Scottish New Mums Get Baby Boxes

Scottish New Mums Get Baby Boxes
15 August 2017

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 scotlandsbabybox@theapsgroup.com 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.

115 comments

  • Jodie K.

    Given you could buy a cot and mattress cheaper it seems money could deffinately be better spent

    • Kim-Georgina G.

      It's not just the box and mattress, it's clothing not just a couple of baby grows but sleep suits, sleeping bag, outdoor cozy suit etc, sleep suits, reusable nappies, digital thermometer.

    • Jodie K.

      The ones ive seen are just the box and freebies you would get from bounty and emmas diary

    • Jen B.

      That's the ones that are available in England. These are the Scottish ones, they come with everything mentioned above.

    • Jen B.

      These have only just started being rolled out in Scotland this week.

  • Megan D.

    How can the one in mothercare cost £99, when they're making a profit, and the government version be worth £160 when they make no profit? I understand that the distribution will be costly, and maybe some of the products are a little nicer but how can the cost be so different?

    • Kim-Georgina G.

      You get a fair bit more in the government one.

  • Jody R.

    "Reduced infant mortality and improved child health"... why would anyone complain???

    • Karen M.

      It hasn't actually been proven to have reduced infant mortality rates.

    • Karen M.

      https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/are-baby-boxes-safe-to-sleep-baby/

    • Jody R.

      No, but that us the premise behind it. So a good thing, right? Positive.

    • Karen M.

      If you read that link, it suggests that they may not actually be as safe as they are made out to be.

    • Jody R.

      Do the Finnish boxes comply with EU standards?

    • Jody R.

      There's quite a few articles about the decreased infant deaths in Finland over the last few decades since the introduction of these baby boxes- so it's understandable that they are seen as such if the stats are there.

    • Jody K.

      Seemingly some mums preferred the bounty packs :joy: even people can complain about free stuff :see_no_evil: think these boxes are a great thing especially for mums who don't have a lot these could literally be life savers.

    • Mandy A.

      It's not 'free' though is it. Costing the government millions

    • Jody R.

      And potentially saving and improving thousands of lives- especially of those who can't afford to keep up with consumerism.

    • Alison S.

      Omg can't believe the folk complaining. Clearly it's got nothing to do with helping parents/baby and more to do with pissing you off because it's produced by a political party you dislike. Shameful

    • Suzanne S.

      No, its the spending of public money which some people object to. This should only be available to those on a low income, people who can afford to buy their own baby things shouldn't receive them for free when public services are being dessimated

  • Katie A.

    Saw this on the news thought it was a great idea until they said how much it was lol

    • Louise R.

      you cant put a price, on a precious baby

    • Katie A.

      Well no i know that but some families like myself cant afford that

    • Sammi B.

      They're given free to families :rolling_eyes:

    • Katie A.

      Lol didnt even hear properly then this was at 2am ha

    • Faye M.

      They are free Katie. You have to apply for one x

    • Laura C.

      How are you buying a cot/pram clothes and bottles for baby if you can't afford that? Baby is meant to sleep in these boxes so you're essentially saying you can't afford your babies bed :thinking:

    • Katie A.

      Wow no need to be rude:punch: and i managed to afford it from my boyfriend and family helped out thank u not that i have to tell you anything and even though they are free just meant if you did have to pay you could get a crib and mattress cheaper than that rather do that than put my baby in a bloody box

    • Linzi A.

      Laura... some things are just way over priced and even working families struggle to pay for things!! But I would say if your struggling opt for 2nd hand as kids are barely in things for 2 mins... they grow so quick xxx

  • Sammi B.

    These are popular in Europe and have had a huge success. I'm all for them!

  • Heather A.

    Claim of reducing mortality/morbidity isn't evidence-based, only that the idea comes from countries where infant mortality is lower than UK - NOT that this is attributed in anyway to the boxes. Honestly how many people will use the box for baby to sleep in anyway??

    • Jessica S.

