Scottish baby box uptake drops slightly in third year of scheme

More than 40,000 baby boxes were delivered to expectant parents this year, though the take-up rate dipped from 2019, according to government figures.

A Scottish Government baby box.
A Scottish Government baby box.

Latest statistics show around 93 per cent of those eligible are taking up the opportunity to receive the box – down from 96 per cent last year.

Overall numbers are also down from 2019 when 45,558 were given to expectant parents, with a total of 40,083 baby boxes delivered in 2020. In total, 163,397 boxes have been given out since the scheme started in August 2017.

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Children's minister Maree Todd said: “The coronavirus crisis has been challenging for all of us, and particularly so for expectant parents and new mums and dads.

"Face-to-face support from family and friends has had to be restricted for safety reasons and the pandemic has added to financial worries for many families.

"Supporting new parents this year especially has been vital. The baby box, which ensures that every family with a newborn has access to essential items, is part of our commitment to giving every child the best start in life."

The box contains essential items including clothes, a digital thermometer and a bath towel and comes with a mattress so it can also be used as a place for the baby to sleep.

Jackie Tolland, chief executive of Parent Network Scotland, said: "Having been involved in the baby box since its inception, I am really pleased that the feedback has been positive. We need to do everything we can as a country to ensure that all children receive the opportunity to have the best start in life."

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