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29 May 2017, 12:13
The Scottish Government has announced the date for the nationwide roll-out of its baby box scheme.
All babies born on August 15 or after will receive a box with the essentials to help them get the best start in life.
Expectant mothers can register to receive the box at an existing midwife appointment after June 15.
Delivery of the boxes will begin on August 15 and they will be sent to the mother's home or other preferred address.
The roll-out follows pilot projects in Orkney and Clackmannanshire which started on January 1.
The initiative was inspired by Finnish baby boxes. The Scottish versions used in the pilot scheme were filled with around 40 items, including a changing mat, a digital thermometer, a fleece jacket, several babygrows, a hooded bath towel, a reusable nappy and liners, a baby book and an organic sponge.
The boxes, which are suitable for the new arrival to sleep in, also contain cot sheets, a mattress and a blanket and feature a forest fairytale design including Highland cows, squirrels and the Loch Ness Monster.
Minister for Childcare and Early Years Mark McDonald said: ``I'm delighted to announce that all babies due in Scotland on or after 15 August 2017 will receive a baby box as part of the national roll-out.
''Scotland's baby box will help tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents, and we're proud to introduce it in Scotland.
''It will include materials to promote the best possible outcomes for children and the box itself will also provide a safe space for babies to sleep near their parents, to promote bonding and early attachment.
''As the scheme formally begins our delivery partners will work hard to deliver as many boxes as quickly as possible to ensure new parents can start to use them straight away.
''And from January 2018, all baby boxes will be delivered at least four weeks before the baby's due date.''
Gillian Morton, Head of Midwifery at NHS Forth Valley, said: ''We were delighted that Clackmannanshire was selected as one of the first areas in the country to distribute the new baby boxes.
''The response from local families has been fantastic with many commenting on how useful the items have been during those important early weeks and months. The new design of the box has also been well-received and I'm sure it will be extremely popular when the scheme is rolled out to the rest of the country.''