      They did reduce infant mortality when introduced but that is because of the high levels of bed sharing in those countries. Its not compared to putting a baby in their own cot.

    • Jessica S.

      But yes I agree with what you're saying I expect most people will use the box for storage or for putting the baby in downstairs.

    • Jody R.

      Infant deaths reduced in the decades since the boxes were introduced in Finland- the stats are there!!!

    • Aimee M.

      Hasn't infant mortality reduced in several countries because of better education re. how babies should be sleeping (on back, not too many blankets etc)? Might be because of better education rather than the actual boxes....

    • Jody R.

      Maybe so- but the boxes have been part of that re-educating too. People can't just blindly say that the boxes are pointless and a waste of money if evidence suggests the contrary... in part or whole. The idea shouldn't be dismissed as there us no evidence suggesting otherwise either!

    • Aimee M.

      I suppose time will tell, however personally I don't think these boxes on their own are some magic solution to improving infant mortality without improved healthcare services, better education etc.

    • Lisa M.

      I'm sure these boxes are only given out on the understanding that the mother attends a parenting class to learn the basics of safe sleeping.

    • Heather A.

      I think if the low mortality rates can be directly linked to boxes then fantastic. However I feel the money could be better spent tackling issues that are definitively linked, such as smoking

  • Lynsey D.

    A £45 thermometer is included! What is wrong with the good old fashioned thermometers that cost a fraction of that?! Yes, it would be nice to receive but I definitely think they have gone OTT. I'm in Scotland but no more babies for me

    • Lindsay S.

      Or they could use their elbow for free lol!

    • Lynsey D.

      This was a digital ear thermometer I think. But there was also a bath thermometer as well!

  • Andrea O.

    Given that cot bumpers are thought to contribute to cot death I don't think I would be using the box for a baby to sleep in.

    • Jessica S.

      Its the risk of getting caught in the bumpers is the reason they're noir advised. The box has nothing to be caught in, its the same as a moses basket or similar.

    • Andrea O.

      There is also risk of a lack of oxygen that may contribute to SIDS which is why I said that.

    • Dominique J.

      Andrea O'Carroll where is the risk of a lack of oxygen? Actual proof please?

    • Lucy L.

      Only if you put the lid on the box if you're a numpty. :smirk:

    • Patrica G.

      studies have shown that these boxes don't reduce cot death at all...

  • Karen M.

    Should be means tested imo.

  • Karly B.

    I think they are a great idea. If the NHS didn't think the benefit out weighed the cost they simply wouldn't have gone ahead with them.

  • Jennifer M.

    Why does everyone need these ?? I'm sure many will be wasted give to those who need it it may not be for profit but someone somewhere will make money from this People will opt in even when they don't need it because everyone likes to get something for nothing :pensive::pensive:

    • Gillian M.

      You don't automatically get them. You have to register for them, so whoever doesn't want one doesn't need to apply.

  • Jen H.

    I would be happier to have routine testing for group b strep

    • Susanne Y.

      Totally agree. There are so many other worthwhile things the money could be spent on.

    • Dominique J.

      Considering the boxes are funded from the people who provide the items....

  • Tabitha S.

    If they are proven to help great but I'm sceptical. All the other bits in the box costing £160 I'm sure don't reduce mortality, so I can't help thinking we can use the money better! Most parents will have all this and more anyway.

  • Jen B.

    I think it's a brilliant idea! Why would anyone NOT want a box? It provides new parents with all the essential items they need for a newborn, whether you use the box as a bed is totally your choice but the same boxes are being used in Finland and they've reduced infant mortality rates so yes this has been proven as they provide a safe place for babies to sleep. Anyways it doesn't matter if you choose to use it as a bed or a storage box, the point is that all babies are getting the same start in life by providing clothes, nappies, and essential toiletries. If you don't want a box, don't opt in, simple as that. Why bitch and moan about it? I can't wait to get mine :heart:

    • Jody R.

