Lawmakers Want NJ To Promote 'Baby Box' Program

Mar 6, 2017

Baby box advocates testify at Assembly committee hearing.
Credit Phil Gregory

A bill advanced by a New Jersey Assembly committee would require the Department of Children and Families to put easily printable and updated information on its website about the ‘baby box’ program.

After registering online at babyboxuniversity.com, watching a video about safe sleep, and taking a short quiz, expecting and new parents in New Jersey can obtain a free laminated cardboard box with a snug, fitted mattress.

Cooper University Health Care physician Kathie McCans chairs the state's child fatality and near fatality review board.   She says the goal is to get out the word on safe sleep.

"Most people are waiting for their mom and their sister-in-law and other people to tell them what do I do with this baby. and things change over time, and what we thought was really safe and good practice 20 years ago, it's different today."

Dr. Caleb Hudgins with the Baby Box Company says since the program began in January more than 15,000 state residents have accessed the safety information and 7,000 boxes have been distributed.

"Educational programs on safe sleep practices like the ones provided through baby box university have been shown to reduce infant mortality, particular Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Sudden Unexplained Infant Death."

Hudgins says communities where the boxes are widely used will be monitored to see if infant mortality rates drop.