfing in and asking. The box is about 70cm x 44cm. Our baby slept in the box until she was almost three months old. And she went from the box straight to a crib that was in the next room. We had no problems with adjusting to that, I am not sure about other people, but I know the box was really useful for us, so I cannot say how many used the box as a bed. It has a little foam pad in the bottom. I still have it actually. 🙂

      I was actually a little bit skeptical about using the box as a bed, but the Mr. said that was exactly what it was for, so we did. I guess I would say that our baby was almost sleeping thru the night when we moved her to her crib, so it was good timing.


  1. On being a mom in Finland | Life in Finland (and beyond)

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