      Exactly! Just no pleasing some folk is there??? Jeeeeez! :smirk:

    • Patrica G.

      There not proven to be safe.. what a waste of money http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/baby-box-scheme-scotland-rollout-parents-safe-sleeping-cot-death-prevention-finland-a7891731.html

  • Rhian N.

    Maybe just give the box and not all the additional items to save money. No way it needs to cost that much. There are many other ways to reduce the risk of SIDS which people choose to ignore....breastfeeding, not smoking, correct use bedding etc

    • Dominique J.

      And for the hundreds of thousands who can't breastfeed due to medical issues? Arsehole.

    • Rhian N.

      Dominique Joy there is formula/ doner milk. That's the whole reason formula was created. If you medically cannot breastfeed (which is actually around 2% of the population) then you are obviously not choosing to ignore it are you? There will always be exceptions to the rules....but it doesn't change the facts. Most have a choice and should be aware of the risks to make an educated decision

  • Kirstyanne R.

    Yup registered for 1 should come 3 wks before due date xx

  • Harriet L.

    They do this in Scandinavia, I've always thought it's a brilliant idea

  • Mandy L.

    you guys prob don't want your kid in a box but you get loads of other stuff with it, x

    • Claire M.

      Yeh we registered for this, it looks amazing! X

  • Kayleigh D.

    Fab, they look great! Can,t wait for your baba to arrive.xx

  • Joanne C.

    ! Just what we were talking about! X

  • Simone C.

    A seen this on the news last night :thinking: ca see a doc or a midwife never mind get a baby box :joy::joy::joy::joy:xx

  • Ashley L.

    My midwife sent form off last month so should expect it sometime after due date ♡ xx

  • Ashley L.

    Will keep u posted when it arrives :) xx

  • Debbie M.

    I've read about this before...I actually thought it was in place already. Xxx

  • Allana H.

    Mines is getting delivered this wk pal x

  • Rachel W.

    They are a lovely idea, but giving them out to reduce infant mortality rates? I'm sorry but if you can't afford to provide your baby with basic equipment to keep them safe then perhaps you should question whether you are in a position to be having a child! Also, these are available to all mothers, even the well off ones who probably already have a nursery full of lovely things. Perhaps they should be means tested?

    • Gillian W.

      You apply for them I think, so I'd imagine that those mothers with the full nurseries probably would not see a need to apply. I agree with your affordability point but unfortunately, a lot of the time, the ones who should be questioning whether they should be parents are the ones that don't. The boxes could be of benefit to those babies. Some unnecessarily pricey items in there though :flushed:

    • Rachel W.

      Gillian White thats why I said that perhaps they should be means tested. I know from experience that babies aren't always planned! I think a lot of mothers will apply for them anyway, even if they don't need them. Let's face it everyone likes the chance to get something for free :rolling_eyes:

    • Lisa M.

      I absolutely agree Rachel. However, people will continue to reproduce even when they are barely able to take care of themselves, in dire situations financially or socially or don't have the funds or capability to take care of a small human.

    • Rachel W.

      Claire Macdonald :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:

    • Suzanne H.

      Rachel, why are you so judgemental? There are lots of different reasons that people might need to apply for these boxes. You can't tar everyone with the same brush! If they help some babies have a better start in life then how can you have a problem with that?!

    • Rachel W.

      I wasn't tarring everyone with the same brush, did you even read all my comments? I do think they should be means tested though. £160 for each child born in Scotland is an awful lot of money! Especially when you consider the crisis the NHS is going through. Do you think that its right that even wealthy parents can claim these boxes when people are refused life saving cancer treatment because of the cost? And call me judgemental if you like, but most people have a choice whether to get pregnant or not ( and yes I do understand that accidents can happen...) Cancer sufferers don't have a choice whether to get ill or not :rolling_eyes:

  • Lindsay P.

    Great idea my box was delivered this morning & im very impressed by it. :smiley:

  • Lucy L.

