Baby Box scheme launched in Western Isles

Pictured are expectant mothers attending the Parentcraft Group (physiotherapy class) at Western Isles Hospital’s Maternity Ward alongside maternity staff

All babies born in the Western Isles after 15th August will now receive a box full of essential items to help give them the best possible start in life.

Each ‘Baby Box’ is full of essentials from birth to six months and the box itself also doubles up as a safe sleeping space after being awarded British Safety standard accreditation as a crib for domestic use.

The scheme, designed to help tackle inequality and promote health and wellbeing, has been inspired by a similar initiative in Finland, and the decision to push it Scotland-wide follows successful pilot projects in Orkney and Clackmannanshire.

As well as containing items such as clothes, books and blankets, the box provides safe sleep guidance in a leaflet inside the box, while safety guidelines are also printed on the box lid.

Catherine MacDonald, maternity ward manager at Western Isles Hospital, said: “The Baby Box is a welcome gift from the Scottish Government for every baby in Scotland due on or after 15th August.

“The Baby Boxes contain a wide range of extremely useful items for new parents. As well as containing practical items such as clothes, blankets, towels and a changing mat, they also include crucial health promotion information and resources to support mums and dads on their journey through parenthood.”

Parents-to-be are asked to sign up for their Baby Box by contacting their midwife.