Expectant mothers in Orkney can now register to receive a baby box at their usual midwife appointment. 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.
Local MSP Maree Todd, SNP said:
“I am really pleased the Scottish Government is gifting a Baby Box to every child in Scotland. It’s about ensuring that every child has an equal start in life.”
“The idea was introduced in Finland 80 years ago to tackle cot death at a time when 10 per cent of children died before reaching their first birthday. Today the rate is 0.2 per cent, one of the lowest in the world.
“For mothers in Orkney and Shetland looking forward to welcoming a new born into the world on or after 15th August this summer, all they need to do to be gifted a Baby Box is to apply through their midwife in advance, supplying their preferred delivery address.
“The Baby Boxes are full of useful items such as books, clothes, blankets, a bath towel, a changing mat, a bib and a thermometer, while also providing a safe space for babies to sleep near their parents, to promote bonding and early attachment, and send a signal that every child, regardless their background, matters.
The Scottish Government has also used its new devolved powers to create new Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances, the Best Start Grant, which provides expectant mothers on low incomes with £600 for their first child, £300 for second and subsequent children and a further £250 grant when their child starts nursery, and £250 again when they start school.
Maree Todd said:
“The SNP Government will also provide targeted support of a significantly higher level than elsewhere in the UK, to help low income families via our new Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances- replacing the UK Sure Start grant with our Best Start Grant. The new Best Start Grant will be introduced in 2019.”
First piloted successfully in both Orkney and Clackmannanshire the feedback about the baby boxes was used to improve the information on the advantages of using them.
What’s inside the Baby Box? View Unboxing
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