There’s a lot to think about when you’re about to become a parent. How will I afford it and will I be able to do it? being just a couple of the worries.
But one supermarket chain are offering mums and dads-to-be the chance to brush up on their parenting skills and receive a free baby box filled with all the newborn paraphernalia you’ll need.
Lidl have teamed up with The Baby Box Co to give away Baby Boxes filled with nappies, wipes, muslin cloths and more.
In order to receive the baby box parents just need to complete a free 15-minute online parenting course created by healthcare experts.
As well as containing plenty of baby essentials, the boxes come complete with a firm mattress, waterproof mattress cover and cotton sheet, and because they’re made from thick cardboard they can be used as an alternative to a traditional Moses basket or cot.
Baby boxes first originated in Finland, where pregnant women have traditionally been given a cardboard box full of useful baby items including a mattress which fits inside the bottom of the box so it doubles up as a bed for newborns.
The boxes have often been cited as a contributing factor to the country’s extremely low infant mortality rates (two deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 32 per 1,000 globally).
And recently the boxes have become increasingly popular in the UK, with many NHS trusts offering the boxes to new parents and private companies also offering the service.
But some experts have raised doubt about the safety of baby boxes and the “scarcity” of observational evidence that the boxes can be used safely as places for newborns to sleep.
Back in October, a letter published in medical research journal The BMJ says there is actually very little evidence that the boxes help reduce cot deaths or meet safety regulations.
Instead Prof Peter Blair from Bristol University and other experts, including experts from the Lullaby Trust, recommend that the boxes should only be used as a temporary bed if nothing else is available.
This isn’t the first time Dr Peter Blair has raised concerns over the boxes.
Last year he also revealed his concerns in a detailed memo to the Scottish government in which he claimed there was no evidence that the boxes were safe or reduced cot death, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
He suggested that the risks to a baby’s health could come from the boxes’ relatively high sides, which meant parents could only see their child if they stood directly over the box.
Issuing new advice to parents, The Lullaby Trust said there was no evidence baby boxes reduced the rate of SIDS.
Despite their concerns, the charity provided some advice to parents who do plan on using a baby box.
The advice, which is posted on the charity’s website, includes some of the below:-
Use your baby box for daytime naps only and sleep your baby in a cot or a Moses basket next to your bed during the night
Do not lift or carry the box around your home if your baby is in it
Do not put the lid on the box if your baby is in it
Do not place additional bedding on top of the mattress to raise your baby up to a higher level
Ensure the box is placed on a solid surface and cannot topple over
Do not use the box if it gets wet or soiled
Do not put a box on an under heated floor
Do not leave the baby in the box unattended or out of view
Do not use the box once your baby is able to roll
Ensure that you comply with any instructions relating to the maximum age and weight of the infant for which the box can be used.
We've got some exciting news! 🌟 This week, in partnership with @lidluk , we'll be visiting Ruislip, Leeds, Chester and Birmingham! Come along, meet the team, find out more about our mission and collect your baby box. Make sure you have your code by completing your parental education online at www.thebabyboxco.com. We can't wait to see you there! (Details in our highlights 👌) #thebabyboxcouk #babybox #community #event #lidl #lupilu #pregnancy #maternity #education #supportingparents #ruislip #chester #birmingham #leeds #eventbrite
A post shared by The Baby Box Co. UK (@thebabyboxcouk) on Jan 14, 2019 at 6:20am PST
But despite the contrasting advice about baby boxes, for some parents the free boxes will no doubt be a life saver.
Plus the parenting course itself arms new mums and dads with a whole host of handy baby tips from healthcare experts, so baby box or not, it is definitely worth a look.
A spokesperson for Lidl said: “We are proud to partner with The Baby Box Co, which offers free online parenting courses from healthcare experts and free rewards for completing them – like the high quality baby boxes which come with one pack of Lupilu newborn nappies and one pack of Lupilu newborn wipes to help new parents in those first days of parenthood.”
Those wishing to claim their free box should visit the Lidl website.
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