If you came here looking for a mash-up of Grand Designs and MTV’s Cribs, featuring celebrities such as Xzibit giving you a tour around their new eco-friendly cardboard homes, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. That’s not a bad idea though, I might phone BBC Three’s commissioning editor…
If, on the other hand, you came looking for information about cardboard baby beds, you’ve come to the right place.
The first thing to say about cardboard cribs is that they don’t offer anything over a normal crib or a Moses basket when it comes to the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, as you may have heard.
And while the infant mortality rate in Finland (a country whose government has been handing out cardboard cribs to new families on a wide scale for over 75 years) has certainly declined sharply, there’s nothing about the material itself that contributes to this statistic directly.
That said, let’s talk about some great reasons for considering a cardboard crib, as the use is now being trialled by a similar scheme in the UK.
For starters, cardboard is a sustainable material. It’s sturdy, lightweight and insulating, so it offers a lot of the benefits of traditional cribs and Moses baskets combined.
SIDS prevention advice often focuses on ways to avoid suffocation, including the minimal use of blankets and the dangers of sleeping with baby in your bed if you smoke, drink or take drugs or medication. In this sense, a simple, warm box is an ideal bed for baby, with nothing but a mattress and infant sleeping bag to keep him cosy.
The box issued by the Finnish government is also packed with goodies, including the above items, clothes, bathing products and reusable cloth nappies – also sustainable, a great alternative to the disposable kind.
What’s really interesting is what the box doesn’t contain, that it used to: dummies and bottles. The latter was omitted to encourage breastfeeding, which has also been linked to reduced risk of SIDS.
Another great feature of the material is the portability it affords. It’s a simple matter to move the crib into another room and there are cardboard cribs on the market that are simple to disassemble, pack away flat and reassemble as required, which is great news where space is at a premium.
What do you think? Should we all be sleeping in cardboard beds?