5 votes

Baby box safety doubts raised by experts

12 comments

  1. [3]
    Cyhchan
    (edited )
    Link
    I found it to be a weird article. I used a baby box and found it really easy to see my baby since it's an open box kept on the floor next to the bed. How hard is it to see the baby? The free box I...

    Compared with cots, bassinets and Moses baskets, it is harder for parents to see their babies easily when they are sleeping in them, they warned.

    And some boxes, particularly those that are not laminated, may potentially be flammable or leave babies more vulnerable to pets and young siblings if they are kept on the floor.

    I found it to be a weird article. I used a baby box and found it really easy to see my baby since it's an open box kept on the floor next to the bed. How hard is it to see the baby?

    The free box I received was laminated as well. Are there ones in other countries that aren't? I have honestly never thought about being afraid of my baby's bed catching fire. The pets point is also perplexing since they don't make bassinets or cots high enough that a cat or reasonable sized dog won't be able to jump into it anyways.

    I think I'm more irritated than I should be with this article because it doesn't seem to have done any safety tests but may end up guilting parents into spending money that they don't have for something they don't really need.

    Edit: added quotes.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      Catt
      Link Parent
      Their reasons seemed odd to me too and honestly on the paranoid side. The fire thing really caught my eye too, because honestly diapers and blankets and most things can burn too. And I feel even...

      Their reasons seemed odd to me too and honestly on the paranoid side. The fire thing really caught my eye too, because honestly diapers and blankets and most things can burn too.

      And I feel even if the box was not laminate, a designated clear spot for a baby to sleep seems good. I guess if it's not laminated, bits of cardboard could come off and somehow choke a baby...

      I also felt the article missed a huge point when discussing the box completely on its own, when the boxes that were given out in Finland were more than that. They started out as being for low income women and included education, baby and mother necessites. All of which contributed to lower infant mortality rates.

      4 votes
      1. Cyhchan
        Link Parent
        As I said above, this article really bothers me. So, I'm hoping to dispel any fears by providing some actual information from the Baby Box Company: https://www.babyboxco.com/faq/ As they state,...

        As I said above, this article really bothers me. So, I'm hoping to dispel any fears by providing some actual information from the Baby Box Company:

        https://www.babyboxco.com/faq/

        As they state, their boxes are free, provide additional baby items, and meet or exceed safety standards for the regions they are distributed (Canada, United States, and England). Furthermore, they actually have a slower burn rate than "other comparable sleeping spaces."

        I also want to point out why I think baby boxes may be safer than bassinets and cots (I don't know much about moses baskets but they seem to sit on the floor and look extremely flammable). Similar to the article, I have absolutely no data to back up my claims.

        1. Portability. The boxes are light and portable which means that you can bring them pretty much anywhere in the house or to someone else's house. This is important as a baby needs a place that is enclosed, with a flat mattress, with no suffocation hazards to sleep. Since the article states that your baby should be practicality glued to you even when it's sleeping, the box is more ideal to move around compared to cots or bassinets, which means you are more likely to do so.

        2. Reduced risk of smoke inhalation. Assuming that you are not keeping your box and baby next to an open flame, death from smoke inhalation seems to be more of a risk during a fire than actually being caught on fire. Since the box sits on the floor, the baby is lower to the ground and less likely to die.

        3. Meets current safety standards. Since baby boxes are free, people will always get a brand new one instead of getting one that is used or old. This means that you can guarantee that the one you get actually meets or exceeds current safety standards. If you are buying a second hand bassinet or cot, you have to do more research to make sure that they are still in good condition and that they are not so old that they are no longer considered safe by current standards.

        I don't want to in any way criticize parents who use cots, bassinets, or moses baskets. I actually believe that they are all safe. It just really bothers me when parents are constantly made to feel fearful all the time, particularly when there is no evidence to back it up.

