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France to give ‘baby box’ of essential items to new parents

A baby sleeping bag, soap and moisturising cream for the mother will be included as well as a scrapbook to encourage artistic activities even from a young age

A ‘baby box’ will be given to the parents of newborn babies from February 1 Pic: kryzhov / Shutterstock

Parents of newborn babies in France are set to receive ‘bébé box’ (baby box) packages from their maternity ward from February 1. 

“Each object conveys and symbolises a message which aims to help parents. They will provide support through creating a dialogue with parents in the maternity ward,” the health ministry department charged with children and childhood have said.

The goal is to accompany the baby through the first 1,000 days of their life.

The ‘box’ – which will in reality be a sling bag – will contain a baby sleeping bag, which will help parents to learn about the best way to put their newborn to bed safely, avoiding accidents with blankets or pillows.

A scrapbook will also help to teach parents about their child’s artistic and cultural awakening, encouraging them to read to their baby even before they go to school or nursery.

A bar of soap will promote the use of natural products and make parents aware of issues relating to endocrine disrupting chemicals. 

Finally, a moisturising cream will remind the mother of the need to take care of herself as well as her baby.

The bag will not contain baby clothes because “these were not noted as being included in the list of essential items.” the ministry said.

The baby boxes were inspired by a Finnish practice and will be concentrated on priority areas of the country. Some 180,000 packs will be handed out between now and August.

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