Scotland

Baby boxes to be sent out across Scotland from August

Scottish baby box Image copyright Scottish Government
Image caption The Scottish baby box will contain essentials for newborns

The baby box scheme will be rolled out across Scotland in August, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

All babies born on 15 August or after will receive a box with the essentials to help them get the best start in life.

Expectant mothers can register to receive the box at an existing midwife appointment after 15 June.

Inspired by Finnish baby boxes, the Scottish version includes around 40 items and the box doubles as a cot.

The roll-out follows pilot projects in Orkney and Clackmannanshire which started on 1 January.

The design for the box was unveiled in March, and features a forest fairytale design including Highland cows, squirrels and the Loch Ness Monster.

Tackling deprivation

Childcare minister Mark McDonald said: "I'm delighted to announce that all babies due in Scotland on or after 15 August 2017 will receive a baby box as part of the national roll-out.

"Scotland's baby box will help tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents, and we're proud to introduce it in Scotland.

"It will include materials to promote the best possible outcomes for children and the box itself will also provide a safe space for babies to sleep near their parents, to promote bonding and early attachment."

Image copyright Scottish Government
Image caption The idea of giving boxes to new parents in Scotland was inspired by Finland

He added: "As the scheme formally begins our delivery partners will work hard to deliver as many boxes as quickly as possible to ensure new parents can start to use them straight away.

"And from January 2018, all baby boxes will be delivered at least four weeks before the baby's due date."

Delivery of the boxes will begin on 15 August and they will be sent to the mother's home or other preferred address.

Included in the box during the pilot scheme was a changing mat, a digital thermometer, a fleece jacket, several babygrows, a hooded bath towel, a reusable nappy and liners, a baby book and an organic sponge. Cot sheets, a mattress and a blanket were also inside the box which can be used for the baby to sleep in.

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