The Baby Box scheme which was successfully piloted in Orkney earlier on this year is now set to be introduced across Scotland. Expectant mothers will be able to register to receive their baby’s box at their usual midwife appointment after 15 June. Delivery will then begin on 15 August with the Baby Box sent directly to a home or other preferred address. From January 2018 all parents will receive their Baby Box between weeks 28-32 of pregnancy.
The Baby Boxes were first introduced in Finland where alarming infant mortality rates of 65 out of every 1000 babies dying caused a rethink on how to care for young babies.
The Baby Boxes in Finland have been used for 75 years and along with other measures have been an astounding success. They are now used in several countries and US states.
Minister for Childcare and Early Years in the Scottish Government Mark McDonald said:
“Scotland’s Baby Box will help tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents, and we’re proud to introduce it in Scotland.”
“It will include materials to promote the best possible outcomes for children and the Box itself will also provide a safe space for babies to sleep near their parents, to promote bonding and early attachment.”
“As the scheme formally begins our delivery partners will work hard to deliver as many Boxes as quickly as possible to ensure new parents can start to use them straight away.”
“And from January 2018, all Baby Boxes will be delivered at least 4 weeks before the baby’s due date.”
Shelagh Young, Home-Start UK’s Scotland Director said:
“Welcoming every newborn child with a Baby Box full of useful items sends a really positive message to parents.”
“Parenthood doesn’t come easily to all of us and we all need some extra help at times. Many families, including those supported by Home-Start, will really appreciate both the value of the box and the signal it sends that every child matters in Scotland.”
A poem from Scotland’s Makar Jackie Kay is also included in the Baby Box.
Welcome Wee One
O ma darlin wee one
At last you are here in the wurld
And wi’ aa your wisdom
Your een bricht as the stars,
You’ve filled this hoose with licht,
Yer trusty wee haun, your globe o’ a heid,
My cherished yin, my hert’s ain!
O my darlin wee one
The hale wurld welcomes ye:
The mune glowes; the hearth wairms.
Let your life hae luck, health, charm,
Ye are my bonny blessed bairn,
My small miraculous gift.
I never kent luve like this.
The pilot in both Orkney and Clackmannanshire was very successful and the feedback has been used to improve the information on the advantages of using the boxes.
One mother told researchers she had learned about the importance of using breathable blankets while other parents said they believe the box is a safe sleeping place for a variety of reasons including:
- it comes with cellular blankets rather than fleeces
- inclusion of a brand new mattress
- size of the box, which is larger than a Moses basket but smaller than a cot
- simplicity of the sleep space making it suitable for small babies
Reporter: Fiona Grahame