Baby boxes

New parents in a variety of locations will nowadays receive a cardboard Baby Box around the time their baby is born. In some locations (Finland, Scotland) Baby Boxes are given out as a gift from the Government to new parents, and they are packed full of useful items for the baby's first year of life. In other locations, Baby Boxes are being given out by NHS Trusts and Local Authorities as part of infant safe sleep education.

Additionally, several major retailers and other specialist companies are producing retail versions of Baby Boxes designed to be purchased as gifts for new families, full of premium products. However, all baby boxes are supplied with a mattress and a fitted sheet that will allow the box to be used as an infant sleep space.

It can be useful to have a portable sleep space such as a cardboard Baby Box for use during the day, or if you are sleeping away from home. If you do not have access to a Moses basket or cot it is safer for your baby to sleep in a box than in a car seat or on a sofa.

What should I think about?

Be sure to use your Baby Box safely and follow the manufacturer's or distributor's instructions. Do not place a Baby Box on a high or precarious surface where it (and your baby) might fall. Do not use it to carry your baby, or place near a heat source. Baby boxes are not safe for transporting babies in cars or other vehicles.

All baby box mattresses should carry a permanent label stating that they comply with UK and EU regulations, including fire safety. Do not use a mattress that does not have this label. Always place your baby on their back in the box and keep the box free from toys and excessive bedding. Stop using the box as soon as your baby begins trying to roll over.

The Lullaby Trust (UK SIDS Charity) has issued a statement about the safety of Baby Boxes that can be found on their website.

As with all infant sleep spaces, Baby Boxes should be used with common sense and safe sleep guidance should still be followed.