It’s nearly 5 years since Scotland’s Baby Box was launched after being piloted in Orkney.
222,450 have been delivered to families since the scheme began in August 2017.
The Baby Box is a gift to the bairn and parents apply through their midwife. It is free to all that wish one and contains necessary items for a baby.
The box itself can be used as a safe sleeping space for the first few months with a mattress which fits it perfectly.
Over 90% of parents in Scotland have taken up the opportunity of a Baby Box and they are being listened to with suggestions on how it can be improved.
The digital ear thermometer and bath and room thermometer were the items most likely to be rated by parents as among the most useful, and most likely to be seen by midwives, health visitors and family nurses as important to include.
As well as the useful items the Baby Box has also encouraged communication between parents, midwives and health visitors.
This year the Baby Box is to be refreshed with updated clothing designs and it now includes a baby toothbrush to support early oral health.
Chief Dental Officer Tom Ferris said:
“I am really pleased to see a toothbrush included in the Baby Box for the first time. Good oral habits are essential to achieving excellent mouth health, and this will allow us to support families in achieving this from the very beginning of life.”
The new clothing designs were voted for in a poll conducted on the Parent Club website.
Commenting on the success of the Baby Box, Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Emma Roddick said:
“I am really happy to hear that the baby box has been slightly revamped in time for its five-year anniversary. I believe the baby box scheme is a direct reflection of Scotland and its potential.
“Living costs, as we know, are rising and the baby box is more important to Scottish families than ever. This is particularly true for those living in the Islands, where fuel costs are at some of their highest levels.
“Not only has the box eased the costs of raising a baby, but due to it being available to everyone, it has helped create a shared understanding of equality. All children deserve equal support and resources, and I really feel the scheme has strengthened this message in the past five years”