The Smitten Baby Box is a bassinet box, an infant sleep box that is both safe and convienent for babies and their caregivers. It was developed by an infant sleep safety expert, and takes inspiration from the Finnish Baby Box – a baby box bassinet that is largely credited for being responsible for Finland’s low infant mortality rate.
When I first heard that various companies were creating an American version of the baby box, I was excited. As both the parent of a newborn, and a social worker working with low income families, sudden infant death syndrome is something that’s always on my mind – both my own child and that of my clients.
Although the rate of SIDS has declined since the introduction of the back to sleep campaign in the early 90s, SIDS still claimed the lives of 2,000 babies in the United States in 2010 (the last year numbers are available – source). Research studies have also demonstrated that African Americans (source) and infants living in poverty (source) are much more likely to die of SIDS. Smitten Baby Box aims to help parents and promote safe sleep by providing baby’s with a safe place to sleep.
Many readers know I love cosleeping and bedsharing with my own children. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that safe bedsharing is possible, but so many parents are uninformed, given incorrect information, or don’t have access to a safe cosleeping arrangement. Although our toddler bedshares with us, I don’t keep our newborn in the bed since our matress is much too soft – and getting a new matress is cost prohibitive for us. So a baby box is a great solution for many parents where safe bedhsharing isn’t a possibility.
The Smitten is shipped flat in a large box and assembly is required upon its arrival. The instructions are simple to follow, placing adhesive strips on the panels of the box. The placement of the adhesives is noted on the instructions, rather than the box itself. Plastic handles are then snapped onto the box’s handles to reinforce them for carrying.
The mattress itself is firm and comes with a tight fitting sheet, adherring to safe infant sleep standards. The outside of the box is available in two prints, Woodland, which is seriously after my heart (pictured) and polka dot. The cardboard is heavy duty, and although putting it together I had my doubts, it’s quite durable. After getting used to the idea of placing my baby in a box, I actually quite like it for its ease of use.
My favorite part of using this is it’s portability. We live in a two story house, and being able to transport a sleeping baby from place to place, without having to make a transfer, pick baby up, put her down, really anything that would wake her up. And many of the other baby devices on the market (swings, cosleers, bouncers, pack n’ plays, etc) aren’t portable when baby is napping, not to mention they can be expensive and not all are safe to sleep in for extended amounts of time.
The biggest downside of the Smitten isn’t really a downside to the Smitten… it’s the fact that I have a toddler. Ethan has been totally enamored with his infant sister ever since we brought her home from the hospital. Placing her in a box on the floor is Ethan’s dream. Not only does he have total access to hug and kiss (and practically smother, since he’s only 20 months and doesn’t know his own strength), but the box is fun to move. The one time I placed her in it on the floor, I watched Ethan grab the sides of the box, push her away, and tell me ‘bye bye’.
So when my toddler is home, and Audrey is sleeping in her Smitten, I then have to place it in our Pack N’ Play. Which is fine, just slightly annoying. Again, not actually the Smitten’s fault.
We’ve also used our Smitten for playtime as well. While Audrey is content in her box, I can run around and do some active play with my toddler – without worrying he’s going to step on her.
Overall, the Smitten is a great little baby box. It’s portable while baby is sleeping in it, making it a very practical baby item – particularly if you are in a multi story house like I am. Although it’s small in size, it’s very durable
More and more city and county governments are getting on board with the idea of a baby box to help reduce infant mortality. It is a simple solution to unsafe sleeping environments for infants.
For more information or to order your own Smitten, visit PipAndGrow.com. They can also be purchased wholesale, which is a great option for governmental agencies and nonprofits.