Free Finnish Style Baby Boxes To Be Given To All Babies Born In Scotland

17 October 2016
Free Baby Boxes Coming To Scotland

From next year all babies born in Scotland will be gifted free 'Baby Boxes' similar to those given in Finland.

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, confirmed that the policy which was first announced in April will be effective from New Years Day 2017, when the first boxes will be issued in pilot areas.

She said that the policy would be a "symbol of a belief in a level playing field" for all children, and that the first mothers living in pilot areas would start getting the boxes in January with a full roll-out in the summer.

Finland has been giving out baby boxes full of essential items to all expectant mothers for 80 years, and they have been have been credited with cutting infant mortality and improving life chances.

The boxes given in Finland contain essential items like baby clothes and nappies, and are designed so that they can be slept in as well, ensuring that newborns have everything they need for the best start in life.

"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," she told delegates at her party's conference.

"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."

Finnish Baby Boxes have been available to buy for some time now, but this move sees them being provided free to parents across Scotland as part of the overhaul of child provision.

What do you think of this move? Is it one that you welcome, and would you like to see in other parts of the UK too? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or over on our Facebook page.

TOPICS:   News and Recalls

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180 comments

  • Maria D.

    as long as Scotland is paying for them.

    • Hayley C.

      They will come out of Scottish budget

    • Mamaq

      Stooopid comment.

  • Lyndsey H.

    Aye I saw this yesterday i think - only to children from 'pilot areas' first though so probably wont be for mine! Xx

  • Stephanie M.

    we was speaking about these the other week x

    • Katharyn C.

      Yeah they're being trialed in areas on new years day so you won't get one probably. Its a good idea but it'll cost a fortune for the public theyre valued at £400 in finland

    • Stephanie M.

      Yeah think it's Just in poverty areas anyway was just odd how we was speaking about them not long ago haha x

    • Pauline F.

      Plan is to be rolled out across the whole of Scotland by the summer.

  • Helen M.

    I can understand low income families needing this, but are parents earning say, over £60,000 a year going to want or have any use for this?

    • Kimberley A.

      Maybe those parents your referring to 'earning £60,000' have a mortgage & bills to pay to keep a roof over their kids heads, have to put food in the table & the possibility of having to pay very large childcare fees to enable them to work. Not all families bringing in a joint income of £60,000 are living a life of luxury. Strangely enough they are paying taxes so the unemployed can get £500 grants when they have babies etc! Think everyone should be entitled!

    • Helen M.

      It was just an example - well off families most likely will have no use for hand outs like these. Or all the 'designer mummies' who strategically co-ordinate everything baby related.

    • Nikki W.

      couldn't agree more I get fed up of people thinking families who don't receive tax credits are rolling in cash

    • Becky C.

      The article states its about having a level playing field for all babies, not that it's a symbol you need it because your parents don't earn enough

    • Helen M.

      And yes, I'm one of those parents paying all the bills you mention - just on a book-keepers salary :wink:

    • Kimberley A.

      Not getting at you in anyway just simply stating a few facts. Everyone no matter how poor or how rich should be treated the same. We should all be entitled to grants available & any benefits like these. It is up to the parents whether or not they wish to accept. You cannot judge a family on how much they earn.

    • Helen M.

      I personally think a better way would be a letter asking if parents would like to receive the box or gift it to a mother and baby refuge or perhaps to migrants caught up in the conflict. Therefore, these boxes arnt being wasted on people who don't want them.

    • Martha M.

      It's about infant mortality if you bothered to read the article.

    • Kimberley A.

      Martha Mackenzie I did read the article but was simply expressing my opinion on someone judging families by their income.

    • John B.

      If you are lucky enough to not "need" it, it should still be offered to you. It is after all your taxes paying for it.

      Also saves having to pay for a department to means test.

      Similar scheme to free prescriptions. Free for all. Works out roughly the same net cost due to removing all the bureaucracy with the charges levied.

    • Helen M.

      It's not a judgement on income - more a class thing. I know higher earners who would be quite offended to be offered a handout and would likely put it out with the trash. It's simply a matter of limiting wasting all these resources.

    • Kimberley A.

