As of this week, Finnish-style baby boxes are being sent to new mums in Scotland.
In Finland, expectant mums receive a box of baby essentials from the state. Once empty, the box can be used as a temporary crib.
The Guardian reports:
'All new mothers in Scotland are being offered free baby boxes including clothes, thermometers and books in an effort to improve their children’s life chances. The boxes, worth about £160 each including distribution costs, are being made available to about 58,000 mothers a year from Tuesday, in a voluntary opt-in scheme. The initiative mirrors a programme running in Finland since the 1930s.'
The baby boxes contain essentials including a digital thermometer, muslins and baby clothing, as well as a mattress and baby bedding so you can use the box as a temporary crib.
There is some debate as to wether the boxes will help prevent sudden infant deaths - Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world but, according to the Guardian, Scotland's main cot death charity has said that proper cots and cribs are still the safest place for a baby to sleep.
Nicola Sturgeon, who introduced the scheme in Scotland, this morning tweeted:
'Proud to see #babybox rolled out across Scotland - practical support but also sends important signal that all children deserve best start.'
Pregnant women in Scotland must opt-in to receive the baby boxes and can do so during a routine appointment with their midwife.
To enquire about the delivery of your box in Scotland, phone 0800 030 8003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the registration number from the card given to you when you registered for your Baby Box.
If you don't live in Scotland but would like to get your hands on a baby box, check out the eve babybox which you can buy for £99 from Mothercare.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this scheme. Are you a Scottish mum and have you received a baby box? Do you think it's useful? Or do you think public money could be better spent? Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.