    I think it's great. It puts every baby on equal footing for the start of their lives. It's opt-in, so if you feel you don't need it you don't have to have it.

    I'm hoping that it opens up minds as to the standard of care that babies should be getting. And who knows maybe it'll be the start of better funding in place for midwives and paediatric professionals. Baby steps but positive ones :grin:

  • Jacqueline S.

    I'm conflicted about these boxes. Yes a lovely little present to get when your having a baby. Realistically though how many people are going to use the box as a cot? (Which is the whole idea, to reduce SIDS). I think most people will just take the stuff out and never use the box.

    They should be means tested. £160 for every Scottish baby born. That money could definitely be better spent.

    • Lynsey D.

      I'd rather they took the £45 they spent on the fancy thermometer, bought a standard cheap one and put the change in my child's ISA lol

    • Jacqueline S.

      £45 for thermometer seems rediculous. We bought one for less than a tenner years ago and have maybe used it twice.

    • Patrica G.

      studies have shown they don't reduce SIDS anyway... just the Scottish government with money to burn

  • Karon M.

    Ridiculous and us tax payers will be funding it !

  • Elizabeth H.

    I would of loved one when I was having my last but I hadn't really heard of them

  • Adele B.

    No chance, probably the stuff that's inside there's I didn't get half of that :joy:

  • Natasha R.

    Does it actually come with a cloth nappy :open_mouth:

  • Chloe M.

    Already sent my form away :relaxed::kissing_heart:

  • Caitlin W.

    Thanks, I registered for one

  • Nicola G.

    It's only if your due date is the15th onwards. So we don't get it even though he's STILL NOT HERE :sob::sob::sob:

  • Laura C.

    Got mine on order :heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes:

  • Michele M.

    Ohh I will need to have a wee look I have the midwife tomorrow so I will ask her about these thank u xx

  • Louise F.

    £160 worth of free stuff is alright xx

  • Michele M.

    Yeah defo, and granted there will be something in it that I will totally forget to buy lol xx

  • Nadine W.

    The idea is beautiful but it's insanely expensive for what it is.

  • Louise F.

    All you need is somewhere for baby to sleep and a thermometer, everything else is a luxury xx

  • Michele M.

    lol this is true, well a dummie too but that's me wishful thinking :joy: Xx

  • Gemma M.

    I've registered to get mine should be here in the next few weeks midwife does it at 28 week appointment xx

  • Nicole H.

    It's a great idea but I personally feel it would be more suited to parents who don't have much. We got one in march when our son was born and haven't used it. We took out the thermometer and the bath duck and gave the rest away to someone we know who doesn't have a lot. Our son had everything already xx

  • Casey M.

    Got my form today to fill out jen. Looks bra. X

  • Rachel S.

    According to the video I wached it does

  • Nic M.

    Total waste of money. We need more midwives!

  • Natasha R.

    Ooh thats quite good, hopefully it will make new mummies think about using cloth instead of disposable :raised_hands:

  • Taryn M.

    Hmm seems you can only get them of you're pregnant now. That sucks!! Xxx

  • Carol M.

    Bit costly. Not needed for most

    • Carol M.

      Just noticed- expect baby to sleep in the box??? Jeezo

  • Kelly Y.

    Oh is it, I never read that far. Just read that all new mums are to get it.

  • Andrea B.

    Your midwife should give you a form to register for it. Delivered around your due date but after January it will be delivered 4 weeks before :grinning:

  • Gillian M.

    Yeah the midwife gives you a form to send away. They need to sign it first. Box should arrive 4 weeks before due date.

  • Julie G.

    What are the contents of the box please?

  • Margaret W.

    I didnt realise this was such a big problem in Scotland .

  • Madeline S.

    Whatever next will we all have to fund ? A month &it will all be outgrown, if you can't give a child the basics don't have them.

  • Ruth M.

    We just missed out on these with dates which we thought might happen, were gutted haha! My friend got one earlier in the year as she was in trial Council and it was really well good :)

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