1. ITV Report

Free baby boxes at Ipswich Hospital to reduce cot deaths

Baby Jasper with mum Farren Webb at the launch of Ipswich Hospital's baby box scheme Credit: Baby Box Co

A baby box scheme aimed at reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome has been launched at Ipswich hospital. Parents will be given a free cardboard box for their babies to sleep in. The cardboard boxes also have a mattress and safety advice for parents. They’ve been provided by The Baby Box Co and allows babies to sleep in the box for six months. The programme aims to combat sudden infant death syndrome - four babies die from cot death, on average, in the UK every week.

Baby boxes originated in Finland and are credited with reducing infant morality rates in the country from 65 deaths per 1,000 births in 1938 to 3 deaths per 1,000 in 2013.

It’s part of a successful scheme that’s been rolled out at hospitals across the UK and was introduced at Colchester Hospital in October.

Helen Smith, consultant midwife at Ipswich hospital, said “Not only does it offer mothers essential education about safety, looking after themselves and keeping their babies healthy, but also provides a lovely box where their baby can sleep for the first few months which they can keep as a momento. This is a great opportunity to make some really important health messages easily accessible for all of the women in our care whilst also making sure all babies have access to a safe sleeping environment.”

Baby Lily with mother Sarah Pawsley Credit: Baby Box Co
Baby Lily asleep in her new baby box Credit: Baby Box Co