How does the new baby box offered to parents compare to other countries?


NSW parents will receive a new baby bonus — a maternity gift package to help them cope in the first few days of welcoming their child into the world.

The package is worth $150 and contains a sleeping bag, nappies, wipes, pads and a book. It was modelled off a maternity package first launched in Finland in 1938. So how does the baby bundle compare to the ones offered to new parents across the world?

The Baby Bundle for new mothers as displayed at Westmead Hospital in Sydney. Source: AAP

Finland

According to the BBC, the maternity packages were only offered to parents with low incomes when they were first launched in 1938. Since 1949, the package has been available to all mothers.

Contents are updated every year but parents received about 35 items in the package in 2017.

The bundles contained snowsuits, a number of clothing items including mittens, beanies, rompers, bodysuits and leggings, sleeping bag, bedding and linen, nappies, towels, personal care items including a digital thermometer, powder, condoms, sanitary towels and a hairbrush, bibs, book and a toy.

The box also can turn into a crib. The BBC reported parents could choose between the package or about $217, but 95 per cent of parents chose the package because it was worth significantly more.

South Africa

The Thula Baba Box also provides new parents with a number of essentials.

According to its Facebook page, the pack contains baby clothing,  a blanket, wash products, maternity pads, condoms, a kangaroo mother care wrap, plastic balls, health information, nursery rhymes and a recipe for a homemade diarrhoea remedy.

The plastic bucket it comes in can also be used as a baby bath.

Items in South Africa’s Thula Baba Box. Source: Facebook/Thula Baba Box

Scotland

Scotland announced it would provide parents with a baby box for newborns in 2017.

According to a government website, the box contains clothing for newborns up to six months, a digital ear thermometer, a bath towel, changing mat and books.

The box also has a mattress, mattress protector and fitted sheet and can double as a bed.

Canada

Parenting website Today’s Parent reports the baby box launched in Canada in 2016.

Parents wanting to receive the bundles register online and pick up a box from a local health agency.

The packages from Baby Box Co are also designed for sleeping and contain a mattress, fitted sheet and waterproof cover. It also includes wipes, creams, nappies and storage bags.


United States

According to CNN, maternity packs were also launched in New Jersey in 2017 before other states followed.

The cardboard boxes contain about $200 worth of baby essentials and were first distributed at Cooper University Healthcare and Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative.

The box comes with a firm mattress, waterproof cover and fitted sheet, as well as nappies, breast cream and pads, a onesie, an activity cart and wipes.