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To think that british mothers would benefit from a Finish style maternity pack

(55 Posts)
ReallyTired Wed 05-Jun-13 14:27:24

In the UK low income mothers get a surestart grant, but in Finland the governant gives all mothers a box with a range of stuff in it or mothers can opt to take cash (140 euros).

I imagine that the Finish governant can negioate really good deals with baby clothes manufactorers and buy in bulk. It means that the money goes further. I feel that having the option of a box instead of a surestart grant would mean that mothers would get more without costing the governant more. The box includes toys, books, breastpads and even condoms. There is none of the crap associated with the dreaded bounty packs. It also ensures that the tax payers's money actually gets spent on the baby.

Finish baby pack

Apparently this pack has reduced infant mortality and encouraged mothers to attend ante natal care.

The only downside is whether we would really want every baby in the UK dressed the same.

ReallyTired Wed 05-Jun-13 14:29:11

Oops I just realise I have mispelt "Finnish"

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 05-Jun-13 14:29:49

Well, they change the clothes every year so it's kind of nice. Also, gender neutral and I hate pink so that works for me.

I think it's a lovely idea.

Beehatch Wed 05-Jun-13 14:33:13

Unless everyone was offered it (as they do in Finland) then dressing a child in the offered clothes would become a stigma, a kind of uniform of poverty. Sadly it would be just too costly to implement universally here.

I do love the fact that the box it comes in becomes baby's first crib.

Guntie Wed 05-Jun-13 14:35:27

Yes its a nice idea but I don't think it would be the best use of resources. Maternity care in hospitals is very stretched. I would prefer the money went there to improve services. We can always buy things second hand/buy less stuff.

NatashaBee Wed 05-Jun-13 14:43:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BabyDubsEverywhere Wed 05-Jun-13 14:50:50

The items in the box are all the things I didn't spend any money on... clothes and Moses baskets seem to be passed around friends and family for re-use, at least that's what happens with everyone I know. Condoms are free anyway. My pushchair is about to be used again for a 7th baby - between 3 moms, and going strong.

Tbh the only thing I bought new was bottles and hell would freeze over before they were given out lest the breast feeding rate drop.

If they were only given to 'poor-people' no one would use the stuff no matter how desperate they were. And if they were given to everyone there would be uproar about 'rich-people' getting freebies.

MrsMcEnroe Wed 05-Jun-13 14:55:58

Condoms are free BabyDubsEverywhere? Where? How do I get some?

ToysRLuv Wed 05-Jun-13 14:57:09

I'm from Finland and the majority of first time parents get these (rather than the money in hand), so wearing the clothes is not a mark of poverty. It's kind of exciting for mothers to see what's in their year's pack. There's lots of talk amongst mothers about the "brown year" and the "year of the yellow flowers" or whatever. People always would have liked another year's pack! However, the sizes do not fit every baby perfectly: a snow suit for a spring-born baby might be fine, but would swamp a winter-born, etc. Some odd items there like condoms etc. Also most of the cloth nappies do not get used.

sparechange Wed 05-Jun-13 15:20:16

A nice idea and tradition to carry on in a country, but it would be a huge waste of resources to introduce something like that from scratch.
There are much better uses of the money to target those who need things.

CaptainJamesTKirk Wed 05-Jun-13 15:23:27

I saw it on the BBC website and thought it really was a fantastic idea! smile

Expensive though... Our country can't really afford to start doing this. But I really do like it as a concept.

PatPig Wed 05-Jun-13 15:25:20

That article is bullshit. Infant mortality is lower in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other countries without such a scheme or indeed much of a welfare state at all.

Always interesting to see infant mortality falls though, I was reminded of this when watching this video of a woman giving birth by a stream

Hospitals and modern medicine are wonderous things.

Baby boxes, not so much.

Exhaustipated Wed 05-Jun-13 15:27:22

I love this idea! I wish we had it here. Beats a bounty pack any day of the week..

dexter73 Wed 05-Jun-13 15:29:59

MrsMcEnroe - condoms are free at family planning clinics and from your GP.

nenevomito Wed 05-Jun-13 15:37:10

Thats a fab idea and would have loved one when I was pg with mine.

CSIJanner Wed 05-Jun-13 15:39:20

It would be nice but doesn't Finland have some of the highest taxes to help pay for it all?

CecilyP Wed 05-Jun-13 15:42:03

It's a novelty and a nice tradition to carry on, but there doesn't seem to be much in the pack that even the poorest parent doesn't provide for their baby.

Far from saving money, someone has to be paid to put all this together and deliver it each set of parents. Presumably, all the clothes items are the same size, so parents of premature or very small babies will still have to buy more items in the correct size. While parents of larger babies will get very little use out of the clothes as they have to move on to the next size very quickly.

There also seem to be quite a lot of waste in the system, as I would assume the mattress only fits the box and not much else. So you would have to have another to fit where your baby is actually going to sleep. There are some nice items, but also some of limited use. I can't see a first size snow suit getting much wear - even in Finland and many people won't use cloth nappies or muslin squares. And, if there is one thing you can definitely manage without, it is a bath thermometer.

SoupDragon Wed 05-Jun-13 15:46:11

It lowered infant mortality because it meant the baby had a bed of its own and wasn't sleeping in the parents bed.

AtYourCervix Wed 05-Jun-13 15:47:53

Better than all thst Bounty shite.

ScarletLady02 Wed 05-Jun-13 15:51:35

I saw this yesterday and thought it was a lovely idea. Not sure it would be cost effective here in the current climate, but at the same time, I would have loved to get one.

CecilyP Wed 05-Jun-13 15:53:23

No, it lowered infant mortality because, in order to get the box, expectant mothers had to sign up for ante-natal care.

Aniseeda Wed 05-Jun-13 16:18:01

Aww, that's adorable and makes me want to go to live in Finland and have another baby! I can just imagine the excitement of taking it home and opening it up to see what was in there and my babies would certainly have napped in the box downstairs during the day (I had a rocking crib passed down from family which was lovely but not very portable - I really should have bought a moses basket as well but it seemed a bit extravagant as we had a crib and a pram so daytime naps were taken in the pram in the hall, but, if I'd had a box, I could have put it on the coffee table!) Yikes, I've gone all broody!

Rollmops Wed 05-Jun-13 16:29:03

A pack of dishwasher tablets?!? was my first thought....

weisswusrt Wed 05-Jun-13 16:30:42

When I had my baby, there was a trolley of very basic supplies that we could use...blankets, baby hats, mitts etc. What if, instead of putting them back to be laundered and re-used, mothers who needed things could just keep them? I know I'm already struggling to find homes for the billions of baby clothes ds has grown out of!

Titsalinabumsquash Wed 05-Jun-13 16:36:41

What a lovely idea! smile I know so many people that spent the sure start maternity grant on 'other things' hmm that something along these lines would have been a much better help.

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