Boxes help­ing new­borns

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHANDRA

An Auck­land group has come up with New Zealand’s equiv­a­lent to the Fin­nish baby box.

In Fin­land, ex­pec­tant moth­ers are given a baby box by the govern­ment to serve as a starter kit for their new­born baby.

It con­tains clothes, blan­kets and other new­born ne­ces­si­ties, as well as a baby box which can be used as the child’s first bed.

In 2015, Mt Eden res­i­dents Phil Hor­robin and his wife Clare teamed up with po­lice of­fi­cer Bryan Ward to reg­is­ter BabyS­tart as a char­ity.

It gave BabyS­tart boxes to fam­i­lies whose ba­bies are at risk of Sud­den Un­ex­pected Death in In­fancy (SUDI), but also lack items needed to care for their new­born.

The box is filled with 40 items in­clud­ing cloth­ing, nap­pies, a book and toy box and the box it­self can be used as a baby’s first bed, sim­i­lar to a bassinet.

The first BabyS­tart box was given away in March last year and to­day, 96 boxes have been do­nated.

It’s been en­dorsed by the

Min­istry of Health and Plun­ket.

Min­istry of Health clin­i­cal ad­vi­sor child and health Ja­nine Ry­land said us­ing a baby bed sim­i­lar to that of a Fin­nish box may help re­duce the risk of a baby suf­fo­cat­ing when asleep.

BabyS­tart was also avail­able to pur­chase for $750, with ev­ery box sold en­abling the char­ity to give an­other box away.

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