As of August 2017, each new baby born in Scotland is entitled to a free baby box containing a ton of newborn essentials.
Ours arrived last week, amid scenes of great excitement: here’s a quick look at what’s inside, with apologies to those of you who follow me on Instagram and have already been bored rigid by my many Stories on this subject!
Inside our free baby box: clockwise from top
Squishy toy cube
Black and white book
Bath and room thermometer
2 muslin squares
Fitted sheet for mattress
Baby emery boards
Selection of baby clothes
I haven’t itemised all of the clothes, as there are quite a few of them, obviously, but as you can see, there’s a selection of newborn essentials designed for different age ranges, from newborn to about 3 – 6 months. If I had one criticism – and, honestly, it seems really churlish to have ANY criticisms at all of a free baby box – it would be that a few of the clothing items seem just a little bit “girlie” for my tastes: I’d have preferred a slightly more neutral selection, but as I said, that’s me being really nit-picky – the baby obviously isn’t going to care, so neither do I!
As for the box itself, this is a concept borrowed from Finland (I think), and the idea is that the box itself can be used as a place for the baby to sleep, if you so desire: so, right at the bottom of the box is a mattress (the fitted cover for it is inside the box), so if you don’t have a crib/moses basket, or just want somewhere else you can lay your baby down to sleep, you’re all set. We don’t plan to use it for that, but the box is a rather nice one, with spaces for the baby’s name and date of birth, plus a design that he can colour in when he’s a bit older, so I’m sure it’ll come in handy as extra storage for the nursery.
Oh, and I haven’t been forgotten either: as well as packs of maternity and breast pads, there’s also two packets of condoms, just so the Scottish Government can be really sure that I never try to do anything like this again. Like, EVER. (I’m joking, by the way: I had a couple of people message me when I mentioned this on Insta Stories, earnestly explaining contraception and fertility to me – I do actually know how this stuff works, believe it or not, I just thought it was amusing to find two packets of condoms in a baby box, but that’s probably just me!)
The free baby box is available to all newborns in Scotland, from this year: there’s some more information about it here, and if you’re in Scotland and want to claim one, your midwife will be able to give you a form, which you then just fill out and send back.