      I can quite see the people that are unfortunately less fortunate & would be grateful for this taking it straight away to give their baby the best start & I would think that any responsible adult who felt/knows that they don't require this would politely decline. As I said everyone should be treated the same.

    • John B.

      And then you need to pay a govt team on £30k salaries and office costs to means test. Works out cheaper to make it a blanket rule for all

    • Martha M.

      Kimberley Andrew - who doesn't need to reduce the risk of infant mortality???

    • Martha M.

      Helen Louise Must - it's not a handout. It's an attempt to reduce infant mortality. Does no one read the backstory??

    • Martha M.

      Kimberley Andrew why??? Where does money come into avoiding infant mortality? Seriously how is that an income judgement issue?

    • Kimberley A.

      Martha Mackenzie I don't think your quite getting my point. I am simply replying to someone's views on the earnings of family not infant mortality!!

    • Helen M.

      I don't think money can ever prevent infant mortality - that's down to caring for a child correctly.

    • Helen M.

      That's something parents able to support themselves can educate themselves on (private classes), provide correct room temperature's, appropriate bedding etc.

    • Kimberley A.

      Martha Mackenzie can you please just go & read the comments from the beginning because clearly you haven't and are jumping at people for no reason. I didn't start judging income, I simply responded to someone that did.

    • Kimberley A.

      Clearly money comes into it unless these boxes are being made out of thin air! No the tax payer is paying for them! All I have been saying from the beginning is everyone should be entitled to these!

    • Lia D.

      Caring for a child correctly Helen? So all the people who's children had sids were not adequate parents?

    • Helen M.

      SIDS can be reduced by appropriate care and knowledge, not prevented. I had a cousin, Sarah who passed away from it and her parents couldn't have been better.

    • Lyndsay L.

      Oh dear.....you really can't please everyone! Its so sad. This is something good and kind being done for innocent babies. I'm so proud of Scotland :clap_tone2:

  • Lyndsey F.

    Ridiculous idea! Don't have kids if you can't afford them.

    • Victoria T.

      I'm presuming you send your child benefit back then and don't claim tax credits of any kind?

    • Lyndsey F.

      Victoria Taylor no not tax credits. There are many people in this country who pay tax. Why should they have to buy baby grows and nappies for other people?

    • Patricia R.

      Why don't you do a bit of research and find out what the reason for giving them is!!!

    • Lyndsey F.

      Patricia Robertson who's paying for them though?

    • Alice J.

      Where does it say they cant afford them :joy:

    • Sally M.

      Who cares who is paying for them if it reduces infant mortality rates? I would happily pay a bit extra tax for that. Because that's the point of these boxes. As a mum who is sadly part of the baby loss world, every penny spent will be worth it to save even 1 baby!!

    • Kaz M.

      The boxes cut down on cot death. If anyone suffered this you'd be overjoyed at attempts being made to cut down on sudden infant death. The contents aren't the main idea. Saving babies is & i as a tax payer & having lost my daughter am happy to pay extra tax to save innocent lives x

    • Victoria T.

      Lyndsey Fish what about your child benefit? No mention of that in your closed minded response. Plenty of people who pay tax are living below the poverty line too. Millions of people who work full time jobs and pay their dues yet still have to be given handouts to feed their kids. Are you seriously saying they should ALL not have kids? Or maybe the system is the thing that needs to be shamed not the people being forced to live in poverty.

    • Jaime Y.

      I agree with the sweeping statement that if you can't afford children don't have them but this is about cutting mortality rates. You do realise though that to keep the human race alive people need to have children otherwise who will pay taxes/buy things/manufacture in the future?

    • Stephy S.

      So what only the rich can have kids etc. What about kids who are conceived during rape is it ok if its a rich person? All children have the right to live and anything giving them even an extra 1% chance I will stand behind until my last breath!

    • Louise M.

      Lyndsey you sound like a tory, an I'm alright Jack Type Of Person. So when only the rich have children and they all go to uni to be doctors and lawyers...who's going to serve you when you eat out? Who's going to clean the hospital wards? Who going to hand out school dinners? Where will the plumbers and bricklayers and nurses come from? Not everyone is destined for financial greatness. Normal people deserve to be able to have families too. If your disgrace of a government made sure the cost of living was kept in accordance with the minimum wage people wouldn't need tax credits or anything else.

