(CNN)Babies born in New Jersey this year will go home with a sturdy, safe box to sleep in and additional newborn essentials — all for free. On Thursday, the Garden State became the first in the US to launch a universal baby box program in an attempt to reduce infant mortality rates.
The baby box program follows the example of Finland, which has had a similar program in place since the 1930s. Any expecting parent or parents of infants younger than 3 months old in New Jersey can take a short online educational program and receive a box filled with newborn essentials that can also serve as a safe sleeping space.
According to the company, the program will continue beyond 2017 based on its success, measured by parents’ use of the boxes and improvements tracked in the state’s health outcomes.
Jernica Quionnes, 33, a new mother from Camden, New Jersey, …
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