An evaluation report on Scotland’s baby box scheme has been published. Its findings include:
- Nine in ten (91%) parents agreed that ‘Getting a baby box has saved me money on things I would otherwise have had to buy’, while 76% of health professionals agreed that the scheme is an effective way of ensuring that every family has access to newborn essentials.
- 37% of parents felt they had learned about bonding with their baby through playing, talking and reading as a result of receiving the box. This figure was higher among younger (57%), first-time (46%), and lower income (42%) parents.
- 60% of parents felt the inclusion of books in the baby box had encouraged them to start reading with their baby earlier – again, younger, first-time and lower income parents were particularly likely to say this.
- 84% of parents surveyed said they had found the leaflet on safe sleeping useful. Findings from the qualitative research provided evidence of parents learning about safe sleeping from the leaflet in the box and/or being empowered to challenge inappropriate views among family members around safe sleeping, even when they had not used the box itself as a sleep space.
- 26% of parents surveyed felt the box had helped support breastfeeding, but higher numbers (66%) said they found the leaflet on breastfeeding useful. A similar proportion (68%) said they had found the leaflet on post-natal depression useful – younger parents and those on lower incomes were more likely to say it had been ‘very’ useful.