Drawing inspiration from Finland’s 79-year-old practice, Scotland has imitated its baby box scheme where every newborn is getting a box of essential items such as clothes, nappies, mats etc. to give all children an equal start.
Every newborn child in Scotland will receive the boxes by summer this year following a three-month pilot project that will run in Clackmannanshire and Orkney. The first boxes are delivered to the soon-to-be-mothers by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Finland has been running the same project since 1938. The Scottish government has estimated that the cost of this project will be 6 million pounds per year.
Each 100 pounds-worth box contains 40 essential items for babies and parents, such as a playmat, a changing mat, a digital thermometer, a fleece jacket, several baby grows, a hooded bath towel, a reusable nappy and liners, a baby book and an organic sponge. The box is also suitable for babies to sleep in as it is equipped with cot sheets, a mattress and a blanket.
It also comes with a poem specially written by Scotland’s Makar, Jackie Kay, called Welcome Wee One.
Ms Sturgeon told BBC, “Scotland’s baby box is a strong signal of our determination that every child, regardless of their circumstances, should get the best start in life. It’s a simple idea with a proven record in tackling deprivation, improving health and supporting parents, and I’m proud and excited that the pilot is now under way.”
The popular Finnish practice was incorporated to give every child, regardless of background or income, an equal start, apart from promoting the health and wellbeing of every mother and the child. The boxes in Finland contain 80 useful items for babies, making the country one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.