Good news for all babies born in Scotland from 2017 onwards, as the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has introduced a rather genius initiative, borrowed from Finland.
As of New Year’s Day 2017, any babies born in Scotland will be gifted 'baby boxes'. The initiative was inspired by Finland, who have been giving out care packages to all expectant mothers for nearly 80 years.
The Nordic-style box will be like a starter kit for parents. It contains around 80 useful items for babies, including baby clothes, nappies, toys, and other essentials. The sturdy cardboard box itself comes with a built-in firm foam waterproof mattress and a cotton sheet, so the baby can even sleep safely in it for the first few months.
The boxes are used in Finland as a baby’s bed for up to the first eight months of their life, and have been credited with cutting infant mortality and raising life chances.
Replacing the need for the traditional Moses basket, it’s thought that the small size of the baby box prevents babies from rolling onto their tummies, which experts think can contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
The box is seen as one of Finland’s leading preventative measures against 'cot death', as it makes it easier for a baby to sleep in the same room as the parents for the first six months (a key safe-sleep recommendation, along with always putting a baby down to sleep on his or her back).
By introducing the baby boxes to Scotland, Nicola hopes that these results could be replicated in the UK. We certainly hope so too!
In addition to receiving the box, new mums in Scotland will also be given specialist education materials, with advice on how to further reduce the risk of infant mortality, improve parental bonding and support the transition to parenthood.
Nicola Sturgeon said the first mothers living in pilot areas would start getting the boxes in January and that there would be a full roll-out in the summer.
Nicola says she hopes handing out free baby boxes will help support poorer families as they become parents.
(Images: Baby Box Company)