SANTA FE ― Many Mothers is excited to announce the arrival of the Baby Box Program, an initiative that aims to reduce rates of neonatal and infant mortality through distribution of Baby Boxes, safe sleep education, and in-home support.
Originally developed in Finland in the 1930s, Baby Boxes have since gained popularity in many U.S. communities. Thanks to the generous contributions of the Life Center Foundation, the Joy Rose Lanum Memorial Fund, and CYFD PullTogether, Baby Boxes are now available to families in Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Rio Arriba counties living below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines (for a family of two, that is less than $32,480/year and $40,840/year for a family of three).*
What is a Baby Box?
- A box made of heavy cardboard, with a firm mattress and sheet, serving as a safe sleep environment for a baby.
- The baby box includes some useful baby supplies to help the baby get off to a good start such as diapers, wipes, ointment, a book and onesies.
- Families who participate in the program will also receive free education about safe sleep practices, including a home visit from a Many Mothers program coordinator.
According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 3,500 infants die per year due to sleep-related deaths. Unsafe sleep environment is one of the biggest contributors to unexplained infant death. By providing families with a safe place for a baby to sleep, the Baby Box is an almost alarmingly-simple solution to this serious problem. That said, the program is not just about product distribution. It is also an opportunity for increased dialogue, education and connection to existing community resources.
Many Mothers is a volunteer-based organization familiar to many in the Santa Fe community, having served more than 2,500 families since 2001. Their free services are available to any family regardless of income level, and include in-home mentoring, care and nurturing support to any family following the birth or adoption of a baby.
Many Mothers is devoted to making sure this program is as accessible as possible to the community, and has recently welcomed staff who speak both English and Spanish.
For more information, visit http://www.manymothers.org/families/joys-baby- boxes/.