A year since the first delivery, Fife’s ‘Baby Box bairns’ are this week celebrating their first birthday with help from the innovative scheme.
The Scottish Government says it has issued more than 52,000 of the new born baby kits to expectant parents in the first year. with NHS Fife having gifted 3366 of the boxes to parents across the Kingdom.
The boxes, which can be used as a sleeping space, and which also contain items including clothing,books, a towel, a sling carrier and a range of helpful information for new parents, has proved hugely popular with recipients.
In all, 85 per cent of expectant parents have taken up the opportunity to receive the Baby Box, while the latest parent survey showed 100 per cent satisfaction.
The innovative scheme, which has cost around £8m in its first year, has been hailed a success, with Maree Todd MSP, the Scottish Government’s Children and Early Years Minister, saying the boxes had had a positive impact on parents of newborns in Scotland over the last 12 months.
“A year on from when the first Baby Boxes were delivered, we can say these boxes are having a real impact on the lives of those who receive them,” said the Minister.
“I’ve heard stories from across the country about how the thermometers have helped parents seek appropriate medical care for their babies, how its contents are providing essential products for babies who arrive early, and much needed comfort for those who might not have family or friends around to shower the little one with gifts when they arrive.
“These boxes demonstrate that, as a society, we value each and every child in Scotland.”
Shelagh Young, Scotland director of Home-Start UK, added: “Many parents have been telling Home-Start staff and volunteers just how much the items they receive are helping them.
“Being a parent, especially for the first time, can be overwhelming, and many of the families we work with feel isolated and alone.
“The Baby Box gives the clear message that every child matters, and that parents are not alone.”
The majority of parents, 62 per cent, said they had used or planned to use the box as a bed.