    • Jaime Y.

      Stephy Sharp what the hell has rape got to do with it?

    • MummyRudge

      There's no such thing as being able to afford children!!

    • Nikki G.

      These aren't being given out to help those that 'can't afford' the items. Get off your high horse :joy:

    • Teresa M.

      How ignorant are these comments - clearly speak first read the article after! It's to reduce baby deaths! I have no kids and I'm happy my SCOTTISH tax is getting put to good use for once! Some right :cow:'s on here - horrible comments :disappointed:

    • Lyndsey F.

      Stephy Sharp don't be ridiculous.

    • Lyndsey F.

      Louise Mcfadyen I had 2 jobs when my first daughter was born to keep our head above water financially. However she is my daughter so it's my job to support her. Our country is on the bones of its arse. We can't afford this. The NHS is under threat as is education. Something has to give and I don't think this box is necessary required. As a previous post says, provide expectant mothers with a list of what is required to keep their baby safe.

    • Lyndsey F.

      Teresa McCaig give the expectant mothers a list of what to buy then.

    • Lyndsey F.

      Louise Mcfadyen everyone can have children but cut your cloth accordingly.

  • Hannah H.

    If we one country as we are at the present, this should be for everyone not just Scotland!!

    • Lauren S.

      don't forget we have our own government with our own budget up here so can make our own decisions. it would be great if it was rolled out everywhere, but with a tory government?? doubt it lol

    • Martha M.

      You do understand that health is a devolved issue Hannah?

  • Karen H.

    Great idea. Providing they aren't being handed out by the god awful Bounty vultures on the wards, who swoop down to harass you at your most vulnerable.

    • Samantha B.

      Oh my goodness. I was woken up twice by one of them! WOKEN UP. After a thro the night dodgy birth resulting in general anaesthetic emergency section (he's OK). Sorry for the rant but yes. They're awful x

    • Katie B.

      I had one 2 . She just walked in and sat down

    • Claire L.

      My bounty lady was fab this time round she walked in said oh twins you will need 2 of these gave me the bags had a quick coo over babies and went x

    • Kelly F.

      I had a wonderful woman for my first who came to see me everyday leading up to when when my.little one finally came out of NICU and spent the full 5 wks asking after us and having cups of tea with us. She never even suggested the dreaded 'photo package' until I asked on leaving day. My second baby I was bombarded by these 2 young girls who were waking mums up and talking about targets on the other side of curtains. My little one and I had only been on the ward for half after hour and they were there, pack in one hand, camera and package options in the other :grimacing:

  • Maria B.

    It's such a beautiful and wonderful thing to happen :) it would be truly amazing if the uk brought this in :heart:

  • Edel M.

    People talking about the money side of things- that's not the important thing. Infant mortality rates are so low in Finland because of this. That's the issue. Read more about it :heart:

  • Donna D.

    This is to try to reduce cot death. As Finland have the lowest rate due to this baby box idea.

  • Lorna N.

    I saw this, I can't find out where the pilot areas are and if I need to apply though. Great idea though.

  • Kaz M.

    See a documentary on this, cuts cot death so much. Strange but true x

  • Charlotte L.

    It's not about them being "free" or who does and doesn't deserve one depending on their income...it's about reducing infant mortality rates and giving every child an equal start in life. How anyone can judge this negatively is beyond me!

  • Emma K.

    It's a great idea but it should be over the whole of the U.K. Scottish kids get a free baby box and free university fees! Just goes to show they get a lot more money spent on Scottish people per head than English people do!

    • Michelle H.

      or perhaps we manage our budgets differently?!

    • Martha M.

      Errr education and health are devolved.

    • Danielle M.

      We just spend our money differently/manage the budget differently! X

    • Sharon K.

      I agree, its a shame that it isnt throughout the UK. I myself live in Scotland and am due a baby next year but think it would be wonderful if the rest of the UK followed and made it national x

    • Laura B.

      Perhaps you should tell your MP that then?

    • Emma K.

      On average Scottish people get over £600 per head more than England. Although Northern Ireland get even more. I wonder if they will do baby boxes soon too?

