Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust boxes clever with its free Baby Box programme for all newborns
Parents across Essex and Hertfordshire have the chance to receive a free Baby Box to support safer sleeping for their new arrivals.
The Baby Box Co. provides the baby box, which doubles as an infant sleeping space and contains useful information and products for families.
The aim of the programme is to encourage early engagement with maternity services and access to care for all pregnant women. In order to receive a free Baby Box, expecting parents will need to complete the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust syllabus on www.babyboxuniversity.com, a comprehensive maternal and childcare education site. Upon completion, they will receive a certificate that can be redeemed for their free Baby Box.
The Baby Box tradition, which originates from Finland, has been credited with reducing the infant mortality rate in the country from 65 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 1938 to 2.26 per 1,000 births in 2015. The UK has some of highest rates of infant mortality in Europe, ranking 22nd out of the 50 European countries with 4.19 deaths per 1,000 births*.
The Baby Boxes, which are fully compliant with the EN/UK standard for cribs and cradles (BS EN 1130), are made from durable cardboard and come with a firm foam mattress (compliant with UK mattress standards BS 7177 2008 + A1:2011 and BS 1877 - 10:2011 + A1:2012), waterproof mattress cover and a cotton sheet. They are traditionally used in Finland as a baby's bed for the first months of their life, replacing the need for a traditional Moses basket or cot.
Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive at The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust, said: "The Baby Box University syllabus provides information on safety and infant care, as well as advice on ways to reduce the risk of sudden infant death. We are fully supporting this new initiative and hope that women and their families will find it useful."