Scotland’s baby boxes – a year on

By Hollie Ewers on 16 August 2018 Scotland Baby Box Survey

In the year since baby boxes were introduced in Scotland, 52,065 newborns and families have been gifted with one.

Some 85% of expectant parents have taken up the opportunity to receive the baby box, while the latest parent survey reveals that 100% are either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the overall quality and the contents.

The survey also revealed that the most popular items include in the box were the bathroom/room thermometer (32%), ear thermometer (22%), and the sling (15%).

When questioned, parents revealed the most popular idea for inclusion in the box was a second sheet for the mattress (67% said this would be useful), and it has since been added to the box.

Scotland’s children and early years minister Maree Todd said: ‘We can say these boxes are having a real impact on the lives of those who receive them. 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. We've had a very successful first year, with 85% take-up, and we want to continue to build on this as we move into year two.’ 

NHS Lothian chief midwife Frances McGuire said that the baby box has been a great opportunity for midwives and health visitors to chat to expectant parents about its contents and how they can help improve a child's health and wellbeing. 

She added: ‘Not only that, but the box helps new parents at a time where they may be particularly stretched financially, and can provide crucial support.’

Further celebrating the year milestone, Scotland's baby box will also be preserved in history when it is placed into an exhibition at the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh from next year.The RCM has recently published a position statement supporting the universal provision of baby boxes across the UK. It can be read here.