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Tuesday: Finnish Baby Boxes

Finnish propaganda baby in state uniform

I was over at Apartmenttherapy yesterday and saw this link at their sister site Ohdeedoh.  What the heck is a Finnish Baby Box??  Is that like a BF Skinner box crossed with a cell phone?  So, I clicked on it.  It turns out that it has nothing to do with behavior modification (or *does* it?) but it is the kind of thing that would turn an ordinary Republican debate goer absolutely rabid.

A Finnish baby box is a devious device to turn parents into socialists.

Let’s say you’re about to become a first time parent.  Right about the third trimester, the post office tells you that you have to fetch a package.  You find that it’s for your precious unborn.  Up to now, the Republicans are on board.  We’re talking about innocent life here, not the bedirtied mother who might be a FORNICATOR.  So, you lug the box home.  It’s from Helsinki.  The government has sent you a box.  This should immediately arouse your suspicions because as Ronald Reagan once intimated, you should be on your guard any time the government says it’s here to help.  Without even opening the box, you should suspect a new, superlong tax form where you must account for every marrka.  Just let your imagination run wild.  You open the box…

…and find that the government has sent you a maternity package.

The contents of the Finnish Baby Box

It’s chock full of onesies and footed rompers and a snowsuit, baby sleeping bag, blankies, mattress, mattress cover, simple colorful chewing toys and a first book. (See complete contents broken down by item here)  The clothes colors and prints vary from year to year and are infinitely mixable.  Some of the items are made of recycled material.  One Finnish state welfare dad rationalizes his acceptance of the maternity package by noting that because the government buys in bulk, it saves a lot more money than if individual parents had had to buy all of those items themselves so he doesn’t even mind paying the extra taxes.  The box it all came in has handle cut outs on the side, it’s sturdy and just like those fiendishly clever Ikea design solutions from the next country over, the box converts to a basinet.  (hmmm, you could probably use the lid as a changing station.)

What kind of evil commie plot is this??  With everything the little bast, er, tot could ever need for a year in the box, what incentive will it have to start pulling its weight?  Not only does the government indoctrinate “cradle to grave socialism” before the preborn has gasped his or her first precious breath, it even provides the cradle.  Does it get more evil than that?  Yes, it does.  The box even includes 6 condoms (and a tube of lube.  How thoughtful.).  So, not only does it encourage its children to become deadbeats and parasites on the government dole, the government of Finland tells the parents that it is ok to indulge in sex for pleasure and helps them prevent God from blessing them with an additional preborn innocent life that they may selfishly consider inconvenient or untimely.  By God, you can be sure that some white male religious dude from Utah will have something to say about that!

And what do the put upon people of Finland get from the government handing over their hard earned tax dollars to these slacker parents who are both sitting it out on maternity leave?  Well, I’ll bet you won’t be surprised to find that the Finns overindulge their kids with public education too.  They consistently score at the top of the list on international tests.  Their educational system puts an emphasis on cooperation and sharing and disfavors competition while encouraging children to understand and develop their own abilities and interests.  They probably don’t even have a copy of Atlas Shrugged in the elementary school library.  And 98% of their teachers are unionized.

It’s enough to make a Perry Republican want to lethally inject some prisoner whining about his innocence.

I’m telling you, no good can come of it.  The next thing you know, those spoiled Finnish kids will grow up to do weird things with rusty old Volkswagons:

If those were American 20 somethings, they would be responsibly toiling away at some tedious job, provided they could find one, working to pay off a lifetime of student debt, not indulging in tongue-in-cheek works of creative musical humor in grassy meadows and saunas.  Clearly, Finland will be brought down by such decadence and ungodly disregard.  It goes against the laws of “dog eat dog” nature.

Pray, Conflucians.  Pray for a Finnish Baby Box.


14 Responses

  1. Some other things I have learned about having a baby in Finland:
    – You see a doctor at the beginning of the pregnancy but then are turned over to the care of the neuvolo in your neighborhood for all prenatal care
    – The neuvolo sounds like a nurse/midwife. She sees you every 2 months and does routine tests for sugar and blood pressure and measuring your abdomen. The neuvolo is also the person who gives you labor and delivery training. From what I can detect from expats in Finland, the Finnish prenatal system is a lot less anal than it is here. The neuvolos aren’t going to go off on tangents about folic acid or toxoplasmosis. Pregnancy does not seem to be a high risk venture requiring intensive boot camp for prospective parents. Don’t expect a yuppie support system that coddles your every anxiety.
    – Two ultrasounds; one at 7 weeks and another later. If you have problems, you will get additional treatment.
    – Labor and delivery at the hospital features midwives. It doesn’t sound like you get an OB/GYN unless there are complications.
    – Post delivery, you have the option of staying in a communal room with up to 4 women at 26 Euro/day or in a private family room that will accommodate your partner at 52 Euro/day. Stays are more than one day. KELA (the state health care system) provides clothing for you while you’re in the hospital. You just go to a clothing room and pick up what you like. I don’t know whether this is just for borrowing or keeping but it sure beats hospital gowns.

