When we had our first child we were very lucky to have a friend on hand to steer us away from all the media-hype telling us what we “couldn’t live without” and “had to have”. It was very much a case of Keeping Up With The Jones’! We still over spent though………..before she arrived she already had a ridiculous amount of socks, vests, hats, gloves, bodysuits, blankets, bibs, toys. And of course they were all in neutral colours, so when she eventually arrived everyone rushed out again to buy everything pink!
There is so much advice out there and guidance that shopping for a new baby can be a minefield. And who do you turn to show you the way? Your own parents? Friends with children? Baby magazines?
Or the government?????? That could be deemed as a ridiculous thought but look how the government of Finland support their future families.
The Finnish maternity package, the Äitiyspakkaus, is provided by the Finnish social security institution to all expectant mothers to be, and adoptive parents. It was first introduced in 1938 to parents on a low income, but then was widely distributed from 1949. And amazingly it is linked directly to increased prenatal care, and decreased infant mortality. Check out this link to see exactly what’s in the maternity package :
It even includes condoms!
The mother can receive this package, whereby even the box can be used as a cot in the very early days, or can opt for a cash alternative of a 140euro grant – however almost 95% of mothers opt for the package as its value is worth significantly more.
I think this is a great idea particularly for first-time parents. I might start a petition to the UK government! Who’s with me?
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