Backing for Baby Box: Parents praise scheme on its fourth anniversary

13 Aug 2021

By Lucy Ashton

Parents have overwhelmingly backed Scotland’s Baby Box.

In an independent evaluation, 97% of parents rated the box and its contents as good.

Around 186,000 Baby Boxes will have been delivered to families, including Kyle and Gemma Fraser and baby Joshua,  by its fourth anniversary on Sunday (15 August). Uptake among expectant parents hit a record high of 98% in 2020.

Baby Joshua Fraser, whose parents received the Baby Box when he was born in December.

In the evaluation, parents highlighted benefits of the box, including saving them money on essential items for newborns and helping with information on child health and development.

In the evaluation:

  • 91% parents agreed that getting a baby box had saved them money on items they would otherwise have to buy
  • 84% of parents said they had found the leaflet on safe sleeping useful
  • 60% of parents felt the inclusion of books in the baby box had encouraged them to start reading with their baby earlier – younger, first-time and lower income parents were particularly likely to say this
  • 66% of parents said they found the leaflet on breastfeeding useful and 68% found the leaflet on post-natal depression useful

Children’s Minister Clare Haughey and some contents of the popular Baby Box.

Children’s Minister Clare Haughey said:  “The Baby Box is part of our commitment to making sure that every child, no matter what their circumstances, has the best start in life. I am delighted that so many parents continue to value the box, and that they and their babies are benefitting from it and its contents.

“It is encouraging to see that the positive impacts of the Baby Box are felt right across all families, but particularly among first-time parents, younger parents and families on lower incomes.

“This evaluation really highlights the positive impact it is having on parents and their newborns  – a fitting tribute on its fourth birthday.”

Jackie Tolland, from Parent Network Scotland, said:  “As a parenting organisation, we were delighted to be part of the launch of the Baby Box in 2017. Since then, we have heard many stories about how helpful and very much-needed the Baby Box has been to families. We continue to promote the Baby Box and thank the Scottish Government for keeping parents in mind at the start of their parenting journey. We appreciate all the support.”

A Baby Box is offered to all newborns in Scotland.

Scotland’s Baby Box provides families with a range of essential items for their first six months, delivered in a sturdy cardboard box, which can be used as a safe sleeping space during the early months of a baby’s life.  The contents of the baby box are designed to inform and support positive parenting behaviours.

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