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Baby & Toddler, Motherhood

Utilising your baby box and avoiding landfill 

The image shows a baby lay in a box, holding an adult’s finger. The image has a green border around it.

I’d never heard of a ‘baby box’. Then I found myself ‘with child’ and the concept soon became a familiar one. A baby box is fundamentally a sturdy cardboard box that your baby will sleep in. The idea has been around for generations, which is hardly surprising when you consider that newborns historically slept in drawers. 

Baby boxes are designed to keep your newborn safe as they sleep. The concept originated in Europe and Finnish mothers-to-be have been receiving these boxes since the 1930’s.

Where can I get my baby box from?

You can buy these baby boxes online and in high street stores like John Lewis. However, some people will be able to get their hands on one for free. Every child born in Scotland gets a free baby box and some boroughs in England also give them away for free. I managed to get one by completing a short baby safety course. So make sure you ask your midwife if there’s a scheme in your area before buying one. But however you get yours, it should come with a thin mattress and at least one sheet to fit it as standard. 

If you can get your baby to sleep in one of these things; wonderful. Some of my friends have had real success with them. Some have used them as their baby’s primary sleep space, whilst others have kept them in the living room as an alternative spot for their little one to snooze in. However, despite me trying on multiple occasions, my son wouldn’t settle in his box, which meant that I was left with a large cardboard box with no purpose. 

The image shows a little girl in a pink dress. The text around the image is advertising a bundle of resources that will help to keep the family happy when stuck at home.

Baby toy box

But instead of sending mine to landfill, I converted it into toy storage. The cardboard is sturdy enough to hold my son’s toys and the box itself has kept its shape nicely. I also like the design and feel it fits in well with the rest of his nursery. Also, as the box was originally designed to house a sleeping tot, the shape lends itself well to being turned into a toy box. It is the perfect height for toddlers to access. 

Any other uses?

You could use this to store something other than toys. Perhaps you need somewhere to store your baby’s toiletries. Or maybe you could do with some extra drawer space; this would be handy to store your baby’s clothes in.

Of course, you don’t have to use it to store baby items. Maybe you could find use for it in the utility room, in the loft, or in the garage. But as each box has a baby-centric design, I think it lends itself well to storing baby items.

The image shows some multi-coloured toy blocks. Over the image it says: ‘Hacks -- finding alternative uses -- your baby box.’

Is it worth it?

I’m not going to advocate that every expectant mother goes out and purchases a baby box, as I personally had more success with other sleep space solutions. However, if you can get one, do. Your babe might sleep well in it and you could always use it for toy storage when they grow. And if your little one isn’t a fan, then you can make your baby toy box ahead of schedule.


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