The first deliveries of ‘baby bundles’ are being received this week by expectant mothers as a pilot begins in Wales.
The pilot of 200 bundles will be delivered to mums-to-be in the Swansea Bay University Health Board area over the coming months.
The bundles will be filled with high-quality and neutral baby clothes, sleep sacks, play items to encourage early communication and bonding, household items for help with safe bathing and a range of support for women for after the birth.
Designed to promote the health and well-being of newborns and help parents in the first days and weeks of a baby’s life, the bundles mirror similar successful initiatives in Scotland and Finland.
There’s no financial cost for parents associated with receiving a bundle and parents are under no obligation to accept a bundle if they do not want or need one.
Some bundles will contain a baby wrap/sling whilst others contain a re-useable nappy starter pack. The bundles also contain useful guidance for new parents as well as links to the Welsh Government’s online parenting information.
Karys Davies and her husband Ben, from Penllergaer in Swansea, were one of the first to receive a bundle earlier this week. Karys said:
“When the box arrived I felt really excited, like an early Christmas present.
“I really think other expectant parents will benefit from the baby bundle. It’s a great starter kit – it’s got a lot of things that you need when it can be a bit of a chaotic time trying to go out and make sure you’ve got everything. It just takes that pressure off the first few weeks when you don’t really know what you’re exactly going to need. There’s a bit of everything in there to help you through that stage.”
The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, said:
“Our baby bundles not only offer a ‘welcome to the world!’ to Wales’ newest little arrivals but they offer fantastic support to both parents and babies at such a vital stage in all of their lives. This is particularly important now for families whose babies are born in the midst of a pandemic, and we also hope these bundles will promote a more equal playing field for parents and their babies by reducing expenditure on newborn essentials.
“Similar schemes, such as in Scotland, have seen high up-take and evidence so far suggests parents in Swansea are keen to sign-up for this pilot at their 28-week antenatal appointment.
“We look forward to receiving feedback from these families as they begin their journey with their new additions.”
Deputy Head of Midwifery at Swansea Bay University Health Board, Susan Jose, said:
“Following much planning and partnership working with Welsh Government, I am delighted we are now in a position to commence delivery of the ‘baby bundles’.
“I feel sure they will be warmly received by women within the Swansea Bay health board locality, particularly in current times when some families will be experiencing financial uncertainty during the pandemic.
“I wish the pilot scheme every success and look forward to receiving comments and feedback from women to inform longer term decisions for the scheme.”
The development of the baby bundle and its contents has been shaped by feedback from new parents and professionals, and the pilot will be independently evaluated to help advise on a longer-term decision for the scheme.