We all like free things, especially expecting mums.

Starting in January 2019 all new mums in New South Wales will receive a special delivery from the government – a box of baby goodies, valued at $150!

Each newborn hamper will contain baby essentials such as:

  • Nappies and a change mat
  • Sleeping bag and swaddle
  • A children’s book
  • Breast pads and a toothbrush
  • A thermometer, sanitiser and nappy rash cream

New South Wales Baby Box  – Hooray for free baby gear!

The big baby hamper bonanza is said to be modelled after Finland’s very successful newborn baby boxes. The Finnish government fill the boxes with baby goodies, but the boxes also double as a bassinet for infants. The New South Wales baby boxes won’t accommodate bub’s sleeping needs. 

Original-Maternity-Pack
Finland’s original baby boxes

The NSW baby boxes are designed to act as “an extra bit of support,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian explains.

The baby boxes aren’t income related so all mums will receive one, even if they are not in need of the items. Each box is expected to cost around $150. With 90,000 babies born in NSW annually, they will cost taxpayers $13.5 million every year.

Big budgets for new babies 

The newborn hampers are part of a massive billion-dollar parenting package scheme. In addition to the New South Wales baby boxes, the NSW government plans to invest in more midwives, more postnatal visits, and more research into childhood cancer and other genetics conditions.

“This is an extra billion dollars which will enable another 950 nurses, 300 doctors, multiple other allied health staff,” says NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.

Do we really need more baby stuff?  

Expecting first time mum, Jess D, says the baby box announcement is such a nice surprise.

“It will be so lovey to receive the hamper to help us through those first few months with our little boy,” Jess tells Mum Central. 

Of course, not everyone is on board the baby box train. Alexandra Carlton from news.com.au, suggests that the hampers are simply a band-aid to cover a much larger issue.

“[They] do nothing to address the real problems that face Australian mothers and babies every day — things like peri- and post-natal depression, sudden infant death syndrome and household child safety,” Alexandra writes.

She suggests it would be better to “put that $150 towards giving all new parents an accredited first aid course” especially considering “30 Australian children under the age of five drown every year.”

The baby boxes will be available for all new mums in New South Wales from January 2019. 

Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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