Scots roll out the Finnish “baby box” – a good idea?

From the Scottish government’s Facebook page on New Year’s Day…

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has delivered Scotland’s first Baby Boxes to new mums in Clackmannanshire. The Scottish Government is gifting every newborn baby a Box of essential items, such as clothes, nappies and books, to help ensure they get the best start in life. Following the hugely successful Finnish model, the Box is also suitable for babies to sleep in. The three-month pilot begins today in Clackmannanshire and Orkney, and the Baby Box will be rolled out to all newborns by the summer of 2017.

Seeing how it’s a government handout, you can be sure the “right” is against this idea.  But I have also seen opposition from the “Left” as well.  Shouldn’t be given to rich parents.  Doesn’t contain the right things.  That sort of thing.

My opinion, as a concept, it is definitely a good thing, and sometimes I wonder if people appreciate just what it takes as a politician to get something done.  The dream you articulate to your staffers as rarely going to be exactly the reality that ends up getting rolled out (ask Barack Obama re Affordable Care).  But if you abandoned a project because you can’t meet all of your original plans then nothing would ever get done.

This Baby box is a way of welcoming every new person into the world as an equal.  That is the overall message as far as I am concerned.  Sure, we can debate what goes IN the box down the line, and discussion is very important.

But for now, let’s get the box out there as soon as possible.  It’s meant to be a help.  Yes, both rich and poor benefit, but they also do from traffic lights.  Emergency services.  And who knows, maybe a lot of conscientious rich people will offer to give theirs back – also a good thing.

We’re giving it a thumbs up for now until we hear anything negative.