When I was an overwhelmed brand-new mom, I wished for a magical box that would somehow contain all that my newborn would need: Diapers, health supplies, onesies, how-to guides, a baby bed for safe sleeping.

Yes. An actual baby bed. In a box.

It turns out that the idea isn’t only real, it can be life-saving. And thanks to The Baby Box Co., 105,000 new families in New Jersey will experience them firsthand — for free!

Related: Safe sleep sources on SIDS and more

The creators of The Baby Box Co. were inspired by a 75-year-old Finnish initiative that sends new families home with baby boxes after they’d received prenatal care and parenting education. With the United States’ infant mortality rate far higher than Finland’s, not to mention our country’s recent uncertainty as to the future of healthcare coverage, The Baby Box Co. sprang into action.

The Baby Box Co. is giving new moms and babies in New Jersey this fully stocked baby box -- for free!
The boxes come with all sorts of essential goodies, including baby wipes, breast pads, nipple cream, and more. But the real gift is the box itself. Made with durable cardboard and, according to the company’s website, a non-toxic, snug-fitting mattress to promote safe sleeping and reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), the box itself (without the lid, of course) has been endorsed and approved by some experts as a bed for the first few months of a baby’s life. (UPDATED NB: The AAP has not yet endorsed baby boxes.)

To receive the box for free, there is a catch…but, really, it’s the kind of catch that’s to the benefit of new parents and the health of their babies. After registering online at Baby Box University, expectant New Jersey parents watch a 15-minute educational video about parenting and then take a quiz.

It’s a smart, important initiative that we hope takes shape across the country. Until then, you can purchase individual baby boxes for yourself or an expectant parent; the boxes are so pretty, they make fantastic baby shower gifts.

And, honestly, how often can you wrap up peace of mind?

Learn more about the program and sign up for Baby Box University or buy a baby box from The Baby Box Co. at their website.

UPDATE 1/26/17: We changed SUIDS to SUID per the CDC website.
UPDATE 4/12/17: The American Academy of Pediatrics, among other leading health experts, has not yet endorsed baby boxes, but we’ll keep an eye on their website for any potential changes.