        7 votes
  2. [9]
    Catt
    (edited )
    Link
    A bit of a light article that warns there's a "lack of evidence on their safety", but honestly doesn't really offer anything concrete about them being less safe than a cot either...so I was just...

    A bit of a light article that warns there's a "lack of evidence on their safety", but honestly doesn't really offer anything concrete about them being less safe than a cot either...so I was just wondering how parents feel about the baby box and how they use them.

    Edit to add what I think is a better article on baby boxes: Do baby boxes really save lives

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      TBH I get the distinct impression this issue is also a bit of a Red Herring. Even if the baby boxes are not safer than purpose-built baby cots... not every parent can necessarily afford such...

      TBH I get the distinct impression this issue is also a bit of a Red Herring. Even if the baby boxes are not safer than purpose-built baby cots... not every parent can necessarily afford such things so surely the boxes are better than nothing.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        Catt
        Link Parent
        I think it's a red herring too, just not sure what issue they are trying to raise. And I've seen parents use these boxes, and honestly don't see how they are any different than especially a...

        I think it's a red herring too, just not sure what issue they are trying to raise. And I've seen parents use these boxes, and honestly don't see how they are any different than especially a bassinet, other than being way more affordable.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          DanBC
          Link Parent
          In England a few people are quite specific about "we have evidence this works", "we have evidence this doesn't work", "we have evidence this causes harm", and finally what I think is being said...

          In England a few people are quite specific about "we have evidence this works", "we have evidence this doesn't work", "we have evidence this causes harm", and finally what I think is being said here "we don't have any evidence so we don't know".

          This pernickety point is important when we're looking at a population of about 60 million people - about 800,000 births each year. And we're spending public money on the boxes, and asking staff paid from public funds to promote the boxes.

          Knowing whether they work or not, or whether they're safe or not, is important.

          Sadly, the reporting is often sub-optimal. The expert will say "we don't know if it's safe, and here's a possible risk, but we don't know" and that gets translated to "baby boxes cause harm".

          3 votes
          1. Catt
            Link Parent
            I can understand the need for researching/reporting on this, but my beef really is with this being an honestly pretty bad article, especially for the BBC, and especially since they actually have a...

            I can understand the need for researching/reporting on this, but my beef really is with this being an honestly pretty bad article, especially for the BBC, and especially since they actually have a better one (Do baby boxes really save lives?). Honestly it's sort of bad to almost the point of unethical.

            My beef is probably with the title and tone of the article itself because "safety doubts" suggest the boxes are unsafe, where they really have no proof that they are any less safe than anything else used.

            3 votes
    2. [2]
      demifiend
      Link Parent
      Letting baby sleep in a box seems to work OK in Finland. The Finnish government has been giving out "baby boxes" full of essentials to expectant mothers for decades to ensure that every baby gets...

      Letting baby sleep in a box seems to work OK in Finland. The Finnish government has been giving out "baby boxes" full of essentials to expectant mothers for decades to ensure that every baby gets an equal start in life.

      5 votes
      1. Catt
        Link Parent
        Since something like before WWII, which is why I honestly found this article a little confusing. Of course they have they give a lot more than just the box itself, which makes this article weirdly...

        Since something like before WWII, which is why I honestly found this article a little confusing. Of course they have they give a lot more than just the box itself, which makes this article weirdly specific.

        4 votes
    3. [2]
      DanBC
      Link Parent
      We didn't get a baby box, but we would have used it if we had got one. In England they used to give all parents abook called "birth to Five". It was very useful. I don't know why that stopped....

      We didn't get a baby box, but we would have used it if we had got one.

      In England they used to give all parents abook called "birth to Five". It was very useful. I don't know why that stopped. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+tf_/http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_107303

      4 votes
      1. demifiend
        Link Parent
        Blame Margaret Thatcher. Since she's dead, any objections she might have to being scapegoated thus can be safely ignored.

        I don't know why that stopped.

        Blame Margaret Thatcher. Since she's dead, any objections she might have to being scapegoated thus can be safely ignored.