“The hale wurld welcomes ye” (Jackie Kay)
For Christians around the world Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of for them a very special baby.
All babies are special but they’ve been having a bit of a mixed year in Scotland.
The Baby Box is a gift to every newborn in Scotland. Expectant mothers apply for one through their midwife and regardless of parental income will receive a Baby Box to their given postal address. It’s a gift for the bairn.
From January 2018 all parents will receive their Baby Box between weeks 28-32 of pregnancy. It contains a lot of useful items, information and can even be used to safely sleep the baby in for the first few weeks.
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 Scottish Tories have pledged to get rid of the Baby Box as they see it as a waste of money. Murdo Fraser declared “we need to get rid of the vanity project that is baby boxes”(13/12/2017, Finance Debate in the Scottish Parliament)
“Your een bricht as the stars, You’ve filled this hoose with licht,”
The UK Tory Government has successfully introduced The Two Child Benefit Cap. Child tax credits are now capped at two children – meaning anyone with two children or more will no longer receive child tax credits at the birth of their next child or subsequent children, unless an exception applies.
The exception to the 2 child cap can be applied if the woman can claim that the conception of the additional child (the +2) was due to being raped or because she was in a coercive relationship where she had no choice in becoming pregnant. This has now become infamous as ‘the rape clause’.
“My cherished yin, my hert’s ain! O my darlin wee one”
New families will lose £545 a year from the removal of the ‘family element’ – an additional payment that applies to the birth of a first child. By 2020-21 it is estimated around 50,000 Scottish households will be affected by the changes to child tax credits.
The Scottish Government has 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.
“The mune glowes; the hearth wairms. Let your life hae luck, health, charm,”
A new £1.5 million Family Fund has been set up by the Scottish Government and will be available from the 1st of April for parents of premature babies to help with the additional costs they face, such as for travel to and from hospital or food and drink.
The Family Fund will be easy to apply for and not income related.
Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss Scotland, said:
“This fund will help more parents to be with their baby for as much time as possible and to play a hands-on role in their babies’ care, which we know is best for babies and families.
“Bliss Scotland looks forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government in 2018 to ensure the fund works in the best way for families, as well as on the delivery of the other neonatal recommendations in Best Start.”
“Ye are my bonny blessed bairn, My small miraculous gift.”
So all in all a very varied time for a bairn to arrive into this land we call Scotland. We have two Governments with very different approaches to supporting a peedie one and their parents.
What kind of a Scotland will they grow up to inherit?
“I never kent luve like this.”
By Fiona Grahame
Welcome Wee One by Jackie Kay
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.