A hospital is trialling giving new mums Finnish-style Baby Boxes, which aim to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
New mums who have their baby at Queen Charlotte and Chelsea Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, will be the first in the country to receive Finnish-style Baby Boxes for their newborn to sleep in.
The Finnish Baby Boxes have been credited with reducing the infant mortality rate in the country from 65 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 1938, to 2.26 per 1,000 births in 2015.
The UK has some of highest rates of infant mortality in Europe, ranking 22nd out of the 50 European countries with 4.19 deaths per 1,000 births.
The boxes, which are made from a very thick cardboard, are used as a baby’s bed for up to the first eight months.
It is thought the small size of the Baby Box prevents babies from rolling on to their tummies, which experts think can contribute to sudden infant death syndrome.
The Trust will distribute 800 Baby Boxes, which also come with a firm foam mattress, waterproof mattress cover, cotton sheet and education materials, to new mums who have their baby at Queen Charlotte and Chelsea Hospital, on a first come first serve basis.
As part of the trial the babies who received the boxes will be monitored by the Trust until they are eight months old and their parents asked to fill out a questionnaire about their use of the Baby Box.
In addition to receiving the Baby Box new mums will also be given specialist education materials with advice from top experts in the field on how to further reduce the risk of infant mortality, improve parental bonding and support the transition to parenthood.