The concept of baby boxes – a stiff cardboard box for a baby to sleep in – was first born in Finland, where mothers famously receive one as part of a ‘starter kit’ given to new parents by the state.
They were first introduced for low-income mothers in order to discourage parents from unsafely sharing a bed with their babies but, later, they were extended to everyone.
Scotland has since adopted them, as have certain UK hospitals – but midwives are now pushing for the kits to be introduced throughout the UK.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has said in a press release that providing the boxes is “likely” to reduce the risks of unsafe co-sleeping – which include a baby lying prone (face down) rather than her or his back, or sleeping on unsafe surfaces.
Sleeping near bedding or toys that they might get tangled up in can be dangerous too, or next to a parent that’s been smoking, drinking or taking drugs.
According to the RCM, these risks tend to be higher in more deprived or isolated communities and there’s a higher proportion of “sudden unexpected death in infancy” (SUDI) – or cot death – in such homes.
Although there isn’t evidence that proves baby boxes reduces SUDI risk, midwives still reckon that giving babies their own sleep space could be worth a shot.
Gill Walton, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said:
“A baby box is a positive gift which signals that every baby is important and welcomed.
“Providing them will help many families whatever their background, and provide a more equal start to life for the baby.
“The Scottish baby box contains a number of very useful baby items that can support the health and wellbeing of new babies including an electronic thermometer, a baby carrying sling, a bath thermometer and a range of clothing.
“Most importantly by enabling parents to give their babies a safe sleeping space, baby boxes may reduce unsafe co-sleeping or babies sleeping in an inappropriate place such as a sofa.”
Read more from Yahoo Style UK: