Sleep Safe Advice for your Baby

Baby Box

Baby box (Photo Scot Gov)

The Scottish Baby Box which was so successfully piloted in Orkney earlier this year is set to become a national scheme on Tuesday 15th August. The box is a gift to every new born child in Scotland and contains a variety of useful items for babies and information for parents. The box can also be used as a safe sleeping place for up to the first 3/4 months of a child’s life. Expectant mothers can register with a midwife to receive their baby’s box.

Safe Sleeping

Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Dr Catherine Calderwood said:

“All parents should think about sleeping practices at the earliest possible stage – even before their baby is born.”

“Scotland’s Baby Box is designed to provide a safe sleep space for babies and has been awarded British Safety standard accreditation as a crib for domestic use. Early evaluation shows the scheme is helping raise awareness of safe sleeping practices and we are committed to evaluating how the Baby Box is helping families across Scotland.”

“It is important parents make the safe sleeping choice that is right for them, and anyone needing more information should speak to their health visitor or midwife.”

“The boxes are a strong signal of the Scottish Government’s determination that every child, regardless of their circumstances should get the best start in life.”

Some basic answers to your questions about using the box as a safe sleeping space can be found at Parent Club.

The Scottish Cot Death Trust which was not involved in the initial pilot scheme remains ‘neutral’ about the use of the baby boxes as a safe sleeping space. They recognise that many parents do not have a safe place for baby to sleep and that when using the box for that purpose parents should follow the instructions which are both within the box and printed on it.

It is important that the mattress and the protector provided with the box is used along with the tight fitting sheet and cellular blanket.

Baby boxes were first used in Finland and along with other measures were extremely successful at reducing infant mortality rates.

Infant mortality rates Finland

Infant Mortality in Finland (Statistics Finland)

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

The Orkney News has several articles relating to The Baby Box and you can find them on our site using the search facility.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame


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