A hospital in London has become the first in the country to roll out the Finnish-inspired ‘baby box’ initiative.
Following on from the success of the baby box scheme in other European countries, Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital will distribute the boxes to mums who give birth from this month on.
The initiative has significantly reduced the rate of infant mortality in other countries around Europe, and with the UK standing in 22nd place out of 50 countries for its own infant mortality rate, it’s hoped that this pilot project will make a positive difference.
800 boxes in total will be distributed to new mums at the hospital, and they will be given out on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis.
Each box is made of thick cardboard and is fitted with a firm mattress; it is intended to serve as the baby’s bed for the first eight months, eliminating the need for a Moses basket - an expensive baby bed that mums in Ireland rely heavily on.
One of the advantages of the baby box is that it prevents Baby from rolling over on their tummy – something which experts have linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
The box also comes with a waterproof mattress cover, a cotton sheet and expert education materials advising how to further reduce the risk of infant mortality.
All babies who receive a box from the NHS Trust will be monitored.
Commenting on the project today, Dr Karen Joash who will be leading the trial said: “For too many years the UK has fallen behind its European counterparts when it comes to reducing infant mortality. These boxes and the education resources that sit alongside them have been proven to help reduce the infant mortality rate in Finland and we hope that these results could be replicated in the UK.”
Would you like to see this initiative being rolled out in hospitals in Ireland?