Time and again, promotional products have proven themselves to be the most cost-effective way to reach a very targeted audience in a tangible, long-lasting and memorable manner. But promotional products can do more than promote a brand. Highlighting the value the right product can bring to an initiative, research from Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia found that “baby boxes,” cardboard bassinets given to new parents, made a meaningful difference in parents’ education on safe sleep habits for their infants.

More than 2,700 new mothers participated in a Temple University study where half were given the baby boxes and face-to-face instructions on safe infant sleep, and half were given the standard information on safe sleep habits. The study found that the combination of baby boxes and face-to-face instruction cut bed-sharing by 25 percent in the baby’s first eight days at home.

Most of the mothers in the study said they used the boxes as a sleeping place for their infants, while 12 percent described it as their baby’s usual sleeping place. Furthermore, among those using the box as a sleeping place, 59 percent said it made breast-feeding easier.

The Infant Sleep Box is based on a Finnish hospital campaign for new mothers that dramatically reduced the country’s infant mortality rate in the 1930s by introducing a new way to combat Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Today Finland enjoys the lowest infant mortality rate in the world, a phenomenon attributed to the Infant Sleep Box.