Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world—a statistic often credited to its famous “baby boxes.” The government mails these cardboard cribs filled with baby supplies to any expectant mother who signs up and comes in for a prenatal checkup. As a result, parents save time and money, and proponents say the boxes may also protect infants who sleep in them from being smothered by a sleeping parent or heavy blanket.

This year, similar boxes are debuting on a large scale...


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