Boxes help raise awareness

Mark McDonald, Mona and Magnus with dad Patrick and Leanne Young pictured helping design a baby box.
Mark McDonald, Mona and Magnus with dad Patrick and Leanne Young pictured helping design a baby box.

Scotland’s Baby Box scheme is helping to raise awareness of safe sleeping practices, according to early evaluation findings.

The boxes will be gifted to every new born child in Scotland from this summer following a three-month pilot in Orkney and Clackmannanshire.

They contain a range of essential items such as clothes, books and blankets and are also suitable to sleep in.

Parents taking part so far were asked for their views on the box, how they use it and its contents.

One mother told researchers she had learned about the importance of using breathable blankets while other parents said they believe the box is a safe sleeping place for a variety of reasons.

These include:

• It comes with cellular blankets rather than fleeces.

• Inclusion of a brand new mattress.

• Size of the box, which is larger than a Moses basket but smaller than a cot.

• Simplicity of the sleep space making it suitable for small babies.

Mark McDonald, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, said: “It is fantastic to hear the Baby Box is encouraging parents to think about safe sleeping practices.

“We want all parents to make the choice that is right for them when choosing where their baby sleeps.

“We have had some feedback from parents confirming that they would have used the baby box as a sleep space if they had known it would be included in the pilot and had not already purchased an alternative.”

He added: “Some parents taking part in the pilot commented on the perceived culture barrier of putting their baby in the box but have been positive about it once they tried it out for themselves.

“We have also had consistently positive feedback about the high quality of the Baby Box contents.

“These preliminary findings are extremely promising and we will use the lessons learnt throughout the pilot period to proactively address any concerns or queries parents may have about using the box ahead of its national roll-out this summer.”