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by Liam Kirkaldy
15 August 2018
Baby box placed in Museum of Childhood to ensure it will “have a place preserved in history”

Image credit: Scottish Government

Baby box placed in Museum of Childhood to ensure it will “have a place preserved in history”

A baby box will be placed in the Museum of Childhood to ensure it will “have a place preserved in history”, the Scottish Government has announced.

With the first box sent out a year ago today, new figures show 52,065 babies across the country have received a box, with an 85 per cent uptake rate by parents.

The boxes, sent to new parents, each contain items such as a play mat, books, a towel and a sling carrier, while the box itself comes with a mattress and can be used as a sleeping space.

A box will be on display in the museum’s exhibition from next year.

Children and Early Years Minister Maree Todd said: “I am absolutely delighted that our baby box will have a place preserved in history here at the Museum of Childhood.

“This box has made such a difference to people's lives in the past year, and to know that this will now be on exhibition as a legacy of the babies of Scotland should make everyone involved in creating, packing and delivering the baby box very proud.

“We are committed to ensuring every baby has the best start in life, and I've seen over the past year the difference this box and its contents has made to the lives of babies and their parents and carers.”

The introduction of baby boxes cost £8m for 2017-18, rising to £8.8m for each of the following three years.

Research by the Scottish Government found that 62 per cent of parents said they had used or planned to use the box as a bed.

Sandra Martin, history curator for Edinburgh's Museums and Galleries, said: "The Museum houses some extraordinary examples of childhood history from all sides of Scottish society. From real silver spoons, a popular gift with babies in Victorian Edinburgh, to makeshift dolls crafted with nothing more than a wooden spoon and some old cloth, by families who couldn't afford anything more.

"The modern baby box is the great equaliser. The same gifts for baby, available to all new mothers. It's a pleasure to welcome it into our collection."

The figures show Greater Glasgow and Clyde received the most Baby Boxes in the past year, with 12,815 new babies being welcomed by a box, while 199 babies on the Western Isles received boxes.

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