What's inside the baby boxes being given out to first-time parents in the North East?

The boxes are filled with items aimed at a baby's development. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A charity aiming to provide a "baby box" to every first-time parent in the North East has been handing out its first support packages.

The initiative, led by The Children's Foundation, has been prompted by the cost of living crisis and levels of child poverty in the region.

Boxes are focused on a baby's development and are currently being given to parents who have been referred to them by midwives.

They aim to raise £1 million in order to be able to deliver them to every new parent across the region.

What is in the baby box?

  • Books and toys which stimulate laughing, playing, reading and counting

  • Blankets

  • Changing mats

  • Bath towels

  • Thermometers

Child poverty in the North East

In 2020-21, the North East overtook London to have the highest rate of child poverty in the UK.

Just over 11 children in a class of 30 are considered to be in poverty, according to the North East Child Poverty Commission.

The organisation says this continues a longer-term trend, with the region experiencing by far the steepest increases in child poverty in the UK in recent years.

  • Video report by Chris Conway

Family nurse practitioner Clare Ronan told ITV Tyne Tees how becoming a parent can be "overwhelming emotionally".

She said parents suddenly realise they are responsible for another human and so the baby boxes can be a big help.

Ms Ronan said: "One of the young mothers I've been working with said it was a weight off her mind having these provided for her.

"Money is tight. We are living in difficult times."

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