New design unveiled for baby boxes
27 March 2019, 12:11 | Updated: 27 March 2019, 12:16
More than 80,000 baby boxes have been delivered since the scheme was launched, with 96% of expectant mothers receiving them.
The boxes contain baby essentials such as clothing, toys, towels, thermometers and mats, and can also be used as a cot.
Delivered to any expectant parents in Scotland who request one, the Scottish Government has announced that demand rose to 96% of eligible families in the third quarter of 2018, up from 85% when they were launched in August 2017.
A voucher for a reusable cloth nappy and liners from Glasgow-based company Tots Bots has been added into the box, along with a new design on the outside featuring Scottish landmarks such as Ben Nevis, Glenfinnan Viaduct and Edinburgh Castle.
As the latest figures revealed 80,873 boxes delivered, Children's Minister Maree Todd welcomed the news as "a huge vote of confidence in Scotland's baby box".
Speaking at the APS distribution centre in Leith where the boxes are printed, filled and sent out to expectant parents, she said: "We are committed to giving every child the best start in life, and we do this by ensuring that every family with a newborn has access to essential items needed in the first six months of a child's life through the Baby Box.
"96% of expectant parents are requesting a Baby Box - a big rise on the 85% since they were first launched."
The new design on the boxes was selected from hundreds of entries in a nationwide Young Scot competition celebrating the Year of Young People.
The winning design was created by Demi Burnett, 12, from Banff Academy in Macduff, Edith Macdonald, 13, from the Community School of Auchterader in Gleneagles, Emily Wilson, 15, from St Luke's High School in Barrhead, Holly Henry, 16, from St Columba's in Kilmacolm and Sonny Robertson, 17, from Trinity Academy in Edinburgh.
The group were given an award by Ms Todd, who said: "This new design - by children for children - is impressive in its detail and creativity.
"Parents have also told us that they love personalising their Baby Box and as a result my favourite idea from the winning team is the free space left around the trunk of the tree on the lid to allow the family to add their newborn's hand and foot print.
"It will touch the hearts of many parents that children from across the country have worked together, investing so much time and effort, into creating something truly special for their babies.
"I've met many families who have treasured their Baby Box and I can't wait to see the new boxes in homes for years to come."
Jackie Brock, CEO of Children in Scotland, added: "Families will be really delighted with this addition to their baby's welcome.
"Once the baby and their friends are old enough to colour it in, it will make a wonderful toy and memory in future years."