Here’s a tragic statistic that reveals a stark way we’re failing babies across the state. Alabama has an unacceptably high racial disparity for infant well-being. In fact, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, there is a startling high infant mortality rate for African-American babies at 13.9 per 1,000 live births, although the same mortality rate for Caucasian babies was 6 per 1,000 live births.
In an effort to prevent early infant deaths and ensure that all families in Alabama get access to quality perinatal education and baby supplies, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is launching a universal safe sleep program in partnership with The Baby Box Co., Alabama Rural Development Office, Alabama Department of Public Health, and numerous network partners.
The goal is to provide Baby Boxes to families all across the state to provide a safe and supported start in life for every child. Every expecting and new mother who completes Baby Box University’s online education program in Alabama will get a free baby box.
Parents and get a box with these easy steps:
1. Register for free online at babyboxuniversity.com as an Alabama resident. Be sure to include your correct contact information, including a valid mailing address where you want to receive your Baby Box.
2. Watch the short Alabama syllabus at babyboxuniversity.com. (It should take under 15 minutes.) After taking a short quiz on what you have seen, you will receive a certificate of completion and be able to select local pick-up or direct delivery of your Baby Box.
3. If you select direct delivery, your Baby Box will ship to the address you provided when you registered on Baby Box University. If you select local pick up, bring your Baby Box University certificate to the closest participating distribution to collect your Baby Box.
That’s all. It’s that easy! These steps allow families to get quick access to lessons on safe sleep practices, prenatal health, breastfeeding, and newborn care. It’s the program’s way of providing families with education and healthcare along with the bed.
Baby Boxes were inspired by a Finnish tradition that goes back over 80 years. Each box provides a safe infant sleeping environment in a certified, sustainable box bed. It includes a firm, waterproof mattress and quality care products every new parent needs. The bed can be used for the baby in their first months of life.
In 2017, the Alabama program will distribute up to approximately 60,000 Baby Boxes to better ensure that every expecting family in Alabama has access to this free resource regardless of socioeconomic background. The ultimate goal is to save the lives of Alabama babies.