Babies Need Boxes

Babies Need Boxes

As birth doulas and postpartum doulas serving the Cleveland area, we work with many families.  For our postpartum doulas a big part of our job is to educate families on a variety of topics including safe sleep.

Many of our families bring on our postpartum doulas to support them and their infants with night time care.  Our postpartum doulas are dedicated to promoting a healthy and safe sleep environment for the infants in their care.  Safe sleep practices are extremely important to newborn & infant night time care.

We are so passionate about safe sleep and education, we have teamed up with The Nurturing Root to help promote the Babies Need Boxes program in the Cleveland area and started a donation drive on the east and west sides of Cleveland.

Did you know?

Sleep related deaths are on the rise in the US.  Sleep related deaths for infants is defined as a death that happens suddenly and is not expected.  This can be caused by SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, accidental suffocation,  positional asphyxia or a death of undetermined cause.


Some startling statistics on sleep related deaths*:

  • Sleep related deaths are the number one cause of death for infants 0-12 mo of age.
  • In Ohio 3 babies die a week from a sleep related death
  • Between the years of 2007 to 2011, in Ohio, 819 infants died from sleep- related causes.
  • Nationally,  African American infants are almost twice as likely to die of SIDS than white infants
  • Sleep-related infant deaths (excluding SIDS)since 2005, has increased each year.


There are many factors that play into sleep related deaths for infants*:  

  • Sharing a sleep area with another person
  • Not being placed on their back to sleep
  • Being exposed to tobacco in-utero and after birth
  • Young infants under the age of 3 months are at greater risk
  • African American are at much greater risk
  • Babies not being placed in a crib or bassinet to sleep


Babies Need Boxes is addressing sleep related deaths by helping to not only educate families on safe sleep, but to provide a safe sleep space for infants. 

Babies Need Boxes is a non-profit 501(c)3 based on a Finnish program that started over 75 years ago.  The Finnish government program is credited with lowering their country’s infant mortality rate to one of the lowest in the world.  By providing a safe sleep space & sleep education, these boxes help to eliminate many of the factors associated with infant sleep deaths.


What exactly does Babies Need Boxes do?

Babies Need Boxes supplies safe sleep boxes & education to all families.  Their boxes, which are approved safe sleep spaces,  include a mattress, educational materials as well as many useful infant and postpartum care items.  It’s a simple concept with life saving resources. 

The boxes are given out for FREE.  All that is required is that recipients visit and watch a 15 minute video on safe sleep, take a simple quiz and print out a certificate to be redeemed for a Baby Box.


How can you help?

Babies Need Boxes is able to provide safe sleep boxes and Baby Box University is providing life saving sleep education.  What is need is more infant & postpartum care items for newborn and their birthing parent.  These items are low cost, but in order to supply them to the many families that are looking for resources, we need large quantities.

Nurtured Foundation Doula Services and The Nurturing Root have teamed up to collect these items for distribution.  We have made a list of needed items that can be purchased and dropped off at an east or west Cleveland location or you can order items online at Amazon and have them shipped directly to our distribution location.


Items Needed:

  • 100% Cotton Pre-fold Cloth Diapers  
  • Waterproof Cloth Diaper Covers
  • Hypoallergenic Diaper Rash Cream
  • Newborn Caps, Socks, + Mittens
  • Unscented Lip Balm
  • Organic Nipple Salve


Donations can be made in person on the east side, or west side of Cleveland. You can contact Alayna Spratley, with The Nurturing Root to make east side drop off arrangements.  If you are a west sider, Lisa Falkenstein of Nurtured Foundation Doula Services can be reached here. 

We have also compiled an online Amazon Wish List that will ship the items directly to our Shaker Heights chapter office. Babies Need Boxes also accepts monetary donations here.  All gifts to the Babies Need Boxes project are tax deductible, and their 501(C)(3) tax ID number is, 47-3926384. Please share this informational flier about the donation drive, with friends, family, businesses, and organizations that want to help, as well.

Lisa Falkenstein is owner of Nurtured Foundation Doula Services serving the greater Cleveland and Akron areas and a proud board member of Babies Need Boxes.  For additional information or other opportunities to help this amazing program, please contact Lisa directly at 216-409-5403 or



*(Statistics provided based on research provided by the State of Ohio Department of Health Study on Sleep-Related Infant Deaths) 

Filed under: Challenges New Moms May Face, Doula Roles and Responsibilities