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Babies In Boxes: The Hype, The Reality And The Evidence

by Helen Ball, BSc, MA, PhD
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 R-CERP, 1 Nursing Contact Hours, 0.1 Midwifery CEU
  • Handout: No
Abstract:

Many assumptions exist about the origins and purpose of baby-boxes and their use as a safe infant sleep space; this misinformation needs correcting, especially as it relates to SIDS-reduction. Baby-box schemes take multiple forms from those motivated by social welfare to those motivated by commercial profit. Programmes offering carboard baby boxes to parents in England began in some NHS Trusts in 2016. We examined the pros and cons of English baby-box schemes via an independent evaluation conducted using telephone interviews and online surveys with healthcare providers and parents in all 7/9 NHS regions of England where baby-box schemes were established 2017-2019. The objectives were to produce recommendations for organisations considering involvement in future schemes. We found baby-box schemes changed over time, and were complex to run and monitor. Both parents and practitioners were misinformed about their purpose and origins. The English experience of partnership schemes between healthcare facilities and commercial box-providers reveals some success stories, along with multiple points of ambiguity, unanticipated difficulty, and concerns for infant safety. Sixteen recommendations are proposed for healthcare providers and organisations considering commercial - health-provider baby-box partnerships in future.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Explain the different types of baby box scheme and their pros and cons.

Objective 2: Critically evaluate the claims made about baby box schemes and safe infant sleep.

Objective 3: Describe the impact of baby boxes on breastfeeding and mother-baby interaction.

Presentations: 5  |  Hours / CE Credits: 5  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks