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Baby box scheme rolled out across Scotland

Baby box scheme rolled out across Scotland
From BBC - August 14, 2017

Baby boxes containing essential items such as clothes, books and blankets are to be delivered to new mothers across Scotland for the first time.

The cardboard boxes also include a mattress and can be used for babies to sleep in as an alternative to a crib.

The Scottish government hopes the boxes will help ensure every baby is given the best possible start in life.

Baby boxes are already given out by some health authorities in other parts of the UK.

But the Scotland-wide rollout, which follows successful pilot projects in Orkney and Clackmannanshire, is the first time they will be available to all expecting mothers in one part of the country.

The Scottish government has given assurances that all of its baby boxes meet the highest UK safety standards for sleeping, with safe sleep guidance provided in a leaflet inside the box and safety guidelines also printed on the lid.

It follows concerns raised earlier this month by cot death charity The Lullaby Trust, whose chief executive Francine Bates said she was unhappy with some boxes being marketed as products which will reduce infant mortality and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Lynsay Allan, executive director of the Scottish Cot Death Trust, said: "I am encouraged by the fact that Scotland's baby box scheme is prompting parents to think about their sleeping practices.

"While the proven safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot, crib or Moses basket, I also recognise that the box can be used as a safe sleep space for newborn babies, particularly where families may have no alternative and where they might otherwise unsafely share their bed or sleep on a sofa or chair with their baby."

Expectant mothers due to give birth on or after 15 August have been able to register to receive their baby box at midwife appointments since June.

The boxes will be sent to the mother's home address or another preferred location from today.

From January of next year, the baby boxes will be delivered at least four weeks before the baby's due date.

What do parents think of the boxes?

Colleen Groves, a mum-to-be who will be receiving one, told BBC Scotland: "I really like the idea of it being a safe sleeping space.

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