    • Siobhan M.

      I agree it should be everywhere, but it is an SNP policy. So that's why it's only us.

    • Ashley C.

      Look into the Barnett Formula Emma Kelly. We get more per head compared to England, based on what our economy contributes to the national treasury.

    • Martha M.

      Emma Kelly I will say it again...health is a devolved issue....

    • Lindsay S.

      Maybe it shows our priorities for our future are our children?

    • Emma K.

      Thank you Siobhan McGhee I hadn't realised it was just an SNP policy and Martha Mackenzie that health was a devolved issue, maybe Scotland does manage their health budget differently to the rest of the U.K. Sorry if I offended anyone.

    • Siobhan M.

      Our health and education systems are our only real powers. Which is why we have free prescription and uni fees. We just spend our money differently.

    • Joanna Q.

      Eh duh England just has a shit government making decisions on how to spend their cash its not that Scotland have more money its that they prioritise trying to equal out opportunities for all via health and education. The government making these choices in england are all tories out for themselves and their kind. Scotland believes in Social justice.

    • Martha M.

      Emma- plenty of stuff that isn't good here too though, don't get me started on the Named Person scheme!!:wink:I do believe the baby box however is done with the best of intentions of trying to reduce infant mortality.

    • Danielle M.

      Emma I'm sure you'll find we also generate more than that per head so it works out we get less..... I wish it was all over though! An equal start for everyone xx

    • Tracey D.

      This has already been trialled in London and is about to be rolled out across the Wirral and Cheshire

  • CSallyDodds

    brilliant idea to give new Mums confidence and feel secure. However I worry which budget the funding is coming from and who is suffering beacuse of the cost of the  boxes. 

    • pendo

      most of the items will end up in the bin, I worked in a children's centre and we gave free items to parents, nappy bags car seats etc they didn't want them.

  • Kirsty R.

    Such a good idea, shame it isn't the whole country

  • Elaine C.

    It's only pilot areas and no sure if it first time mums X

  • Elaine C.

    Need to find out what areas it's available X :grin:

  • Laura L.

    - hold on till your due date! I love this idea :two_hearts:x

    • Gemma M.

      Bet we are not in the pilot zone :flushed:

  • Elaine C.

    Need to find out what areas it's available X :grin:

  • Kirsty B.

    I think this is a good idea for maybe premature babies when they come sooner than expected . Other that that possibly a waste of money although I haven't looked at it just going from the heading xx

    • Jane H.

      Since the introduction of these boxes Finland has become a nation with on of the lowest infant mortality rates.

  • Kate L.

    Finland are a fantastic country with lots we could learn by way of their childcare and education systems. I'm happy to see other countries following suit

  • Hannah L.

    I LOVE my box so does Arthur.. It was jam packed with things all organic and hypoallergenic!

  • Hannah L.

    Definitely!!! I reckon we can get some good use out of it by the time we've all had kids xx

  • Rebekah S.

    Oh lovely. We will have too see if I gets one lol. :kissing::kissing:

  • Lauren B.

    I think it is only pilot areas Elaine x

  • Jacquelyn M.

    I know, I think they start 1st January, I'm gutted still!!! :rage::cry::joy:xx

  • Pheona H.

    Days from January next year anyway lol :kissing_heart::joy:

  • Rebekah S.

    Yip we will have to see if I get one. Ha. Didn't see if you had to apply for it. :kissing_heart::kissing:

  • Kelly D.

    I think it's useful if you haven't got a big budget should be offered to everyone as an option

  • Janine S.

    Certainly a fabulous idea for families whose income is below the national average. I'm sure there are plenty of struggling families who would appreciate this!

  • Carla B.

    What a fabulous idea to give our little bundles of joy the best possible start (and you can't beat a good old freebie! :laughing:)

  • Kim F.

    I seen this before obviously not in the UK. I think it should be rolled out access the UK x

  • Mollie W.

    Brilliant idea, see in England our government spends money on people who refuse to get jobs because the government gives them money :)

  • Lisa D.

    I think it's a great idea. Finland have a low cot death rate so they must be doing something right .

  • Hayley C.

    Oh yes you saw it on news didn't you! Hope it comes over here :) there cute! Xx

  • Vicky H.

