Research reveals most useful items in baby boxes

By Julie Griffiths on 27 December 2017 Baby Box Scottish Government

One of the items least likely to be used by new parents in the Scottish Government’s baby box scheme are condoms, according to the Scottish Government’s own research. 

The baby box scheme was piloted in January and then rolled out across Scotland in August.  

Baby boxes are an idea imported from Finland and are designed to give children the best start in life, regardless of parents’ income. The boxes provide essential items for newborns, including the heavy-duty cardboard container that can be used as a crib.

The Scottish Government commissioned research to inform re-procurement of the contents by gathering the views of 204 parents on the items and how they have used/will use them.  

The item with the highest proportion of parents saying they would not be used was the box of three condoms, with one in five reporting that they would remain unused.

The items with the highest proportions reporting they had used/planned to use them were the muslin cloth squares and baby books (both 100%), the hooded bath towel, bath sponge and bib (all 99%).

The most used bedding item was the cellular blanket with 97% having either used it or planning to use it. Use of the fitted sheet (85% used or planned to) and mattress protector (74%) was also high.

In general, the feedback on the contents of the boxes was positive with 100% being either very or quite satisfied with the overall quality of box and contents – 95% were very satisfied.

The most common request for additional items to be included was for newborn nappies, made by 10% of parents.

Almost a third of parents had first heard about the baby boxes from their midwife. The most common means of initial awareness of the scheme was on the news (41%).