Newborn Babies in Scotland to Get ‘Box of Useful Things’ from 2017

October 21, 2016

The parents of newborn babies across Scotland will soon receive a box full of potentially useful items to help them get a good start in life, the first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Having indicated an intention to introduce the scheme back in April, the Scottish government is now set to rollout out its box-giving initiative from January 1st 2017.

Sturgeon told an audience at a Scottish National Party (SNP) conference event recently that the plan is reflective of her government’s “belief in a level playing field” for all children born throughout the country.

The idea of creating boxes for the parents of newborns has been taken from a similar scheme that has long been popular in Finland, where new mothers have been receiving packages full of essential items without charge for decades.

Among a total of 80 items in the boxes are nappies and baby clothes, with the boxes themselves also designed to function as baskets in which babies can be laid down to sleep.

Plans are in place to rollout out deliveries of similar packages in a number of pilot areas from January, with the hope being that it will then be given a full-scale rollout nationwide at some point during the following summer.

“We promised a baby box of all essential items for all newborns. It’s a policy borrowed from Finland where it’s contributed to the lowest rates of child mortality in the world,” Sturgeon said during her recent speech in Glasgow.

“I’m delighted to give you an update on our plans to introduce it here. Next month we’ll launch a competition in partnership with the V&A in Dundee for the design of the box.

“The first boxes will be delivered to newborns born in pilot areas on New Year’s Day,” she said.

Finland has been giving new mothers packages filled with useful items for more than 75 years and the ‘starter kit’ is credited not just with reducing infant mortality rates but also with improving the life chances of Finnish children.

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