    Think they are a great idea

  • Carole T.

    I've always thought this was a great idea - the box becomes a cot too !

  • Emma R.

    Fantastic idea but considering we have to now take our own bottles into hospital to give to our newborns I doubt that England will do these for expectant mothers!

    • Aimee B.

      I'd say that's a positive move to try to encourage breastfeeding?

    • Claire C.

      Yes, I think it's perfectly correct that you should bring your own bottles and formula if you are going to choose to bottle feed from birth.

    • Gemma R.

      haven't you always had to take bottles in?

    • Claire C.

      No, they used to provide bottles but not now, not for quite a few years. Hospitals are bound to the baby friendly guidelines which protect breastfeeding. (Please nobody get defensive, just stating facts, I have bottle fed and I have breastfed)

    • Leanne B.

      Maybe different in Scotland I got bottles in hospital.

  • Sally L.

    Let's all go to Scotland to have our babies.

    • Laura C.

      You'd be very welcome, the more the merrier.

  • Katie L.

    The numbers and rates of stillbirths, perinatal deaths and infant deaths in Scotland are at their lowest ever recorded level, statistics released today show. In 2012 the stillbirth rate in Scotland fell to 4.7 per 1000 births – the lowest in the UK - and infant death rates also fell from 4.0 per 1000 to 3.7 per 1000.25 Mar 2014. I know that this is 2014 but I know this is still the case. Nicola sturgeon should really make more informed decisions on where to spend tax payers money.

    • David O.

      I may be misreading your comment, but it does sound like you're saying the infant mortality rate in Scotland is low enough. Finland is on 1.7. I don't see it as a waste of money trying to achieve levels like that.

    • Louise S.

      Surely we should still be making the figures even lower? And we should definitely be taking a leaf out of Finlands book when it comes to children as they are a cut above the rest of the world.

  • Claire R.

    Fantastic idea, anything that helps reduce infant mortality rates can only be a good thing. Proud of Scotland & proud to be a member of the Scottish National Party (SNP) If it helps just one baby then it has been more than worth it.

  • Gem M.

    I saw this the other day x

  • Tracey F.

    They could give me a free house and I'd still say no!

  • Sara B.

    Yes it should be given across the uk its a good idea...

  • Sarah T.

    I think it's a great idea and it's one less thing to worry about what to take to hospital.

  • Nicola Q.

    Haha I'm sad that we are missing out on this! Think it's next year before people start getting them x

  • Joanne B.

    I think its a stupid idea. Shud only be for ppl who need it

  • Alexandra M.

    Practising :joy::joy::joy::joy:

  • Mags T.

    do they not still get the maternity grant of £500 ?? thats supposed to be used on the babys' start in life

    • Julie D.

      Only if you qualify, which I think you need to be on benefits to get it.....

  • Catriona C.

    I was reading about this yest, such a nice idea! Sounds like Meagan and I just miss out though as it starts in Jan. X

  • Beckie T.

    My mum mentioned this to me there startin it in jan but only certain areas at first xx

  • Rachel L.

    Pioneered by the SNP, as announced by Nicola Sturgeon on Saturday.

  • Diane M.

    Surely this is what child benefit and new start grants..maternity allowance and parent own money should be spent on. Perhaps a list of essentials to buy be given to expectant parents..there are more pressing needs for government to spend it's its cash on !!!

    • Fiona S.

      Indeed. I would be very happy to see government handing out these boxes in lieu of maternity grants. This way the items are reaching the child. Money is just too tempting to mis-spend.

  • Meagan S.

    Oh bummer! I would have loved one of these what a good idea. X

  • Alan C.

    As a father of 2, I think it's a brilliant idea. Should be offered to the parents of every new born, and they can either accept it graciously, or decline it politely. Simple really.

  • Carolynn C.

    Yeah!!! But wait I'm due in December so won't get it :cry::cry:

  • Siân S.

    Scotland getting the freebies again. Don't worry we'll pay for it!

    • Siân S.

      But I do like the idea of the boxes.

    • Sarah W.

      The scots pay taxes too! It's not their fault the rest of the U.K. Gov don't give a damn about the tax payers as long they are keeping the Chinese and French happy!

