Many of us were giddy at the news that parents-to-be in Ontario would would receive a baby box similar to that available in Finland. But since the details were sketchy, others wondered whether Baby Box Canada was indeed legitimate?
Unlike the Finnish initiative, Baby Box Canada is not run by the government. It's a nonprofit that relies on donations from unnamed sponsors and contributors.
The boxes provided won't double up as cribs, yet will provide essentials such as "bibs, diapers, bath towels, onesies, lotion, nursing pads, toys, diaper cream, shampoo." Also included will be get-started guides on everything from breastfeeding, car safety, to swaddling.
HuffPost confirmed with Baby Box Canada that the nonprofit is in fact legit and registered. It was started by Toronto parents-turned-entrepreneurs, Romi and Edward Walker, who remember how overwhelmed they felt before their first child was born in 2014.
The couple opted for a nonprofit (with any proceeds being fed directly back into the organization) rather than a charity so that all parents could benefit from the service - not just those who qualified.
Some users were dubious as to how personal data is stored and collected. But Baby Box Canada assured users that it takes privacy "very seriously" and would not sell PIDs (Personal Identifiable Data). Once delivery dates are finalized, Baby Box will send out email requests confirming shipping information.
An initial requirement of 5,000 registrations was required to guarantee sufficient interest. That goal was met early on, with 18,500 users currently signed up. Now the nonprofit is working hard to ensure an April ship date. Alternate packages will be sent to those with earlier due dates.
"We plan for the box to arrive two to three months before expected due dates - right when parents are starting to think about how to stock their homes for their new baby."
Alberta currently runs a provincially funded program called “Welcome to Parenthood.” A box program also exists in Saskatoon, but at a cost to parents.
If you signed up for the service in Ontario, please let us know when you receive your box.