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Lisa Williams describes her ideal baby box contents...

The baby box scheme in Finland is being rolled out in Scotland. But what should go into a baby box? We have a think...

Since 1938, the Finnish government has been providing pregnant women with a ‘baby box’ containing vital items for the baby’s first few months, such as gender neutral baby clothes, baby bedding and a cloth nappy set.

It started out as an initiative to coax low-income expectant women to go to their ante-natal health checks, and in 1949 it was rolled out to every mother-to-be in the country.

The items included have changed over the years to allow for changing fashion. It used to be that fabric was supplied instead of baby clothes, because women used to make clothes for their family. Similarly, cloth nappies were exchanged for disposable ones and now according to the trend, cloth nappies have been reinstated.

Most resourceful of all, perhaps, is the fact that a mattress is supplied with the box, meaning the box itself can be used as a crib for the baby.

Finland now claims that the scheme has helped to reduce infant mortality rates in their country.

You may have heard that this baby box scheme is to be launched in Scotland, and there is currently a competition running to design the first-edition box.

It got me thinking about what I would like to have received in a ‘box’ when I was pregnant with my son. The current Finnish box contains the following:

  • Mattress, mattress cover, undersheet, duvet cover, blanket, sleeping bag/quilt
  • Snowsuit, hat, insulated mittens, booties
  • Hooded onesie 
  • Socks and mittens, knitted hat, balaclava
  • Babygrows, rompers, baby leggings
  • Hooded bath towel, nail scissors, hairbrush, toothbrush, bath thermometer, nappy rash cream, flannel
  • Cloth nappy set, muslin squares
  • Picture book, teething toy
  • Breast pads, condoms


It’s such a brilliant, comprehensive list. But if I were being greedy, this is what I would have liked on top of all that:

  • Netflix/NowTV subscription (to help keep me awake during nightfeeds)
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer (for nappy changes on-the-go)
  • Snacks to eat with one hand (Always. Hungry.)
  • Exciting soft drinks (Always. Thirsty)
  • Litter claw (because bending over to pick stuff up hurts)
  • Extra phone charger (one for each room, preferably)
  • Directory of breastfeeding counsellors (need help, fast!)
  • Nipple cream (vats and vats of nipple cream)
  • Extra phone storage (so many photos, so little space)
  • Your Baby Week by Week (the least punchable parenting book around).

One of these baby inventions would be brilliant too, if the government’s watching…

So, what do you think? What were the early days essentials for either you or your baby? Let us know below…



Definitely touch lamps for the bedside table were 3am night feed life savers! Plus an old pair of walkie talkies were big hits (more for me) for radioing downstairs to my husband to bring up chocolate, ice drinks, more muslins, etc, whilst feeding.