    The people who seemed to have problems with the system according to the message boards, were from the US. The US mothers seemed to think the Finns were too detached and impersonal. The neuvolo visits (apparently, they make house calls) are brief and there’s not a lot of pre-delivery advice. Mothers are told to lay off the folic acid because Finnish food is fortified. They do have to take more vitamin D. Other than that, there’s no coddling of the “we must worry about everything” mindset we see so frequently in the US. You’re pregnant, not an invalid.

    The stripped down care seems to make sense to me. You don’t need to see an OB/GYN at every visit. I mean, really, doesn’t it seem like a waste of time for a regular doctor to be doing every prenatal visit? Can’t a nurse practitioner handle this? But here in the US, if you don’t have an overqualified doctor checking your pelvis and ultrasounding you to death, it’s like they don’t really care. Right?

    We expect too much for what should be routine and we pay and pay dearly for it.

  2. Wow. We are so “on our own”, I can only imagine it would be nice to have all that support.

    I had Group Health (HMO) the last time I was pregnant and they were pretty minimalist on the tests and checkups. I don’t know what is done for people with Blue Cross. I liked Group Health, but we changed our job situation and it wasn’t available.

    We have “Child Find” mailed to us in Washington. I thought it was junk mail, so I tossed it the first couple times. It is a newsletter that comes frequently for babies and then less often as kids grow up and it covers all the developmental milestones, what to “expect” and where to find help if babies aren’t meeting the milestones – we have a birth to 3 program in Washington for babies with delays to help them be ready for school. I don’t know if it is nation-wide.

    • I had Blue Cross with my last daughter. My situation was a little different in that I had complications. But yeah, there was an awful lot of stuff that could have been handled by a nurse practitioner if I had been just a regular patient. And the proscriptions about what I could and couldn’t do were over the top. With first time mothers, it must be terrifying. Every little thing could cause permanent damage to the fetus. That’s unnecessary propaganda. Mainly, I think a lot of the extra tests and interventions are CYA maneuvers by the doctors to avoid the malpractice lawsuits and insurance hikes. Unfortunately, life is risky.
      The only thing that I didn’t get enough proactive measures on was anesthesia. The anesthetist kept me waiting through an induced labor and inserted the damn tube wrong. I had zero pain relief. I wrote a complaint to the hospital it was so badly done. I hear they give you gas in Finland. That sounds like bliss.

      • I had two uneventful pregnancies – well, other than a kidney stone… but that isn’t the pregnancy either.

  3. there was no WIC when I had my 5 kids 🙂

  4. Very interesting post — The Finnish system seems intelligently designed. But only six condoms in the package? Hmmm….


    • Jeez, who’s got time for that? You’re up all night for six weeks straight. Besides, they’re only stopgap until you get to the drugstore.

  5. What kind of evil commie plot is this??

    How come I never get subjected to evil commie plots like this? All I ever got when preggers were coupons and formula samples. Grrr.

  6. To go off slightly on a tangent–speaking of Commies, USAmerican conservatives have so consistently supported miltary adventures abroad and police state measures at home, that one could get the impression that they never hated Communist leaders so much as they envied them. 😉

  7. Skinner’s original baby box had nothing to do with behavior modification. It was a climate controlled forerunner of the incubator.

  8. “That’s it, love – we’re moving to Finland!”

    “How come?”

    *points to weblog post*

    We have one baby now (nearly 10 months old) and were hoping to have another timed so that they would be about two years apart in age. Of course, since I got laid off I have reservations about this plan though I’m told not to worry. Can’t help but worry – families are worry-inducing; it’s the primary peril of love.

  9. great post. That baby box!! At moments like this I remember when Met stadium was first designed, they forgot to put in bathrooms. As an American, I’m not use to Business or a GOP Government( like the one we have had for 15 years now ) being that aware of one’s bodily functions and HELPING people gratis.

    I’m dazed and confused! What? no call to privatize the baby box? and then if lord forbid, it got privatize d American style, you would get a box full of vouchers lol!

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