  • Holly M.

    Have you read about these ? They're a brilliant idea x

  • Joanna Q.

    Great idea. Scotland trying to level the playing field or narrow the gap can only be a good thing.

  • Sarah N.

    Damit, this one's going to come too early for a box, hopefully the scheme's still running in the future!!

  • Julie M.

    Think I best leave that one to you lol x

  • Melanie H.

    I really want one of these. Might buy one if D&G aren't in the first round!

  • Hannah B.

    Personally I think it's a fantastic idea, the lump sum for maternity grants is for the few, so those who are just over the line go without, this will hopefully reach more people and reduce infant mortality(always a plus).

  • Nicola C.

    Great idea pitty iv just had my last

  • Margaret H.

    It's a brilliant idea. But the "poor" mums in the West End of London got them first!!!!

  • Emma B.

    Wonder if this will be rolled out across the rest of the UK ?

  • Claire W.

    Aw I would have loved one of these :two_hearts:

  • Mandy S.

    Makes me almost want another

  • Moira M.

    This is old hat. When my kids were born we all got a box of freebies

  • Anne N.

    Obviously need a Jackass Whisperer for some of the contributors here!

  • Emma C.

    Hope we get one and the stuff as nice as that in the picture that would be great :) xx

  • Mary C.

    But really? How many kidney machines could they buy? If a child is going to be neglected this will not save him

  • Helen O.

    Just started giving these out in limerick ireland

  • Natalie S.

    I think it's a lovely idea, and it's worked wonders in Finland. They have a similar project in parts of Africa, but the boxes are plastic as they decided a bathtub was more useful to families than a box bed due to the pitiful shortage of clean water. Every baby deserves a chance, and not every new parent has all the support and information they need when they start out.

  • Carly C.

    Ah I heard about this, thanks! Xx

  • Rachel L.

    Love it and yes do it here. We are prob funding their boxes !

  • Sparky F.

    Great idea! Shame it's not until 2017! Xx

  • Jamie S.

    This is why I love Finland

  • Sasha S.

    No if u can afford ur own child then don't have any , given boxes out will in courage people to have more kids and claim more benefitS .

  • Sara N.

    Amazing! I may need to do just that. Sx

  • Beverley R.

    It's great where its needed. personally every new baby I've ever known has first size clothes overflowing every drawer and the charity shop gets them, after the baby has grown past that size, and most have labels still on them. But I'm sure that they are welcome to many. Is infant mortality reduced more by the quality of the delivery care than clothes???

    • Joanna B.

      Did you read it? I'm pretty sure it's not the clothing that reduces the risk of infant death!

    • Sam C.

      I agree to a point. But my daughter was premature, we didn't have any preemie clothes or nappies, but other than that we were very organised!!

    • Beverley R.

      That's very different. ..and then the sbcu staff are marvellous. ( I know that personally as my granddaughter spent her first weeks there)

  • Sam C.

    They should make sure some are ready for premature babies too!

  • Jessica W.

    I used to be part of a pregnancy support group in Leicester and rutland and it took us years to get any funding to start doing this. We spent months deciding what to put it them buying products creating literature to go inside and packing 200 boxes. By the time we had started distribution the government pulled our funding and the support group was shut down :persevere: luckily the 200 boxes were still handed out

    • Maureen G.

      A lot of hard work was put into producing the boxes, well done Jessica & everybody that helped x

  • Joanne K.

    Oooo that would be good xx

  • Stan S.

    Certainly a good idea if it leads to decreased infant mortality rates, which are a significant driver of increased life expectancy.

  • Bec P.

    Why do these things ALWAYS become about money rather than care?

  • Jacquelyn M.

    Annoying isn't it?! :speak_no_evil: thing is I'll be reminded of it constantly once it's released! :joy: xx

  • Kim F.

    Yea it will be nice for it to come to bham

  • Donna W.

    Yes I do think it is a good ide

    Yes I do think it's a good idea but only for the first baby people will take advantage x

  • Tricia F.

    In Finland, they have to be collected from the health care services, which provides an opportunity for early intervention which may otherwise be missed. If these are distributed by courier, then the benefit will be missed

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